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Glendale Custom Drums

Hand-Crafted Drums

Restoration & Repair

A Commitment to Quality

Handcrafted Snare Drums

Custom stave snare drums made from maple, oak, cherry, ash, bubinga and poplar, or from 5 ply to 20 ply maple Keller shells  --  all fitted out with high-end hardware and a choice of die cast or 2.3mm to 3.0mm triple-flanged hoops.   Or have one made to order !  Other woods and shell types available -- e.g. Vintage Mahogany, walnut,  metal. Choice of bearing edges and snare beds.

Vintage Drums Repaired / Refurbished

Just inherited your Grandpa's drums? Decided to take that set of Slingerlands out of the storage locker? Or finally realized your kit won't make it through another gig? Give your older or heavily used drums new life, a new look, and radically improved tone and projection. Or replace that broken or missing piece of hardware before you run out of duct tape. Just truing your drum -- ensuring the bearing edge is even and the same height all the way around -- can make a phenomenal difference in its tone and projection !

Finishing

Whether it's restoring original hardware or wraps to their original luster, refinishing or rewrapping older drums, upgrading worn hardware, honing bearing edges, or custom finishing a new shell with high end, name brand hardware, we use the same high standards for work on all new and refurbished drums. Please contact us for further details about the many hardware and finishing options available.
Handcrafted

Glendale Signature Series

NEW ! !   Hand-milled Stave Construction

Poplar

5.5" X 14" vertical Stave construction (12 mm) with high-end tube lugs (8), a Trick multi-position throw off, Pure Sound snares and Osmo high gloss Hard Wax Oil finish

Curly-Wormy Maple

5.5 X 14 vertical stave construction (12 mm) with high-end tube lugs (10), a Trick multi-position throw off, Pure Sound snares and Osmo high gloss Hard Wax Oil finish

Red Oak (under construction)

5.5" X 14" horizontal stave construction (9.5 mm) with high-end tube lugs, a Trick multi-position throw off, Pure Sound snares and Osmo high gloss Hard Wax Oil finish

Cherry (under construction)

6.0" X 14" horizontal stave construction (11 mm) with high-end tube lugs, a Trick multi-position throw off, Pure Sound snares and Osmo high gloss Hard Wax Oil finish


Handcrafted

Custom Snare Drums

Maple Snare Drums   --   Keller Shells

Piccolo

4 X 14 inch 10 ply Keller maple snare finished in brilliant crimson with a wide tuning range -- sensitive and responsive enough for jazz riffs and ghost notes, but can deliver a sharp, explosive crack that would make Stewart Copeland blush.  Pearl Piccolo throw and butt, and die cast hoops.  Crimson wood stain, natural Danish Oil and high gloss lacquer finish.

Super Sensitive Jazz

5.5" X 14" snare, 6 ply Keller maple shell with Omar Hakim Gladstone throw off.  Very resonant and responsive.  Ideal for brush work and ghost notes, but capable of power and strong dynamics when required.  Lightly stained with natural Danish oil and finished with high gloss lacquer.

Rock-Fusion

5.5 X 14 inch rock-fusion snare, 15 ply Keller maple shell, with high-end tube lugs, a Trick multi-position throw off.  Natural Danish Oil and high gloss lacquer finish.

Rock-Jazz

6" X 14" classic rock snare dimensions, 15 ply Keller maple shell, with high-end tube lugs, a Trick multi-position throw off.  Very broad tuning and dynamic range.  Easily provides the power for rock applications, but also surprisingly responsive and sensitive when subtle dynamics are needed.  Was described by one player as "muscular."  Ebony stain and high gloss lacquer finish

Refurbished

Re-Imagined Drums

ONE STORY: A Vintage Made-in-Japan snare, repaired and refinished.

Original

A slightly worse for wear 5.5 X 14 inch, 8 lug Made in Japan maple snare. Hardware tarnished, a few rust spots, plastic wrap scratched and scuffed with use, bearing edges worn and uneven, snare beds inconsistent.


A Clean Slate

Hardware, damaged plastic wrap and residual glue removed, shell sanded smooth, wood sealed.


Refurbished

Shell stained, trued, and new 45 degree bearing edges and Gretsch-style snare beds cut.


Fully Restored

New Ambassador heads, 20 strand Puretone snares, snare cord and restored original hardware. Finished with 5 coats of Danish Oil for a beautiful satin finish that highlights the wood grain.

Drum was gifted to a musician
Refurbished

Re-Imagined Drums

ANOTHER STORY: Micro Bop kit upgraded and refinished with Red Glass Glitter wrap ! !

Original

Micro bop kit with a 16 inch bass, a 10 inch rack tom, a 13 inch floor tom and a 14 inch snare.

Refurbished

Refurbished to pro standards with a Red Glass Glitter wrap, upgraded hardware, 3mm triple-flanged hoops, hand-finished maple hoops for the bass and new Ambassador heads.


Purpose Made

This kit is a perfect way to  accommodate the shrinking space on club stages in the GTA



S O L D  ! ! ! !

Includes tom mount and floor tom legs.  

Dunnett bass drum riser also available


Refurbished

Re-Imagined Drums

STILL ANOTHER STORY: A Tama snare upgraded and refinished with a veneer pattern

Original

A 5 X 14 inch, 8 lug Tama snare. Hardware tarnished, a few rust spots, plastic wrap scratched and scuffed with use, bearing edges worn and uneven, snare beds inconsistent.


Reimagined

Instead of staining or recovering the drum shell with new wrap, I decided it would be more fun to try my hand at veneering and maybe a little marquetry.  Very fun but challenging experiment that turned out pretty well.


Finishing

Finished with 5 coats of Danish Oil for a beautiful satin finish that highlights the wood grain.


Fully Restored

Shell stained, trued, and new 45 degree bearing edges and Gretsch-style snare beds cut.  New Ambassador heads, 20 strand Puretone snares and restored original hardware.

Drum will be gifted to the Kawartha Youth Orchestra
Refurbished

More Re-imagined Drums

Vintage drums:  repaired and refurbished

Vintage Ludwig

 
Mid 70s 6 X 14 inch Ludwig maple snare, trued, with new bearing edges, Gretsch-style snare beds, restored original hardware, new Ambassador heads, snares, finished with a Sedona Red stain, Danish Oil and high gloss lacquer.
 
Gifted to a young musician

Ludwig Rocker

6.6 X 14 inch late 60s rock snare, trued, with new bearing edges and snare beds, heads, snares and restored original wrap and hardware. A very loud drum.

Gifted to a young musician

Premier Military Snare

Early 60s military field drum with top, internal and bottom snares. Hardware and wrap restored, both snares replaced and snare mechanisms repaired, new Kevlar high tension batter head and snare head.

Glendale Collection

Ludwig CS Custom

5.5 X 14 inch Ludwig Custom with restored hardware, new vintage wrap restored, new snares and new Remo heads

Gifted to the Kawartha Youth Orchestra
Glendale Custom Drums

Contact Us

  1. If you have any questions or would like more technical information about the drums currently available
  2. Would like to ask about custom snare options
  3. Have drums you would like repaired, restored or upgraded, or
  4. Are interested in having a drum custom made to your specifications, please feel free to contact us ! !
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In case you're wondering

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What services do you offer?

1. Custom designed, handcrafted snare drums
2. Snare drums and drum kits made-to-order in a variety of woods and finishes with a huge selection of hardware options.
3. Refurbishing, rewrapping and repair of snare drums and drum kits.

Q: Why do you give away some refurbished drums?

A few years ago, I started working on older drums to help musicians without access to drums or those in need of better sounding instruments. I would buy used snare drums on Kijij or Craig's, fix them up, and then give them to young players who were just starting out or to other musicians in need. I still have a few drums set aside post-COVID for a local Library with an instrument lending service for the community. I'm planning to continue drum donation in 2023.

Q: What do you mean by "eco-friendly" finishes?

All the finishes I use on the drums are either water soluble or low VOC. I use Osmo Hard Wax Oil and General Products or Tried and True for oils and varnishes, Osmo and MinWax for stains and Lee Valley water soluble Anodized Wood Dye for brilliant colours.

Q: What do you mean by "handcrafted"?

It means I do almost everything by hand. Sanding, snare bed cutting, wrapping, drilling, right down to hand tightening the 45+ screws on the drum. I do have power sanders, but drums are round, and you can't get a quality finish if you can't feel the drum. I do use a router table to cut the bearing edges to ensure they're perfectly uniform, but those are always finished by hand sanding.

Q: What are some standard finishing details?

1. STAINS: A wide variety of wood stains are available from natural to ebony. I also use water-based wood dye, such as the Brilliant Crimson snare currently available, for more vibrant colouring that still allows the wood grain to show through.
2. DANISH OIL: Low VOC, frequently used without stain for its beautiful, honey coloured finish that highlights the wood grain. Minimum of 3 and usually 5 coats, buffed to a satin finish.
3. VARNISH: Water-based, low VOC, available in satin or high gloss, 5 coats standard.
4. HARDWARE: Hoops are either die cast, 2.3mm or 3mm triple flanged; throw offs from Pearl, DW, Trick, Gibralter, Ludwig, Gretsch; lugs of all descriptions available from breadloaf, to double-ended vintage style, to tube, to single mount centre style.
5. BEARING EDGES: Standard 45 degree inner cut with a slight 45 degree outside cut for maximum responsiveness and resonance. Finished by hand sanding and sealed with beeswax. Alternate bearing edge designs available.
6. SNARE BEDS: Standard Gretsch style, which is shallow, wide and gradual. Alternate snare bed designs available.
7. INTERNAL FINISHING: Standard is to seal the inside of the drum with 3 coats of polymerized Tung Oil to improve resonance and response. Alternate finishing is available, or wood can be left unfinished if desired.
8. REWRAPPING: Only industry quality wraps are used, available in a wide variety of options from single colours, to glitter, to geometric designs. All wraps are glued (not taped) with low VOC, water based 3M Fastbond 30NF Contact Cement to preserve the drum's resonance and durability.
What are People Saying ?

Testimonials

"As a recipient of a drum restored by Chris, I now understand the real meaning of attention to detail, which is something much deeper than the glittering shine of a drum shell. The craftsmanship Chris brings to his work bench results in what makes a musical instrument unique, including materials, mechanical integrity and superior sound ! Eddy (recreational drum nerd)
About

The Glendale Custom Drums Story

I'd like to be able to say that it all started in a 150 watt radio station in a small town in rural Ontario, but in fact my interest in drums and drumming started when I was 11, playing fife in a fife and drum corps in London Ontario. On my first parade, the deafening sound of the drum line and the big, glittery orange snare drums had me. In the decades to follow, high school bands, basement jam bands, then gigging in cover, original bands and pit bands, with music ranging from classic rock, to original theatre scores, to jazz standards, to folk, to West African, to fusion and contemporary rock.
I know this never happens to other drummers, but during that time, I accumulated lots of drums: 6 kits at one point, several djembes, kpanlogo drums, frame drums, cajons, bongos and boxes of percussion equipment. At one point, I realized that some of those drums were crap and some needed work, but I didn't know how to fix them, so I put them in storage. Around the same time, I started a family and my straight job became an increasingly dominant force in my life. So, music went dormant in favour of economics.
Fast forward to my mid-life crisis, well whatever it was that told me I had to get serious about drumming again. I starting practising, taking lessons, formed a band to play music I couldn't play (but had always wanted to), and started gigging again. I also took stock of my now dusty drum collection, many of which I realized were vintage drums: Slingerland, Canwood and Yamaha. They needed work, and there was no longer any excuse. So I started researching and learning.
I quickly realized I didn't have the skills or equipment to restore a set of early 70s Slingerlands with 30 degree round over bearing edges on inner re-rings. I decided I would not touch my Slingerlands until I was confident I had the skills. So there had to be a Plan B. That led to a lot more research on vintage drums, drum building techniques, the physics of membranes and of cylindrical instruments, the minutia and debate around bearing edges and snare beds, the sonic implications of hardware choices, and of course equipment upgrades to my shop.
To get my chops up, I started rebuilding snare drums purchased from the net, and then giving them away to young musicians just starting out or to musicians in need. I also started refurbishing older kits. The results were eye-opening. With a few carefully executed changes--new bearing edges and snare beds for example--a beat up old Made in Japan snare could be transformed into a drum that sounded like it cost hundreds of dollars. Giving back to the musical community made me happy. It also made other people happy.
Maybe it was inevitable, but I then began to wonder if I could use what I'd learned to make a something new. So I made a drum from a raw maple shell. I have to say, playing my first edition was like seeing and hearing that line of glittery, orange snare drums when I was 11, it had me. I was hooked. And so, Glendale Custom Drums was born and drum building a new part of my life.
Chris