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  Building A Hybrid Drum

              Drum by FVF Drums

              Drum by FVF Drums

            Drum by Spunky Drums
Basic description:
Hybrid drums can be made from many things but are most commonly made as a combination of wood and acrylic.

The visual effect is #1. They look very different and are eye-catching.

They are a little bit advanced for the first time builder. (Unless you buy the shells and are just assembling them.)
The sound never seems to be the reason they are built. Not to say it's terrible, I've just never heard anyone say, "Man, I really want that hybrid sound."


I want to do a 1/2 inch acrylic, 20 ply (wood) in the middle, then 1/2 acrylic. Questions I have are:
What do you use to cut the acrylic and 20 ply to size?
Do you wrap the 20 ply before you put together or after?
Can you use the same router bits on the acrylic as wood?
How do I figure the width of each section if I want a 6.5 just divide by 3?
What sound difference is the hybrid going to make between a complete arcylic? I have a 20 ply vented snare and it's loud and dry but want to add a different sounding snare. I'm also looking into a hollow body with 10 ply inside shell and acrylic outer shell as well. Any info on them would be cool to.

Ok, If I'm understanding you want to ...
Cut up a 20 ply shell and have 2 acrylic sections (A-W-A) and then wrap the shell (what's the point of the hybrid then?) Wood and acrylic have different vibrations, sound conduction. The vibration from the head transfers to the acrylic shell (at it's own vibration rate) will then slam into a 20 ply chunk of wood, which would probably stop the vibration in its tracks, combine that with the restricted air flow from the 20 ply right in the middle of where the air flow needs to be open, it's now choked. What would the sound difference be? More than likely it will sound like garbage.

You have a 20 ply snare that's loud and dry but you want to add a different sounding snare? What sound are you looking for? A 6 ply maple will give you a different sound than the 20 ply, so will a steambent Vaughncraft shell....what are you looking for?

The hollow body snare idea is for resonance. The 10 ply inner shell combined with the acrylic outer shell will have little or no resonance, so it defeats the purpose and will more than likely have a poor sound to it. (no volume, no resonance).

I've built a hybrid with WAW formation; only using a 10 ply though. I wrapped the wood section with tangerine GG wrap before joining the sections. You can cut edges with the same bits just go slow, so you dont start melting the acrylic, and make sure you cut only a small amount at a time.
I built that drum for a friend and honestly, wouldn't build one for myself. I didnt like the sound at all, and the look is way too flashy: not hip.


Hi, I'm going to try a hybrid kit soon; wood-acrylic-wood. Can you do this without the long tubelugs to hold the sections together? I really son't like the look of that. Or is the shell going to fall appart after some play-time?

Sam Bredeson:
You don't need long lugs - just use single-ended tube lugs spanning the split at each end.

You could also do a lap joint, or tongue and groove joint between the different materials, and epoxy it together.
You wouldn't have to worry about the lugs holding it together either.

Most everyone who does hybrids does lap joints with epoxy. The lugs have very little to do with holding the drum together, they are strong as hell. I made one with DW lugs for a friend of mine and it has had no problems since...


How easy is a hybrid shell to make? Hmm it just seems realy easy in my mind.
-buy 2 wood shells and one acrylic shell
-cut out rabbit joints with router
-glue joints together with high poxy resin.
-leave to dry for the right amount of time.
-finish off shell, bearing edges, holes, lugs, snare bed, hoops etc.
That seems pretty easy in my mind. Just the main shell joining. Is this just me? or is there lots of easy mistakes that can go wrong?

ijdrum:'s that. sure to have lots of $$ for all the time you mess up. Acrylic isn't cheap.


I have just put up a new bit to the blog on the kit we are doing for one of our endorsees its about how we put a hybrid together. I know there have been a few threads about how this is done so I thought some people might be interested:


I was considering doing a maple/acrylic hybrid shell snare and possibly a tom or 2 to try it out. The shells from Gold'nTimes are 1/4 thick...what size Keller shells match that???? Is it 8 ply or 10 ply maybe? Can you do a 6 ply keller and a 1/4" acrylic even thought they would be different thicknesses?
Also, what kid of bit do you use to router those edges to make them fit together?

I'm actually in the process of building a kit. The snare I did was a 20 ply where the lip fit right inbetween. I used a trim router bit with a modified bearing to cut the right size step. I'll see if I can get a pic of what I'm talking about.
If you want the wood and acrylic to be the same thickness...then you'll want to go with a 10-ply shell. Those measure roughly 1/4".

What kind/brand epoxy do you use???

It looks like he used Heavy Duty Welder. It comes in a chrome tube from almost any hardware store.

Got me thinking.....on the joint where the shells meet, the wood shell goes on the outside.


I just wanted to add a quick comment about the glue. I have a DW Edge snare. It is not glued together. So I don't think it's necessary to glue all the shells.

This is true. If your joint is perfect, as it should be, you shouldn't need glue. Doesn't hurt to put some on the bass drum and maybe a hanging floor tom though.