Building Snare Drums from Re-claimed Wood.

The art of drum building is always a rewarding experience. Although I truly enjoy shopping at the lumber yard and creating an instrument from a choice piece of hardwood, there is something special about building a drum from reclaimed wood. The idea that there is a story in these old & discarded items that will continue on in the form of a new snare drum is inspiring. Here are a few examples I hope you’ll enjoy:

This candy cane snare is first drum made from reclaimed oak. The oak in question was once a large donor plaque displaying the names of people who had made contributions to Annie Wright School, a private school in Tacoma, WA.

The plaque was removed during a remodel and I was more than happy to acquire the oak for drum making.

No doubt several more drums will come from this reclaimed batch of wood.

This 17lb beast is made from Ipe’ that was used on a fence project at a neighbors house here in Port Orchard, WA.

A former guitarist of mine just happened to be working on the project and was able to set aside enough of this exotic wood to build one snare drum.

This drum is 1 inch thick and very heavy. Though the Ipe’ makes this drum sound incredible, this will likely be the only drum I ever make from this material. Ipe’ is a dense, oily exotic wood species that is pretty difficult to work with.

The owner of this snare truly has a one of a kind.

This 14″x8″ snare was once a cedar table built by my father. Skilled craftsman that he was, my dad built a mid sized dining table that I used as a desk for most of my teenage years.

After my father’s passing in October 2020 I decided I would build myself a snare drum in his memory using the top of his old cedar table.

This is my main snare now. I love the idea of my dad and I both contributing to this special drum.

Check out the assembly video below.

Reclaimed cedar snare drum