News and Current Projects (more if you scroll down).
Nov. 15, 2022. I've had an alter ego for a couple of years now. His name is Bert Willems and together with Rick Kuyper and Daafit Helicopterman I recorded a satirical sketch in which he is the owner of BWdrums being interviewed by a vlogger. The video is being edited at the moment.
Nov. 15, 2022. I recenty recorded a conversation with gifted jazz drummer Yonga Sun about how I conceptualize and create my drums. The video is being edited at the moment.
March 11, 2021. Been a while since I posted. I'm in the slow proces of building a smal nesting-kit. Result so far.
Dec. 12, 2020. In the last few months the speed of my drumbuilding production was slowing down. I still make drums and still have many ideas (it would literally take me forever to really make all the drums that are in my head, because for every drum I make I get back at least five ideas), but lately I also started making paintings again. It is a trueley unstoppable urge and it eats up some of the time I'd otherwise spend on drums. I published my new paintings here. I am currently working on a text about how I paint.
June 21, 2020. Project "A Drum/a GAallery" (see below). Second attempt at a lug.
June 5, 2020. Project "A Drum/a GAallery" (see below). First attempt at a lug.
May 27, 2020. New drum! A collaboration with my neighbour who drew the flowers.
This drum is not yet finished, it has some minor technical issues (like "splay") that I have to solve, but I can only do that when certain materials have arrived, which may take a couple of weeks.
April 18, 2020. See the post below. This drum is the 13 inch rack/floor tom.
April 16, 2020. For the last 1,5 years I have been working, in very small steps, on a wild jelly bean kit, in which all drums will have different finishes AND different hardware. The sizes of this kit are going to be: 10, 13, 16, 26 inch. The 16 inch drum has wood hoops so it can be used as a bass drum, giving the opportunity to use this drumset in two different configurations: Big (26" Bassdrum, 13" racktom, 16" floortom) and small (16" bassdrum, 10" racktom, 13" floortom). Today I finished the 10 inch tom. I think the complete set will be finished somewhere this summer.
Dec. 11, 2019: Another drum in my series of "farmer drums" is finished. In this series I try to build drums that on one side meet high drumbuilding standards, but on the other side look like they were made by a farmer in a shed wit limited tools. I want them to breathe a primal sense of honesty, invention and beauty. Check this one here.
July 15, 2019: Working on a batch of UTURs. Click "What is UTUR?" to read more about this design.
July 8, 2019: Today I met with Mischa Porte at Tunnelmusic in Arnhem, where he tested a few of my drums. I invited him because I reconed some of my drums would fit his playing really well. It seemed I was right. He took some drums home for further exploration. Check out Mischa's work here.
June 1 2019: Finally my new workshop is more or less up and running: I'm building drums again!
May 26 2019: Showing drums at Dutch Vintage Drum Meeting in Nieuwegein, the Netherlands, an anual fair with mostly vintage drums, and some custom drums. Always a pleasure seeing how people respond to my drums. Always good receiving valuable feedback.
April 2019. Busy with our new house. Moving my family and workshop from Nijmegen to Diepenveen. Will be working on drums again from june, I hope.
19-12-2018: Proud! My work is mentioned in Slagwerkkrant, the Dutch magazine for drummers!
19-08-2018: First UTUR drumset on its way! Click on "What is UTUR" to read more about this design.
19-07-2018: This shell in progress is the result of sheer obsessive compulsiveness. I once found a branch of spalted oak that I cut to small boards with my chainsaw. I was totally in love with the heavy spalting (that was not only in the sapwood, but also in the hardwood). I knew that if I wanted to make a "correct" stave drum out of it, I would only have enough material for a 8 inch drum..... Still my urge to make a drum from this wood was very strong. It took me a year (which was the drying time of the wood ;-)) to find a way to make the wood into a drum. I made an "incorrect" stave drum. A 12 x 6 was the max of what I could squeeze out of my boards. I had to work with a wide variety of widths and I chose to exagerate that playfully. The structural rings are vertical grain quarter sawn red oak. When time is given I'll finish the inside of this drum and make some nice raw metal hardware for it. This shell design offers me all kinds of ideas.......
9-6-2018: A workshop about finishing your drums with fabric. During the last 3 years I gained a lot of practical experience (by trial and error) on this subject. More and more people contacted me with questions about how to do it, so I organized a workshop. I'm planning on organizing more workshops. If you're interested, contact me.
23-05-2018: I am now working on a 14 x 22 inch snaredrum, that I create from re-working an old field-drum. The drum was 14,5 inch wide so I had to make re-ring-like hoops that I can glue into the shell and that make it possible to use ordinary heads. I re-worked the tuning-hoops as well and turned them into "hide-a-hoops". I am currently working on raw metal hardware for this drum (nice claws and very long tube-lugs).
29-04-2018. My drums can now be played and bought at Leon Keppels Tunnel Music Arnhem. They can also still be bought directly via this website (contact me). In the meanwhile I am working on even more exciting ones....
09-04-2018. Stuff I'm working on. In the left picture you see (from left to right en from bottom to top): 1. UTUR Mahogany II (see below on this page). 2. A spalted birch stave glue up that will give me two 14 x 5,5 shells. 3. A 14 x 7 inch birch stave glue up from a tree that I guess must have had a certain illness, because parts of the board were dark like walnut. 4. A 14 x 7 inch applewood stave glue up. 5. A 14 x 4,5 inch soft pine stave glue up. 6. A 13 x 4,5 inch stave glue up from a very hard and dense pine with a lovely figuring, combine with narrow strips of mahogany. 7. A 12 x 3 inch bamboo stave shell nearly finished (oh boy, that stuff is hard and splintery!!!). 8. A hollow log shell from what I strongly believe to be ebony (its is extremely dark, heavy and sinks in water). It was a tribal drum. I'm going to make a second version of this with it. It wil get a goat skin batter side and a (normal) 10 inch reso side with snares. It's very tall, maybe I'll make two. On top of this shell you see a small 10 inch ply shell that will be the donor for imperial sizes snare sides in this project, the ebony shell is only 9,2 inch wide, I'll widen it up with the 10 inch ply shell, to make normal reso-heads fit. 9. A very tall vintage military drum that I'll turn into a 14 x 22 inch drum that can both be used as an extremely deep side snare and as a bass drum in a cocktail set. Over the years I'll complement it with a fitting rack-tom and tiny snare.
I allways work on things one by one. Currently I'm working on the bamboo piccolo. It will get handmade raw iron hardware.
From may 2018 onwards my drums will be for sale directly via my website (contact me), but also at the physical shop of Tunnelmusic in Arnhem, The Netherlands. They can be tested there. Leon Keppels, with whom I have a very positive and fruitful collaboration since 2 years, will welcome you. Check his site for opening hours or contact him for an appointment.
UTUR V (Mahogany)
UTUR = Ultra Thin, Ultra Rigid. See: What is UTUR?
Size: 14 x 5 inches.
A new step in my design experiment. I managed to make a shell that is rigid but has a wall thickness of only 1,2 mm. (one ply of a mohagony-like hardwood). Unfortunately for those who are curious how I did this, I cannot show you more than a hazy (pun intended) view of the inside of this drum. This drum is not (yet) up for sale because I have to do a couple of test-runs with it first.