Project spotlight: Drum Machine

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New to Bend, Doug King was looking for the perfect place to get some help on a drum machine aimed for those with special needs. He found the DIYcave to be the perfect place.

How did you find out about DIYcave?
Through one of the associates of the Cave, Damien. I found his welding services and hired him to work on a project for me.

Tell us about the project you did at DIYcave?
I have a patented product which allows percussion music players to effectively play a variety of percussion sounds without having to use a drumstick. It also is an aid for those with special needs to play music. Those with limited use of the hand, wrist or arm, or neuromuscular issues can be assisted to play drums and percussion effectively like a pro.

I received a licensing deal with a large music company, but their manufacturing of the product wasn’t up to par and was too expensive on the retail market. We parted ways and I decided to redesign it out of wood to reduce the cost and make the building process more manageable. However, I just moved to Bend and did not have any resources to build it.

What was your inspiration for the project?
To take control of the product, I invented and realized my ability to build the product on my own.

How did you prepare for the project?
I researched my sources for wood (with the help of people at the Cave) and spent a lot of time designing the product and the jigs needed for cutting and drilling and making sure it was not too bulky, too heavy or too expensive for manufacturing.

What are some of the skills you learned at DIYcave?
I already had good skills from school and worked with good craftsmen but the Cave helped to reintroduce me to some equipment I’ve not used in a while. It was nice to have everything I needed at my fingertips. I learned to be sure to test each and every idea before putting the plan into production. Sometimes I assumed the drill size or cut because it was “obvious” only to realize something I hadn’t thought about. More time testing saves so much time in the long run.

What were the natural and hard parts of your project?
The natural part is doing the actual cuts, drilling, and sanding. The hard part is making mistakes in my design. I spent hours on one design only to realize I made a small miscalculation which made all pieces un-useable. A costly mistake.

Favorite project you witnessed (besides yours) while hanging out at DIYcave?
Several. I saw the beautiful wood and metal bench with custom engraving being built by Damien and the construction of one of the workbenches for the Cave.

What advice would you give someone who wants to join DIYcave and start a project?
You’re in good company and have a robust library of knowledge from the staff and members. Be sure to understand all methods for using the equipment. I knew how to use a lot of the equipment, but I still ask to get a review for each machine as every machine can have little differences in its design. Take ownership in the Cave and treat it as a successful business, keeping it clean and in order. As a member, I found everyone taking pride in the business as I always find tools where they are supposed to be. The Cave can really assist you in creating that idea you have had. It’s also an educational center, so take a class and learn a new skill!

Interested in becoming a member of our makerspace? Learn more and stop by for a tour.

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