Edges w/o a router?

dtk

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I took advantage of Black swamps shorty shell sale (14x3 7/8) with the idea that at 15 a shell I could experiment and learn how to edge...only i only have a dremel and a drill....is it possible to do a usable job using them? I remember reading in NSMD some guy doing edges on some kents with just a razor blade...

THanks in advance?
 

egw

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No, I don't think it's feasible to do edges with a razor blade. MAYBE a file, but still, you're not going to be able to get it even enough to tune up properly.

Depending on which Dremel you have, you might be able to get the 231 router table attachment.

 

Rock Salad

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I have cleaned up edges with a rasp file. Don't know about a Dremmel, seems unstable. A file is nice and long so you can always see the angles.
Practice, find out what is do-able
 

amosguy

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A good hand wood worker could do edges with a draw knife (razor sharp). It would be a real challenge with a razor.
 

dtk

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No, I don't think it's feasible to do edges with a razor blade. MAYBE a file, but still, you're not going to be able to get it even enough to tune up properly.

Depending on which Dremel you have, you might be able to get the 231 router table attachment.

thanks...i may get the table (I'm between Dremels...but I think the 3000 or 4000 will work w/it)...I have an old junk Pearl shell I stripped for parts...it might be the perfect test dummy...this will probably be a fall project.
 

thin shell

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A Stanley Compass Plane is about the only hand tool other than a file that would work. A draw knive would not be my choice at all. It is for cutting with the grain and would not do well with plywood.

 

Old PIT Guy

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It would be time consuming done by hand, but possibly worth the experience. If I were going to try it with, say, a vintage round-over, I'd first make a check guide. A properly measured and well-cut mated notch in a piece of wood would work. Then it's sand, check, sand check ... it's a good deal of work. When the overall shape looked good all the way around, I'd true the apex flat (1/16"-1/8"), color that flat edge with a marking pen, and then hand sand that down carefully so that just a very thin color line remained, checking for true in the process using the flashlight method.

Probably best to buy a router :p
 

davezedlee

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i think it was here years ago when i was in the same predicament, and someone suggested a Stanley Surform shaver

its do-able, and i found the best technique was to use circular swiping motions at an angle, with a good raking light so you can see your progress... but it takes forever, and definitely has a "hand tool kludge" appearance

i now have 7 routers... and a Surform shaver : )
surform.jpg
 
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Barden

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If you have access to some scrap wood blocks you could make a jig that uses only sand paper. Have two vertical pieces of wood sandwich a third piece at your desired angle (45?). You can use adhesive spray to mount sandpaper on the angled piece or find a way that suits you for holding the paper. You'll be shifting it and swapping it often. The vertical pieces register off the face of the shell opposite the edge you're working on. You can work on one area at a time and work up to a reference line sliding the jig along the shell. Just keep the vertical pieces in contact with the face of the shell.

There isn't that much wood to remove so it won't take forever. The sandpaper won't tear out the grain and you can move to a finer grit once you're close to your reference line.
 

JazzDrumGuy

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I did the reso edge of a vintage Slingy tom once by hand. It wasn't that bad but wasn't "good" like the batter side. It sounded fine.

Dremel makes a router attachment - I've never used it but I bet you could totally do edges with one. I have a Dremel and that thing is awesome!

 

D. B. Cooper

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Sounds like a great way to really screw up and edge.
Unless you have a lot of fine woodworking experience, the amount of problems you would come across would make this project extremely difficult. You be better off buying a used table top router and learning how to use that...
 
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I redid the edges on a Ludwig accent snare once with just a file after truing with sand paper. It definitely worked and sounded much better afterwards. It's just a matter of taking your time and aiming for the highest possible consistency in the angle around the shell. However, if it's a drum you care about, it's probably worth it to get it machine-cut just to ensure the best possible sound.
 

thin shell

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I did the reso edge of a vintage Slingy tom once by hand. It wasn't that bad but wasn't "good" like the batter side. It sounded fine.

Dremel makes a router attachment - I've never used it but I bet you could totally do edges with one. I have a Dremel and that thing is awesome!

To do edges the router has to be mounted under a table. Another problem with the dremel is router bits. They make them but they are very small. The cutting area of the chamfer bit is 3/16" wide so that would limit you to very thin shells. You also need a pilot bearing. A regular router bit has a ball bearing pilot bearing. The dremel is just a smooth piece of steel that spins at speed against whatever you are cutting so you could easily burn the wood in the process. As far as power, with a really sharp bit and very light passes I think there is enough power but you would have to go slow but since they don't make wide enough bits it is kind of moot.
 

Swissward Flamtacles

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thanks...i may get the table (I'm between Dremels...but I think the 3000 or 4000 will work w/it)...I have an old junk Pearl shell I stripped for parts...it might be the perfect test dummy...this will probably be a fall project.
I guess you could start with the Pearl shell. I once did a bearing edge on half a tom that I turned into a snare with a handheld router. The tricky part was getting the shell leveled (rotating it on a ceramic stove top with a flash light inside) but using the router by hand worked well. You don't need to apply a lot of pressure to the router, so if you have a steady hand, that might work. Just don't try it on a $1000 drum first. A used router can be found for about $50 used and you can sell it afterwards.
 

thin shell

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A table can be made from a sheet of 3/4" plywood. 45 degree piloted bits aren't expensive either. Just cut a hole for the cutter and three mounting screw holes and you are all set. Clamp it to some saw horses or three chairs and you are all set. A used router can be had for cheap. Even a router from Harbor Freight would be fine for cutting edges.
 

Matched Gripper

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Precision does a great job, and they are not that expensive. Get it done professionally, you won't be sorry. Or, you'll have a shell that will get thrown away...
They have a good reputation, but, the risks of shipping a valuable drum a long distance in this day is a huge deterrent.

Chris Heuer is even further.
 

NYFrank

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I've always wondered why there wasn't an inexpensive tool made for edges.

I would think you could make a rounded file widget in a 45 degree angle that is guided by the outer edge of the shell and sands a clean edge.
That plus final scrubbing of the whole shell on sheet of sandpaper would, I think, even the height properly enough and yield a pretty good edge.
 

michaelg

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I've always wondered why there wasn't an inexpensive tool made for edges.

I would think you could make a rounded file widget in a 45 degree angle that is guided by the outer edge of the shell and sands a clean edge.
That plus final scrubbing of the whole shell on sheet of sandpaper would, I think, even the height properly enough and yield a pretty good edge.
sounds like a good idea,
 


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