So, I took care of cutting the fallen tree down in my yard from the storm. There’s plenty of wood to work with, and I made some things with it. I did a woodworking mallet for chisels, and a drum. It was awesome fun. I’m getting to know the anatomy of Cedar (or Ashe Juniper) pretty well – and, it smells wonderful! The wood is fresh and green, and although, for some things, I could better use it dried, I’m trying things right now while it’s green, and I’ll learn the lessons from it, directly.
First, I wanted to build a drum. But, I needed chisels and I got some new solid chisels to work with – I only had some blunt ones that had chips and heavy use. Also, I only had steel hammers, and I wanted to hit them with a heavy wood mallet to not mar them up. So, I built the hammer first, and then the drum, over the weekend. If I had a lathe, I’d utilize it, but actually I’d like to hold off on that for now, and keep doing stuff by hand until I get the basics down. Plus, it’s really fulfilling. I want to record a song later using only instruments from this tree. Jus’ Cuz.
I have some inner bark that I kept intact that I am going to use as a veneer, and perhaps even a drum head / playing surface. I have those drying out under weight on the patio… Also, I talked to my brother about getting some rawhide to use as well. But, I ended up buying some mylar sheets from the local hobby store, for now. I used to work at a drum shop (with a drum factory next door), so I have lots of real, practical experience with drum stuff. I’ll do a few different sizes and types of drums, and then see where it takes me. 🙂
The one I made this weekend was a small one, roughly a 4″ hollow. At first, I put some dry 1/4″ plywood over the top of it with silicone, and well, it’s wasn’t very resonant at all… at ALL. 🙁 It sounded more like a woodblock than a drum. It’d be a good addition to a set, but not for a drum sound, and that’s really what I wanna make – a responsive hand or stick drum that has a bit of woooof to it. Then, later, I made an edge and nailed on some mylar. Much better!
Now, as I go along, I’m cutting another piece off the (fallen) tree this week (this time 8″), and I’ll make a little rim system for it (out of the same tree) to secure it nice and tight. Should be a fun project.
All-in-all, I’m really feeling great doing this kind of work. It’s stress-free, natural, challenging, and it’s real, man work. After I finish this one, I’ll move on to the table… But, I revolve from woodworking to software projects and research, to working on music, to electrical stuff, to painting – all at the same time. And, when I get good updates, I post it here. But, that’s the thing, everything is working in concert with each other by fulfilling a certain kind of creative interest with each discipline, by which I get ideas for the other stuff as I get my mind directly off of it, and so on. Ok, until next time…