Building a floor tom

jccabinets

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I have been wanting to add a 14x14 floor tom to go with my transition badge kit. Ideally I would find a vintage one that needs a finish job but that could take years and I would prefer to finish all the drums the same day so they all come out the same. That said I am considering on purchasing a Keller vintage maple VSS shell in 5 ply with the rings from Precision Drum. This drum will be a club date style of drum with nickel hardware.
Here are some questions that have come up.

1, 6 or 8 lug? My educator FT has 8 lugs, plus I wonder if it will be easier to find 8 hole hoops being they are 14"

2, How difficult will it be to find nickel lugs?

3, how important is it to get vintage parts, I can buy the lugs, rods and steel chrome hoops from drums on sale for 190.00. ( I have the legs and mounts)

4, should it be club date style, it will be sitting right next to the 16 which is not club date it has classic chrome lugs and COB hoops.

5, Would it be wrong to purchase a reproduction trans badge to put on this drum? ( dumb question I know)

Thanks for any input, Im really excited about this. I prefer a one up 2 down configuration, especially with 14 and 16 floor toms.
 

varatrodder

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I wouldn't use the 5 ply shell. That thing is THIN.

For a closer match to your current kit, you might want to consider the Nordic mahogany/poplar shell instead. https://nordicshells.com/products/heritage-series-mahogany-poplar-6-ply

You can have reinforcing rings added by whoever is doing the edges. Nordic may do the rings as well. Or you could just not do rings (not needed for structural reasons anymore), and still do a big rounded edge to match the profile of your current kit's edges.
 

Rik_Everglade

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1. 8
2. You have one life, and music helps make that life awesome. Spend the money to take your chrome lugs to a plater and have them nickel plated. Easy peasy.
3. See above. Get the vintage parts.
4. Do it.
5. No
 

jccabinets

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I wouldn't use the 5 ply shell. That thing is THIN.

For a closer match to your current kit, you might want to consider the Nordic mahogany/poplar shell instead. https://nordicshells.com/products/heritage-series-mahogany-poplar-6-ply

You can have reinforcing rings added by whoever is doing the edges. Nordic may do the rings as well. Or you could just not do rings (not needed for structural reasons anymore), and still do a big rounded edge to match the profile of your current kit's edges.
I was going to call Precision Drum and ask them what would be the closest to a 3 ply. And, after reading the other thread about the Nordic shells I was going to look into that option as well.
 

jccabinets

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1. 8
2. You have one life, and music helps make that life awesome. Spend the money to take your chrome lugs to a plater and have them nickel plated. Easy peasy.
3. See above. Get the vintage parts.
4. Do it.
5. No
Thanks for answering all my questions. Never considered having the nickel plated, im going to have to investigate that scenario.
 

K.O.

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Jeff, get in touch with Bernie Stone. He can make you a 3 ply shell in whatever layup you want (using mahogany and/or maple and poplar) with maple rings. He does so using the original Slingerland molds and equipment from the Niles factory. I had him make me two 14x14 shells that I turned into floor toms and they were perfect for what I wanted. I can show them to you if you like when I bring you those grommets.
 

jccabinets

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Jeff, get in touch with Bernie Stone. He can make you a 3 ply shell in whatever layup you want (using mahogany and/or maple and poplar) with maple rings. He does so using the original Slingerland molds and equipment from the Niles factory. I had him make me two 14x14 shells that I turned into floor toms and they were perfect for what I wanted. I can show them to you if you like when I bring you those grommets.
Kevin, I did contact him a few years ago over a 14 0r 16 inch floor tom (can't remember) and it was going to cost around 500.00. The Keller shell is 150.00 from Presicion.
What was you experience with price?
Can't wait for that day when we install the grommets!
 

K.O.

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If I remember right he did the two 14x14 shells for me for $350. I had him make me a 5.5x14 snare shell earlier this year (3 ply mahogany/poplar/mahogany with rings) and I think that was $125 or thereabouts. The floor tom shells were completed with the edges done while the snare shell was not.

I recently contacted him about making me a 6 ply 14x18 "Gretsch style" shell in maple/gum but never got a firm price from him and haven't further pursued that idea for the time being due to being laid off again (due to covid).

I'm sure the Keller route is going to be cheaper but if it's not too much more $ it's cool to have the original layup re-created.

As far as the details of your build....when I do one I try to make it match as closely to the real deal as I can.
 

jccabinets

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If I remember right he did the two 14x14 shells for me for $350. I had him make me a 5.5x14 snare shell earlier this year (3 ply mahogany/poplar/mahogany with rings) and I think that was $125 or thereabouts. The floor tom shells were completed with the edges done while the snare shell was not.

I recently contacted him about making me a 6 ply 14x18 "Gretsch style" shell in maple/gum but never got a firm price from him and haven't further pursued that idea for the time being due to being laid off again (due to covid).

I'm sure the Keller route is going to be cheaper but if it's not too much more $ it's cool to have the original layup re-created.

As far as the details of your build....when I do one I try to make it match as closely to the real deal as I can.
Kevin, I remember now what happened. I called his company and was told they only sell to music stores and drum manufacturers. The ony way I could purchase a shell would be through Sweetwater. So I did pursue it and Sweetwater came back with the 500.00 price tag. Now I'm talking about stonecustomdrum.com.
 

jccabinets

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I've dealt with him direct. I can pm you his number.
Ok thanks. I've talked to him at the drum shows. Now I remember what I was wanting. It was a 5 ply 16 x16 shell for that Slingerland kit that you were interested in buying from me.
 

JazzDrumGuy

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I have a 14x14 3 ply from 1970. Clear inside. Someone converted from a club date model. Few hole fills and it may work for you. You can finish or rewrap.
 

jccabinets

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I have a 14x14 3 ply from 1970. Clear inside. Someone converted from a club date model. Few hole fills and it may work for you. You can finish or rewrap.
Interesting, can you pm a picture of it?
 

Rock Salad

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I think my Keller shell kit that I bought here DFO is that vintage mahogany, and it is pretty thick, very strong/rigid- not like the old shells much, except for the re ring.
 

Rock Salad

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I'm also thinking of building a 14×14 to match
20201207_184746.jpg

It's to figure out whether 14×14 or the 12×14 works better in our spot. Gear fiddling lol

But yeah, the Keller, if it's what I have and I was told it is, they are medium thick and quite rigid and strong. They go, "tic" when I pat them, not a bigger hollow sound like the old thin shells.
 

jccabinets

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Ended up having Stone custom drums build me a shell, thanks a bunch KO!

Now, how many 8 lug 14" clubdates exist?
 

K.O.

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Ended up having Stone custom drums build me a shell, thanks a bunch KO!

Now, how many 8 lug 14" clubdates exist?
You're welcome Jeff! Talking to you reminded Bernie to get back to me about my build request so that helped me too.

My guess is that at some point in time Ludwig no doubt built an 8 lug CD floor tom because, really anything you can imagine being done with existing parts Ludwig probably did at some point or other. But the norm was 6 lugs so an 8 lug would be a bit of an oddball/rarity. If someone used the wrong drilling jig or they were low on 6 hole 14" hoops on a given day I can imagine them creating 8 lug drums to keep production going or avoid wasting a shell.

You're building the drum and, while I understand wanting it to be and look "correct" I assume you don't intend to fool anyone into thinking it's an original factory drum so I'd say you're free to do what you want. If 8 lugs is your preference then go for it. It won't look especially odd as most 14" floor toms do have 8 lugs anyway and less than 1 out of 100 people seeing it would notice or know the difference. And, for that one persnickety person out of hundreds that may bring it up, the answer is simple..."This isn't a Ludwig made drum". Although....with one of Stone's shells, done properly, to match an original (meaning 6 lugs), only about 1 in 1000 would probably even question it not being an original drum without going over it with a seriously fine toothed comb.

Either way I'm sure it will turn out great.
 

jccabinets

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Kevin, you explained that very well. I do have 8 lugs so I'm leaning that way. But it might come down to the hoops and the availability of 8 hole vrs 6. Those nob hoops are hard to find.
And yes, Bernie did mention you today. Bass drum?
 


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