DIY Line Pad

DIY Line Pad


What you get:

  • 14 recycled car tire rubber rectangles

  • Qty. 7 1/4” tall and qty. 7 3/16” tall

  • Spacer to lay out rubber pads

  • Total cost around $85.00 (Beetle Line Pad cost $150.00 plus $20.00 shipping)

What you need:

  • Gorilla Glue 8 fl. oz. ($10.97)

  • One 1 in. x 8 in. x 8 feet Select Pine Board (recommend Home Depot $18.78)

  • 2”-3” metal or plastic scraper to spread glue ($3.00)

  • Danish oil, Tung Oil, Paint, Stain etc. (est. $7.00)

  • Sand Paper - 120-150 grit ($5.00)

  • Weights and towels for clamping

  • Pencil, pliers, putty knife

  • Paper towels for clean up

  • Instructions below

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Our DIY products were designed because many in the percussion community are skilled makers and enjoy making instruments. And to those that do not yet, we hope to inspire them to make percussion as well. Making things with your hands is a lost art, but as percussionists, we are already adept to this concept. Spend a weekend making you own custom percussion instrument or pad and discover the rewards of creating from nothing something useful and personal that will last forever - made by you!


When selecting the wood for this project, you want to go through as many pieces as possible to get the flattest one. Look down the board from all angles and even lay it on the floor, looking for bows and twisting. We mill the wood using a power joiner and planer to achieve flatness, but it is possible to find a relatively flat piece. Remember of course that all wood moves over time. When designing this pad, you are welcome to customize as much as you wish. You can do a one sided line pad and just put rubber on one side to get more bang for your buck. We do a double sided pad because it provides two different feeling playing surfaces, adds weight to help against bouncing when being played, as well as, grip on an x stand. You can also cut it in half and make two shorter pads, or even add a hinge to the middle of the pad for folding. The options are limitless!

Once you have your wood ready to prepare, begin with “breaking” or rounding or chamfering all of the edges. We use a 1/8”th round over bit and rout all edges, then sand them smooth. (We recommend using a dust mask for lung protection or sand out doors.) Start with a lower grit and end with a higher grit to smooth and finish. Sand the entire piece of wood to the desired smoothness. Remove all of the dust from the board using a compressor or rag or towel dampened with mineral spirits. Here at Beetle, we use natural Danish Oil from Watco for all of our finishes. It protects a bit and darkens the color some. It can be repaired easily when damaged and is non toxic or harmful to the environment. You are welcome to use whatever product you wish. If you want to use a non-polyurethane stain or oil, now is the time. Let it dry for 24 hours. If you want to use paint or a polyurethane or other clear coat product, you will wait until after the rubber pads are glued on, then apply the product around the pads. This is because the glue will stick to bare wood but not a painted or smooth surface nearly as well.

After the oiled wood has dried, it’s time to lay out the rubber pads on one side. Select seven 1/4” or 3/16” pads we shipped to you and lay them on the board on a flat surface. Included is a spacer that will help you spread out the pads evenly. Use the spacer on one end, then place a pad next to it, using the spacer between each pad until reaching the opposite end wheres there should be wood exposed as wide as the spacer. Boards can be longer or shorter than exactly 8 feet from the manufacturer so after laying them out, eye ball the pads and make adjustments. Then we recommend you lightly marking the placement of all seven pads. Remove the pads and prepare to glue them on. You will only want to glue on as many pads as you have clamping pressure for.

Ensure that you have laid the wood on a flat, level surface. Spread an even amount of Gorilla Glue on one side of a rubber pad. We have included pictures above so you can see the amount and method. It doesn’t take much to evenly cover the pad so don’t be afraid to remove any excess that could help it slide when clamped. Then scrape with the putty knife about a 1/4” of glue off the pad edges and wipe excess on to a rag. We then use pliers to grab one side and a paper towel with the other hand and carefully place the pad on to your marked spot. The glue is very sticky and hard to get off so be careful. Repeat gluing pads on the wood for as many clamps as you have available. You can use a variety of things for a clamp. We use a piece of wood with thick foam on one side that is weighed down with a 15lb weight. You can use anything flat and larger then the size of the rubber and a towel and books for weights for example. You can place a 1/2 folded towel on a glued pad and place three or four books larger than the rubber on top of the towel. You can also use a flat piece of wood on top of a few towels and weigh multiple pads at once. Just make sure you can apply even pressure - about 10 lbs per piece of rubber - over the rubber for 4-6 hours. Too much weight and they can slide so check them after 20 min and again after 45 min to make sure they don’t slide out of place. If they do slide, perhaps use less weight. Continue this process for the remainder of the pad and the opposite side if desired.

After all of the rubber is glued on, you can custom paint your pad, if you did not choose to use a stain or oil. If you did use oil or just a stain and you dent or damage the wood, simply sand it down and reapply the oil or stain. This pad works best when supported by two snare stands or an x stand. Some teachers like to use two halves for greater mobility. Please get a creative as possible with this DIY pad and send us pictures of your process and completed work via social media.