Tongue Drum Plans

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Forum topic by PaulfromVictor posted 03-05-2010 03:42 AM 21126 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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231 posts in 4358 days

03-05-2010 03:42 AM

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.

11 replies so far

View bigike's profile


4057 posts in 4301 days

#1 posted 03-05-2010 03:50 AM

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.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop, http://[email protected]

View PaulfromVictor's profile


231 posts in 4358 days

#2 posted 03-05-2010 05:59 AM

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.

View Pete Mohr's profile

Pete Mohr

75 posts in 4101 days

#3 posted 03-05-2010 03:25 PM


-- "Man is so made that he can only find relaxation from one kind of labor by taking up another." -Anatole France

View PineInTheAsh's profile


404 posts in 4280 days

#4 posted 03-05-2010 03:43 PM

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

View Bakerman's profile


7 posts in 4019 days

#5 posted 03-05-2010 05:23 PM


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…

View PaulfromVictor's profile


231 posts in 4358 days

#6 posted 03-05-2010 06:08 PM

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.

View MrsN's profile


988 posts in 4538 days

#7 posted 03-05-2010 08:07 PM

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.

View Paul Lajoie's profile

Paul Lajoie

139 posts in 4116 days

#8 posted 03-06-2010 03:38 AM

“” had one in a past issue. Don’t remember which one tho. Good luck.
Just found it, its in the Oct. 2006 issue #172.


View Les Casteel's profile

Les Casteel

160 posts in 4072 days

#9 posted 03-14-2010 09:20 PM

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)

-- Les, Missouri,

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


20274 posts in 4688 days

#10 posted 03-14-2010 11:10 PM

try this link :

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View RogerM's profile


807 posts in 3411 days

#11 posted 10-23-2012 01:22 PM

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