Last Updated on May 30, 2023 by Shanta Roy
In the mood of making something incredible? Or, maybe you love music and musical instrument in that regard. The mystic sound of the steel tongue drum is highly relaxing.
And, making one can by yourself will render you a more ethereal experience. Imagine playing a steel tongue drum made with your own hand. Maybe, you just want to make one gift to someone special.
Who knows, you might consider starting your own business for making a steel tongue after making one. We bet, just thinking about it making your heart flutter.
Quick Fun Fact
A steel tongue drum is also known as a hank drum. The creator of the drum is Dennish Havlena. And, hank drum was introduced to human civilization in 2007. It hasn’t been long in relation to other musical instruments.
So, we have a steel tongue drum DIY guide for you here. If you have done complicated DIY before then, it’s breezy for you. This is okay for people to do who have already done steel DIY in their workshop.
Especially, people who have worked in a wood workshop will be able to do it without much trouble. Also, they might already have the instruments we’ll be listing.
Making a steel tongue drum requires many mechanical steps. Also, you’ll be needing machines that will help you to hold and cut the steel. It’s not just simply a DIY in your room.
Supplies You’ll Need
- Safety goggles
- Industrial noise-canceling headsets
- Propane tank
- Angle grinder
- Sanding belt or paper
- 320 to 400 grit sandpaper
Step 1: Collecting Profane Tank
You’ll find a propane tank in any local hardware store. There’re many cautions you need to keep in mind while making a hank drum.
But the very first one is- you should never collect a used propane tank. Because any trace of gasoline will result in a devastating explosion. You don’t want that, do you?
You can ask at the local hardware store for a profane tank that wasn’t used before. Also, confirm if it’s vacuum-sealed. They indeed will find your one like the way we described.
Step 2: Removing The Top& Bottom Frame Of The Tank
When you get a tank, the next thing you do is remove the top and bottom frames. For that, you’ll need an angle grinder. You could use some help here. Get someone to hold the tank while running the angle grinder in the frame.
- Before your yield, the grinder, make sure you wear gloves, safety goggles, and industrial noise-canceling headsets.
- You need to run the blade cautiously; so you don’t take a cut on the tank’s body.
Step 3: Removing The Valve
When you are done separating the top and both frames from the tank, you need to remove the valve. This is truly hard! You can use a wrench to take it out from the spire of the tank.
You might think about using a hammer to loosen it from the tank, but it won’t work. As we said, it is set in a spire with a tank. Thus, you can hammer it out!
If the wrench doesn’t work, you can use the heat gun to loosen the valve from the spire.
Step 4: Marking Lines To Make The Two Halves For The Drum
Now, you need to mark the top and bottom of the tank to make two parts of your hank drum. Marking the lines accurately just using your hand will be difficult. You’ll surely mess up the measurement.
The standard solution is to use a ruler. But the most effective and smart one will be setting a marker on some stand. Then you can simply take the tank toward the marker and move it around to draw the perfect lines.
Also, make sure you are choosing the same height for both parts of the drum.
Step 5: Cutting The Parts
To cut the tank, you need a make an initial cut along the lines with the angle cut. Then, you use a jigsaw to complete the rest of the cut.
Make sure to run the jigsaw along the line you’ve marked; otherwise, it’ll be hard to match the two halved later on. So, avoid making the cut hastily.
Step 6: Sanding 7 Deburring The Pieces
When you are done cutting the edges of the tank, there’ll be rough edges all over the lines. That means you need to sand and deburr the edges of the parts. And, you use sanding paper to file them down.
Step 7: Removing The Paint From The Surface
With grit paper and a sanding machine, you can remove the paints from the two halves of the tank. It’s necessary to build a look for the drum, and it’s essential for tuning.
And, you need to use 320 to 400 grit sandpaper to remove the paint coating. Also, it will smooth out the surfaces.
Step 8: Marking Tongues On The Drum
The next step is to make the tongues. Take the bottom part of the tank to make the tongues, which will be the top part of the drum.
You can use a flexible ruler and mark the center of the drum. Next, you can make 8 rooms for 8 notes to help a flexible ruler and a temporary marker.
After that, you draw out the tongues on that part of the drum with a temporary marker. Make 4 bigger tongues for lower notes and 4 smaller tongues for higher notes.
- Don’t make the too curvy tongue because the surface is already curvy. It’ll be hard to run a jigsaw through a curvy surface.
- Try to draw them nicely because you’ll cut by following the lines; the drum needs to look good.
Step 9: Cutting The Tongues
To cut the tongue, the first thing you need to do is to make an initial slit with a Dremel. That way, you get to use the jigsaw over the lines you have drawn on the surface of the drum.
When the tongues are cut out, you need to smooth the edges around the tongue. Use a sand belt for that. And, finally, you can tune the drum using some free tuning applications. Also, you can apply paint if you would like.