Pallet Drums

Pallet Drum

When the economy was in a down turn and business bottomed out, the sales at the siding warehouse where I worked slowed down as well. During the down times I passed the time taking apart pallets and using the wood to make a variety of things from porch swings to drums.  It was a fun challenge to see what could come up with. I made a set of two bongo type drums and then a set of three for a friend. I got cowhide from a local saddle shop for my tops.

Repurposed oak pallets filled with life
Vibrations echo from tiny caverns
Each one unique
Pallets cleaned and strips cut;
all with a slight bevel
Glued together into cylinders
Cowhide stretched across the top
Stapled and tacked for durability
Rhythms echo for years to come



Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse, Mish shared here experience with Native American drum making. She asked us to use the word drum for our Quadrille of exactly 44 words.

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62 thoughts on “Pallet Drums

  1. Love your poem and totally appreciate this kind of repurposing!

    A local guy here makes a lot of things from pallets, his best sellers are planter boxes and Christmas trees … I’ll let him know about the drums 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Beautiful drum set. Did you enjoy making those? If so, I’m wondering why you didn’t continue exploring the path of becoming a master drum-maker? Especially with re-sourced materials, there’d be a great market niche!
    I’d be interested in knowing how they’ve stood up to being played over the years since making them and the evolution of their sound. Just musing out loud, sorry!
    I enjoy reading your poetry, even if I don’t comment often.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you Laura! I really did enjoy the challenge of creating these drums. I actually made two different sets for myself and this set of three for a teenager friend of ours. Mine don’t get played very often since I am not in a group or have occasion to play them. My grandson enjoys them when he comes to visit. They are as solid as the day they were built. Cleaning up pallet wood takes a lot of time and would not have been feasible to continue making them. The heads, being cowhide were thicker than most bongo heads, so the sound is a little deeper and flatter than the thin heads. But they work very well and I enjoyed the journey of making them. Thank you so much for your comment.


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