All of our instruments involve the same intensive labor process: Whole logs need to be dried and shaped into percussion instruments; it's not an easy task!
Forming the shell involves hoisting a 400lbs log onto our lathe and cutting the rough shape. At this stage, the shell is not at its final thickness and is still very wet. The wood then rests till it is placed in our custom, oversized ovens. The shell is then dried in our giant dryer. The logs are slowly heated to a very high temperature and slowly cooled at a calculated rate. The drying process is the “make it or break it point”; If properly dried, the shell will remain stable. If incorrectly dried, it will continue to shrink until the wood weakens and cracks. This is why we make sure to bring the interior humidity level to 7%, which it will keep if conserved in normal conditions (no extreme humidity or temperature).
The drying process requires weeks. It requires planning and a constant minding of our inventory. If you want a drum today, we started working on it 5 months ago.
Once out of the dryer, the raw shells are again allowed time to rest before their final shaping. The shell is brought back onto the lathe and shaped to its finished form. At this stage, the shell thickness is cut to 1/4 inch, 1/2 inch etc…. And the drum gets its finished exterior and interior diameter.
This process is executed using precision mechanical lathes. Our lathes have the ability to produce perfect roundness. Our bearing edges are shaped while the shell is on the lathe. This produces 100% concentric shells and a perfect bearing edge. There is no margin of error, no tool slippage. Compared to a standard edge that is cut on a router on a table, the precision of our edges are beyond comparison. We still go the extra mile and check our edges on a marble surface to be extremely certain they are flawless.
Before being painted, the drum gets its logo and air hole. Rather than adding badges and air grommets, LuKa burns its logo into the shell and drills a clean hole for air release. The logo and air vent maintain the natural look of our drums.
The drum shell is then ready to be finished and assembled. The drum gets sanded, buffed, stained, lacquered or oiled in many different colors. The final touches consist of a Dunnett or Thricks throw-off, and Evans drumheads. The drum is then ready to be tested and shipped.