How to make a handpan/pantam (part 3/3)



How to make a handpan/pantam (part 3/3)

How to Make Handpans/Pantams(3/3)

Kita Pantam Company intends to release a series of articles to explain how to make Handpans/Pantams. These articles are monthly and will guide you to get familiar with the process of making these magical musical instruments. Every handpan/pantam maker employs sophisticated and special steps to create an instrument that sounds well. These steps in general consist of metal forming, heat treating, shaping, and tuning. In this series of articles, we are going to explain the steps that we go through to get your handpan/pantam ready.

 You can also find the first and second article of this series here; in this current article, we are going to describe the last and the most important and critical step which is the Tuning.



The last step is tuning, but how are the handpans tuned? The answer is with the hand hammering. The handpan tuning process is considered to be the most difficult skill to master. Up to this point, the steel has been made to look like a handpan but still the sound is not even close to a musical instrument. Handpans are unique instruments that need unique criteria which you can find in a few metals such as steel. The metal has to be able to maintain high compressive in-plane stresses. These stresses are essential for the metal to vibrate.


 After the shape is dialed in across the handpan, each note is then manipulated by hundreds, if not thousands, of hammer strikes and stability tests by hand hammering to bring the notes to life.


To make a sound that is enjoyable to our ears, the frequencies of these modes are tuned to at least two basic harmonic intervals. The octave interval (2 times the fundamental frequency) and the compound fifth interval (3 times the fundamental frequency). Next comes the timbre. Timbre is defined as how these notes sound. It is completely possible to have a tuned note but timbre poorly. And lastly, we have a stability of tuning, a note can be tuned and have good timbre but still unstable. In order to achieve guaranteed stability over the time the handpan is being used, Tuning shall be performed in multiple rounds and after each there should be a stress relief step inside a furnace at specific temperatures. This critical heat treating process slows down the aging phenomenon that happens to steel over the time. This aging plus the smooth hits you deploy while playing your Pantam, cases the natural de-tuning of the instruments in a few years and calls the need for re-tuning.

tuning room

For more information, please visit our Makers Shop page or contact us at [email protected]

stay tuned for further notice, our team has some amazing news for handpan lovers.


How to protect your handpan?

handpan maker


How to protect your handpan?

Why my handpan has become oxide? Does the sun affect my handpan? Is my handpan suitable for playing under the rain? My city has hot and humid weather, can I have a handpan here? Etc. These are questions that may address your concerns after buying a handpan, in this article, we are going to answer these questions generally and give you some pieces of advice to better “protect your Handpan”.

Heat and Sun

First and foremost is the heat, although heat is vital during the different Pantams’ making processes for the metal stabilization and stress relief purposes, it can be harmful for the ready to use instrument. As everybody may know, metal absorbs heat interestingly fast, and handpans are made from metal, so they can be affected by heat and if you play your instrument out under the sun, you will notice that the handpan becomes warm and warmer and its sound starts to become unusual and weird. Therefore, it’s highly suggested not to play your Pantam in the hot and sunny weather since it can harm your instrument irreversibly. In fact “de-tuning” is one of the most common damages that can happen to your Handpan because of long-term exposure to the sun. Remember that if you leave your handpan out in the sun for a long time, wait until it becomes cool, and then play it again.

how to make a handpan

Kita Glues

It is good to know that Kita uses glues which are resistant to sun and heat (UV Resistant), so other than what is mentioned regarding the heat effect on the metal surface, there will be no problem with detaching of the bottom and top part of your Kita Pantam.



Then it’s cold. Generally, there is no source for the cold and the absence of heat is called cold. As it’s mentioned earlier, metals absorb heat easily and can convey this to whole surface. Although the cold negative effect is not as aggressive as the heat, but it still can cause the handpan making abnormal sound during the playing.


Humidity is another threatening factor for the health of your Handpan. Humidity can accelerate the rusting of steel, which your handpan is made of. Humidity is much more aggressive in higher temperatures and can help the corrosion phenomenon to faster eat up your instrument. In other words, when the rusting starts on the surface of your handpan, it is the time that the metal is going away and you will first notice some orange color dots on the surface and if they develop you will see wholes. Kita Pantam suggests that you clean your handpan every time you play it with the microfiber cloth and also keep the surface oily all the time.

In conclusion, try not to leave your Handpan or play it in hot sunny days or when it is rainy. Also if you need more detail about how to clean your handpan you can read our “How to take care of your handpan post,

After all if you have any concern regarding your Pantam care, please don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected].

Take care of your handpan and stay tuned for further post 😊