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mistermogue 08-03-2014 10:59 AM

Help dating old bass drum?
Hi there!

I picked up a battered old 24" x 12" bass drum a few months ago with a view to restoring it and getting it playable again. I was hoping some of you knowledgeable folks might be able to help me date it, and perhaps advise on how best to proceed. Here's the condition on arrival...

The close up on one of the hoops shows the worst of the damage. It's a little weak at this point but I'm guessing some filler could be used to sort this out. The rest of the hoops are fairly solid.

After a quick cleanup and closer inspection I found the following information written/printed on the shell. I'm quietly hoping I might have stumbled across a 1937/39 Ludwig or something similar, but perhaps that's just wishful thinking. I'm in Ireland, so maybe a UK make, Premier or something, is more likely... Thoughts?

Whether it's of 'market value' or not isn't really a big deal, I'd still like to bring it back to life and have a unique 24" bass drum. Here's where it's currently at after a few hours sanding and cleaning.

The shell is in pretty good condition, and my plan would be to sand it down completely and see from there what the best approach is in terms of treating the wood, finishes, etc. Drilling and fitting spurs would be another job down the line, as well as sourcing the correct tension rods. Was also half thinking of adding a single lightweight cymbal arm to hold one ride (old school!) but that's a while away for now.

Any information on the drum, or advise on how to proceed would be much appreciated! This is my first restoration so apologies for any novice questions.


vintagemore2000 08-03-2014 11:04 AM

Re: Help dating old bass drum?
first off don't drill it for spurs just use what this drum had as oem, clamp on spurs, post a pic of the lug screws and washer ok?

grantro 08-03-2014 11:06 PM

Re: Help dating old bass drum?
I`m with VM2K...Please don`t drill any holes for spurs...Leave the shell as stock OEM...

The 12" depth makes me think European origin, but, I could be wrong...I once had a John Grey bass drum with this same depth...


mistermogue 08-04-2014 11:16 AM

Re: Help dating old bass drum?
I didn't even know clamp spurs existed! At the risk of asking an obvious question, what are the advantages of clamp spurs? Is it purely to preserve the shell / sound? The condition of the hoops would be a slight concern here, but I won't really know until they've been fixed up. Is drilling an old shell a big no no??

Here's a pic of the lug screws & fittings (no T rods or claws). The washers & screws are wrecked, but the lug screws are in pretty good condition. Don't know yet if they're imperial or metric...

Also, I should say that there is only one existing hole drilled in the shell. Would this suggest it was a marching drum?

Thanks again.

mistermogue 08-12-2014 01:02 PM

Re: Help dating old bass drum?
Parts update: Searching for T rods & claws I found this listing on ebay - Just wondering if these 70's Premier rods will fit my 30's Leedy / John Grey (??) lugs. I've checked the lug thread (pictured above) with a standard tuning rod off a modern pearl tom and the fit is fine.

The other question is whether the length of the Premier rods will match. I still haven't got new skins so can't quite judge the exact distance needed when hoop is mounted. Am I way off the mark in thinking these might work?

In terms of matching parts to the era, I'm not that fussed; it's a first attempt, and my priority is more to get it in working condition. Money is also an issue, and the fact that there's a full set of 16 going at a potentially reasonable rate is appealing.

Any thoughts? Thanks again.

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