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  1. #1
    beau loving

    how to warp wood?

    I am attempting to build a scottish drum known as a "bodhran". The process will entail the warping of the drum frame into a circular shape then affixing the two ends together. I need advice on good woods to use (I understand most manufactured bodhrans are made of a rosewood laminate) and the easiest ways to warp the wood to the desired shape. FYI - a bodhran resembles a large, thin-walled tambourine without the metal "zills". It is played with a double-ended beater in one hand while holding the frame in the other.

  2. #2

    RE: how to warp wood?

    First you are going to either need to buy or rip thin wood in the width that you want your instrument to be.

    I would suggest between 1/16" and 3/32" for the thinness.

    You will also need to make a form to work your wood<s> around.

    The diameter of your drums inside should be Larger than the size of your form. <just a bit....maybe a 1/2" more in diameter...> it should be as tall as your drum.

    You will need to be able to make a Steam Box for your wood.

    If you are going to make just one drum, the steam box does not have to be fancy... just able to hold your wood<s> so you can steam it.

    I would suggest that you do a search on the internet to see how to do the steaming... and then adapt that to your specific needs of drum making.

    You will want to build the "wall" of the drum up with several layers, which can be put on at the same time and then web strapped down to the form.... let it dry for a good week or so... un strap your form and then create a scarf joint on one end, and a matching scarf joint on the other end, this time closing it down to your desired diameter.

    To glue it up... I would suggest a clamping form done to the inside diameter of your drum, it should have a flat so that the clamp will have an area to rest on.... clamp it so that the scarf joint closes up... a practice run minus glue is always a good idea... even two practice runs! Now with your clmping form protected with waxed paper or saran wrap... glue up your scarf joint, clamp it up: top and bottom <skin side and open side...>

    I hope this gives you enough to think about for "HOW TO DO IT"

    any questions post again!


  3. #3
    b. loving

    RE: how to warp wood?

    Thanks, Phil!
    Now I'm off to the internet to learn what a "scarf joint" is. I have a vague idea of what a steam box should be and have already learned of some crude, but effective alternatives to such an apparatus.
    I had previously intended to use a 4" wide strip of solid red oak as my frame material but my experiments to date have demonstrated that a plywood of sufficiently pretty grain and color warps much more easily when steamed. At this point I'm less concerned with the lovliness of the finished instrument as I am just concerned with finding what works.
    After all, I plan to spend many joyful hours playing, beating and otherwise abusing this drum when it is finished anyway.
    Wish me luck!
    B. Loving

  4. #4

    RE: how to warp wood?

    A SCARF JOINT is a beveled joint, overlapping each other so that the "stress" of the joint is carried by the stronger side of hte bevel.

    A normal scarf joint is set at a 1 to 12 ratio: 1 being the width. So if you are bending am 1/8 inch piece... then your scarf joint "should be" 12/8's long or an inch and a half of TAPER till the edge is "naught".

    You CAN scarf plywood, though it is a bit harder to do than with solid wood...

    Use an extremely well tuned, recently sharpened plane... start on the edge, with you plane at an angle to your wood, not "straight across" and striving to hold the bevel <1:12> make your first pass, repeat and you are now developing your scarf.

    good luck!


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