Buffalo, Elk, and Moose Drums

Steven Kauder
Elbing, Kansas
(316) 799-2989

Making Your Rawhide Drum

Making a drum is an involved process. You have to consider the quality of the hide. How tightly can you lace it? Does it have any weak spots? Are you making the drum for a dry environment or a humid one?

Treat your drum skin, drum frame, and lacing
with ceremony, respect, prayer, and gratitude.

1. Soaking the Drumskin and Lacing

Soak the drumskin and lacing in a tub until pliable.

Thinner hides, such as bear and horse, may be ready in
4 hours. Most other hides are ready in 8 hours, but the
thickest buffalo and moose require up to 16 hours.

2. Preparing to Lace the Drum

Place the drumskin rough side up on some old towels,
and center the drum frame on the drumskin.

The lacing, a single 30-foot (9-m) or more strand,
is next to the drumskin and drum frame.

3. Lacing the Drum

Lace the drumskin by following the diagram
and the instructions I provide. Several rounds of
tightening give the drum its tone and resonance.

Take care to keep the drum frame
centered in the drumskin.

4. Making the Handle, Part 1

Wrap the center of the lacing with one end of the
lacing to form the first half of the handle.

Take care to keep the handle in the
center of the drum frame.

5. Making the Handle, Part 2

Wrap the other end of the lacing around the remaining strands of lacing to form the second half of the handle.

The additional tightening created by making
the handle further ensures the drum's
excellent tone and resonance.

6. The Lacing is Done, Handle Side

Cut off the ends of the lacing. The drum is ready to dry.

If you look carefully, you will see that the sides
of the hide bulge out from the drum frame.

7. The Lacing is Done, Drumskin Side

This view shows the excellent color and spotting
variations in this hide. The side bulges are
very apparent in this image.

Wrap a cloth strip around the drum frame to
pull in those bulges as the drum dries.

Let the drum dry for 24 hours, and it is ready to use!

Completed Drum
This first image shows the centered handle.
That's visually appealing and makes it
easy to hold the drum.

This second image shows the "scalloping" of the
edge of the drumskin. That shows off
the natural wood frame.

This third image shows the texturing and
images of this drumskin.

There is a lot to see and experience in this drum!

Completed Drums
Drum Kits
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Steven Kauder
Elbing, Kansas
(316) 799-2989

The small fine print: © 2002 - 2015 by Steven Kauder.