How to Turn Drum Sticks with a Wood Lathe

What You'll Need
800 grit sand paper
Hardwood dowel rod
Lathe and gouge

Making drum sticks with a wood lathe is something that can be very beneficial to you. You will save quite a bit of money on drum sticks as they are prone to break. You can also make them however you like them so that you can get different sounds and tapers whenever you are practicing the types of sounds that you are looking for while drumming.

Step 1 – Cut Pieces

The first thing that you will need to do is get your dowel rods that are a 1/2” in diameter and cut them to be sixteen inches long. This will be the necessary lengths for your drumsticks.

Step 2 – Lathe Shafts

You will now need to get one of the shafts and insert them into the lathe. Take notice that the teeth themselves are embedded properly into the ends of each side of the rod. Get them good and tightened in place so that they will have a good grip. Get the lathe clamped down tightly before you begin to rotate the drumstick. You will need to get your gouge out and use it on the rest so that the blade can lie flat while it is being sharpened. You will then change your tilt blade slowly as you lift your handle and let the wood carve while it is being turned. Be sure that you have a low amount of pressure the entire time.

Step 3 – Taper

You are now ready to get the drumsticks tapered. You will begin at 3 ¾ inches from the end of the stick. You will get the end of the notch that is almost an inch from the end. The overall diameter should be ¾” in the middle. Whenever you are tapering the tip of the stick you will do this by hand. Make sure that you consider the metal teeth that are in your lathe whenever you use the gouge. It is a good idea to already have a made drumstick that you can use as a guide so that the entire process will be made much easier.

Step 4 – Sand

Once you have the drumstick tapered you are ready to begin to sand it. Be sure that while you are sanding that you are doing so in the shape of a ball. Again it is a good idea to have a drumstick nearby for you to look at as you do this. Once you have the ball sanded out you are ready to sand the rest of the stick until it is polished and smooth all over.

Step 5 – Stain

Once your drumstick is of a desired look and feel you will be able to stain it if you wish. Make sure that you allow the stick plenty of time to dry before you attempt to use it. It is usually much easier if you stain one side at a time so that there are no marks that are left from where it was laid to dry.