Hybrid leather/ wood snare

happyshump

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Hi folks, don't know if this has been done before. A customer at the drum shop I work at has built snare made from leather and Parica wood. Hopefully Sam will chime in with some more info. He used 5 mil leather on the inside and 4 mil on the outside. Inside are two 2.7mil plys of the Parica wood. It sounds really good. Not the loudest drum out there, but that is a good thing. We put a coated Ambassador on top and a Remo hazy on the bottom, with a set of Pearl ultra sound 20 strand wires. The drum tuned easily and worked well up at higher tension and easily tuned down low as well. Rounded edges top and bottom, so not a lot of ring. This is the first attempt at it by Sam, so now he's thinking of making more. Pretty cool.
 

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DawsonStreet

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happyshump said:
Hi folks, don't know if this has been done before. A customer at the drum shop I work at has built snare made from leather and Parica wood. Hopefully Sam will chime in with some more info. He used 5 mil leather on the inside and 4 mil on the outside. Inside are two 2.7mil plys of the Parica wood. It sounds really good. Not the loudest drum out there, but that is a good thing. We put a coated Ambassador on top and a Remo hazy on the bottom, with a set of Pearl ultra sound 20 strand wires. The drum tuned easily and worked well up at higher tension and easily tuned down low as well. Rounded edges top and bottom, so not a lot of ring. This is the first attempt at it by Sam, so now he's thinking of making more. Pretty cool.
I'm glad you liked it mate! I am in love with it's unique sound, can't wait to jam with it tomorrow night. It's also the first time I've use s-hoops, like them a lot. I have built drums in the past but this is my first one using leather, I am around leather all day and think about drums all day so I guess It was natural to unite the two! Or maybe I'm just crazy, must be the leather fumes..

There are leather wrapped drums out there but this shell actually has leather as part of it's structural integrity, 9mm of It to be exact (5+4), and 5.4mm of Parica ply wood. The leather is hard, rolled and compressed, it's properties are different to wood, it is very rigid but not as rigid as wood which gives leather a unique sound. The fibre structure of leather is also completely different which will affect it's sound properties. As with wood it has grain and also feature from the beasts life, things like healed scars, skin folds, sometimes even a brand a farmer may use on his cattle, depending on origin.

The finish on this drum is just natural leather polished with wax, very simple and true to the material. Overall a very different take on a snare drum.

cheers.
 

JazzDrumGuy

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Wouldn't that just kill the sound? Or I guess dry the heck out of it? And all that glue........hmmm.........I guess if DW can make a concrete snare, anything's possible.
 

happyshump

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Not at all. I'd describe as mellow. You can lay into it and it doesn't take your head off. Not for everyone, but it has it's merit.
 

DawsonStreet

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JazzDrumGuy said:
Wouldn't that just kill the sound? Or I guess dry the heck out of it? And all that glue........hmmm.........I guess if DW can make a concrete snare, anything's possible.
You know that was my fear when building it that it would be too dry, but to my suprise it was not at all dry, just mellow as described by Happyshump.

When you think leather generally a pair of shoes comes to mind or your car seat or home couch. It's important to draw a distinction here as sure leather all starts off the same but once it is taken from the beast and hits the tannery it can become myriad different things.

Make no mistake, the leather I have used is thick, stiff and hard and easily handles the tension of a plastic drum head.
 

Fat Drummer

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NewVintage said:
Beautiful craftsmanship! Would love to hear it too
I second both comments! I really like the "outside the box" thinking and hope you can post a video of sound file one day. A very cool and interesting project.
 

DawsonStreet

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Been hard at work making new models of my Leather snare. Latest shell is made from a British rock oak tanned hide with birch wood center, you can check out photos on the link below. This model was finished in Natural wax, I polish the whole shell, inside, outside and bearing edge prior to hardware being added. There is a closeup of the bearing edge as well, I do a 45 inner over round outer. Enjoy.
https://www.instagram.com/dawsonstreetdrumco/
 

clowndog

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Should put some natural hide drumheads on this thing! It seems like the right thing to do. He he. Who is the cat up in Sydney doing the Kangaroo heads on the forum here?

Anyway, I'm in Melbourne having moved out here recently. I'd love to see this thing. Rather intriguing and it looks sweet.
 

Bruzzi

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Hi,
cool project.
Just as a information you can buy pure leather snares in Germany at St-drums since last year.
I played it last year at the Crashit Custom Drum Fair in Mannheim but it was not my sound.
The combination of leather and wood should sound better for my ears.
Cheers
Bruzzi
 

DawsonStreet

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Full Leather Shelled Drum Kit Complete. Finally.

Its taken me ages but for anyone who is interested to follow my build, I have completed the whole kit for myself in leather, the shells are all 1/3rd african mahogany and 2/3 Hardened leather (3mm leather + 3mm mahogany +3mm leather). I used Champagne Lug polished aluminium lugs from Canada, i'm happy they where so lightweight because the shells are very heavy, deceivingly, hardened leather is obviously not as rigid as timber but it is as dense as a hard-hardwood (i'll do a measurement weight vs volume soon). I've built sizes 14x5.5, 13x10, 16x16, 20x16 and have added many leather touches such as internal burnt in branding to designate the shell material and manufacture date, leather washers all round under hardware and even on tension rods, i've even covered the bass drum hoops in the same leather as the shell material but had to split it down to 0.8mm to get it to bend around a 20" drum hoop (ooh that one killed me)!! The finish on all the drums is just a natural leather specific polish applied 3 x to the leather and then polished with a high speed buffing wheel, no need for colours or varnishes, the leather is way to beautiful in it's own right to add anything heavier. Check out the internal leather of the bass drum, it has a cattle brand in it from whichever farm this cow was raised on!

Not sure if I can post here, mods please let me know if all ok, but you can follow my build on instagram here https://www.instagram.com/dawsonstreetdrumco/

Ive shod the entire kit in evans calftones, I havent got around to a sound test yet, don't want to do just a simple phone audio test, want to do justice to the kit, will eventually get around to it, no money left to buy proper recording equipment!
 

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