Tongue Drums

  • Advertise with us
Project by mcoyfrog posted 07-28-2009 06:58 PM 5077 views 15 times favorited 37 comments Add to Favorites Watch

These are what I call my economic drums.

Me and my boy wanted to do a project together and he is really into music. We tried flutes first and they didn’t turn out so well. Thats when I found these, WOW I never even heard of them before. The sounds they make are so beautiful. Since he is 10 years old I wanted to make something we could finish fairly quick (10yr olds attention span not very long LOL). Also if it didn’t turn out I didn’t want to wast a lot of wood sooooo thats where the economic idea came to be. We made are first two which aren’t pictured here and they were so fun I decided to make a bunch more and see how they sell.

The tops are all solid wood from cherry to walnut. The box is made from whatever sheet material I had on hand. As far as sound I like the boxes that were made of cabinet grade plywood, but the regular plywood and MDF ones sound good too. I probably won’t make any more out of particle board, the sound isn’t as nice as the rest. I’ll post the solid wood one I made later on after I get it finished.

The big ones are 18” long by 7” by 7” there is 6 tongues each 1” shorter then the last. Top is made from solid wood, sides range from 3/4” ply to 3/4” MDF, the bottom is 1/4” ply to bounce the sound around. The front of the boxes have various shapes and sizes sound holes. After I put the finish on the wood tops (1lb cut shellac) I masked it off and painted the base coat, then masked it again and used exacto knife to cut out the patterns and paint the final design. Ok so all the traditional tongue drummers out there probably won’t like these but the sounds are so cool that they could get someone into it for a small amount of $$ then when their hooked they can get the nice solid wood drum hee hee.

The base drums are 16”x7”x7” and have 3 tongues, and the tweeters are 12”x7”x7” with 3 tongues. Otherwise they are made the same as the main ones.

Oh yeah there not pictured but the drum sticks are just dowels with super balls glued on the end, and they don’t seem to stay on very long before I have to reglue them. I’ve asked around and it seems to be a well kept secret as to what adhesive would work. The longest hold time i’ve found so far is liquid nails. Silcon doesn’t last long at all. If anyone has any ideas that would be great..

Hope you all enjoy, and have a great day… Doug

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

37 comments so far

View Speednork's profile


65 posts in 4366 days

#1 posted 07-28-2009 07:37 PM

Very cool I need to try this for my kids!

Awesome finish!

Let me know how these sell.

-- In the time it takes some people to plan a project they could have built the project. Work from within not from paper.

View Jamie's profile


172 posts in 4234 days

#2 posted 07-28-2009 07:44 PM

Have you tried a two part epoxy?

-- "Preach the gospel always. If necessary use words" -St Francis of Assisi

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 5220 days

#3 posted 07-28-2009 07:45 PM

A fun profect for you and the boy. Looks like fun anyway.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View AllorNoThumbs's profile


89 posts in 4255 days

#4 posted 07-28-2009 10:19 PM

always like simple gifts to make for the family…these are pretty cool. So, is there a better spot or size of tuning port that makes it sound better? I use to make balls out of used hockey tape… i would think that using a fabric tape and applying it to a stick might work?!?

-- enjoy your wood...

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 5134 days

#5 posted 07-28-2009 11:57 PM

great family activity – to build AND to play!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 4558 days

#6 posted 07-29-2009 12:14 AM

Great idea to work with your son.yes their attention span is not fully developed at ten LOL so well done these are so cool and beautifully decorated too.regards Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View Innovator's profile


3589 posts in 4387 days

#7 posted 07-29-2009 04:31 AM

Very nice job, nothing like building something with your kids, ahhhh memories.

-- Whether You Think You Can or You Think You Can't, YOU ARE RIGHT!!!

View kolwdwrkr's profile


2824 posts in 4563 days

#8 posted 07-29-2009 05:48 AM

looks like some fun projects. Thanks for sharing

-- ~ Inspiring those who inspire me ~

View dhg's profile


197 posts in 4685 days

#9 posted 07-29-2009 03:18 PM

It’s cool that you and your sound worked together on these. thay look good.

I think I would try “PL – Polyurethane Premium Construction Adhesive” It comes in a yellow, red and black tube. This stuff blows liquid nails away. Aco and the orange big block store sells it at least here in MICHigan.

-- Talent on Loan from God - Rush Limbaugh

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 5273 days

#10 posted 07-29-2009 06:54 PM

Very nice, & a beautiful set of drums.

You may want to make something like these someday.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View DiamondWW's profile


85 posts in 4206 days

#11 posted 07-30-2009 06:29 AM

Very nice. Try “Weldbond glue” it glues just about anything. It’s available at ACE.

-- There is no such thing as scrap wood, only smaller projects.

View mcoyfrog's profile


4757 posts in 4568 days

#12 posted 07-30-2009 06:50 AM

Thanks for all the nice comments, I’ll check out the glues you all sent, mostly it has to be a good bond but it has to stay pliable so the balls don’t go flying off. I think I will try the fabric tape too. I dipped some of the sticks in that rubber goo glue that you use to put rubber handles on tools, that worked but a completely different sound, not bad just different.

Again thanks all and have a great day

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

View a1Jim's profile


118153 posts in 4550 days

#13 posted 07-30-2009 07:17 AM

wow lots of drums very cool


View Rick's profile


367 posts in 4184 days

#14 posted 08-17-2009 09:47 PM

I would have played the heck out of those when I was little. I would drum on everything with pencils and sticks. It was interesting to find out how different material, surfaces and objects made a different sound.
Very good idea. cool drums.

View mcoyfrog's profile


4757 posts in 4568 days

#15 posted 08-17-2009 11:27 PM

Thanks for the comments, they are loads of fun to play even and the ripe old age of 40 hee hee.

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

showing 1 through 15 of 37 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics