How to Make Drumsticks

Standard Drumstick
Standard Drumstick

Making your own drumsticks for percussion purposes can be fun. It is often a cheaper option to buy basic drumsticks at your local music store or online, but there is nothing like making your own custom pair. You can design them to meet the exact specifications that you desire, and no other drummer will have a pair exactly like yours. Some percussionists prefer thicker sticks, while others like to play with lighter sticks. The shape of the tips is also a major consideration as you go about the design process.

Things You'll Need

  • Small saw horse
  • Block of wood, 1.5 feet long by 3 inches wide by 1 inch thick
  • Wood saw
  • Sandpaper
  • Wood file
  • Tape measure

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Gather all the materials together. Set aside a space to work where you do not mind making a mess with wood shavings. Position your wood piece to be cut on the saw horse.

Cut the wood block in half lengthwise with your saw. The length should be approximately 1.5 feet for each piece, or 18 inches. This is standard for most drumsticks.

Use the wood file to begin rounding each of the pieces of wood. This is the hardest part of the process. You must shave away a lot of bulk to get a cylindrical shape for the sticks. Make sure that you leave one end thicker than the other for each stick. The thick end will be the butt, and the diameter should taper down as you move toward the tip of the stick.

Use your tape measure to check and see that the diameter of the butt of each stick is roughly 0.8 inches when you are finishing up the sanding and shaving process. You can do this by wrapping the measure around the circular stick. Remember that the sticks' diameter should taper off toward the tips. Try to make them as uniform as possible so that they have the same shape and the same weight.

Make the tips on each piece to finish the sticks. Leave a little bit of bulk at the end of each piece where you are making the tips. A slight indentation a few centimeters from the end of the piece will serve to make the rounded tip you want for your drumsticks. Depending on your preference, you can make circular or pointed tips.

Polish each stick with sandpaper. Make sure that there are no splinters or rough patches. It is a lot of work sanding the wood, but you will have a nice new pair of home-made drumsticks when you are done.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make sure that your sticks are uniform. Try to shave away wood equally on each piece as you work. You do not want one stick to weigh more than the other.
  • Think of the project as a work of art, and take your time as you sand and polish the sticks.
  • Be careful to sand the finished sticks carefully. You can injure yourself if you leave rough patches or splinters.
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