Rubber Foot

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Rubber Foot

Postby Rhythm House Drums » Wed Aug 19, 2009 11:51 am

Hi guys. I've been having a lot of requests for both information on how to... and for drums with the rubber bottom. This is something I've never played around with. Anyone here ever put a bike tire or piece of rubber on the bottom of you shell? Can you give some advice and maybe some pictures. A guy showed me his djembe last night and the bottom was all scuffed up from playing on concrete, I'd like to help him out with a rubber foot, or at least point him in the right direction. And of course it's something I'd like to ad to my bag of tricks.
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Re: Rubber Foot

Postby michi » Wed Aug 19, 2009 12:19 pm

Rhythm House Drums wrote:Anyone here ever put a bike tire or piece of rubber on the bottom of you shell? Can you give some advice and maybe some pictures


I have used a piece of 6mm Neoprene rubber from a rubber/foam shop. It's the kind of rubber that door mats are made of, with fabric reinforcement inside, and quite tough. Get a piece a little larger than the base of the foot, stand the drum on top, mark off the perimeter, and cut out a round piece with a box cutter or heavy-duty scissors. Attach the rubber to the foot of the drum with a few screws (six or so). Make it small wood screws, stainless steel or brass, with a recessed head. When you tighten the screws, the heads depress into the rubber a little, so they don't stick out and won't scratch the floor. Cut out the inside of the rubber disc that is now bolted on with a box cutter and, presto, there is a simple and effective foot for about $5.

If you look at http://www.djembefola.com/board/post6006.html#p6006, that foot is attached with screws from underneath, and with upholstery tacks on the side. The rubber is actually the door seal from a Range Rover. I bought that for about $3. The seal has a nice right-angle shape with a thin part that goes on the side of the foot, and a thick part that fits underneath. The seal curves nicely around the shell and works very well. Not sure what type of rubber it is--I suspect Neoprene, but a little softer than the door mat stuff. Anyway, it works beautifully.

Tip: make sure that you don't have a screw right where the "front" of the drum is, where the foot rests on the floor when you tilt the drum. The rubber will eventually wear off at that spot because that's where the friction is most of the time, and the screw can end up scratching wooden floors. (Guess how I found out about that... ;) ) Have a screw about 1.5" either side of that center point instead. When the rubber at that spot finally wears out (after about three years for me), you cut the worn patch off just inside those two screws, cut a new piece of rubber to fit into the gap, and hold it in place with two more screws near the edge. That way, you don't have to replace the whole thing.

Cheers,

Michi.
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Re: Rubber Foot

Postby Dennis103 » Wed Aug 19, 2009 3:11 pm

I've done bike tyre, which is quite simple.

1. Get a bike tyre, old, new, whichever. Cut away the edges that have the steel band inside so you are left with just the middle of the tyre, all rubber.

2. You will tack one edge of the tyre onto the bottom of the foot only, so the staples or nails will go into the grain, not across. If you ever want to remove the tyre, you will never see any nail holes in the side of the foot.. To allow the curving of that edge of the tyre you cut out small V-shapes.

3. Cut to size and nail it. The other side edge of the tyre will naturally be flat against the wood, no glue or tacking necessary. The only nails used are the nails you see in the photo. Make sure the joint which is the weak point is at your playing position / towards you, the part of the foot that is tilted off the ground.

See photograph detail. Enjoy!
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Tyre on foot of djembe - detail
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Re: Rubber Foot

Postby bubudi » Thu Aug 20, 2009 1:23 am

I would recommend using epoxy resin to attach the rubber to your drum, instead of screws and tacks. it looks neater, doesn't put holes in your drums and can't scratch a wooden floor if the rubber wears down. when working with epoxy do it outdoors or in a well ventilated room.
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Re: Rubber Foot

Postby Dennis103 » Thu Aug 20, 2009 6:22 am

If you have a glue that is strong enough to bend the tyre and you don't mind the glue residu if you ever want to take the tyre off again, sure. I considered it of course, but have not found a glue that will work, that is strong enough and dries fast enough so you can do the next part of the tyre. A glue gun may just do the trick. I haven't tried this - I reckoned that the pounding the tyre takes will quickly undo any glue efforts.

If you're worried about the nails: the little nails you see in the photograph are recessed into the rubber, and the rubber on the bottom of the foot, which is the flange of the tyre itself, is also recessed relative to the tyre tread, even when standing up straight.

So the nails are are never in contact with the floor when the drum is standing, and certainly not when you're playing and the drum is tilted and rests on the edge of the foot - which is the tyre tread proper.

I can understand concern about the nails if a teacher rents a room with a wooden floor. I have seen wooden floors after people have played djembe with unprotected chipped djembe feet, and the floor definitely needed serious repairs. So as a teacher you don't want to advise your students to have anything with nails in the foot of the djembe and then be presented with a hefty floor repair bill. In a classroom situation with a wooden floor, use doormats or carpet tiles to protect the floor (how you protect your djembe is your problem :D) Of course a mat or carpet tile is fine to protect your djembe foot in all situations, and it is easy to stick something in your djembe bag.
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Re: Rubber Foot

Postby Dugafola » Thu Aug 20, 2009 3:13 pm

i personally prefer the epoxy with cut rubber to eliminate holes in my shells. i did do a tire/tack on my hare shell that's worked out. just make sure you get long enough tacks.

The tire style is great for protecting your drum if you tend to lean your djembe over and get into djembefola stance.
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Re: Rubber Foot

Postby bops » Thu Aug 20, 2009 6:47 pm

If you use a kids' bike tire, rather than a full-size bike tire, you won't have to cut divots all the way around the tire. Saves some time and energy. Also requires fewer nails or screws if you're going that route.
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Re: Rubber Foot

Postby bubudi » Fri Aug 21, 2009 6:11 am

Dennis103 wrote:So the nails are are never in contact with the floor when the drum is standing, and certainly not when you're playing


that was the point made earlier. with regular use the rubber can wear out enough to expose a nail or two. plus, you are putting holes into your drums. the epoxy works fine. several stores in usa use epoxy to attach rubber to attach the rubber foot to their drums.

here's how to attach a rubber foot with epoxy:
note: do it on a new shell or just before you reskin your drum, and choose a well ventilated space so you don't inhale the fumes too much. don't use the 5 minute epoxy as it won't give you a lasting bond. you can find clear epoxy resin but ordinary 30 minute epoxy is fine. no need to go the 3 hour stuff.

1. trace the outline of the foot of your drum on the rubber. check your rubber cutout before you proceed further.
2. get a utility knife and lightly score across the side of the rubber that will make contact with the foot of your drum. then invert your drum.
3. find some heavy books or other suitable flat weights so you can constantly weigh down the rubber onto the wood. only then, mix the epoxy and put enough so that when fully pressed, there will be a very thin layer between the drum and the rubber (hint: put it along the centre as it will spread out).
4. get your rubber cutout ready but wait until the resin is very tacky to the point where if you will wait much longer it will start to set. line it up carefully and just put it down. grab your books/weights and leave it on top until it fully sets - about 8 times what the setting time says (i.e. 4 hours for a 30 minute epoxy).

bops wrote:If you use a kids' bike tire, rather than a full-size bike tire, you won't have to cut divots all the way around the tire.


yea i've seen that done, both with nails and epoxy and it's very easy and effective. i prefer the look of rubber on the bottom and the fan belt around the outside. rubber used for car mats is flatter and you can just cut one piece to size and glue on. i've never seen pieces of car or bike tyre epoxied on and doubt that would work because those need to be bent into place quite a bit.
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Re: Rubber Foot

Postby kawakbeat » Fri Aug 21, 2009 4:27 pm

bubudi wrote:i prefer the look of rubber on the bottom and the fan belt around the outside.


how do you attach the fan belt on the outside of the shell, epoxy or nails? or do you find one that fits tight?
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Re: Rubber Foot

Postby bubudi » Fri Aug 21, 2009 11:58 pm

kawakbeat wrote:how do you attach the fan belt on the outside of the shell, epoxy or nails? or do you find one that fits tight?

i do it with epoxy, same as the rubber below it.
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Re: Rubber Foot

Postby Dennis103 » Sat Aug 22, 2009 4:58 pm

bubudi wrote:i've never seen pieces of car or bike tyre epoxied on and doubt that would work because those need to be bent into place quite a bit.


That is indeed the reason to go for nails as I did with the tyre. If you use a flat cut-out ring of rubber you can easily glue that to the bottom of the foot, no problem with tension there.

Another option I've heard about but never seen is to cut a length of garden hose lengthwise and glue it round the outer bottom edge of the foot, pretty similar to the tyre idea but smaller.
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Re: Rubber Foot

Postby Ronen » Fri Sep 04, 2009 7:00 pm

Dennis103 wrote:I've done bike tyre, which is quite simple.

1. Get a bike tyre, old, new, whichever. Cut away the edges that have the steel band inside so you are left with just the middle of the tyre, all rubber.

2. You will tack one edge of the tyre onto the bottom of the foot only, so the staples or nails will go into the grain, not across. If you ever want to remove the tyre, you will never see any nail holes in the side of the foot.. To allow the curving of that edge of the tyre you cut out small V-shapes.

3. Cut to size and nail it. The other side edge of the tyre will naturally be flat against the wood, no glue or tacking necessary. The only nails used are the nails you see in the photo. Make sure the joint which is the weak point is at your playing position / towards you, the part of the foot that is tilted off the ground.

See photograph detail. Enjoy!


Great Advice,

Here is my result :)
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Re: Rubber Foot

Postby michi » Fri Sep 04, 2009 8:52 pm

Hey, looks great!

Personally, I probably would have chosen a color other than flouro yellow. (The term "retina burn" comes to mind ;) ) But then, that's just my personal taste, and the foot nicely matches the rope.

One down-side with a bright color such as this is that, over time, it probably will accumulate quite a few dirt and scuff marks. But then, it's replaced easily enough if it bothers you.

And one can take traditionalism a bit too far too--there is no law to say that the only color allowed on a djembe is black :) I have a Mali djembe that I strung up with fluoro yellow rope. See image in this post.) Not because I'm that fond of the color, but because I had the rope left over from another project. Still not my favourite look but, hey, the sound is still the same :D

Cheers,

Michi.
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Re: Rubber Foot

Postby Ronen » Fri Sep 04, 2009 9:08 pm

Thanks Michi, I think there is a compliment in there somewhaere ;)


I like yellow, my van is yellow, my motorbike is yellow, so why not my best soloing Djembe ? :lol:

To be honest what gets me is theamount of work this task took and what it achuieved.

This dtrum used to be an indonesian tourist djembe for 90 euros, but has turned out to be a pro job with a bit of TLC.....I'm in love again !
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Re: Rubber Foot

Postby Nodrog » Fri Sep 04, 2009 9:21 pm

Hello there,

What about the possibility of just carrying a rubber mat around. They don't weigh much, will roll up and all that is needed is to place it on the floor. For anyone who likes to move around, the djembe would be off the ground anyway and probably on a strap of some kind.

It just seems like an easy alternative that will not mess up the drum in any way.

Just a thought....

Gordon.
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