Acrylic bass drum depth

Luppe

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Hey! I’m new in the forum and to acrylic drums. I’ve had some previous experience with wood drums building and rebuilding, but now I’m working in an acrylic kit for me.

As it’s going to stay in my bedroom, I would really appreciate a shallow bass drum to complete my 8x12, 14x14 and 6,5x13 clear acrylic kit. I’ve heard acrylic tends to be a lot punchy and focused, so I’m a little afraid a shallow bass (10x20 or 12x20) won’t work as well as it should.

What do you think of it? Has anyone ever had any experience with something like this?
 

dtk

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I concur...heads and tuning will matter more than those 2 inches. FWIW...I'd try an Aquarian Superkick and a no hole reso...with some internal dampening on the reso...boom and tone,,,but quick too
 

cobaltspike

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Hi Luppe, are you making the shells yourself? I am going to do it in the future and am interested in talking with people that have done it. Ludwig has a video on youtube that shows them taking the acrylic out of the oven and putting it in the mold, looks pretty easy.
 

Luppe

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Thank you for the replies. I’ll probably go with the 12x20

I should have mentioned that I’m used to high tuning, so I’ll try to keep it high tuned.I also thank dtk for the advice on the heads, but I wonder if you meant Superkick I or II.

Finally, answering cobaltspike, I’m actually ordering the shells here in Brazil. I’ll just drill and mount the lugs. I’ve watched this video from Ludwig and it really looks an easy process but I’m focused in making some wood shells after I finish my acrylic kit.
 

Tommy D

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Careful with acrylic. You need to get the correct drill bits for drilling those holes. Acrylic can be really brittle and crack if a drill bit catches. Maybe log on to ghostnote and ask the question to some of the builders there about the proper tools for working with acrylic shells.
 

Beefsurgeon

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Careful with acrylic. You need to get the correct drill bits for drilling those holes. Acrylic can be really brittle and crack if a drill bit catches. Maybe log on to ghostnote and ask the question to some of the builders there about the proper tools for working with acrylic shells.
Having drilled hundreds of acrylic shells, I can offer the following advice:

1. Regular steel drill bits are fine, but make sure they are sharp. Dull bits are more likely to bind up on the shell.

2. Use a drill press and ensure that the underside of the shell is fully supported.

3. Problems happen when the drill bit begins to exit the underside of the shell. Hold the shell firmly and use lighter pressure on the drill at this point. Basically just go a little slower here.

4. The drill bits may start to accumulate little chunks of melted plastic as you go. If the bit seems to be drilling less smoothly, stop and clean this stuff off.

5. As you drill, the acrylic usually comes up as a thin strip of material instead of "sawdust". As it spins around the bit, it can produce light scratches on the shell. This can be easily avoided by putting some tape on the shell first and drilling through it.

6. When you mark your holes prior to drilling, use a center punch* or scribe to create an indentation on the shell. This will make it very easy for the bit to "find" the hole location.

7. This is a big one: make sure that you lay out the holes for your bass drum spurs precisely. If there is any friction between the metal and the acrylic when you attach the spur, it may crack the shell when you tighten it down. If the fit is tight, use a file or some sandpaper wrapped around a pencil to widen the holes.

*Totally safe for acrylic, just adjust it for medium tension. These are awesome for starting holes on wrapped or satin finish wood shells too. Anything but high gloss wood finishes.
 

Luppe

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Thank you again for the advice and tips. Drills should not be a problem, I have a good variety of them. I’ll probably drill the holes with my hand crank drill press, so I can go really slow and avoid any trouble and keep de bit cool enough, same way I’d drill glass
 


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