Tupans etc. got started of necessity. My wife and I play Bulgarian bitov (village) music. I play gajda (bagpipe) and she plays drum. Her first drum was a real Macedonian drum made from a single steam-bent walnut plank. It sounded great but it was elliptical and very heavy. She looked for a lighter one but found nothing she liked. So I, being a woodworking hobbyist, said " I'll make you one. "

Ignorance is bliss! I got a copy of Dave Golber's write-up on making drums and started. It was a lot more difficult than I expected, but I eventually built her one, which is the ancestor of my modern "heavy duty" drum. I built a few for friends, but became convinced that they were way overbuilt for normal use (though fine if you were going to have a dancer step up on them). I completely reengineered my process and was able to reduce the weight by almost half. That was the ancestor of my current "standard" drum.

Along the way, I've developed other items to support the Balkan and beyond music scene. Heavy sticks, gadulka wrenches, cases, rope hooks and straps among other things. I enjoy the engineering and the construction. If you have a specific problem you need a tool or a bit of hardware for, I'm certainly willing to look at it. But don't be in too much of a hurry - I have a day job...