i dont know how but google might help you and we do have a guy on here, dave black i think that might be able to help you out in your search for methods..
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You'll likely have more luck finding information on making buckets and barrels (coopering tools). As far as I know (and I'm NOT a drum maker or player, but I've looked at a couple of drums with interest and stayed at a whatever-the-name-of-that-hotel-is ) they were usually made somewhat similarly except the drums were glued and the buckets are hooped.
Actually here's a guy who's making some now: http://lumberjocks.com/JonJ/blog/7226 - and that's way different than what I was thinking - I was thinking it would be more of a stave drum.
It appears that at least some of the smaller snare drum types were stave drums, I don't know enough about drums to know which types would have been frame drums and which would have been stave drums. The stave drumes would have been built up from staves and then most likely they would have used a pair of radius planes (internal and external) akin to what coopers use. At least some types of primitive frame drums (some native american designs come to mind) were skin on frame for the whole drum, not just the heads.
Before that you would have had some of the "hollow log" forms. Ideally for most of those you'd start with a tree with the core half rotted out already. In way olden days fire was heavily used for shaping so most likely you would have built a small fire in the middle of a log and then scraped the charcoal and repeated as necessary.
Welcome to the forum, Jon.
Were the old style of rope tension drum made from a single ply of wood, or were they made from multiple, thin plies? This site has a wide variety of information about drum building in general...maybe there is something of use to you?
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