Making Pans

Making a steel pan is a long and physical process. The art has painstakingly been developed over many years of trial and error. 

The construction is commonly done by a pan tuner and the result is a painted or chrome plated pan which is tuned to concert pitch.

Experimentation with the note configuration of the pans has led to many variations of the same instrument. In the same way, each tuner had his unique way of making pans.

Today, steelpans are made by professional teams. Each stage in the pan making process is done by a different team. Again, every team will have its own method for making and tuning steel pans.

However, there are certain processes that must be adhered to in order to make a pan.

The first steelpans were made in the 1930s. They were made in the shape of a dome and had very few notes. Pan was in its infancy stage and there was much room for development. This development came when the dome shape was transformed into a dish shape, its mature form.