What Michael looks for when building his kits?
Each drum is built with a passion. To bring shape to something that does not want to be round is not as easy as it appears. Determination, a sharp eye, a sensitive feel is a must. Laying out the boards to determine the best placements for the badge, throw, butt plate, vent, and lugs.
While keeping in mind that a natural vent fashioned by Mother Nature might be used or is adding the best option all the while maintaining the most natural look achievable. As each board is flipped back and forth looking for something special to catch his eye to bring the kit to a new level. Finding a little note on the board from over 30 years ago, maybe even old chewed bubblegum. He stops, takes a picture to send to the customer, he makes sure to add this little memento in the build. It’s more than just a drum kit, it’s art.
Price bidding is not our thing. We are bringing back to life wood that is several centuries’ old, dating back before the civil war, making sure none of this precious lumber is wasted. Because of the rare nature of this lumber and the great lengths taken to possess every inch, each cut matters. On an average, a 4 piece kit has 268 pieces of wood that are hand cut and examined for perfection.
That’s a total of 536 angles made with the precision of within a hundredth of an inch on each cut. Each section of lumber is glued and fitted with water proof glue for several days. Once the glue sets, the clamps are removed and the drum is lathed to fit the determined size. A flat 2 inch slab of steel is used to mill the bearing edges for exactness, all while being driven by a high powered shaper, not a router.
Finishing the drums is a whole different sheet of music. We use an old time Nitrocellulose lacquer, so your drums will age the way vintage drums did before our time, not like the stuff sprayed on today’s drums that don’t age. Multiple coats are applied with a high volume, low pressure sprayer and sanded between coverings, much like the way vintage drums were finished. No short cuts are made on our drums; even the hardware has a nice touch.
We add woodened sleeves to the kick drums to match the looks of the drums. The hardware used is top quality. In fact, you could purchase a complete kit from others for what we pay for hardware alone. We ensure that you have the best possible instrument when you receive our products. If we can, we deliver the drums to the customer. If not, we carefully package them for their journey. That’s what makes Outlaw Drums so different.