I am a self employed hand drum maker based out of Ferndale, WA. I began making drums back in 1988 and now have been successfully doing this for over 30 years now. When I first began making drums, it was initially something I would do in my spare time as a hobby. But ever since I have found it to be a way of life for me, something I am passionate about. I love making drums and hopefully I can pass along that love and passion into a custom made drum for you. Each drum I make, I personally bless them in the process making them by burning sage in the process.
I design and make each drum frame you see on this website. I will go into some details here of how I go about manufacturing drums, materials used and some of the differences in drum sizes and sounds you can obtain. First off, I use western cedar which is a light wood, yet very strong and it is locally found here in Washington state where I live. I miter sections of the wood and biscuit join them together with lots of white glue. A 16 inch drum will have 18 mitered pieces in total. I then will clamp them together with a strap clamp and break them down the following day. Next, I will sand all of the corners to make the frame nice and round in shape. The frames are 2 1/2 incase deep typically, however I can make them deeper upon request. I also make octagonal frames which are eight sided frames.
For most of the drums I make, I tend to use deer or elk hides to create them, however I can also obtain and use buffalo as well. The buffalo hide drums are of additional cost at $15.00 per drum. I cut circles in the hide to match the size of the drum that has been requested. I will then cut lacing and handles out of the hide. The remaining hide that is left I roll up and dry for dog chews. I basically try to utilize all of the hide and not let any goto waste. I lace the drum loosely so when it dries, it won’t be too tight. A tight drum will give a higher pitched sound. Usually the larger the drum, the lower the tone of the drum. I prefer the sound of my drums to have a lower tone.