Author Topic: My Cheap'O Diy mesh heads  (Read 740 times)

Offline ralis

My Cheap'O Diy mesh heads
« on: November 17, 2018, 03:28:03 PM »


I wanted to share this with this community, since I have learned so much from you guys and built 3 electronic kits over the years with your help. Thank you

I know there are versions of this and people are using special strong screen and thread. This is just with common off the shelf stuff and it works great!

Keep your old heads!

1.Cut the center out with a utility knife all around up against the head rim.

2. Sand any sharp edges

3. Pick up some black window screen from the hardware store

4. Get 1 yard of cheap woven polyester black fabric and string black thread from a fabric store.

5. Cut out two squares of screen and one square of fabric about 4-5 inches larger than the rim.

6. Lay down one square of screen, rotate the second square of screen 45 degrees so that it is diagonal to the the first screen, now place it down on the first screen. Place the fabric down on that. You will have three layers 1st screen, diagonal screen and fabric. We will call this the mesh head.

7. Place your head rim in the center. With a piece of chalk or silver sharpie, draw a circle about 2 inches larger than the rim. I like to use some straight sewing pins and pin the mesh head together in about 8 spots just inside the the rim so the layers do not shift. Cut along the circle you drew.

8. Put a bottle cap under the mesh head in the center, this will prevent you from making the head too tight, on a large head use a deck of cards or wooden block. Fold the mesh head over the rim and pin along the inner circumference. Do not worry if it bunches up a little you with cut most of that off later.

9. With the strong black thread, sew along the inner circumference of the rim, two times around.

10. Trim off the excess but not too much!

You now have a really cool, strong, black mesh head that feels better than any of the ones I have purchased and I have purchased allot!

I have made 8 inch to 22 inch heads this way and they are fantastic!

I do use a kick drum beater patch on the kick

The cost per head is a few dollars and your time, I make them while watching movies. If you have a sewing machine and know how to use it, it would be much faster than hand sewing like I do.

Note: I have replaced my purchased heads a few times, I have not had to replace my homemade heads yet this year

Offline Dobly

Re: My Cheap'O Diy mesh heads
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2018, 01:37:37 AM »
Did you use just regular window fly screen stuff. It something tougher?

I tried this with pet safe screen. Was thick, hard to sow, hard to put the head on as the mesh bunching under the rim was so thick.

Mine ended up on my son's kit. They work fine. I did keep one for my kit however. It is a bullet proof bass drum head.

« Last Edit: December 18, 2018, 01:43:21 AM by Dobly »

Offline Dobly

Re: My Cheap'O Diy mesh heads
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2018, 01:39:52 AM »
One more question. Do you play on the polyester side, or on the screen stuff?

Offline ralis

Re: My Cheap'O Diy mesh heads
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2018, 06:33:06 PM »
I used standard, regular black window screen. Nothing fancy and I play on the screen side not the fabric side.

Offline Dobly

Re: My Cheap'O Diy mesh heads
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2018, 03:08:17 PM »
I made one of these yesterday. Without even plugging it into the kit, it is so loud. Many times louder than a Remo silent stroke. I can't imagine doing the whole kit like this. I wonder if there is a softer type of screen that might be quieter.

Offline Chaser

Re: My Cheap'O Diy mesh heads
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2018, 04:11:58 PM »
I made one of these yesterday. Without even plugging it into the kit, it is so loud. Many times louder than a Remo silent stroke. I can't imagine doing the whole kit like this. I wonder if there is a softer type of screen that might be quieter.

Here is a link to different types of Automotive/Industrial mesh fabric/screen that I was looking at testing.
I just haven't gotten around to it.There is a number of  mesh fabrics/screen Leno/Nylon/Polyester etc

MESH FABRICS SCREENS
« Last Edit: December 24, 2018, 04:57:14 PM by Chaser »

Offline Dobly

Re: My Cheap'O Diy mesh heads
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2018, 05:39:31 PM »
Thanks for the link..  I have not given up on the idea.. I just don't think the mesh i used it suitable. It's just plain fly screen stuff.  Would be good test the stuff before spending hours sewing it up.

Are the ones you make LOUD?  They have a real solid 'thump' sound to them. 

Offline Dobly

Re: My Cheap'O Diy mesh heads
« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2018, 05:40:23 PM »
I wonder were we can get the same mesh they use on drum heads.. There is an idea. :)

Offline ralis

Re: My Cheap'O Diy mesh heads
« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2018, 06:19:58 PM »
these are less bouncy than a remo silent stroke they feel closer to acoustic heads than others and a fraction of the cost! I am able to use these in an apartment with not issues at all

Offline rhysT

Re: My Cheap'O Diy mesh heads
« Reply #9 on: December 25, 2018, 04:59:56 AM »
I wonder where we can get the same mesh they use on drum heads.. There is an idea. :)

Maybe try some fabric printing mesh like this: https://www.artscene.com.au/Shopping/printmaking/screen-printing-tools/silk-screen-mesh

Offline ignotus

Re: My Cheap'O Diy mesh heads
« Reply #10 on: December 26, 2018, 03:24:30 AM »
I use silkscreen printing mesh and am very happy with it. Significantly quieter than a Roland head. I use 2 layers of 43T with one of 16T sandwiched in between. The higher the thread count per inch (that 'T' after the number), the tougher the mesh, but also the louder it will become (my supposition). I just had a look at a Roland head with a magnifying glass and a ruler and made a rough estimate of the thread count, and ordered accordingly, but it's possible that you can get away with a much higher thread count and little noise; I haven't tested more sizes.

Offline Hellfire

Re: My Cheap'O Diy mesh heads
« Reply #11 on: December 26, 2018, 09:56:19 AM »
I use silkscreen printing mesh and am very happy with it. Significantly quieter than a Roland head. I use 2 layers of 43T with one of 16T sandwiched in between. The higher the thread count per inch (that 'T' after the number), the tougher the mesh, but also the louder it will become (my supposition). I just had a look at a Roland head with a magnifying glass and a ruler and made a rough estimate of the thread count, and ordered accordingly, but it's possible that you can get away with a much higher thread count and little noise; I haven't tested more sizes.

Thanks for sharing this info. I had been thinking about using silkscreen mesh for a while, but never got around to it. It's good to know that it works well. How long have you been playing on those mesh heads and how well do you think they have been holding up?
For more edrum info, be sure to visit my web site at:
          www.HellfireDrums.com                    
My current set-up:  Alesis DM10 and Trigger I/O with modified & DIY pads

Offline ignotus

Re: My Cheap'O Diy mesh heads
« Reply #12 on: December 26, 2018, 11:24:46 AM »
Thanks for sharing this info. I had been thinking about using silkscreen mesh for a while, but never got around to it. It's good to know that it works well. How long have you been playing on those mesh heads and how well do you think they have been holding up?
I reckon the heads are around 3-4 years old now. They haven't been played daily over this period but still, they've gone through a fair amount of use, and are still as good as new. This material is quite tough as it's supposed to be stretched very tight over a frame. The feel is slightly softer/bouncier than a Roland head, but it's way quieter and the triggering is fine. That said, I'm using cheap silkscreen mesh bought on Aliexpress (about 6/m), so better quality mesh should be more resistant and possibly less bouncy. If/when my heads tear I'll probably give some better stuff a try.

Offline Dobly

Re: My Cheap'O Diy mesh heads
« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2018, 07:16:51 PM »
For the curious I made a short video of a Remo Silent stroke vs the  2 layers of Screen door mesh and a sheet of cloth.

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1D5M98AjsZx-JSMLO6_H5eGvWtd5uYDoS?usp=sharing


Offline Dobly

Re: My Cheap'O Diy mesh heads
« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2019, 01:09:01 AM »
In the folder above is a video of the Remo Silent stroke head, vs the new 3 ply mesh head I just made.. 3 sheets of screen printing stuff (thanks again Ignotus). ;)

I really like the feel of the 3 ply heads. Just a tad less bouncy compared to the silent strokes.

Offline ignotus

Re: My Cheap'O Diy mesh heads
« Reply #15 on: February 05, 2019, 05:01:06 AM »
Glad it worked for you. Just a question - what size mesh did you use? In theory, mixing meshes with different thread counts should make it have less of a trailing vibration (preventing double triggering), as they will have different resonant frequencies, dampening each other. A bit like what happens with sound dampening, where you use materials with different densities.