STEEL PAN INVENTION
COURSE: Main Course, Entrée
CUISINE: Trinidad and Tobago
KEYWORD: Steel Pan
AUTHOR: Nadia Douglas
INGREDIENTS: Oil Drums, High quality Steel, Heat – (Fire), Wood (to make sticks), Rubber – (for sticks).
Hammers – (sinking sledge-hammer) or shot-put; Protective gloves; Something to protect your ears form the noise; Ruler and pencil – to mark sinking circles; A compass – to make circles
Backing sledge-hammer; soothing hammer with a soft plastic head
Flexible ruler- to measure the note along the surface and the rim; Note templates; Pen, preferably an overhead marker to stick to the drum surface
Nail Punch; Grooving hammer
Marking stick or ruler; Electric hacksaw or cutlass; Chisel Plate shears and file – for trimming
Fireplace of some kind; Clock – for timing; Brush, soap and water – to clean the pan
Tuning hammers; Bending iron and a cutlass – to raise the outer notes, or Wooden wedges – specially shaped to raise the outer notes; Wooden stick to raise the notes of basses. Tuning stick; Padded stand or a truck tire – to put the pan on while tuning; A tuned instrument – as reference while tuning; Electronic tuning device – for fine tuning; A sticky or magnetic sheet – to damp interfering notes.
INSTRUCTIONS: Take an oil drum. Turn it upside down – Open end facing downward, on the ground. Pound the bottom of the oil drum till its indented like a bowl. Concavity shape and depth depends on the type of steel pan being made. Use a template to cut out the shape of the notes on the pan, outlining it with a pencil or chalk or other similar marking material. Use special hammer to flattened in-between notes outlined. Indent the outline notes (grooving). A Nail is used to indent or grove around the notes with a grooving hammer. The skirt of the steel pan is measured and cut out using and electric hacksaw or cutlass or chisel. Unwanted pieces may be removed. The length of the skirt depends of the type of steel pan being made. Rapid Tempering is done in order to hold the notes for a longer period of time. The steel pan is placed faced downward and is heated until the notes turned a bluish color. You can cool the pan by throwing cold water on it or it can be left to cool on it own. After the pan is cooled, you use the special hammers for tuning by pounding on both sides of the notes simultaneously and until the correct pitch is formed by using an electric tuning device. A protective finish coating is done (chroming) to prevent from rusting.