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Fitting a calf skin head

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#1
galaxy08

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I recently bought a 60s Gretsch Renown snare, and I wanted to put a calf skin head on it. The one I have is just a bit shy of fitting on the drum. Any suggestions for stretching out the head to make it fit properly?

Thanks-
Greg
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#2
trixonian

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If the flesh hoop/counter hoop is not big enough around then there is not anything you can do about that. If the skin itself is too taught, you can dampen it with a damp rag and possibly stretch it some. However, you have to watch it while it dries because it shrinks and if you have it tuned too tight the head could split. Skin heads are tricky and finicky to humidity which is why they are out of favor. They do sound cool though.

You can get goat skin heads from earthtone.com or calf from rebeats.com or sterntanning.com . Calf is substantially more expensive than goat.

If you plan to use skin for a bottom head you'd need a "slunk" (fetal) skin which is very thin. The last I was aware earthtone didn't have skins nearly thin enough to sound right as a snare side head.

Edited by trixonian, 19 November 2010 - 12:18 PM.

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#3
galaxy08

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Thanks, trixonian!

Yes, the counter hoop is the culprit. I feel that with a little muscle, it may go on, but it's a thin head, so I don't want to risk tearing it. I'll try exposing it to some humidity to see if that helps at all. Otherwise, it'll have to wait for the right drum.

In the meantime, I've got an Aquarian Modern Vintage head on there, which sounds ho-hum at low volume but great when played with some force. I'd like to try out a Fiberskyn as well.
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#4
mlvbs

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You can re-tuck the head, which will make it fit perfectly to the snare. From what I understand it isn't very difficult, you just need a couple of specialized tools. There's a great instructional writeup with photos, etc, at cymbalholic.

http://www.cymbalhol...-The-Flesh-Hoop
http://www.cymbalhol...-2-The-Dismount
http://www.cymbalhol...rt-3-The-Entree

Thanks,
Bill
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#5
galaxy08

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Thanks, Bill. This is really helpful info to know.

Cheers,
Greg
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#6
trixonian

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The counter hoop would most likely be made of wood and I don't think exposing it to humidity will help you. The wood isn't going to stretch.

I have Jedson snare (see pics) which came only with the little wooden hoops and no skins. I used skins from other heads (from old odd sized heads that fit no drums) and tucked them on the Jedson hoops (which are about 13.5"). I don't think it was easy at all to tuck the heads, and having three hands would have really helped. My tuck job was pretty amateurish but it did work and the drum seems to tune up fine. I was also told that re-tucking skins is not as good but I didn't really understand why - something about getting them too wet changed the skin.

If your hoops are constructed the same as mine, it is held together with a little nail. I suppose in theory you could undo the nail and renail it in a slightly different position to increase the diameter. But all this being said, unless you are feeling pretty ambitious, you may just be better off buying a new head. The only reason I went through the trouble is because my drum would have required the purchase of custom made heads.

-----edit-----
oops forgot to attach the photo, also having said it was difficult to tuck I would add that with perseverance it's do-able and would get easier after a few tries as well.

Edited by trixonian, 20 November 2010 - 09:21 AM.

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#7
drumsforever

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Thanks, Bill. This is really helpful info to know.

Cheers,
Greg


Yes, I never attempted fitting a new calf skin to any of my relics! Good info! Thanks :occasion5:
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#8
TopHatJohnny

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Thanks, Bill. This is really helpful info to know.

Cheers,
Greg


Yes, I never attempted fitting a new calf skin to any of my relics! Good info! Thanks :occasion5:

I haven't either, but sounds cool!! :occasion5:
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#9
kona1984

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Same as advise above.
I recently re-tucked a head that was too small for a drum. You can take a wood hoop apart and use wood glue - two spots of glue is all you need - clamp for at least 4 hours.

Soak the head for only about 11 minutes - usually no more than 15 I find is good.

For tucking use the handle end of a tea-spoon. Bend it in a vise or use pliers so that it will fit under the wood flesh-hoop diameter and slightly up the other side.....so it "tucks" the hide.

The hide will stretch to fit usually -----work from side to side.

I've done it and it does work but it takes a little elbo grease & finess so the head tucks without popping out on you as you move from side to side. I find once you have one tuck on each of the four sides....N W S E.....the tucking goes well. DON'T let the hide dry on the hoop before mounting....it may - probably usually - wharp! Put it on the drum right away and apply the t-rods only enough to have a slight crown created on the head. Let it competely dry before doing any tuning. If you don't let it dry the hide may pull out of the flesh-hoop. And, if your tucking a small head anyway this will happen for sure in that case.
TIP: Put some wax or other water-proofing on the bearing edges before putting a wet head on WOOD shell. You don't want moisture in the plies etc.

Good luck with it.
If you want a photo of my hand-made tucking device (converted teaspoon) I can post it.

Edited by kona1984, 23 November 2010 - 01:06 AM.

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