alantocknell-drums.com - Hand Crafted Custom Drums
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Drum Building

Custom series Macassar/Zebrano/Ziricote

Tee Drums Custom series. Hand crafted drums made in the UK by Alan TocknellTee Drums Custom series 14x7

Outer plys.
Ziricote/Zebrano/Macassar

Shell Construction: vertical grain Birch

Follow the stages of this build with the pictures below









Process of a Tee Drums shell. Hand crafted drums made in the UK by Alan Tocknell


Preparation of Poplar Burr

Tee Drums Preparation of Poplar Burr for drum shell making. Hand crafted drum shells made by drummer/drum maker Alan Tocknell
Preparing Poplar Burr. 

Poplar Burr is probably our least favourite to work with. The Poplar Burr usually comes quite lumpy and requires flattening but before we can flatten we have to soften and break down the wood fibers with our own veneer softening formula. Once the formula is applied we then cold press the veneer for 24 hours. Now we are ready to cut up and book match to make our outer ply, then its a case of taping up and sealing the burrs in prior to heat pressing onto a backing veneer.

11" Tom Shells available to order from Tee Drums

Tee Drums 1111" Tom Shells available from Tee Drums.

Over the past few weeks we have received several enquiries regards to the supply of 11" drum shells. The 11" shell is something that Tee Drums can offer along with our already wide range of shells. 11" shells are available in all of our constructional woods to include Maple, Birch, Mahogany and many more.

For New Builds, 11" 6 hole triple flanged hoops are available as well as Remo tom heads.    

Work in Progress - Veneer Matching

Making of a Distinction outer ply using Walnut Burr and Birdseye Maple, we have also added Mahogany/Maple feathered inlays to break the 2 veneers up. Hand crafted by Alan Tocknell at Tee Drums in the UK
Work in progress
Few pictures of our outer plys being made.
All exotic outer plys are part of our shells construction and NOT glued onto a ready made shell. 

Picture 1: features a quality Walnut Burr and Birdseye Maple divided with feathered Mahogany/Maple inlay bandings.








  
Making of a Tee Drums outer ply with Ebony Macassar and Zebrano. Real wood veneers crafted by Alan Tocknell.
Picture 2: features Ebony Macassar and Zebrano.
The veneer strips are stitched together to form one ply, we would sometimes then heat press onto a backing veneer of Maple or Mahogany to make a stronger workable ply.

Alans Classic series Snare Drum

Tee Drums Classic Custom series. One of Alan's personal snare drums. Hand crafted drums made in the Cotswolds, England by Alan Tocknell Alans New Snare Drum.

It might look cute but really its the devil (in so many ways)

Do i really need a new snare drum??? noo! not really, however this was a shell that i just had to make up and keep. Starting back to work after the Christmas holidays in January of 2013 I was doing the bearing edges on this (at the time 18mm thick) shell, when suddenly the router piece flew out of the machine bouncing off the inner part of the shell before ripping through my hand.

Unable to supply the shell to the customer it had been sat in a cupboard looking like something from a murder scene so a few weeks ago i decided to add a few more plys and clean it up and build it for myself as a reminder of what could have been alot worse.

characteristics of Drum Hoops

Characteristics of Drum Hoops

When choosing a new drum the hoops really are a major factor to take into account and each hoop will work much differently with various shell materials and thicknesses. When customers visit the Tee Drums showroom/studio, we take time out to go through various shell thicknesses and materials and then demonstrate the difference In sound that the hoops will make. Tee Drums shells are either vertical grain or half and half vertical/horizontal construction which have slightly different characteristics to the most common and what seems to be the industry standard snare shell, a Maple 8-10 ply, difference being that our full vertical or half & half vertical/horizontal will be a little dryer than a full horizontal grain which will resonate much more.

Veneer Book Matching

Book Matching Wood Veneers

We often use the term "book matching" when describing our wood veneer finishes but have been asked the question by many people ofWhat does this mean???

When selecting wood veneers for our drums shells we usually have to join them to make a wider ply for making a floor tom or bass drum. We take 2 pieces of veneer from the same bundle and then by flipping over so they face each other and form a matched symmetrical pattern. We continue this process until we have the made a ply to the desired size.

Poplar Burr Drums

Poplar Burr by Tee Drums. Book matching veneer by Alan Tocknell of Tee Drums, based in the UK. Custom drums made from the finest materials. Birch, Maple, Mahogany, Oak, Walnut or any combination of these woods. Poplar Burr

We start by selecting the best pieces on the sheet, cutting it up, and book matching together to form a large ply that is filled with burrs. Each burr is taped in to secure it from falling out prior to pressing. Once we have joined out sheet to the desired size, it is then heat pressed onto a Maple or Mahogany, this makes a nice workable ply.




Once the shell is made there are so many options of finishing this wood, due to its lightness, its perfect for staining most colours


Amber stained Poplar Burr drum shell by Alan Tocknell of Tee Drums. using only the finest materials to construct our shells. Birch, Maple, Mahogany, Oak, Walnut or any combination of these materials. All drums shells and drums are crafted at our mill in the Cotswolds, England Natural glossed Poplar Burr drum shell by Alan Tocknell of Tee Drums. using only the finest materials to construct our shells. Birch, Maple, Mahogany, Oak, Walnut or any combination of these materials. All drums shells and drums are crafted at our mill in the Cotswolds, England   
Blue stained Poplar Burr drum shell by Alan Tocknell of Tee Drums. using only the finest materials to construct our shells. Birch, Maple, Mahogany, Oak, Walnut or any combination of these materials. All drums shells and drums are crafted at our mill in the Cotswolds, England

Making a Distinction series Drum shell

Tee Drums Distinction series Snare Drum. Hand crafted drums made in the UK by Alan Tocknell. Using the finest selected wood veneers our Distinction series feature Marquetry inlays.The Making of a Distinction series drum

At Tee Drums we use only the finest woods which are mostly all hand selected by Alan personally. Selecting the woods for each shell is just the start, they then have to be cut into strips and then stitched back together with the inlays. This Distinction series snare is made up of 7 strips including the inlays, the picture below shows the outer ply being taped together with a special veneer tape that when dried will shrink and bind the connecting veneers together leaving no gaps.

Free Floating Snare Drum Shells

Pearl Free Floating Snare Shell Replacements by Tee Drums. choose from our range of Birch, Maple, Oak, Mahogany, Walnut shells. you can also include an exotic outer ply to your shell. Hand crafted drums by Alan Tocknell in the UK
PEARL FREE FLOATING SHELL REPLACEMENTS

We get asked alot "are our shells compatible with Pearl Free Floating Snare Drums?" The answer is YES! all of our shells can be made to fit the Free Floating cradles. We make the shell with a flat base and a bearing edge on top. You can choose any of our constructional woods (Birch, Maple, Mahogany, Oak, Walnut or any combination of these woods). You can also choose an exotic outer ply from our range of finishes. We can Finish your shell for you with our popular High Gloss Glaze or our Satin Oil/Wax Process so all you have to do on receiving your new shell is drop it into the cradle put the top head on and play.
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