6 Note Tongue Drum for my Dad

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Project by JudsonTN posted 05-19-2014 02:02 PM 2424 views 5 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a 6 note tongue drum that I made for my dad.
I got the plan from and old issue of Wood Magazine (Oct 2006) and it was really fun to make. A different times when I was growing up, we played with these in gift shops on family vacations and dad always thought they were cool but he never bought one for some reason. Come to think of it, it was most likely the gift shop sticker shock price!

Anyway, I made this for dad and he really, really liked it which makes me really happy. I am grown with 3 kids of my own now so he sure had a long time to wait!

It is a 6” x 6” x 12” box. The light wood is Douglas fir and the soundboard, handles, and feet are padauk. i did not like to corner feet on the plan so I made runner feet across the end. I used oak dowels for the sticks and party store super balls for the strikers.
It is finished with Danish Oil and General Finishes Arm-R-Seal.

I did not go crazy on the tuning but I did play with it enough to get some solid, different tones to sort of make a 6 note scale type thing. Before you glue the top down, you can take a chisel and remove some material from the end of the tongue on the underside to raise the tone/pitch and you can remove material from the base of the tongue to lower it.

It turned out really nice. So nice, that my kids want me to build them some.

-- “The only man who never makes mistakes is the man who never does anything.” Teddy Roosevelt

5 comments so far

View Ivan's profile


15971 posts in 3644 days

#1 posted 05-19-2014 03:59 PM

Verry nice design,some pretty box.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3643 days

#2 posted 05-19-2014 04:17 PM

It’s a beautiful instrument and looks like a lot of fun. I’m sure that he must love it.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View mcoyfrog's profile


4757 posts in 4371 days

#3 posted 05-19-2014 06:28 PM

Sweet dude, I love it, I’ve made many of these I love them more every day. Make one for yourself and pound on it at the end of the day, it makes all your worries go away.

-- Wood and Glass they kick (well you know) Have a great day - Dug

View ptofimpact's profile


389 posts in 3093 days

#4 posted 05-19-2014 06:56 PM

Beautiful work, have been curious about making one, not as skilled as you, but would like to find the plan if you would direct me, thanks.

-- Pete in NC

View JudsonTN's profile


23 posts in 2557 days

#5 posted 05-21-2014 08:51 PM

Thank you all very much for the kind words!

Wood Magazine had published the PDF plans on their website for free when I downloaded it. Message me your e-mail address and I will send it to you.

-- “The only man who never makes mistakes is the man who never does anything.” Teddy Roosevelt

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