I’ve been getting my new Synthesia Mandala Drums ready for use with my Beware of Safety Keyboard/Electronic Drum Rig, and I came up with a quick, cheap way to mount the pads to a standard Pearl drum clamp (as opposed to using a snare drum or cymbal stand).
You will need:
- Synthesia Mandala Drum
- One M8-1.25 bolt (8 mm diameter with 1.25 pitch threads fits in a Mandala)
- Two to four 3/8 inch washers (3/8 inch inner diameter, ~1 inch outer diameter)
- One M8 washer (8 mm, comes with drum)
- Small length of metal tube, diameter less than 1 inch
- Hack saw
- Metal file
If you’ve got the tube and tools laying around, the bolts and washers will cost you less than $3.50 for two mount setups.
First, make sure the metal tube you’re using will fit in your drum clamp of choice (shown here is a Pearl AX-25L). The tube I used was cut off of an old shower curtain rod and was 7/8 inch in diameter. If you’re using the 3/8 inch washers I described above, you can have any tube with an outer diameter less than 1 inch. Next you need to figure out the appropriate length for the tube and the bolt.
To calculate the tube length, mount the tube in the clamp with one end flush with the bottom and mark off how much is needed to clear the clamp. For the AX-25L, I measured about 1 1/8 inch (28.575 mm). I then added an extra 1/8 inch (3.175 mm) to clear the clamp wing nuts. In hindsight I should have added a little more, so don’t go below 1 1/4 inch (31.75 mm) if you’re using this clamp.
The bolt length requires some minor math. You already should have your tube size determined. Now add to that the thread depth of the insert on the bottom of the Mandala. If you’re using Version 2.9, it should be 1 cm (10 mm) deep. Next, find the thickness of your 3/8 inch washers. You’ll need at least two (one for each end), and the thickness of the washers I used was 1/16 inch. 2/16 inch = 1/8 inch (3.175 mm). Finally get the thickness of your 8 mm washer: about 1 mm. Add all of those up (31.75 + 10 + 3.175 + 1 mm) to get a length of 45.9 mm. Select your bolt length as the longest bolt size that will fit under the calculated length (here, a 45 mm long bolt would work). Anything longer will bottom out before you can tighten your mount.
So you go to Home Depot and all they have is a 50 mm bolt. No problem: you can lengthen the tube to compensate. Simply take the bolt length (50 mm) and subtract everything but the tube (50 – 10 – 3.175 – 1 mm) to get your new tube length (35.825 mm). Round this up to prevent the bolt from bottoming out (36 mm).
Trim the tube to size using a hack saw (I used a mitre box to keep the cut straight). Saw carefully: if your tube has a crooked edge, your drum won’t mount straight and/or you may damage your Mandala. Also, try to cut a longer length than the one you marked. Though the thread depth on the Mandala is 10 mm, you don’t want your bolt to use all of it. In reality, you can get by with a few threads engaged, so aim to cut the tube within about 5 mm of your minimum length. You can use a metal file to remove burrs, sharp edges, or straighten your cut afterwards.
After you cut your tube, stack your components on the bolt: 8 mm washer, 3/8 inch washer, tube, and the other 3/8 inch washer. Loosely tighten this to the Mandala drum.
Align the stack so that the bolt runs through the center of the washers and the tube, then tighten everything down with a wrench. If you find you can’t tighten the stack all the way down because the tube was too short (don’t force it!), you can add a few extra 3/8 inch washers to take up the extra space.
And that’s it! Super stable, and it doesn’t hog up any of the rim like a snare stand does.
After a few weeks of using this method, I noticed that the tube has started to deform. There are two options here. One is to use a thicker tube. The other is to use a coupling nut. I found that a 7/16″-14 by 1-3/4″ coupling nut fits perfectly over an 50 mm long M8 fastener and lines up exactly in the clamp. No measuring, no cutting. The only down side is that you can’t spin your Mandala after tightening things down.
Much cleaner. Another option that might work is to use a metric male-female standoff like those found here: http://lyntron.com/catalog/generatepart/B26. This part (or one like it) might need to have its threads trimmed shorter and/or a few washers added, but it also looks like an excellent solution.