Making steel pans (steel drums) is an art! They are made entirely by hand and require skill, patience and practice (as well as a strong arm and a good pair of earmuffs).

There are two main methods of making steel pans.

The traditional method, which uses a 55 gallon metal drum as starting material. This is by far the most popular method.

A more recent method which uses sheet metal as starting material.

Making a Steel Pan (Steel Drum) from a Metal Drum

There are ten steps in this process.

  1. Sinking

  2. Marking

  3. Counter-sinking

  4. Grooving

  5. Setting/Backing

  6. Cutting

  7. Burning

  8. Tuning

  9. Applying a Protective Finish

  10. Fine Tuning and Blending

For information and pictures of these ten steps, click here 

If you have read the ten steps and still need more details, I recommend you read the following book:

'Steel Pan Tuning: A Handbook for Steel Pan Making and Tuning'
by Ulf Kronmon

>> Making Steel Drums