If ever a craftsman was aptly named, it’s Brad Wood.
Wood runs a silviculture nursery in Nanoose Bay, but lately his true passion has been making drums.
Snare drums made of teak, bird’s eye maple, walnut and purpleheart grace the display he debuted at Nanoose Bay Art in the Garden this past June.
A drummer and woodworker in his spare time, Wood first saw a snare drum made of purpleheart wood when browsing online.
A few clicks later, he realized the percussion piece that had snared his heart was a little bit out of his price range.
Undaunted, he set about trying to recreate it.
“I probably burned through at least a dozen different, cheaper woods, just to kind of get my legs and figure out that I could turn a piece of wood into a round circle. It took a little while — a month or two — and once I got everything set up… and realized I can do it, I just kind of got obsessed. With woods, actually,” said Wood.
It was not just the look of the wood, but the sound of it that captivated him. Wood explained that the average drum is made of multiple sheets of plywood glued together and then shaped into a circle.
The resultant sound can be “fat, dead, slappy,” according to Wood. The drums he makes have a bit more resonance, and they change slightly according to the wood’s hardness, depth and the thickness of the drum’s shell.
“It’s a different kind of construction, it’s a different kind of sound. It’s kind of – I don’t want to say it’s an acquired taste – but it’s a bit different than your traditional. It’s a bit louder, you get a lot more tones happening. Overtones especially. Different rings, and different things happening,” said Wood.
While he says it may not appeal to everyone, he’s not concerned.
Wood spends between 10 to 12 hours on each drum, and genuinely enjoys the process. He says he’s in it for the true love of the craft, which means marching to the beat of his own drum, creatively speaking.
“I think there’s a fine line between being creative, and still appealing to people. With this I like to keep it just on edge a little bit, leaning towards more me-style,” said Wood.
So far he’s built nine snare drums with varying depths and types of wood. The drums range from between $550 and $850, which Wood says is a steal compared to similar products he’s seen online.
He’s also interested in taking custom orders and crafting the drum of someone’s dreams.
“I want to get people interested in different woods. If you’re going to spend the money to get something handmade for you, why not do something super unique to you? Let’s make it cool, let’s go the distance,” said Wood.
For now, he’ll continue hunting for rare and interesting woods and making drums that appeal to his personal sensibilities and aesthetic.
“I really want to keep going. I probably will just keep going, even if I don’t sell any,” said Wood.
He one day hopes to attend the National Association of Music Merchants, one of the world’s premier music product events that takes places at the Anaheim Convention Center in California.
Those interested can find Wood’s work via Woodshop Drums on Facebook and Instagram, or by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
His work will also be on display at Beach Festival’s Art in the Park on July 27-28 at the Parksville Community Park.