- Make your own layout mat. You can do this on a computer if you have a program with drawing capabilities. You can also use a large piece of paper and protractors and rulers to draw out your spacings.
- Use your hoops as a guide. Just make sure the hoop is evenly spaced around the shell.
- You can use a flexible rule to measure around the circumfrence, but this is not recommended as it is time consuming and not very accurate.
- We'll use the DF Layout Mat and T-Jigs here.
Place a strip of tape around the perimeter of the shell. Using the T-Jig, mark the lug spacing at the color coded line. In this case we are marking holes for an 8 lug drum.
Ooooh, crisp and clean...
Place a strip of tape at each lug spacing mark.
Mark a perpendicular line down the shell. Builder's squares work too for this.
Here is the lug we will use. It has a 2 inch mounting hole spacing.
Adjust the T-Jig to 1/2 of the shell depth.
Use the same methods described above to mark you air grommets and badge holes.
To drill, you can use a trusty hand drill or a drill press. If you use a drill press, make a drilling platform that will sit on the table. The shell should sit right on the platform and be supported directly underneath where you will be drilling holes. You can make it so the drill press table will be inside the shell when the shell rests on the platform (better for benchtop drill presses), or so the entire platform and shell are on the table.
To prevent the wood from "busting out" on the inside of the shell, use a backing piece of wood. If you make a drill press platform, you can make the platform from a good sturdy wood like maple, then use the platform for a backing piece. If you set up the platform each time so the drill bit will be drilling directly into the hole in the platform, you'll have a ready made backing piece at all times. If you use a 1/4" drill for the lugs, and a 5/32" drill for the strainer and butt hardware, have a different hole for each setup. Of course, you'll need to rig the platform so you can clamp it to the table.
Make sure your drill bits are sharp! It is helpful to use a good brad point bit, especially if you are using a hand drill. A #1 Unibit is also used by a lot of drum makers with very good results. Don't be afraid to use a drill bit that is a bit larger than 1/4" for lugs (like 17/64" or 9/32"). In fact, we recommend using a larger bit for solid shells, segment, and stave drums. These shells will expand and contract more than ply shells. If the shell expands or contracts, it will make the lug fit very tight and choke the drum. This we know from experience!
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