Sunday, 1 December 2013

Fashioning the Fab Four (Part 11): Crash Course

A drum kit is not complete without crash cymbals.  Creating them was also a crash course for me in working with wire and crafting with other materials.

The Fab Four Amigurumi pattern listed 12 gauge (2 mm) gold wire and 24 gauge (0.5 mm) thin wire to create the stands for the drums and the crash cymbals.

Being one to re-use and re-purpose things, the first job was to have a good look about the house for some useful bits and pieces…

Garden wire?
It was too thick (and coated in green plastic). 

In the children’s beading box there was some extremely thin wire which was too floppy for the Fab Four Instruments. 

That was all.

Off to the local craft supplier I went but there was no wire in 12 gauge, only a roll of silver wire in the thinner 24 gauge. That would have to do.

Never mind that I didn’t have the 12 gauge gold wire; I wrestled with the 24 gauge silver wire instead.

Perhaps wire is like yarn where two strands of thin can substitute for one strand of thick. 

Bass drum with a stand
made of
24 gauge silver wire
twisted together

I discovered that wire doesn’t quite work that way. 

I tried twisting a couple of strands together. While this was adequate to support the bass drum stand, it was not strong enough to support the snare and floor toms.

The crocheted discs which made up the crash cymbals were light.  I used three strands of wire for each cymbal stand. 

Cymbal Stands
I taped them to the work surface to steady them while bending the top supports.

Each strand was folded double and they were held together by silver beads at the top and bottom.

The wires were splayed at the top to support the crochet work and at the bottom to make the legs. The top ends were bent around to create more surface area to stitch onto the underside of each crocheted cymbal disc.

This angle shows the silver beads which hold the stems together and also the way in which the cymbal discs are stitched at the top of the wire framework.

The snare drum and floor tom needed something stronger for their legs which were quite short–perhaps some paper clips will do? 

Floor tom
(medium drum)

Snare drum
(small drum)

I had a bunch of silver paper clips in my desk which were easy to manipulate with the pliers. 

The legs were thicker than the 24 gauge wire and sturdy except the edges were sharp.  The paper clips were too thick to bend the ends over easily but some pearl-coloured oval-shaped beads had just the right sized inside diameters to fit the paper clips.

The beads easily slipped onto the ends of the paper clip legs. A little glue and voila–feet on the drums!

Floor tom: sharp edges protected by beads

Foot of cymbal stand
The beads were held in place by
widening the loops of folded wire

The ends of the cymbal stands were already folded over and they had a nice blunt edge. 

The addition of pearl beads to match the other drums finished off the set beautifully.

The drum stool needed no extra embellishment.

A drum kit is no fun without drumsticks!
Oval-shaped beads
make a good shape for the tips

The drumsticks were made with double pointed toothpicks, using another oval-shaped bead over one end of each stick to create the tips of the drumsticks. 

The sharp point on the other end made it easy to insert the drumsticks into the drummer’s hands.


Testing out the new drumkit and sticks!



Drumkit Finished Dimensions

Working with DK yarn and 3.5 mm hook  



Floor Tom


9 cm
6.3 cm
6 cm
Depth of drum
(width of side piece)
5 cm
5.7 cm
4.5 cm
Final height
(including legs)
5 cm
7.5–9 cm*
7.5–9 cm*

Cymbal A

Cymbal B

Cymbal C
4.5 cm
5 cm
5 cm
Total height off floor (with stand)
12 cm
10 cm
10 cm


Diameter (top–bottom)**
4–4.5 cm
Depth (width of side section)
4 cm
**there were slight differences between the top and bottom diameters
This is the last post of a series describing the construction of the drumkit.
For the complete story, please visit the previous posts:
All‘musos’ need good ‘axes’ so while I was waiting for inspiration on the amigurumi Fab Four's hairstyles, I got started on the Fab Four Amigurumi Instruments.
It all looked easy enough but there were some surprises and problems along the way which slowed me down.
Why were my instruments out of proportion? It was noted that  “gauge is not critical for this project” but I am here to tell you that it is! Warning: this post contains mathematics!

Don't fret for news on the guitars (pun totally intended)–I plan to make them the subject of the next instalment of Fashioning the Fab Four.


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