Pallet Drums

Poetry in Wood and Sound!!


Oak pallets can be used for more than carrying materials into a warehouse. The last six years before my retirement were spent managing a siding warehouse for a friend of mine. When the economy collapsed in 2008 and thereafter, siding sales dropped dramatically. As a result I had a lot of time on my hands. I used some of that time to convert oak pallets to useful items like the drums you see in this post. By dismantling the pallets and running the boards through the table saw, I found all the wood I needed.


I sawed strips of oak with a slight bevel on each side. Each drum was a different length to give a varied sound when played. I used wood glue to glue them together, holding the round cylinder with pieces of coat hanger wire on top and bottom. By twisting the wire to the point of almost breaking, it worked just like clamping it with clamps. After they dried, I sanded the out side with a belt sander and then by hand. Clear polyurethane gave the surface a satin finish.


I bought some leather from a local saddle shop and used furniture tacks to fasten the leather to the top of each cylinder.  I soaked the leather and stretched it over the top with a flat nosed electrical pliers. Holes were drilled through the sides and some spacer pieces.  By using three eighth’s inch bolts, I was able to connect the three drums. I also made a vertical 2×4 T stand (not shown) with a notch that held the center piece of the drums.


The triangular set of drums worked very well. I made them for a friend’s daughter who enjoyed playing the drums.


During that time I built two different sets of bongo drums. I built several other things which I will show you in a later post.

8 thoughts on “Pallet Drums

    • Thank You! It is really not all that hard if you access to a table saw and angle the blade about five degrees. You can adjust it more or less to get larger or smaller diameters. Give it a try!


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