18’’ Bass drum conversion, what should I know?

Phantomlimb777

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I’m looking to convert my Blaemire 18” into a bass drum. It presently sits in a worldmax cradle, and I don’t have all that much use for it as a floor tom. It has Rogers lugs on, would I run into problems with lug splay if I put on wood hoops? I’m not planning on using a riser, and will be using Gibraltar clip on spurs.

pic related, it’s the floor tom on a DW riser. I hated it.
 

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CherryClassic

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I converted my late 80's Ludwig 16x18 floor tom and love it.

First I installed bass drum heads using wood hoops with longer lug bolts and bass drum claws, no splay problems. For the legs I was able to use two "L" rods attached to the original tom leg mounts with Pearl Air Feet on the ends; mounts are a little off center but who cares. I use the Dixon riser, the easiest one to use and that baby is sturdy and sounds like a real bass drum. Have been using that system 3 or 4 years now.

Although I am thinking of buying two INDe BR3 mounts with legs. The mounts replaces a lug so no extra holes need to be drilled. Check out the INDe website for details.

sherm

1581569312899.png
 
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studrum

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I converted my late 80's Ludwig 16x18 floor tom and love it.

First I installed bass drum heads using wood hoops with longer lug bolts and bass drum claws, no splay problems. For the legs I was able to use two "L" rods attached to the original tom leg mounts with Pearl Air Feet on the ends; mounts are a little off center but who cares. I use the Dixon riser, the easiest one to use and that baby is sturdy and sounds like a real bass drum. Have been using that system 3 or 4 years now.

Although I am thinking of buying two INDe BR3 mounts with legs. The mounts replaces a lug so no extra holes need to be drilled. Check out the INDe website for details.

sherm

View attachment 427196
So nice! Digging that Ludwig Mahogany Stain. Oh, yes!
 

Phantomlimb777

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I converted my late 80's Ludwig 16x18 floor tom and love it.

First I installed bass drum heads using wood hoops with longer lug bolts and bass drum claws, no splay problems. For the legs I was able to use two "L" rods attached to the original tom leg mounts with Pearl Air Feet on the ends; mounts are a little off center but who cares. I use the Dixon riser, the easiest one to use and that baby is sturdy and sounds like a real bass drum. Have been using that system 3 or 4 years now.

Although I am thinking of buying two INDe BR3 mounts with legs. The mounts replaces a lug so no extra holes need to be drilled. Check out the INDe website for details.

sherm

View attachment 427196
My drum doesn’t have leg brackets because of the worldmax cradle. The two L arms are a great idea, though! I have t rods and claws to do this, time to order some hoops and heads!
 

bongomania

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I'm a huge fan of the Inde bracket system for the tom conversion I did. You don't need to have holes for leg brackets! Use the BR3 brackets to replace two of the lugs.
 

dtk

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I forget why (distance from lug to edge maybe) but not all floor toms will let you use a bass drum head and wood hoop...(maybe T rods aren't short enough)...that said I have one w/metal hoops
 

CAMDRUMS

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Bass drum lugs have the lug holes further from the hell to account for the hoops. You’d get splay or they won’t even fit if you use the tom lugs.
 

CherryClassic

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T rods have the look but I stopped using them years ago because I keep hitting them on things, changes the tuning? Well not that much to notice but I stopped using them anyway. LOL

sherm
 
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JazzDrumGuy

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1) Lose the cradle on the bottom! Ugly and huge!

2) You need 16 claws, and you can get either t-handle "bass" rods or longer regular rods - I've done it both ways.

3) If you want to do it "right", you need 2 wood hoops. You can get hide-a-hoop wood hoops so non-bass drum heads fit inside them and you won't see the metal ring of the heads (but these do NOT work on bass heads - just tom heads), or you can get traditional wood hoops, which sit on top of the metal head ring, but allow you to use any type of bass head.

4) The problem is you don't have leg mounts. If you did, Danmar makes a pair of repro vintage Ludwig spurs that fit right into the mounts and that becomes your front. For the rear, I'd get a riser and love the $40 Dixson (easy to mount with no tools and requires no damage to your shell - the shell just sits on it), although I also have the Gibraltar one that clamps onto the hoop with allen wrench-headed screws. It's fine, but a pain when you don't have an allen wrench handy!
It will look like the legs in the above post (burgundy bass/natural hoops) posted by Cherry Classic.
(I also have 16 small claws like in that photo).

You need to decide if you are doing this temporarily, or you are all in. If temporarily, maybe just get one wood hoop for the batter side although it will look weird. Otherwise, spend some more and get proper wood hoops, claws & rods (either bass T's or just longer rods). For my conversions (I've done 14, 16 & 18, and working on a 15 now), I've always used wood hoops. It depends on bass T's or longer rods, and some have bass heads and some have tom heads (I like coated Ambassador or Fiberskin reso, and either a coated Emperor, PS3 or Super Kick batter - depends....)

If you go the permanent route, make sure the 2 floor tom leg mounts you drill onto the drum accept the Ludwig floor tom legs (I think 9.5mm? DOUBLE CHECK THIS!) - frankly, I'd get 3 and drill all around - this way you don't need the World Max contraption anymore - although it's a great idea.

If you do want a set of wood hide-a-way hoops, I have a new pair with a 1/2" inlay in unfinished wood....PM me. And of course, please show us before & after pics whatever you decide! Good luck......
 

JDA

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There's your spurs ---if using wood hoops two Lp Cowbell Holders - Lp 338-- upside down and rubber tipped rock incredible solid raise lower front of bass wherever you like)
GretschSmallGretsch004.jpg

GretschSmallGretsch004.jpg
 
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jsp210

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I know you mentioned not wanting to use a riser but I have found the Danmar product to be a solid solution for my 18" Ludwig floor tom and it didn't require any modifications to the drum. It is less obtrusive than a lot of the other risers out there in my opinion.


IMG_20180907_164212.jpg
 

Phantomlimb777

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1) Lose the cradle on the bottom! Ugly and huge!

2) You need 16 claws, and you can get either t-handle "bass" rods or longer regular rods - I've done it both ways.

3) If you want to do it "right", you need 2 wood hoops. You can get hide-a-hoop wood hoops so non-bass drum heads fit inside them and you won't see the metal ring of the heads (but these do NOT work on bass heads - just tom heads), or you can get traditional wood hoops, which sit on top of the metal head ring, but allow you to use any type of bass head.

4) The problem is you don't have leg mounts. If you did, Danmar makes a pair of repro vintage Ludwig spurs that fit right into the mounts and that becomes your front. For the rear, I'd get a riser and love the $40 Dixson (easy to mount with no tools and requires no damage to your shell - the shell just sits on it), although I also have the Gibraltar one that clamps onto the hoop with allen wrench-headed screws. It's fine, but a pain when you don't have an allen wrench handy!
It will look like the legs in the above post (burgundy bass/natural hoops) posted by Cherry Classic.
(I also have 16 small claws like in that photo).

You need to decide if you are doing this temporarily, or you are all in. If temporarily, maybe just get one wood hoop for the batter side although it will look weird. Otherwise, spend some more and get proper wood hoops, claws & rods (either bass T's or just longer rods). For my conversions (I've done 14, 16 & 18, and working on a 15 now), I've always used wood hoops. It depends on bass T's or longer rods, and some have bass heads and some have tom heads (I like coated Ambassador or Fiberskin reso, and either a coated Emperor, PS3 or Super Kick batter - depends....)

If you go the permanent route, make sure the 2 floor tom leg mounts you drill onto the drum accept the Ludwig floor tom legs (I think 9.5mm? DOUBLE CHECK THIS!) - frankly, I'd get 3 and drill all around - this way you don't need the World Max contraption anymore - although it's a great idea.

If you do want a set of wood hide-a-way hoops, I have a new pair with a 1/2" inlay in unfinished wood....PM me. And of course, please show us before & after pics whatever you decide! Good luck......

This is the info I was looking for, thank you! I’m going the permanent route, but will be using BR3 brackets for the spurs. I’m excited to have an original Blaemire 18 bass drum! I’m gonna play it with my 12 and 15 concert toms. I have a black dot bass drum head waiting, will probably go with an Aquarian modern vintage for the front.
 

Phantomlimb777

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I know you mentioned not wanting to use a riser but I have found the Danmar product to be a solid solution for my 18" Ludwig floor tom and it didn't require any modifications to the drum. It is less obtrusive than a lot of the other risers out there in my opinion.


View attachment 427242
I’ve had the Dixon, the DW, and the Gibraltar and I think I just don’t like risers. It makes the drums’ response feel like a 22, and I like the response you get from hitting closer to the edge on an 18
 

Phantomlimb777

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If those Rogers Lugs are the ones they used on bass drums you shouldn't have any splay/alignment/ issues (?
Gretsch is easy cause they had the two - small and large- lugs)
I’m gonna take the gamble, hope it pays off! I do also have bass drum lugs, so I can swap em out of the hole spacing is the same.
 
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JazzDrumGuy

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It depends - you don't need a riser at all - sometimes I don't. On my tangerine 16" Gretsch, I don't use one. On my black sparkle 18" Gretsch, I don't use one. On my 18" blue flame Slingy I gigged this past Sat., I used a Dixson riser. On my ginger glitter Gretsch 18", I use the Gibraltar. On my Ludwig Jazzette 18", I don't use a riser. On my 14" Slingy (10x14 tom conversion), I use the Gibralatar as the drum head is too small for a pedal.

I like the idea of front clamping legs - that works. I still have small claws and the hoops - let me know....and can't wait for the reveal pix!
 

Phantomlimb777

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It depends - you don't need a riser at all - sometimes I don't. On my tangerine 16" Gretsch, I don't use one. On my black sparkle 18" Gretsch, I don't use one. On my 18" blue flame Slingy I gigged this past Sat., I used a Dixson riser. On my ginger glitter Gretsch 18", I use the Gibraltar. On my Ludwig Jazzette 18", I don't use a riser. On my 14" Slingy (10x14 tom conversion), I use the Gibralatar as the drum head is too small for a pedal.

I like the idea of front clamping legs - that works. I still have small claws and the hoops - let me know....and can't wait for the reveal pix!
Sent you a pm
 


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