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Rogers Mardi Gras kit finally leaves the shop

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#1
DanC

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This has been a long road. I scored the bass shell on eBay on a late-night Buy-It-Now. A 20" bass, around 1960-1, script badge, Jasper 3-ply, flat edges, the Starlite model: in nice shape and a very good price, missing a lot of parts...When was this? Six months ago!

So, the hunt for more began. I love the hunt, don't you?
Found a floor tom and, with some swap and some cash, it came to the party. A good finish match was no surprise since the bass and floor serial numbers are so close they tell me the 2 drums left the bench possibly the same day. The gods had smiled....

Then I stumbled on a snare. A few years newer, 1963, but with the advantage of the new Keller shell and sharp edges - nice to have in the snare drum with it's higher tension. Not cheap but, hey, what the hell..."I'll just sell some other stuff to pay for it".

So, now I've got everything but the 12" tom. Easy, right? Not so fast. A couple of promising candidates appeared, but they either were the later generation with the newer shell (I didn't want to mix generations in the bass/toms), or too old and too expensive as well.
So, I built one myself. I looked around and found the proper 12" shell, already stripped. Why? Because I had scored another Mardi bass shell on eBay late at night, a month or so ago. A perfect donor drum, it had been (very badly) drilled for God-knows-what mount, and the edges were a mess, and the inside was a mess. Not much promise of putting it back into service as a bass drum, so I peeled the wrap off it and used it to wrap the 12" shell. It came out very well and is a very close match.
I needed a lot of parts for this project, fortunately I had most of it already.

So, last weekend I got it all set up in my office. Finally.
The heads on the toms are interesting: early Remo Fibreskin heads with Rogers logos - probably from the early 80's. Don't ask me how they came to be in the parts cabinet, but there they were when I went looking for heads. The resos are original oval-logo Rogers from the same era as the drums. On front is a 60's Rogers reso, on the back is a new Remo 'Powersonic' head. Never saw one of these before I found it cheap on eBay: it's got 2 foam rings glued inside a 2-ply, and a muffle pad snaps on the bottom in front of the pedal. Weird. But the darn thing sounds good and the bass sounds enormous.

Some pix:

Edited by DanC, 14 December 2011 - 05:30 AM.

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#2
DanC

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Also, being a Starlite bass, the snare is supposed to hang off the rear mount. This snare has no mount and I probably wouldn't set it up that way anyway, so I removed the bass mount and used a Swivo cover plate over the holes. I didn't leave it because I was concerned about the tom falling on it somehow with that vertical section pointing upward. Ouch!

More pix:
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#3
Joeyboom

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Really Really Nice Dan. . .Congrats. . I'm not to crazy about the crash cymbal arm that extends from the ride cymbal area but otherwise the colors are rich and they look just fab. I have one of those heads on an 18" BD because thats all Sam Ash had so . . . I like it as well. .

Congrats again. . .Happy Holidays !!!!!
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#4
drummertom

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Wow! Great job Dan. I'll bet it sounds as good as it looks.

Edited by drummertom, 14 December 2011 - 04:40 PM.

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#5
Rogersoholic

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Now thats what Im talkin bout right there! Nice
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#6
empire drum

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Great job! They look awesome! :occasion5:
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#7
SamS

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Love that finish. Nice job. You have way more patience than I do for projects like that.
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#8
bob

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really nice lookin drum set... i have one of those bass drum heads, i think i might try it on my rogers bass drum
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#9
mountainhick

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Wow that's a labor of love. Nice result!

So did I misunderstand or how the heck do you strip wrap off a drum and keep it intact to wrap another???
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#10
mlayton

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what great job dan. way to hang in there with the project. remins me of my galaxy projrct that also took quite sometime. well done sir.

mike

#11
amosguy

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Oh, so that's what you do in your spare time. And it is time well spent. Are the lugs uncracked, or reenforced or ?
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#12
SwivoNut

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Super job reviving those great old Rogers drums. Interesting deployment of the disappearing cymbal holder; I haven't seen it used in a configuration like that before.
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#13
Titletown Tim

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Great job on the restoration Dan!
Who dat with dat Mardi Gras Wrap?- Laissez les bon temps roulet!!

Edited by Titletown Tim, 14 December 2011 - 11:02 AM.

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#14
rhythmace

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AMAZING !!! Can you imagine, 25-50 years from now, some Rogers expert is going to get a headache trying to figure out this set. LOL! It needs a name. Kartrina Kit? The Kardashians? The Coluccio Collection? Little Orphan Dannies? .......jeez....I need coffee. Ace
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#15
Hotpot David

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Outstanding looking kit Dan, you did an excellent job on the restoration. I can't believe that there were two Rogers Starlite kits posted a day apart! I know that drumphils has a red sparkle Starlite kit - he needs to post as well!!!!!!

David
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#16
OptikDrums

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Wow.
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#17
DanC

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Thanks for the props, guys.

I'm not crazy about the look of the splash cymbal setup either. I put it together that way just because I could. It works fine but looks strange. I'll probably just put the ride in that spot where it belongs and do without the splash on this kit.

Many of the lugs on the bass and toms have minor cracks, but they tensioned up fine. The snare lugs have no cracks.

Ace, there really is nothing to figure out in the future. The set has three matching drums, 2 with close numbers and the other a ways off (I'm referring to the 12, not the snare!). And most folks could see the 12" was rewrapped. Everything else is correct, so it looks like a real kit.



Actually, I have a philosophy about 'real kits'. I'm not one who insists that a kit all came to the buyer together in order to be considered a real kit. If the serial numbers on drums of the same color are real close, that tells me they came off the bench very close to each other, using wrap from the same batch and probably assembled by the same person. My attitude is 'what difference does it make?' There were plenty of 'real' kits that were assembled from various dealer stock and sold to a buyer rather than have the person wait a month until another kit arrived from the plant. I saw that happen first-hand. And we see so many kits with different tags that the owner says 'came that way from the dealer''. Well, how else could that happen? I've seen kits with provenance such as sales receipts etc and the drums were built a year or more apart. How else could that happen?

Reuniting drums that were born on the same day but traveled around for a few decades before being brought back together gives me some satisfaction. They could have started out together in the first place, match each other perfectly, and finally found each other again 50 years later. I actually think that's pretty cool. It gives me a different vibe than scoring a kit that was built together and delivered together, but the vibe is just as positive. In some ways I enjoy it more, since the hunt is part of the fun for me and finding those built-on-the-same-day-by-the-same-guy drums is really a remarkable coincidence a half-century later.




Anyway, she's a beauty and I'm glad y'all like it!




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Edited by DanC, 14 December 2011 - 02:06 PM.

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#18
rhythmace

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So the bearing edges on the snare and FT match the ones on the bass? Ace
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#19
DanC

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The bass and 2 toms edges all match: Jasper shells with the wide/flat edges. The snare is a couple years newer with the Keller shell and sharp edges. So, to me, the 3 are a kit and the kit has a later snare.

And they all sound marvelous, absolutely marvelous... ;)





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Edited by DanC, 14 December 2011 - 02:10 PM.

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#20
DanC

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Wow that's a labor of love. Nice result!

So did I misunderstand or how the heck do you strip wrap off a drum and keep it intact to wrap another???



Carefully, gently, and with a lot of patience. If you can get a scraper blade under the seam, you start slowly lifting the wrap away from the shell. Going across the shell from one edge to the other, a little at a time, all the while making sure the wrap isn't bent etc as it travels across the bench.

Many times it cannot be done: the glitters are very tough, and other colors can just be too fragile, especially after 50 years. I've done it successfully a few times, but it's always risky. I always use a drum that is a basket case to start with, in the event of a failure it's not much of a loss...
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