Links

Whiteley Solutions Drum Enclosure (approx. $2,500 – $7,000)
Clear Sonic Drum Shields (approx. $500 – $2000)

Circle Arc Calculator

DIY Floor Plan – PDF

Notes about the DIY enclosure

  • The aluminium frame was all 90 degree angled pieces
  • The lexan(polycarbonate) was sandwiched between the angled frame and aluminum strips using nuts and bolts
  • The other side of the frame was bolted to the floor(drum riser)
  • Lexan Thickness: 3/16 inch

Tips

  • Adding a roof to your enclosure has a huge impact of reducing volume
  • Enclosures get warm, we installed an exhaust fan to help reduce heat
  • With any drum enclosure watch directions on cleaning and maintenance of the glass so that you don’t scratch the surface or cause damage.

Published by Brad Zimmerman

48 Comments

  1. what type business did you get the lexan sheet from?

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  2. Can you do a tutorial about the wooden background please?

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  3. Can you please tell what thickness of Lexan you used and sls how easy was it to bend?
    Gary Brown

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    • 1/4 inch Lexan. Bending wasn't the hard part the weight was the hard part and bolting it together. I never felt like we were going to break the sheet, it was more about man handling it. Also we predrilled holes and as we bent those holes didn't line up anymore.

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  4. Hello, at our church we currently have a five panel drum shield but have no sound absorbtion happening. Would you suggest the first thing we need is a roof? Also, is there any price points for a decent quality roof and any other sound observing ideas?

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    • Drum enclosures are not meant to absorb sound, they are meant to contain sound. You can add acoustic panels to an enclosure to help absorb some sound, but mostly they are meant to contain/redirect sound. Right now your 5 panel shield is redirecting sound backwards and up instead of going forward.

      If you have a standard 5 panel shield and it isn't doing the job for you i would first put a roof on it. Clearsonic makes one that you could look at. or build your own. http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/CSPLP53D

      We made our roof from plywood and added these tiles to help cut down on reflections(sound bouncing) http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00759D22C/ref=o

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  5. Hey Brad thanks for the details, maybe you mentioned it but one question… what was the thickness of the lexan? 1/16?
    thanks again for sharing! #gonnaDoThis!

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      • Brad, thanks for sharing this. It's exactly what we're looking for. In one of the comments you say 1/4" lexan but in this one you say 1/16" Could you verify which it is? I'm ready to order some but want to make sure it'll bend to the radius we've made.

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        • It is 3/16, I was mistaken when I replied to this comment. I am Am adding the information above to make it more clear.

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          • Thanks for the quick answer. For anyone having trouble sourcing local lexan I found these guys had decent pricing and reasonable shipping charges. http://www.totalplastics.com They carry sheets that are 80"x120" which will give you 6.6' of height.

          • What was the price for that with shipping?

          • I ordered 2 sheets of 80"x120". They were $260 each with $175 for shipping. They are shipped from Kalamazoo MI I believe. So if you could get there you could save on the shipping. I'm using one sheet to make the curve and the second sheet will be cut in half to make two 6.6'x5' walls. I'm framing the roof and back out of 1x4s and putting roxul safe and sound insulation in them. The insides of the roof and back wall/doors will be covered with a fine weave burlap to let the sound get into the insulation and get absorbed as much as possible. The outside of the roof and wall will be painted wood.

            Did you attach the lexan on the outside of the metal frame or did it fit inside the angle? Also, in the video it looks like there are some sort of fixtures around the lexan where they attach to the angle that look like those door stops you put on a hinge. What are those?

            Any chance you'd be willing to post some pictures of the areas where the lexan attached to the frame?

          • $268.59 per sheet plus $175 for shipping

          • How did you attach the curved lexan to the vertical angle pieces? What kind of hardware? Pictures available? Also, we need one the same dimensions. Can you send me the specs for the size of aluminum pieces? thanks

  6. A friend of mine built an enclosure using one of the folding shield mentioned. Basically framed around it and insulated it with Rockwool. He also installed a solid wood door. It doesn’t look as pretty as yours but for those who already have a folding shield it may be a more cost effective option if they don’t mind the seems. I’m working on the plans to do it. We have a horrible time controlling our sound. the combo of rotating volunteer sound guys, concrete floors and a heavy metal drummer make for some over bearing drum action. We could put him in the parking lot and still hear him!

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  7. Brad- how did you build the roof? Is it one piece? Is it wood covered in carpet or fabric?

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  8. Brad we are in the same situation and your enclosure looks great. How can I get the information you have on the design and all needed material?

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  9. Brad,

    I noticed you recommended 1/4" lexan. My question why not 3/16"? It is lighter and since we are not absorbing the sound would be lighter would this work? Also how do you cool inside the enclosure?

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    • I was worried about cracking when you drill through the lexen near the edges. Also I think this was the only thickness that was available in the large sheets.

      As far as temp goes, it can get warm but i added a fan in the ceiling that pulls all the hot air out, if that fan is running I rarely get to warm while drumming.

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    • I was wrong in my measurement, I have since fixed that in the description.

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  10. I am trying to get ideas on lighting and the foundation of the set. Is the set foundation plywood. How is the aluminum frame attached. What materials were used for the riser? Lastly, did you all go with LED due as heat can be a consideration.

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  11. Hey Brad, can you give me the info on the people who made your aluminum frame?

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  12. Garth, I am interested in knowing how much the sheets costed. I am looking for a source on the West Coast (Southern California to be exact). I'm struggling because the size is considered custom. Spoke with a guy today…wanted to charge me $995 for two sheets. OMG…Help!

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    • Don't ask for a specific size, just ask for pricing on the largest size they sell. I built mine around the large piece I could get my hands on. Call as many places as you can and ask for the largest size they carry, then you can figure out how big on and enclosure you can building with that material.

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  13. Hi Brad, I've been looking around in my area for Lexan and 1/4" X 6' X10' is very hard to find! I'd have to buy a batch of 10 sheets at 570$ each! :I Did you ever consider trying thinner Lexan like 3/16" or 1/8"? 1/8" is half price + 10% I watched a reseller show me how strong 1/8" is! He practically bended a 2' X 4' piece into a full circle with a lot of elbow grease 😉 He said that to bend 1/4" would be pretty hard and 3/16" would do fine and even 1/8" for this projet. What do you think?

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  14. Good morning, Brad. Was wondering how far apart did you space out the drilled holes on the front curved Lexan sheet? What size were the drilled holes and did you use rubber washers?

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  15. Hi Brad! My church is needing a drum cage and I too had seen the Whiteley Solutions drum cages and immediately fell in love. And then I stumbled on your project and was wondering a few things. In fact, I was wondering if I could get a copy of your complete plans so we could build one of our own. Don’t know if you’d do that or not though. Thanks!

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    • The video and PDFs above describe everything we did to make the enclosure. There arnt any “complete” plans that I am holding back. This is a very case by case type of project, that's why I said in the video that it wasn't going To be a step by step “How To” tutorial. Sorry I can't give any more assistance.

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  16. Amazingly helpful video!!! I have built a similar drum cage using an aging clearsonic shield as a starting point but this looks much better. Big thank you from His Church Pinetown in South Africa!!

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  17. Wow thanks for the quick response! I understand you don’t have formal plans. Let me ask this, how did you get the Lexan installed? Did you do it yourselves or have the metal fabricator to it? Thanks again for the quick response!

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    • We installed everything and built the platform and roof ourselves. We also had to paint all the metal. The fabricator only made the frame then gave it to us in pieces.

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      • Did you install the Lexan little by little (like drill a hole and bolt it) then move on to the next one until you had it fully curved or did you just curve it around the frame and have a bunch of guys hold it in place while it was bolted to the frame?

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  18. Hi Brad, re-posting my question; I'm not sure if it successfully posted the first time 🙂 Really enjoyed your info you've given, we are seriously thinking about going through with this kind of build. Our biggest question was in regards to bending the polycarbonate. In what I've researched online, it's quite a project to bend; did you do it entirely by hand with no heat whatsoever, and if so, how many people did it take to work it into shape? Any other pointers you can give as well on shaping the poly would be super appreciated!

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    • There is was no heating for permanent bending involved in our project, the lexan(don't use plexiglass) is tightened to the frame via nuts/bolts/washers. I would attach in the center first then bend to the outside edges and attach there. Then fill in In-between.If we would remove our bolts the lexan would go back to a straight piece.It only took myself and 1 other person to attach the lexan to the frame. 3 people would be plenty.

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  19. Brad,
    Quick question- I could not tell if you bolted the lexan to the inside out the frame or the outside of it?

    Mike Chatt

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  20. i would like to see if you could send me some up close pictures of you enclosure to present to my our church board?

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  21. Hello, at our church we currently have a five panel drum shield but have no sound absorbtion happening. Would you suggest the first thing we need is a roof?

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  22. I love this design and we are giving it a go. Question: Is there anything you would change after building it? Like trying to make it taller? Have you tried anything absorb more sound?

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  23. With the lack of sound absorbing material inside the enclosure, is it boomy and roomy sounding?

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