Look for an oil based topcoat with a UV protectant in it. This does not mean that the wood is of lower value than real cherry! Phat Tubz: I have used Jatoba (Brazillian Cherry) before. Jatoba also gets hot very quickly and you have to be careful not to burn the joints.Kanbasher: I like the sound of a cherry shell (a lot) but keep in mind that cherry is brighter than maple to start with and a stave shell will produce a higher frequency than a ply shelled shell. Baumstrunk: Please be aware, Brazilian Cherry is NOT a Cherry. Jatoba goes for about a board foot here in San Diego, CA.This may not be the wood you would want to use for the sound you are describing (fat sounding) but would make for a beautiful snare regardless (sound & looks). That makes it about a board foot cheaper than Walnut, or Cherry.It takes between 4 1/2 - 6 board feet to make a snare drum depending on what size you want.(aka Northern Maple, North American Maple, Sugar Maple, Hard Maple) Editor's note: Maple is the most commonly used wood for drum building and is the standard by which most people judge and describe other woods.Crazy8s: Maple is a tad softer sounding (than birch), but warmer and perhaps a bit more accomodating to a less electrified situation.It is not by accident that you never see birch drums with re-rings. As far as the marketing claims that birch drums are preferred in the studio, well, I am not quite buying that one.shiloh: Softer than maple, nice grain subtle colour variances, much warmer than cherry. From an online source "Connected Lines": This site has a long list of wood traits.
Bending Strength: High Blunting of Tool Blades: Moderate to Severe Density: High Hardness: Hard, difficult to dent (Janka 1450) Kiln-dried Shrinkage: High Movement after drying: Moderate Sawing: High cutting resistance - Wood tends to bind or burn Screwing: Tends to split wood - Requires pre-drilled pilot holes Size of Pores: Small Pores - Closed grain Wood Defects: Honeycomb (or collapse), warp PDGood: When most people think of maple they are thinking of North American maple which is a fairly hard wood. On the other hand, Ambrosia maple is much softer (around 950 if I remember correctly).Info courtesy of Drum Shed member Sadolcourt: A board foot is a volume of wood 12 inches long x 12 inches wide x 1 inch thick.The formula for finding board feet is L x W x H /144.It's not horrible, it just lacks definition and other drums sound better.If you're determined to build one, you might try putting the shell in the Pearl Free Floating system.