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Making a Rolling Box Stand

If you’re tired of picking up and moving your drums around every time you want to reposition your stand, a rolling box stand for your chu-daiko is a good solution for you. This tutorial shows you how to make a basic rolling (tate) stand to fit your chu-daiko. You will need a power saw (table saw, mitre saw, or handheld circular saw), a drill, and sandpaper.

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Tools and Materials Required:

  • 8’ Long 1×4″ lumber (x2)
  • 2” Swivel Caster (x4)
  • 1.5” Wood Screws
  • #10 x ¾” Wood Screws for Casters

Casters: Don’t bother with locking casters. You will not be able to lock or unlock them unless you pick the stand up, which kind of defeats the purpose of a rolling stand. This stand design mounts the drum at a shallower angle, which prevents wandering drum syndrome. Also, make sure you buy screws with a head large for the holes in the casters. #8 screws will fall right through the mounting holes of most casters.

Wood: Pine will be the cheapest and easiest wood to work with, but it will not take stain all that well and will not hold up as well under rough handling as a harder wood. Maple or Oak will hold up well and take stain nicely, but they are harder to work with and the resulting stand will be heavier.

Screws: Don’t buy cheap wood screws from the hardware store. Higher quality screws (like SPAX construction screws, for instance) are made of stronger materials. This translates to a less bulky screw that’s less likely to break or strip. The reduced bulk of the screw shank and head reduce the likelihood of the wood splitting. Better screws can save you a lot of time by eliminating pre-drilling and countersinking steps.

Additional Notes: If you are going to make a lot of stands, then prototype the first one with pine to make sure the stand fits the drum. Then make the performance-quality stands from maple or oak after you are confident everything will fit. Trim head screws can be used with pine and driven below the surface without the wood splitting (usually). Maple or oak will likely require pre-drilling with a countersink bit to get the head below the surface without splitting the wood.


CUT LIST: (For a 19” Diameter Drum)

  • A: Long Side, 21.5” (Qty 2)
  • B: Short Side, 20” (Qty 3)
  • C: Angled Supports, 12.75” Long, 45° Edge Cuts (Qty 2)
  • D: Wedges, 22.5° cut over width of the 1×4



Cut all the pieces in the cut list. Pieces A and B are pretty straight forward. Piece C, the “angled support,” is cut at 45° angles so that the long side is the length indicated. The wedges, pieces D, are cut at a 22.5° angle from the full width of the board. If you like your drum to be at a steeper angle you can cut piece D so it is taller or at a steeper angle. Keep in mind that a drum on a rolling stand at a steeper angle will tend to roll away from you more while you are playing because the angle generates a component of force parallel to the floor. Shallow angles will help prevent wandering drum syndrome.




Start to build the box with pieces A and B. Counter sink two screws in the end as shown to fasten the edges. Use a square to make sure the two pieces are at right angles when the two pieces are fastened to each other. If your work surface isn’t very flat lay down a piece of flat MDF or plywood and work on top of that, it will make everything easier.

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Continue for all four sides. You should now have a nice, square box.



The next step is to screw the third B piece in as the first drum support. I set the height with two scrap pieces of 1×4 as shown. If you cut your pieces well this should be a nice snug fit, if it isn’t then the scrap will help you to hold it in place while you add the screws.

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I used two more pieces of scrap on the outside of the box to help me line up where the screws should go. You can also measure in 1⅞” from the edge and mark the screw locations but lining up with scrap saves time. Put in two screws on both sides and four screws equally spaced on the front in this manner.

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Use the same scrap method to line up the angled pieces (piece C) as shown. A third scrap piece on the outside helps to line things up. Make sure to place these pieces offset from the center from the same direction as the piece B drum support. Use a screw on the edge as shown on each side to hold the angled piece in place.

Secure the angled piece from the outside with two more screws on each side as shown. Again, use two pieces of scrap to help set the height.

Repeat this step for the other angled piece.

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Install the wedges with two screws as shown in the center of the angled supports. Make sure to countersink the screws well below the surface to protect the drum head. You can screw the wedge in from the bottom, but there is a risk that as the wedge dents or wears away over time that the sharp point of the screw may be exposed and damage the drum head.

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Install the second wedge in the same way. Before going any further it is a good idea to test fit the drum. If you stand is a little oversized you will probably need to add a shim at the area indicated by the red circle. A shim in this location can also allow you to fine tune the angle the drum sits at. If the stand is a little undersized then a little sanding at the areas indicated in blue should help the fit. This might be needed if the angle of the drum was steeper or if the tacks are larger.





If desired, fill the countersunk screw holes with wood filler/putty and give it time to dry. Take a piece of 60 grit sandpaper on a sanding block and remove all the sharp edges and corners. Take a second pass with 120 grit sandpaper to smooth out any rough spots and to clean up the wood filler. Now the stand can be stained or painted as desired.



The casters should be installed as shown below. Center the two casters on the angled pieces so they are directly below the wedges. Install the two casters on the piece B support so they are the same distance in from the outer edge as the two casters on the “angled supports.” Note that I installed the casters before staining the wood in this picture, but I recommend staining first.

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When the stand is finished install felt pads in the areas shown to protect the drum head. I use adhesive backed pads but I oversize them and use a staple gun to staple them down around the edges to keep them from falling off. Make sure the staples don’t touch the drum head if you do this. You can also glue down felt with a hot glue gun.



You can scale this stand to drums of other diameters (call that diameter D). In the diagram below I have drawn the box stand and inset three isosceles right triangles (call them triangles x,y, and z). An isosceles right triangle has equal length legs and a hypotenuse that is the square root of two times longer than the legs. For a drum of diameter D we want the inside width (aka the “short side”) to be 1” wider than the drum itself to account for the drum curvature and the tacks. This should give you a since snug fit when you place the drum in the stand. The size should be increased a bit for drums with large tacks or steep curvatures. The “long side” is then the length of the short side plus two times the width of the 1×4 (which is ¾”) for a total of D+1”+2*¾”=D+2.5”. If you made the 1” a little larger you would also account for it in the “long side” piece. These four pieces are sized to make a perfect square.

Now, there are four equations constructed from the information in the diagram. We are trying to figure out the overall length of the “angled support” piece which we will call LB. From the diagram it should be pretty easy to see that this length is two times the sum of y and z; this is equation 1. Equation 2 is simply the length of the “short side” which is D+1” in terms of the triangle legs for the x and y triangles. Equation 3 is simply the observation that the drum radius is the hypotenuse of the x triangle. Equation 4 is simply the observation that the leg of the z triangle is equal to half the width of a 1×4 (which is 3.5”). Substituting and reducing these four equations as shown will give you the length of the “angled support” (LB) in terms of the drum diameter (D). Now you can make a rolling box stand for any size drum without having to guess.


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