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Leather tipped beaters for rope drums

Richard Bridge 11 Jul 10 - 03:28 PM
Geoff the Duck 11 Jul 10 - 05:18 PM
Richard Bridge 11 Jul 10 - 05:31 PM
Geoff the Duck 12 Jul 10 - 03:48 AM
Geoff the Duck 12 Jul 10 - 04:00 AM
JohnInKansas 12 Jul 10 - 04:13 AM
doc.tom 12 Jul 10 - 05:20 AM
Richard Bridge 12 Jul 10 - 06:08 AM
Richard Bridge 13 Jul 10 - 06:57 PM
Richard Bridge 14 Jul 10 - 10:00 AM
JohnB 14 Jul 10 - 08:32 PM
JohnInKansas 15 Jul 10 - 01:58 AM
Richard Bridge 15 Jul 10 - 03:58 AM
JohnInKansas 15 Jul 10 - 04:32 AM
Geoff the Duck 15 Jul 10 - 04:47 AM
romanyman 15 Jul 10 - 05:11 AM
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Subject: Leather tipped beaters for rope drums
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 11 Jul 10 - 03:28 PM

I am looking for(and cannot find on the internet) drumsticks for rope (traditional) drums - heavy shafts with slightly padded heads with a tight bit of leather round the padded heads. Where can I get them?


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Subject: RE: Leather tipped beaters for rope drums
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 11 Jul 10 - 05:18 PM

Had a quick look and came up with :-
http://www.marcusmusic.co.uk/drums.html. Sticks listed but expensive.
You could also try contacting The Early Music Shop (Bradord). I am not sure from online pictures if they do a leather tipped stick or just wood, but they may know some supplier if they don't sell them.
Another line of enquiry might be people such as Sealed Knot oEnglish Civil War Society.
Quack!
Geoff.


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Subject: RE: Leather tipped beaters for rope drums
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 11 Jul 10 - 05:31 PM

Thank you Geoff - I wonder why those did not come up on my searches.


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Subject: RE: Leather tipped beaters for rope drums
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 12 Jul 10 - 03:48 AM

Richard - The Early Music Shop happens to be local to where I used to live, so I automatically thought of it as a possible option. I didn't find it as a search for drum sticks, I just thought they might sell something useful.
Marcus Music came up in a search for "leather drum sticks".

Another thought is that the people who play early music may know suppliers - http://www.townwaits.org.uk/.

Or of course you could make your own - cut some bits out of a friend's sheepskin rug and you should have leather soft enough to tie round a stick, which is also pre-padded.

Quack!
Geoff.


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Subject: RE: Leather tipped beaters for rope drums
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 12 Jul 10 - 04:00 AM

That doesn't read right.
What I mean is that the sheepskin is pre-padded if you turn it wool side inwards.
I would probably drill a small hole through the stick, thread some sort of twine (waxed cotton for leather stitching?) through the stick, then through the sheepskin, to anchor it to the stick. I would then wrap the twine round the leather to bind it in place.
Quack!
GtD.


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Subject: RE: Leather tipped beaters for rope drums
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 12 Jul 10 - 04:13 AM

My "old injun friend" specializes more in beadwork and other "arty" stuff, but has made a couple of traditional instruments, including drums. His method for leather covered beaters (from his description, not from watching it done) was just to wrap string around the end of a dowel of appropriate size, stretch a wet piece of leather over the end and tie off with string.

My impresion is that some "store bought" beaters may use more or less solid felt padding in place of the string padding.

Most readily available leather will have a "finished" side and a "fuzzy" side. For native drums, usually the beater would have fuzzy side out. Once it's dried you can, if desired, "scuff" the leather for a little softer surface, since it may be somewhat hardened by the soaking and drying; and of course you probably will want to trim off the wrinkles and excess string. A fairly fine cheese (or garlic) grater may work for any scuffing you'd want.

Variation: Use rawhide boot laces instead of string, both for the padding you wrap on the stick and to tie the leather cover on. After soaking and drying, the rawhide padding may be pretty "hard."

Variation: Cut a few grooves where the string/rawhide will wrap on the dowel for better retention.

Variation: Use the string to assemble, but once the head is dried trim off the string used to hold the leather and replace with a fancy (colored or even beaded) string, or even with (colored?) wire.

The string/rawhide padding under the leather should be something reasonably "compressible" if you want a softer head, so if you use string a cotton/linen twine may be better than nylon or poly.

You can "smooth" the butt end by pushing it in the dirt and "twirling" it between the palms as if you were starting a campfire. If you want a better "feel" to the stick you could start with a snare drum stick with diameter and taper and such that suits you. Trap players I've known usually buy in pairs, and break sticks fairly often (they've been mostly young rockers) so "half-a-pair-freeby" sticks shouldn't be too hard to find.

The process is pretty simple, but the leather cover needs to soak for a couple of days to be really workable, and it may take a week to dry fully. (If not done with some care, there could be mildew.) Tying off and trimming may take some practice before really "neat" results can be expected, and if you try out different decorative effects you might end up being called an "artist."

If you're just into playing, buying your first beater(s) might be the best route, but making your own could be fun to play around with, if you're inclined to being a bit "crafty."

John


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Subject: RE: Leather tipped beaters for rope drums
From: doc.tom
Date: 12 Jul 10 - 05:20 AM

Hi Richard.
We had a similar problem with our roped drum band here in Combe Martin. Take some rammin dowelling(if you can't get rammin any more - we can't) take a standard hickory drumstick - cut the tip off. Take a strip of leather approx. 1 inch wide and about 9 inches long (depending on how big you want the leather knob to be). Smother the inside of the leather with waterproof Evostick W (woodworking glue). Tack one end to the drumstick at right angles, then wind the leather round and round in itself, tighter and tighter, then hold in place with rubber bands and leave to dry right out(2-days ideally). With a stanley knife you can then trim the lump of leather to the shape you want. The waterproof Evostick W is important - otherwise it unravels when you play in the rain! Ordinary dowelling is too liable to break - rammin is better - hickory stick is best but not cheap. Some sticks made like this are still in use after 20 years. SAddlers leather is best - clothing leathwer tends to be too soft (and thin), belt leather tends to be too stiff (mostly 'cause it's chrome tanned).
These really work!
Good Luck
Tom Brown


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Subject: RE: Leather tipped beaters for rope drums
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 12 Jul 10 - 06:08 AM

I'm probably better off starting with a drumstick - I know a drummer in a metal band who is death on them. I'm worried about the end of the stick not getting padded as much as the outside.

I'll keep you all posted.

I think Ramin is not too hard to get over here, but I have a pair of cut-off carbon fibre drumsticks that would be suitable - or I could start with what they call "Rock knockers".


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Subject: RE: Leather tipped beaters for rope drums
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 13 Jul 10 - 06:57 PM

Refresh.

Romany man where are you?


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Subject: RE: Leather tipped beaters for rope drums
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 14 Jul 10 - 10:00 AM

I am on the way to making some double-ended beaters. Take on ordinary drumstick. Glue rubber ferrules to the butt end. I happened to have two the right size.

Other end is much trickier. Whip the stick with soft string from the waist before the tip of the drumstick as far as you want. The tip is the tricky bit. Cut as many bits of the string as when laid parallel with the stick cover the circumference. Attach to stick (hold in place with sellotape while whipping is good). The tip ends need to be log enough to go to the very point of the tip - and later to go back up the shaft again. Call these the tip padding.

Tie a bit of the string very tightly gathering all those bits of string just off the tip of the stick.   Leave nice long ends.

Put one finishing loop (the sort you use to draw the end of a whipping in) along the stick so the loop goes past the tip - on the other side of the tip from the ends from the knot. You'll want that later.

Whip one of the long ends from the knot over the tip of the stick, finishing in the waist.

Fold the lots of loose ends of the tip padding back over the tip and back up the shaft of the stick. Thread the other long loose end through the spare finishing loop and draw the finishing loop up to contact. Now whip all those loose ends back to the waist.

You now have four thicknesses of string on the tip of the drumstick.

Next proceed (I haven't done this bit yet) as JiK says above. Off to ebay the leather! I'll probably use resin W as also suggested above when stretching the leather over the tip.



gathering With the benefit of hindsight


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Subject: RE: Leather tipped beaters for rope drums
From: JohnB
Date: 14 Jul 10 - 08:32 PM

Do not use coloured leather though, I made one with this luverly mahogany coloured lether I happened to have and got red streaks all over the drum head. I covered it with some of that tubular bandage stuff that they use for fingers and it has been fine since.
JohnB


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Subject: RE: Leather tipped beaters for rope drums
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 15 Jul 10 - 01:58 AM

I don't really know what's "authentic" for the use at hand. I'm sure there must be some traditions that must be observed (by honoring them or by ignoring them - either way may be an injury to purists as they always come in opposing pairs).

Common drum beaters in commercial (orchestral) practice use both solid leather and solid hard felt stick heads, and either should be fairly simple to make.

The only requirement would be a supply of reasonably thick felt or leather, preferably unfinished (or for leather minimally finished) and a couple of hollow punches.

Punch out a "plug" about the diameter you want for the outside diameter of the stick head, and then punch a hole in the center of that plug to match (fairly tight fit) the end of the stick.

For large outside diameters, get a pair of "fender washers" that are about the diameter you want. Clamp the material tightly between a couple of washers, and cut around the o.d. of the washer with a sharp knife.

Glue a stack of the slugs together to the length you want. Since the materials are somewhat flexible, I'd probably choose an automotive grade "contact cement" - fairly pure latex. With fairly thin glue lines, the finished stack will be quite hard. You might want another kind of glue to stick the finished slug onto the end of the stick, since contact cement doesn't permit you to slide things together after the glue is applied and "tacked."

Once finished, a bit of sandpaper or a fairly fine rasp should suffice to smooth things up and round off the misfits. I'd likely use my belt sander, but even a really sharp knife could do the job.

A variation seen on some tympani sticks is to put lots of little bits of soft string/yarn between the layers of (usually felt) laminates, with ends sticking out, so that after the glue sets you can trim them to a really fuzzy outside. The fuzz probably is more for looks than for function.

Hollow punches up to about 2" should be available at local craft shops and possibly at some lumber/hardware places, but a short piece of conduit - thin walled metal pipe - sharpened slightly (filed?) at the working end works quite well for larger diameters. Use a small wood block between the punch and the hammer to "spread the load" so you don't bend the punch too quickly. If you've got a drill with a really big chuck, you can even clamp a short pipe, sharpened the same, in the drill for smaller holes within the grip range of the chuck.

An empty .38 shell case in a hand drill works great for making grommet holes in heavy canvas (0.36 inch diameter for 3/8 grommets), a lot quicker and cleaner than hammering something through it, and will mount in a 3/8" drill chuck once you "crush" the rim a bit if it doesn't reach past the chuck jaws.

John


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Subject: RE: Leather tipped beaters for rope drums
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 15 Jul 10 - 03:58 AM

I'm not after the tradition, but a sound and a playability, and I think I'm close.

I did not get my leather on ebay yesterday - more is ending today. I'll avoid the overstrong colours inthe light of what is said above.

I do envisage some fun getting the leather the right shape.

I'm planning to soak my whipped ends in a glue of some sort, have not decided what, yet before applying the leather. I suspect the way to do it will be to soak the leather (as suggested above) take a large-ish square, fold in in half to make a triangle and then fold that triangle in half again, poke the padded to up to the closed corner and then roll the leather like a rolled umbrella, tie off with string as a temporary measure, then make a narrow whipping over the string, maybe even with a leather lace.

I do not want a square-edged beater, and I don't want any metal washers (forming a sort of arbor) around, because the stick will naturally play at an angle to the head.

The best way to cut holes in leather is to use a ring punch, but make sure to put a bit of scrap wood the other side of the leather!


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Subject: RE: Leather tipped beaters for rope drums
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 15 Jul 10 - 04:32 AM

RB -

I think the ring punch you refer to is probably the same as the hollow punch I suggested - from a different seller in a different place(?).

As long as you use a leather that doesn't have a hard finish on one side, if it's sufficiently well soaked it should "mold" to about any reasonable shape. If you need to "salvage" for something to work with, the "fine tooled leather" purses and briefcases they sell at the South US border, and at tourist shops for quite a way up into the southern states usually are so "minimally tanned" that they're almost rawhide, and usually stretch pretty well if they're really wet.

Up north, in the US or Canada, one might find deer skin (and/or goat etc) that generally are better treated and less likely to "rot" and that don't often have a "finished" surface of any kind.

Chamois, if you can find the genuine stuff, might be a good choice. It wets very easily, has reasonable stretch whe wet, and dries fairly "hard," but the easy wetability might be a problem in a drizzle since the stick heads might get squishy if even slightly dampened. Like deerskin, it's somewhat expensive, but you really only need fairly small hunks.

Once upon a time, we in Wichita could run down to "The Yard" and get good upholstery leather "by the pound" as scraps from the aircraft plants here, but my most recent prowls there didn't find much that wasn't "synthetic backed" - a microlayer of leather bonded to plastic backing cloth - and probably not at all suitable.

John


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Subject: RE: Leather tipped beaters for rope drums
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 15 Jul 10 - 04:47 AM

Getting the leather the right shape :-
If you are starting with a stick with shaped padding and then stretching the leather over that padding, the leather should take the shape of what is beneath.
As for stretching it evenly, you could use the same principle that tensions a traditional drum head. Make holes in your leather, maybe four corners, or spread more evenly around a circumference of a circle. Soak the leather to make it pliable and stretchy. Thread cord through holes (possibly between pairs of holes on opposite sides of leather) and pull tight towards the opposite end of drum stick (maybe make something to fasten them to? a wooden plate? another piece of holed leather?) Adjust the strings so that leather is evenly tensioned, then tie binding around the base of the padded drumstick head. Once leather has dried and is stable, untie tensioners and trim leather to look right.
Quack!
GtD.


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Subject: RE: Leather tipped beaters for rope drums
From: romanyman
Date: 15 Jul 10 - 05:11 AM

|Rich I got my super dooper felt covered ones from DJM music at tonbridge (thats the shop) they are for samba drums but by god they make my drum sound out,


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