Friday, June 13, 2008

Hank Drum Design Mistake

Don't Try This at Home!

I come before you humbled in this posting. I thought that I had a great idea to advance the design of the Hank Drum by accomplishing two goals:

1. Speed the cutting time for new drums.

2. Reduce the pain in @$$ cutting of the small curves in the tongues, and save blades lost when they break cutting the small curves.

So I sat down with Visio and designed a new tongue design which (on paper) seemed like a great idea. I borrowed the concept from woooden tongue drums which I have played in the past. In the picture to the left you can see the basic design, a large hole cut from the center and then the tongue cut back from there...

Well, the result was not what I expected at all...

From the picture on the right, you see the completed drum. BUT it doesn't sound great at all. After the initial removal of the hole in the center (5" in diameter) the drum sounded like a Tibetan Bowl!

Even after I cut the first tongue (the lowest D note) the drum sounded great. The low D note rang for a long time. But as soon as I cut the second tongue, the whole drum design went south... the addition of a second tongue confounded the first note and neither note sounds good. To complete the experiment I finished cutting the whole thing out. I did achieve one goal - the total cutting time was less than an hour!

My advice: don't waste $30 in this design direction. But I am going to salvage the tank by cutting out the tongues and getting back to that awesome sounding large Tibetan Bowl!

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us.classic said...

Don't feel bad and don't stop trying new ideas. Looking at your drum design I see the problem. The metal in between you triangle tongues are also tongues. You could try cutting them back and tuning them. That would expose the sharp points of your triangles which may be dangerous. So you have to cut the tips off and re tune. I still see much to be learned from your experiment.
Regards, Larry

MikeO said...

Hi Larry, actually my design was that the rectangular shaped tongues where to be the notes. I designed them in Viseo to include (approximately) the same area as the notes in Dennis's orignal design. The triangular metal (I thought) would be "accidental" notes. But regardless none of the notes have particularly pleasing sound.

us.classic said...

Hi Mike,
Since you have the large hole for access you could cut some wood dowels and wedge them in place between the bottom of the tank and the bottom of the triangles near the tips. Thank should stop them from vibrating.
Just a thought......