Using DIY Concrete Form Tubes – Shape Your Tub with Precision

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Welcome to my DIY concrete form tube tutorial, where I’ll show you how to shape your tub with precision using DIY concrete form tubes. Whether you’re looking to create a custom tub or simply enhance the shape of an existing one, these form tubes can be a game-changer. With the right techniques and tips, you can achieve precise tub shaping and create a finished product that meets your specific needs.

In this article, I’ll walk you through the steps involved in using DIY concrete form tubes and provide valuable tips and techniques to help you shape your tub with precision. From cutting the cardboard to fabricating the wooden endcaps, and from shell assembly to hardware installation, I’ve got you covered. Let’s get started on your DIY tub shaping journey!

Step 1: Cutting the Cardboard

Before you can start shaping your tub with precision using DIY concrete form tubes, the first step is cutting the cardboard to the desired dimensions. This is a crucial step that requires precise cuts to ensure a perfect fit of the form tube.

There are various techniques you can use to cut the cardboard accurately:

  • Using a table saw with a sharp blade provides clean and precise cuts. Ensure the blade is properly aligned and adjusted for the desired cardboard thickness.
  • Using a roller jig can enhance stability and prevent the cardboard from shifting while cutting. Simply position the cardboard on the jig, align the cutting line with the saw blade, and carefully push it through.

When cutting the cardboard, remember to measure and mark the dimensions accurately beforehand to guide your cuts. Take your time and exercise caution to achieve precise tub shaping using the form tube.

Here is an example of a table showcasing different cardboard cutting techniques:

Technique Advantages Disadvantages
Table Saw with Sharp Blade – Provides clean and precise cuts
– Allows for accurate customization
– Requires proper alignment and adjustment
– May pose a safety risk if not used correctly
Roller Jig – Enhances stability during cutting
– Prevents shifting of the cardboard
– Requires additional equipment
– May limit the size of the cardboard being cut

Remember, the key to achieving precise tub shaping is to ensure accurate cuts when preparing the form tube using cardboard. Take your time, follow the techniques mentioned above, and you’ll be well on your way to creating a custom tub that meets your specific needs.

Fabricating the Wooden Endcaps

To create a sturdy and precise form tube, it is important to fabricate wooden endcaps that will provide stability and a proper bearing edge. By using plywood drum shell stock, we can cut the endcaps to the desired dimensions and create a flush transition with the cardboard tube.

The wooden endcap dimensions will depend on the size and shape of your tub. Measure the diameter or dimensions of the cardboard tube and cut the plywood drum shell stock to match. It is essential to ensure accurate measurements to achieve a snug fit.

Once you have obtained the plywood drum shell stock, use a saw or other cutting tool to cut the endcaps. Make sure to follow precise cutting techniques to achieve clean and accurate cuts. This will contribute to the overall stability and aesthetic of the tub.

After cutting the endcaps, it is necessary to mill rabbets to create a proper fit with the cardboard tube. A rabbet is a groove or notch cut into the edge of a piece of wood. Use a router or another milling tool to carefully create the rabbets. This step is crucial for achieving precise endcaps that fit securely.

When fabricating the endcaps, pay attention to the bearing edge. The bearing edge is the part of the endcap that makes contact with the drumhead. It is important to create a clean and even bearing edge to ensure optimal sound and performance.

By following these endcap fabrication techniques, you can create wooden endcaps that contribute to the overall stability, fit, and sound quality of your tub.

wooden endcaps

Step 3: Shell Assembly

Once the cardboard tube and wooden endcaps have been prepared, it is time to assemble the shell of the tub. To ensure a secure bond, roughen the gluing area of the form tube with a dremel and sanding drum. Applying epoxy adhesive in a discerning manner is crucial to avoid excess dripping.

Shell assembly

Proper alignment is essential for achieving precise shell assembly. Take care to align the form tube and the endcaps accurately to maintain the desired shape and dimensions. Remove any excess adhesive to maintain a clean and professional finish.

In addition to adhesive application, consider applying a moisture-resistant coating to protect the shell and ensure longevity.

Epoxy Application Techniques

Epoxy Application Technique Benefits
Brush Application Allows for precise control
Roller Application Ensures even coverage
Squeegee Application Provides a smooth finish

By following these shell assembly tips and using appropriate adhesive application and epoxy techniques, you can achieve proper shell alignment and ensure a sturdy and durable tub.

Step 4: Backing Support Plates

In order to enhance the stability of your tub structure, it is highly recommended to incorporate backing support plates. These plates, made from 1/4″ plywood, can be installed between the endcaps to prevent any deformation that may occur under tension. The addition of backing support plates significantly contributes to the overall durability and reliability of the tub.

When selecting the appropriate plywood thickness for the backing support plates, it is important to consider the load-bearing requirements of your tub. Thicker plywood, such as 1/2″ or 3/4″, may be suitable for heavier loads, while 1/4″ plywood is commonly used for standard tub designs.

Installing the backing support plates requires careful attention to detail and adherence to proper techniques. One effective method is to cut kerfs into the plywood to allow for flexibility and a better fit. Apply epoxy adhesive to secure the backing support plates in place, ensuring a strong and long-lasting bond. Take the time to ensure proper alignment and allow the adhesive to fully cure before proceeding with further construction.

By incorporating backing support plates in your tub construction, you can significantly enhance its stability and longevity. These plates serve as a crucial reinforcement, preventing any potential deformation or failure under pressure. Ensure to follow the recommended plywood thickness and installation techniques for optimal results.

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Backing Support Plates

Step 5: Laying Out for Hardware

Before drilling holes for hardware installation, it is essential to lay out the hardware locations accurately. Proper hardware placement ensures a well-functioning and aesthetically pleasing tub. One practical tool for this task is a layout mat, which can assist in marking the positions of lugs, throw-offs, butt plates, and other hardware components.

When laying out for hardware, it’s crucial to reference off the bottom edge of the tub to maintain consistency. Utilizing a combination square can help ensure precise measurements and hole locations. This tool allows for accurate marking of the exact positions where the hardware will be installed.

layout mat usage

Note: The image above illustrates the use of a layout mat to mark the positions of hardware on the tub.

By taking the time to carefully lay out the hardware locations, you can ensure that the installation process goes smoothly and the final result meets your expectations.

Step 6: Drilling for Hardware

Once you have marked the hole locations for your hardware installation, it’s time to drill. While a handheld drill can be used for this task, utilizing a drill press offers several benefits, including increased accuracy and stability.

To begin, use an awl to mark the precise locations for your holes. This will prevent the drill bit from slipping and ensure accurate drilling.

Next, set up your drill press with the appropriate drill bit size for the hardware you will be installing. A step/unibit is a versatile choice that allows you to drill holes of different sizes using a single bit.

When drilling, it’s important to take your time and maintain a steady hand. Applying too much pressure or rushing the drilling process can lead to inaccurate holes or damage to the tub.

For hardware holes that require threading, such as those for butt plates, ensure that the holes are drilled to the correct depth to accommodate the threading process.

Remember, accurate drilling is crucial for proper hardware installation and the overall functionality of your tub.

Benefits of Using a Drill Press

  • Increased accuracy and precision
  • Stability during drilling
  • Ability to set consistent drilling depths
  • Reduced risk of hand fatigue

Drilling accurately not only ensures proper hardware installation but also contributes to the overall durability and performance of your tub.


Drilling Tips Benefits
Use a drill press for increased accuracy Ensures precise hole placement
Mark hole locations with an awl Prevents drill bit slippage
Take your time and maintain a steady hand Minimizes the risk of inaccuracies or damage
Drill holes to the correct depth for threaded hardware Ensures proper threading and secure installation

Drilling for hardware

Step 7: Bearing Edges

Creating proper bearing edges is crucial for achieving precise sound and performance in your tub. A well-crafted bearing edge ensures a solid and consistent contact between the drumhead and the drum shell, resulting in optimal resonance and tone. Here’s how you can create perfect bearing edges for your DIY tub:

  1. Router Table Usage: Utilize a router table to make accurate and consistent cuts on the drum shell. The router allows you to create a smooth and precise bearing edge with ease.
  2. Straight Edge Clamping: To maintain a straight and even bearing edge, use clamps to secure a straight edge guide on the drum shell. This ensures that your cuts stay true and uniform.
  3. Multiple Cuts for Desired Edge: Make multiple passes with the router bit to achieve the desired bearing edge profile. Start with a shallow cut and gradually increase the depth to avoid any splintering or chipping.
  4. Bearing Edge Sanding Techniques: After the initial cuts, use sandpaper to further refine the bearing edge. Sand in a consistent motion, following the contour of the bearing edge, to ensure a smooth finish.


“The bearing edges are one of the most critical aspects of a drum, influencing its overall sound and playability. Taking the time to create precise bearing edges will greatly enhance the quality of your DIY tub.” – Drum Building Expert

Remember, the bearing edges play a significant role in determining the sound and response of your tub. Taking the time to master the router table usage, clamping techniques, and bearing edge sanding will ensure that your DIY tub performs at its best.

Bearing Edges

Step 8: Snare Beds

If you are building a snare drum, creating proper snare beds is essential for optimal snare wire performance. Snare beds are the slight indentations on the bottom edge of the tub that allow the snare wires to rest snugly against the drumhead. To achieve the best results, follow these sanding techniques:

1. Start by sanding down the bottom edge of the tub to create a gradual incline or arc on each side. This gradual shaping provides a stable platform for the snare wires.

2. Use sandpaper with the appropriate grit and sand by hand to meticulously shape the snare beds. Start with a coarser grit, such as 80 or 100, to remove any rough edges. Then, progressively move to a finer grit, such as 220 or 320, for a smoother finish.

3. Pay attention to the depth and shape of the snare beds, ensuring they are consistent and symmetrical. This will contribute to the overall snare drum’s performance and sound quality.

Don’t forget to sand the bearing edges of the tub as well. Smooth bearing edges are crucial for optimal drumhead contact and sound projection. Use the same sanding techniques as with the snare beds, gradually working through different grits to achieve the desired smoothness.


What is the first step in using DIY concrete form tubes?

The first step is cutting the cardboard to the desired dimensions.

How can I cut the cardboard accurately?

You can use a table saw with a sharp blade and a roller jig for stability.

What is the next step after cutting the cardboard?

The next step is fabricating the wooden endcaps for stability.

How can I fabricate the wooden endcaps?

You can use plywood drum shell stock and cut the endcaps to the desired dimensions.

What is involved in the shell assembly?

The shell assembly requires roughening the gluing area, applying epoxy adhesive, and aligning the shell properly.

How can I enhance the stability of the tub structure?

You can add backing support plates made from 1/4″ plywood and glue them in place with epoxy.

How can I accurately lay out the hardware locations?

You can use a layout mat to mark the positions of the hardware components.

What is the recommended tool for drilling the hardware holes?

It is recommended to use a drill press for increased accuracy.

How can I create proper bearing edges?

You can use a router table and a clamped straight edge to make consistent cuts at a 45-degree chamfer.

Do I need to create snare beds for a snare drum?

Yes, snare beds can be created by sanding down the bottom edge of the tub to create a gradual incline or arc on each side.

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