The process of building a Pantam – #1

Tolls to build a Pantam

How it all begins?


After many years of designing & building Yishama Pantams, we are happy to start this series of posts. In which, we will share the process with you.
We hope that maybe one day you could build your own Pantam using the most basic tools.
So let’s get a taste of the building journey behind these instruments 😉
This is the first part out of five, where the magic begins.
Stay tuned for the next chapters.
Hope you will enjoy and learn from them.

Choosing the right steel

Before we start building a Pantam we need to choose the kind of steel.
It all begins with a sheet of steel.
There begins the everlasting research of different steels.
The sound and vibration of each grade of steel can produce different outcomes through the hands and heart of the maker.
Remember – each steel can produce many different sounds depending on the processes the maker chooses to handle his steel.

There are many different kinds of steels which can be used to make a beautiful Handpan. Low\mid carbon raw steel can make a very wild and metallic instrument, which will eventually rust but can be great for beginning the journey.
Nitrided low carbon steel, stainless steel, mid-high carbon steels, titanium and many more can be a great way to find the sound which you are looking for.

Making the shell and drawing the notes

Making an Yishama Pantam


After you made your choice of steel, it’s time to get hammering!
The first step is obviously to transform the flat sheet into a shell.
Pick up a large and heavy wooden hammer. Then clamp your metal sheet between two 15mm metal rings with strong bolts and begin your sinking.
I would suggest using each hand for a few hammer strikes, it is a great way to train your weak hand and also protect your main hand from not overworking which can lead to muscle pain and worst.

After we have sunk our shell and she is smooth, we will start drawing our notes for the scale we are looking to create.
The size of the notes and dimples change by the register of the notes.
For example, a low note will have a bigger field surface, and as the notes raise by frequency the field size will also decrease.
If we are making, for example, a D minor scale, the notes would be
D3/ A3 Bb3 C4 D4 E4 F4 G4 A4.
Our largest note would of course be our ding D3 (the center tone), our smallest note would be the highest – A4.
In the next post we will continue in our journey of building a Pantam, and we will learn all about the importance of the dimple.
See you then❤

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