Learn how to place the hardware on the shell of a snare drum. A step-by-step, pictured drum builder guide!
I have done this guide using common DIY tools which are readily available if you don’t already have them. I have also used a Drum Foundry.Com layout mat. You can either order one of these, or draw your own (or alternatively use a flexible ruler around the shell)
DF Layout Mat
Unitbit (stepped drill)
For this exercise I’m using a 12” x 5” snare shell, already wrapped.
Firstly, prepare the shell for marking using masking tape – Note if this was a lacquer or Oil finish I would use blue painters tape as its less tacky.
As this is a wrapped shell with a visible seem I like to hide that with the Throw off placement. I use this point to set out the hardware.
The function of the DF layout mat is to divide the shell evenly to ensure the lug positions suit the hoops. For a 12” 8 lug snare, the red lines on the mat represent the lug positions. The green line shows the Throw position, and butt position on the other side of the shell.
When one end of the shell is marked, use a T square to transfer those marks to the other end.
Now rule a line down the shell joining the marks, repeat around the shell.
I’m using double ended lugs on this shell which will be fitted centrally. Firstly establish the measurement between the two lug fixing holes. In this case 52mm.
Now mark the center of the shell and from there measure 26mm either side ( thats half the lug measurement) That fixes one lug centrally on the shell, double check the overall dimension is correct. Then repeat around the shell.
Repeat the process for the throw off and butt. I’m fitting the throw centrally and the butt end in line with the bottom lug holes.
I have also marked out for two air vents, this is down to individual preference as to whether you have 1, 2, or none at all. Ive gone for two as its a very thick shell, and the vents will emphasive the loud crack i am looking for in this snare.
The shell is now ready for drilling. I recommend drilling small pilot holes firstly, then repeating with a unibit, marked at the hole diameter you require. This will vary from 4 – 7 mm depending on lugs used.
When drilling use a scrap block of wood on the inside of the shell as you drill, this reduces the wood splitting as you drill through. DON’T use a high powered drill / hammer drill, use a drill with speed control, use sharp drill bits and go slow.
The shell is now ready for fixing lugs , throw etc.
Here’s the finished snare. 12” x 5” Birch Snare, 18ply 10mm thick, finished in Yellow Glass Glitter Wrap. Die cast lugs, Traditional throw and Aquarian drum heads. This snare drum and others available through Onlinedrummer.com.
Visit this thread to see this snare and more