LumberJocks Woodworking Forum banner

Tongue Drum Plans

21896 Views 11 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  RogerM
Does anybody have a plan for a tongue drum?

My daughter just got a school project to make a musical instument (thank you mr. music teacher for the short time frame project that will obviously require parental help).

My thought was to do a tongue drum, but from what I have read you need to experiment with different tongue widths and lengths to get the sound just right. Time and resources for experimentation I do not have. If anybody has a plan with specifics, that would be great. If not tips would be helpful.
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
the new woodworks and crafts book has one in there you can make out of wood if my computer worked good i would be able to scan it and send it to ya sorry! the book has a wooden plane on the cover and a scrollsaw chip munk in the right lowerhand corner. I got mine from rockler it also has the pattern in a pull out section.
I have never read that mag. I thought I had subscribed to all of them at one time. The website says hd has the mag. I will see if I can find it. Thank you.
Don't know the parameters, but why not let Mr. Music Teacher's project stand as is, and try to allow your daughter the trials and tribulations in whatever media she wants?

- Peter

or google 'bull roarer' an ancient 'musicle insturment' and they don't get any simplier, possible your student could make it with little or no assistance.

Disclaimer - I havn't attempted to make one myself
Disclaimer2 - this involves swinging an object by a rope, potential for 'getting bopped in the head' by such a device lol.

Taking another tact:
"Woodworking for kids" by Kevin Mcguire Sterling Publishing p147
Simple whistle, scrapwood, coping saw, 2 drill bits 'for kids'
Could fax plans…
Pete, that is exactly what I need, but I am not spending $35 for plans. I don't even plan to invest $35 in the project.

Peter, It is funny that you mention letting her do this project herself. I get a kick out of going to school and seeing the projects that some of these "kids" make. One that comes to mind in particular is her fifth grade build a working volcano project. I recall seeing this massive volcano one of the "girls" had made. It was on a 3×3 sheet of plywood, and was stunningly beautiful with acrylics, and I don't know what all… my daughters volcano was dwarfed, but it was at least still largely her project.

This is now an eighth grade project, and the requirements are quite demanding. My suggestion was to take a couple sticks to beat together and call it a percussion instrument. Nope, that ain't gonna fly. Each type of instrument (strings, woodwind, percussion, etc.) has specific requirements. A tongue drum sounded like a good option because I think we can do it, and not have to make it be in tune. If I cut the blanks for her, she can use a scroll saw to cut the tongues, and glue it up herself.

Bakerman - I have never heard of a bull-roarer. It is a unique idea, but I don't think it would be a practical instrument because of the spinning hazzard. The simple whistle project sounds fun. I am not sure if it would fit the bill, but it would be fun regardless. I will send you contact info. Thank you.
See less See more
I think that Steve Good made a tongue drum plan, check the archives at That would give you a free plan to work from.
Not sure about the requirements for the class but another idea might be a pan flute. Cut various lengths of PVC pipes, cap one end and blow across. I think you could google them and figure out a way to tune them correctly.
"" had one in a past issue. Don't remember which one tho. Good luck.
Just found it, its in the Oct. 2006 issue #172.

your a smart man! I bought the $35 dollar plans and wished I hadn't. First of all they're HANDWRITTEN copies. Even the copies are not done well. You can hardly read the writing. The illustrations are hand done….poorly.

Oh well, Caveat Emptor! (buyer beware)
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.