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Old 11-11-2009, 08:00 AM   #1
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Default red eagle drum base completed

I delivered the completed drum base to the boy scout post meeting last night. Two weeks ago, my neighbor asked if I could help out the boy scout venturing post his two son’s are involved with. It is a scouting group that does demonstrations for schools and other groups, and competes in competitions and jamborees involving Native American dances and drum work. Until now, the 33” wide – 14” tall drum that they use either sits on a blanket on the ground or is supported by a couple of ugly sawhorses this tends to damage the paint and the changes and/or limits the sound quality they seek. One side of the drum painted horse hide and the other painted buffalo hide, both painted with natural pigments. There are 4 rope handles to hang the drum but it is heavy (about 20 pounds) and difficult to hold properly especially when 8-10 boys are pounding on it at the same time.

What he wanted was a support system that would sit on the ground, keep the drum off the ground, be strong enough to do the necessary support job, be made of red oak (the group is called the Red Eagle Dancers), have a different eagle on each posts to represent the four directions, be held together without metal fasteners, and be able to be taken apart and laid flat for storage.

He bought the wood, (I found red oak dowels at the BORG of all places) and we designed the base together. How it goes together should be self explanatory. I also glued feet to the ends of the cross members since they often use the drum at encampments where there is no perfectly flat ground. The pegs through the cross members are to keep them from shifting. The dowels holding the eagles on top of the drum supports are glued into the eagles but not into the support posts. Thus they can be stored separately and not lost. The supports and cross members are cut from 2” thick stock, and the eagles from 1" stock. The eagle dowels are Ό and the through dowels that actually support the drum are 5/8” thick in Ύ” holes. The bases pieces are 3 ½” wide by 43” long, the uprights 1 7/8" x 2 ½" x 24” long, the eagles are all about 8" x 10”.
I put a stain of ½ red oak – ½ dark walnut on all the pieces, and gave them three coats of gloss polyurethane. I will not accept any remuneration for the work.

P.S. - It sounded awesome in the parking lot last night and the two sides really do give a different sound. They do not think that anyone else they meet at the jamborees has a base anywhere near as nice, and that most of the others are held by mechanical (nuts and bolts) fasteners.

The first three pictures are of the base alone. The 4th one is the buffalo hide side, the 5th the horse hide side and the 6th of the drum being played by one of the scout leaders and a scout.

As usual, any comments and criticisms are greatly appreciated.


finished drum base 1.jpgfinished drum base 2.jpgfinished drum base 3.jpg

drum base and buffalo side.jpgdrum base and horse side.jpgdrum base being played.jpg
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Old 11-11-2009, 06:27 PM   #2
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That is a very nice job,
I'm sure that the Scouts are just as proud of it as you shold be.
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Old 11-12-2009, 08:48 AM   #3
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Very nice - I'm sure it will be enjoyed by all.
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Old 11-12-2009, 07:42 PM   #4
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Very nicely done George.
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Old 11-12-2009, 07:49 PM   #5
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Very nice George. Thank you for helping the scouts. I am sure they will really love it. saw dust
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