BUILDING A DRAGON DRUM

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    I had been toying with the idea of building my own drum for our school DRAGON, but  procrastination and money seemed to be my main stumbling blocks.  One day at the local farmers supply I saw a sale on used oak whiskey barrels.  I could not pass up the opportunity.  The barrels were 39.00 dollars each, the oak in them was worth at least that much.

    The barrels had been sitting outside, the rain had partially filled them.  Getting one on the truck was a mess, not all the water had been emptied.  I smelled like whiskey, the back of the pickup smelled like whiskey and when I got it home and put it in the shop, it smelled like whiskey.

    By the time I got the barrel in the shop it was pretty empty but I needed to let it dry out a little.  Getting into it was easy.  I pried the plug out of the top and used a saber saw to cut and remove the pieces.  After removing the top I let it air our for a few days out side.  I brought it back in and numbered all the barrel staves so they could be re-assembled in the same direction (up and down) as well as side to side.  I proceeded to remove the steel rings.  First I had to remove the little brads that hold the rings in place.  Once the brads were out, I used a brick chisel and 2 pound hammer to tap off the rings using rope to keep the barrel staves in place. Once done I could lift out the bottom of the barrel and re-tighten the rope.

     During this next step I wanted to dry the barrel out so I tapped two rings back on, one top and one bottom and propped it up on blocks for a few days so air could circulate through it.  The inside of the barrel is burned with a nice layer of charcoal.  I wanted it to be a little dry before trying to remove it otherwise it would clog my sander.

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