Frequently Asked Questions
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AK Drums

AK Drums is a one-man operation!

All of the components are manufactured in-house:
  • drum shells
  • hoops
  • throw-offs & butt plates
  • lugs
  • tension rods
  • snare wires
  • drum keys & other accessory (w-w-s snares adapters, drum head calipers, flesh hoops,...)
  • custom hand engraving
  • natural drum heads (calf & goat) in all possible sizes (tucked on brass flesh hoops)
delivery time

Delivery time depends on the current order situation.

- costom drums: current average delivery time (as of September 2020) is 20-24 months from order placement (depending on the model)
- accessories: are in stock and ready for shipping (unless otherwise noted in the item description)

Price lists with additional information: LINK

Contact for inquiries / detailed quotes: info@ak-drums.com

transport and snare wires

ALWAYS leave the throw-offs in the "ON" position when transporting your drum.

This prevents snare wires damage… they'll last for a lifetime!


All the engraving work is done strictly by hand, using the traditional "wriggle" method.

This engraving technique is the essential of musical instruments (brass wind, metal shell drums,..) engraving since the late 1800. It is featured on many of the classical vintage engraved snare drums (Slingerland Black Beauties / Lud&Lud Triumphals & DeLuxes / Leedy Black Elites / Conn Victor models,...).

plating options
  • 24K Gold (matt or polished)
  • Nickel (matt or polished)
  • Chrome
  • Copper
  • Vintage ArtGold / Nobby Gold
AK Brushed Patina finish
My copper and brass drums just have a raw finish (artificial patina / hand brushed) that's oiled as a last step.
The oil finishing procedure just slows down the patina process, but it doesn’t prevent it!  
Appearing fingerprints for example are the typical tarnish/patina where the shell has been touched with bare hands at one point.
Natural patina always develops depending on how the instrument is treated (touching with perspiring hands, drops of spilled drinks,…) as well as on the environmental conditions (air moisture, salty sea air, acidic liquids, etc... ).  
I don’t clear coat the shells, because I like the natural feeling and patina development. 
And EVEN IF clear coated, patina spots will develop with time under the coating in those spots where the lacquer wears off or where it gets scratches from handling/playing).
While first fingerprints may appear shocking at first to some… the shells will generally darken over the years, showing a nice patina (and with it, the drums’ real life and live experience!)  
Clear coated shells look way too shiny and “industrial” IMO and every single scratch in a clear lacquered shell would cause a similar issue.  
I found the oil sealing procedure my best way to go.  
periodical lubrication of moving parts (throw-offs) and tension rods
DO it!!  
Most issues with old strainers and threaded parts that came through my hands when restoring vintage drums came from insufficient maintenance over all the years the instruments were in use.
AK Drums cleaning
Shells: I’d strongly suggest NOT to clean these drums’ shells (brushed patina finishes), as this could really damage the surface of the shell and the natural finish in general.  

Hardware (..same goes for plated shells / engraved- or non-engraved): wiping off the fingerprints or dust signs with a soft cotton cloth should do it to preserve a shiny finish!
In order to avoid finish damage: never use any kind of abrasive cleaner or steel wool to clean shells or hardware parts!
informal videos

link to video page