10x28 Marching Drum Conversion

How it started

In the summer of 2017, I took a trip to a drum Al Drew's Drum Shop in Woonsocket Rhode Island with my friend Jimmy Pemberton. While Jimmy was perusing the snare drums, I had my eye on a blue and gold sparkle marching drum.

It was missing the hoops, claws, heads, and a few lugs, but the maple shell was in great condition. I bartered with the owner and grabbed it for $80.


The original shield badge was still intact and the date stamped on the inside of the shell read 1961. I found what I was looking for; a fun marching drum conversion project.

I sifted through more of Al Drew's inventory and found a set of 28" hoops. The remaining lugs and claws would require some sleuth work on Ebay.

Why not keep the original wrap? The blue and gold sparkle is definitely cool and likely represented the colors of a high school somewhere. But in many areas around the shell, the wrap was loose, cracked, or bulging beyond repair. A rewrap was in order. While I could have gone with the blue and gold motif again, I decided an age-appropriate white marine pearl would look pretty cool.

With the wrap removed, I filled the bracket holes for mounting the drum to a shoulder harness while marching. I removed any residual glue and sanded it smooth.

The 28" shell was a little more challenging to wrap due to its size. I ended up placing the shell on plywood I laid down on the floor of my studio. I used the wall to keep the shell aligned to the wrap. With my shell and wrap marked, I used the typical wrapping technique of finding the center, applying the bottom wrap first, and then the top wrap.

My preference is to have the wrap extend to the bearing edge and then use a file to blend the edge.