I was fortunate to live within walking distance of one of the best custom drum builders in the world, Greg Gaylord. Greg’s company, Drum Solo (www.drumsolo.cc which is now down but he now works for Craviotto Drums) is well known for producing some of the best sounding – and best looking – drums on the planet (read his interview for more details on his drums).
I came to know him by a referral. At the time I had no idea he was as good as he is, but I needed someone to complete a couple of snare drums that I needed for a project. I wasn’t expecting much because I purchased the parts from a dealer over the Internet, and I didn’t do a very good job of picking them out at the time. I could tell he wasn’t excited about working with my cheap parts, but he wanted to help me.
I could not believe how awesome the drums came out, even though most of the parts were low quality (except for one which I asked if he would put his lugs on it to make it look nicer).
The measurements were perfect, the wrap was flawless (I also used some of his wrap), and they sounded excellent. And that was with inferior parts (mostly), and shells.
I thought to myself, if he’s producing this level of quality with my crappy parts, his custom drums must be unbelievable. And they are…
By the time you read this, I will have purchased at least one of his custom snare drums. You should too.
What does it take to create the ultimate custom drum? Two things: Talent. And Greg Gaylord has truckloads of it.
The right tools.
In Drum Building Secrets, you are learning to build a killer custom drum that even some pros will envy. And you are learning and doing it with the bare necessities. But as you move on to building better quality drums, you are going to need better tools.
Greg Gaylord was nice enough to let us take a few pictures of his tools. But not everything. He’s entitled to keeping a few secrets, right?
Let’s Begin The Tour of The Drum Tools Used To Make Some Of The Best Custom Drums You’ll Ever See or Hear.
This is what’s called an 18” inline cut (cylinder). This is what the pro’s purchase direct from the manufacturer so that they can cut to size their custom drums. And you save money on the shells when you purchase this way as well, because you don’t pay other people to have the shell cut to your spec’s. You cut it yourself.
This is a 20” sander that is used to get shells cut from the above cylinder perfectly flat.
Here we have two router bits. The one on the right is a standard 45-degree bit, and the one on the left Greg Gaylord had custom made to create grooves for his amazing inlays.
Here we have Greg’s polisher. This is what helps achieve the perfect finishes on his custom drums.
A major drill press for getting perfect holes.
This is Greg’s lathe. Greg usually builds his own shells. He is well known for his incredible segment shells, and a lathe of this caliber is needed to achieve perfection.
This is what’s called a ‘radius bit’. This bit is used to create rounded out bearing edges on Greg Gaylord’s custom drums. A rounded edge creates a fatter sound. A radius bit is what’s needed to make your bearing edge perfectly round. You router the inside and outside the shell with this radius bit.
A spray gun used to spray adhesive. A professional drum builder uses this level of equipment (industrial spray gun: Asturo) to get an even coat on the drum and drum wrap. It has an in-line filter and a regulator to get the right pressure. Not seen is a compressor. A brush creates an uneven surface.
A ‘Magic Route Press’ for attaching wrap to the shell. This is what’s needed for truly achieving a tight bond between the wrap and the shell.
A closer look at the ‘Magic Route Press’.
Calipers for getting perfect measurements of the shell.
If Greg is working at Cravioto Drums then you know you are getting the highest level of craftsmanship there is in a drum.