How hard is it to layout drums?

scottcyp

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If I wanted to build my own kit, how hard is the actual drum layout? I've watched videos but they dont give me a great idea of the skill involved. I will pay someone to do the bearing edges but Im curious how difficult lug, leg, vent hole layout is and whatever else Im missing.

Thanks for your input.
 

Tommy D

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Overall it's not that hard. Probably hardest thing is getting the bass spurs in the right spot. Too high and the legs flare out too much (I see this screwed up way too often). Too low and the drum looks like it's on stilts.

Other than that, a basic layout may gets your lug alignment, and some simple measurements gets your other holes in the right place.
 

GeeDeeEmm

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The only thing that is really hard about building your own drum set is paying for it! If you have wood finishing skills (or have experience with laminates) and some measure of mechanical experience, building a drum is a walk.

But have you added up the costs of shells, hardware, and finish? If not, there's a shock in store. That's the only thing that has kept me from jumping in. The process itself would be great fun.

GeeDeeEmm
 

Tommy D

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The only thing that is really hard about building your own drum set is paying for it! If you have wood finishing skills (or have experience with laminates) and some measure of mechanical experience, building a drum is a walk.

But have you added up the costs of shells, hardware, and finish? If not, there's a shock in store. That's the only thing that has kept me from jumping in. The process itself would be great fun.

GeeDeeEmm
Truth. I'm building a set of beech shells and when all is said and done, it will probably be in the $2500+ range. That's a pretty good chunk of money to spend on a kit that I will likely never be able to sell because it's custom. But it's also an 8 piece kit: 2 snares, 2 bass drums, 4 toms. These are Barton shells, and I could have just bought them built by Barton, but I wanted to do my own hardware and wrap. Overall the cost for me to do it myself vs buying built drums by Barton is about equal. No huge saving to be had here, but its all my own selections for hardware, hoops, heads, it's my edges, my finishes, etc.

However, other than Barton the only other beech drums I know of currently in production are Sonor's Vintage line. An 8 piece in matching sizes to my build would cost: $7,305.42. HOLY MOTHER OF GOD!!! My expensive custom kit sounds like a total steal when compared to Sonor's price.
 

jccabinets

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I spent 600.00 building a jazz fest snare. It was fun but expensive. As far as layout, not to hard as already mentioned. You can use the hoops to layout the lugs. But, there are a lot of holes to drill and some will take some thinking. Take your time and you will be fine.
 

JazzDrumGuy

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I agree. I re-purposed a vintage but badly damaged Rogers 6 lug Luxor shell into an 8 lug "Powertone" tribute. I used the original throw/butt holes (as the bearing edges were there) but I was very nervous about drilling 8 sets of holes after I patched up the old 6 sets. I tried geometry and measuring around the circumference - the holes were off. I tried to make a template using a protractor (I didn't know they sell these and you can even download them from a midwest builder!) - still wasn't right. I ended up using the rims, taped them in place, and double and triple checking measurements. Very hokey but it worked fine. I've yet to have the guts to do a whole kit, though.

With regard to a custom kit, I bought a very nice DW clone kit on eBay that was all Keller shells - 10/12/14/20/14 snare. Beautiful glass wrap. DW/Hayman style lugs, great edges, etc. If you pieced it out, it was $2,400.00 just in parts! But I bought it at a fraction of that price because it was a custom kit. I learned that such a kit is only desired by the person who designed it and nobody else cares about it, and as it was just a clone (with a DW sticker on the bass), it looked good from afar but far from good. I could not sell that thing to save my butt. After 1 year, I sold it back to the same guy I bought it from - it cost me $100 in s/h but it was so worth it to get rid of it. It was a one off kit that nobody wanted except him and ever since, I won't buy or make a crazy custom drum unless it's just for me (very rare) or just a screwing around project that will cost me little or no $ - just time which I use to hone my skills (such as the above snare).

Before and after of the Luxor shell.......it had yellow, black, blue and red paint on it and shell damage...yuck!

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