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What is a Stave Drum?
A "stave" drum is a drum made of solid hardwood sections that are edge-glued. This process is similar to the construction of a barrel, where sections of wood are cut with specific angles and curves, allowing a round cylinder to be produced once it is glued together and sanded smooth.

How are Stave Drums Better?
This method is far superior than that of plywood drum shells or steam bent shells because the staves are solid -- no layers or stress from dry bending or steam bending, and very little glue. This technique provides phenomenal strength and rigidity while maintaining the tone and response of a solid wood shell.
The vertical grain bearding edges which conduct vibration, resonance and sound through the shell far better than any other shell configuration. This method ensures a high quality of wood in contact with the drum head as hundreds of square inches of glue are eliminated from the process. We all know that glue is a dead component, it makes no sound at all. Solid wood allows us to lower the amount of glue used to build a drum shell and raise the wood content resulting in a truer, richer, and more melodic sounding drum.

About "Steam-Bent" or "One Ply" Drum Shells:
Often called "solid wood" or "one-ply" (although not a true solid); "One-ply" or "steam-bent" drum shells use a single piece of hardwood with reinforcement rings on the inside edges of the shell. The wood ply is heated to a very high temperature, and bent into a round shape, then placed in a form to cool and cure. It is then glued and machined to produce a cylinder. Of course, the introduction of moisture as steam, along with the bending process, imposes great stress on the wood. This process makes the use of glue-in reinforcement rings necessary to maintain roundness, as the wood will always want to straighten out and return to its original straightness. Glued -in reinforcement rings also raise the pitch of the drum shell. Because one-ply (solid) drum shells use considerably less glue than ply drum shells, they resonate more freely and produce better, purer tones than ply shells BUT not nearly as pure and direct as solid hardwood stave drum shells.

About Plywood Shells:

Simply put -- The more glue in a drum shell, the less natural tone. Plywood drum shell construction requires an enormous amount of glue which deadens the wood's natural tone. Every square inch of each and every ply has to be covered with glue in order for the plies to hold together.

For example:
Glue used on an average 6" x 14" Plywood Drum Shell
1 ply = 261.60 sq. inches of surface area 6 plys x 261.60 = 1,569.60 sq. inches
10 plys x 261.60 = 2,616 sq. inches.
On a 6-ply shell, 1,569.60 square inches of surface area has to be covered with glue to make the bond and on a 10-ply shell, 2616 square inches of surface area has to be covered with glue!
Stave shells use 0.01% of the glue that normal ply shells require.
Glue has no tone factor, in fact it is a tone inhibitor. Wood is good, glue is dead

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