RatTrap Custom Drums
RatTrap Custom Drums
RatTrap Custom Drums
RatTrap Custom Drums
RatTrap Custom Drums - Built To Perfection


Stave Drums

Solid Shells





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When I first began my drum making venture, I had no intention of making snare drums. I was convinced there were plenty of drum builders out there selling good to great snare drums at affordable prices, and that my efforts would best be spent elsewhere.

All that changed when on a whim, I made my first stave drum. I couldn't believe the sound of the first drum, and how well it turned out. Because I was so pleased with this first drum, I tried making another. It was a disaster. Then another. Disaster again. From all my years as a machinist, I was well aware of the concept of "tolerance stack-up". Tolerance stack-up mandates a minimum of deviation in the manufacturing process. For example, when making a 24 stave drum, the angles of each stave must be 7 1/2 degrees exactly. 1/2 of a degree deviation would normally seem minimal, but when added up over 24 staves...you get the picture.

The second and third drums I made were really almost laughable, except for the fact that I certainly wasn't laughing. These shells are now waiting for the weather to get warm so that they can be used as flower planters.

My stave building journey has been one of constant improvement. There are countless variables that go into making a quality shell, and I have added a couple proprietary steps to my process prior to gluing that ensure the best possible outcome.

After I glue up the shells, I take them to a local Amish craftsman who turns them on his lathe, taking them from what I call "the ugly duckling" state to beautiful works of art. This is the stage that shows that my careful selection of wood, the meticulous cutting and joining have paid off. At this point, the shell is far from being a drum, but you can start to see the possibilities.

The sound...

I get excited when somebody asks me what these drums sound like. Because of the unlimited options I have when selecting wood, I can match a drum sound to perfectly match the tonal colors my customers have embedded in their minds. It may be a silly analogy, but these drums, like a great wine, definitely are far more "complex" than other drums being made. The tone generally lies somewhere in between a metal drum and a ply shell, making it possible to own a drum that can easily kill two birds with one stone.

I look forward to working with you in creating a drum that exceeds your expectations and provides you with an instrument that will be treasured for a lifetime.

Some of the examples of these drums.