This tutorial will assist you in making a simple homemade suwaridai that is easy to make but also sturdy and easily customizable to various drum sizes and playing angles. This stand can easily be completed in a single afternoon and the materials costs are very low. Unlike a wire stand this suwari dai does not rely on parts of the stand fitting between the ropes or bolts and therefore can easily accommodate a variety of shime types.
Tools and Materials Required:
- 8′ long 1×2″ boards (2x)
- 24 of #8 (or #10) x 1.25″ long wood screws
- Power drill
- Countersink bit for #8 (or #10) screws
- Saw and miter box (or miter saw / table saw if available)
- 2-3 clamps
Purchase a sufficient amount of 1×2 from your local home supply store. Many different types of wood will be acceptable for this type of stand. Pine is a good choice because it is cheap and easy to work with, it is also light but it is not the most resilient wood. Pine also doesn’t stain well, so if you are looking for a natural wood finish it should be avoided. Oak or maple will be more resilient and will stain well, but they are harder to cut and more likely to split if you are not careful to drill pilot holes for all of your screws.
Lumber Cut List
- A: 12.75″ x3
- B: 9.75″ x2
- C: 5.25″ x2
- D: 10.375″ x2 (depends on size of drum)
- E: 6.75″ x2 (Ends are cut to 45°)
- F: ~2.75″ x2 (Ends are cut to 45°)
- Note that the length of F will depend on the height chosen for piece A in Step 3.
Cut two of pieces A and B. Lay out two of A horizontally and place two of B vertically on top of them as shown in the picture below. Use two pieces of 1×2 scrap to space your pieces appropriately. Use a square to ensure the pieces are place at a 90° angle and clamp them down to a flat surface.
With the pieces clamped into place drill two pilot holes (preferably with a countersink bit) and screw the pieces together. Repeat this on all four corners. This will be the back of the stand. The vertical pieces should have an interior spacing of 8.25″.
Cut two D pieces. The size given in the cutlist is good for a standard sized san chogake. Flip over the assembly made in step 1 and clamp D into place as shown in the picture below. Screw this piece into place using only one screw, don’t worry if this seems a little flimsy (you’re right, it is flimsy), it will be reinforced in a later step. Repeat this with the other part D on the left.
Cut two C and one A. Place the C on the table first as shown in the picture and lay the A across it. The spacing of the C pieces should be the same as the B pieces relative to A in step 1.
The height of the A piece in the front will determine the angle of the shime. This is entirely up to you and is a matter of personal preference and playing style. I use one scrap block to set the height of D and screw it into place and then I use another scrap block to set the height of A as shown in the picture below. The screw that holds down D is put in at an angle so as not to screw the scrap piece into place as well.
If you desire a particular angle the drawing below should help you to determine the angle based on easily measurable stand dimensions:
The stand should now look like the picture below. All that is left is to reinforce the frame to stiffen it up.
Cut two of E. Determine the appropriate length of F based on the height you chose for A in step 3. Measure from the top of D to the top of A in the front and multiple that length by 1.414. Screw F into place as shown in the picture below and repeat for the other F and the two Es.
Attach some 1″ rubber feet to the bottom of the stand. This will keep the stand from sliding around while you play.
Test fit the shime on the stand and thoroughly round off all the wood edges where it comes into contact with the shime. Stain or paint the stand as desired.
After staining or painting the stand it is a good idea to attach felt to all the edges where the shime comes into contact with the stand.
Enjoy your new shime stand!