I just completed the latest project from the Bushwood shop. It’s a Tongue Drum, or Slit Drum. I made it from plans found in Wood Magazine. It’s a plan designed by a woodworker/musician named Steve Roberts, who makes some pretty cool instruments. My son enjoys it a lot, and I made an identical one for my friend Woody. They are made from Anigre1, Sapele2, and Makore3, which are imported hardwoods. The mallets are just hardwood dowels topped with a simple medium-hard rubber ball (like a super bouncy ball).
Update 12-20-06: I just recently embarked on building two more drums. Theses are made from African Padauk 4 and Black Walnut5, and one is a commission for a friend of mine. I built them exactly the same as above, but added a couple more coats of Formby’s Gloss Tung Oil for extra protection and shine. They have a better pitch and tone than the others, but both sound equally nice.
- Botanical Name: Aningeria | Family: Sapotaceae | Specific Gravity: .54 | General Description: Anegre is a light tone wood that normally come mostly defect free. It has a creamy white color with tight growth rings. It also has good density. | Origin: Africa
- Botanical Name: Entandrophragma cylindricum | Specific Gravity: .62 | Description: The heartwood is pink when freshly cut, but it matures to a red-brown or purple-brown color, with an interlocked and wavy grain pattern | Origin: Africa
- Botanical Name: Mimusops heckelii | Specific Gravity: .59 | Description: The heartwood color varies from pink or light reddish-brown to a rich red brown, sometimes with a grayish tinge. The grain is usually straight, but may be interlocked. Wood with interlocked grain displays an attractive mottled figure, with occasional dark streaks. | Origin: Africa
- Botanical Name: Pterocarpus soyauxii | Description: When freshly cut the wood is bright orange red, becomes reddish brown. Moderately hard and heavy. Medium texture, but with large pores. Saws and planes easily to a very smooth surface.
- Botanical Name: Juglans nigra | Description: Usually steamed to match sapwood and heartwood. Fine but open grain. Moderately coarse texture. Excellent to work including turning and carving.