Camco Lug Questions....

kdgrissom

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I am almost done cleaning and polishing the metal pieces for my Oaklawn kit.
I would like to know if anybody can tell me the purpose of the metal strip inside the lugs? (Chroming process related?)
Also if anybody knows about when the base of the lugs went from flat (as pictured) to the later lugs that had two trenches on either side.
I am pretty sure this happened during the Oaklawn era. Thanks!

Oaklawn Lug #1.jpg
 

Prufrock

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I don't know about the metal strip, but the flat rim lugs started with George Way. The original turret lugs had holes on both sides whether they were for snare drums or for toms and bass drums. To close the hole on the other side a small plug was inserted that stuck out. There are two versions of the nub (one more rounded, and the other a little flatter). Late in the George Way production single-sided lugs were made like you would see on Camco drums. Early Camco drums continued using this style lug, and not too long after the change from Camco to George Way the lug was redesigned to have the "trenches" on the back side. Typically (although there are exceptions) you would most likely see the flat-backed lugs on the "Oaklawn, Illinois" badge, and not on the ones with "USA."
 

kdgrissom

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I don't know about the metal strip, but the flat rim lugs started with George Way. The original turret lugs had holes on both sides whether they were for snare drums or for toms and bass drums. To close the hole on the other side a small plug was inserted that stuck out. There are two versions of the nub (one more rounded, and the other a little flatter). Late in the George Way production single-sided lugs were made like you would see on Camco drums. Early Camco drums continued using this style lug, and not too long after the change from Camco to George Way the lug was redesigned to have the "trenches" on the back side. Typically (although there are exceptions) you would most likely see the flat-backed lugs on the "Oaklawn, Illinois" badge, and not on the ones with "USA."
Great information Prufrock! I bought this kit from the original owner who told me he got it in a music store in Anchorage, Alaska in 1965. The badges are "Oaklawn, Illinois USA" however. I wonder if the strip of metal had something to do with improving the plating process as it looks to be soldered in place and the lug is not magnetic, so more probably a Zinc based alloy (pot metal).
 

Prufrock

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The inside of the lugs are definitely machined. I hadn't thought too much about the metal strip in terms of what it might be for. It is aligned with the two holes. Given the propensity for these lugs to volcano, perhaps the strip was meant to help strengthen the lug in some way? You may know this already, but these older Way and Camco lugs have the initials "CDC" (a large C enclosing DC) that stand for the Consolidated Die Company. Later lugs (such as those from the LA period) won't have these.

I had always understood that these lugs were brass. On the backs of some you can see gold on the flat rim, or on the inside. Saying this, I am looking at one that is blown out, and while it has some of this gold coloring, the case near the hole looks like a silver material. I also filed off a little bit out of the rim on the back, and it looks silver as well. It would be interesting for someone to take some samples and analyze them to find out what they are made of.
 

kdgrissom

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It is intriguing to think the lugs are brass. They certainly are very heavy, but I was attributing that to the stout solid design. I figured it was pot metal as many drum manufacturers went that route with decorative lugs. I've read that Chrome on pot metal sometimes has a tendency to bubble and pit over time. I will check tomorrow for the "CDC" on the interior. The Gold color you see could be a shade of Copper as I have suspected that most of the early Camco hardware was "triple plated". I know for sure that the BD tension rods are COB at the "T" and affixed to the steel threaded rod.
Thanks again for your valuable input!

Kurt
 
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thin shell

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It's part of the casting. The big clue is the circle in the middle of it. At first I thought it was the indication of a three piece part of the mold for the inside but now I think it is there for added strength. I seriously doubt the inside of the lug is machined in any way. Any machine mark you may see are from the machining on the mold for the lug.

The lugs are most likely zinc pot metal. Brass is hard to die cast and not end up with voids and air bubbles. It can be done now but back then they hadn't come up with the technology to die cast brass without those problems.

It is very common to have different colors on the inside of lugs and other chrome plated parts. They would have been supported on hooks and they always hook them on the inside. Chrome plating is a three step process. The first layer is copper. The second is nickel and the third is chrome. You can end up with varying thicknesses of plating inside the lug so you can sometimes see the copper because the nickel is much thinner in that spot.
 

Prufrock

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The really early Way and Camco lugs definitely have some machining. If you do a search, you can find comments on VDF and in articles where some researchers state that the early lugs were machined brass. I don't have further validation of this, other than to say that I can see significant gold color on several of the lugs, but then again I can see from the blown lug that the metal in other parts looks silver, so maybe a different alloy as has been suggested. Whatever they are, the metal was too soft in the early lugs, which is why they tend to volcano and blow out. The adjustments that were made to the more typical Camco lug (with the "trenches" on the back rim) seemed to solve the problem. It would be interesting for someone to do a technical study of the differences in design and material to show how the issue was resolved.
 

kdgrissom

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but these older Way and Camco lugs have the initials "CDC" (a large C enclosing DC) that stand for the Consolidated Die Company
Can you tell me if that is the stamp partially hidden by the right side center of the strip? You will need to enlarge the photo.
The strip inside is definitely a separate piece. I can feel a bit of a gap under it with my finger and you can see what I believe is a solder or weld on either side. Prufrock, did the Geo. Way turrets have this strip?

Oaklawn Lug #1a.jpg
 

Prufrock

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Can you tell me if that is the stamp partially hidden by the right side center of the strip? You will need to enlarge the photo.
The strip inside is definitely a separate piece. I can feel a bit of a gap under it with my finger and you can see what I believe is a solder or weld on either side. Prufrock, did the Geo. Way turrets have this strip?

View attachment 459432

Yes, that's exactly the same as the George Way turret lugs. Sometimes the CDC initials are a little obscured, which makes sense if the metal strip is a piece being inserted separately - if it were part of the casting it wouldn't obscure the initials (they wouldn't design it that way).
 

Prufrock

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By the way, I forgot about this since it is relatively new, but Rob Cook's book The Leedy Way has some good photos and descriptions of the differences in Way and Camco lugs. On page 87 he has a number of photos of Way lugs that is basically what I wrote in my first post to this thread. I'll quite this bit, though, as it partly addresses one point we have been discussing:

"The first generation George Way turret lug casings were milled units." Milled = machined, right?

In terms of the single-sided George Way lugs (he calls these "second generation" because they don't use the plugs, but he doesn't detail the two variants of plugs used on the first version lugs). He writes:
"These lugs were used on George Way drums as well as on Oak Lawn Camco 4-ply drums and the first of the Oak Lawn 6-ply shells."

On page 294 he shows differences in the flat-backed and trench-backed lugs (which he refers to as the 2nd and 3rd generation of turret lugs). Along with the difference to the back, he shows that the turret on the Way/early Camco lug is 1/2" tall, while the turret on the later Camco lug is 9/16" tall. If you compare them side by side in your hand (or on a drum) you can see the subtle difference.
 
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Prufrock

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Yes, that's exactly the same as the George Way turret lugs. Sometimes the CDC initials are a little obscured, which makes sense if the metal strip is a piece being inserted separately - if it were part of the casting it wouldn't obscure the initials (they wouldn't design it that way).
One other observation: if memory is serving, I don't recall seeing the CDC initials obscured like this on the later Camco lugs, so that could be a sign that the later ones weren't milled or machined. Have to verify this at some point by looking at some examples, but it's a thought.
 

kdgrissom

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OK, Dammit. I'm ordering that book today! Thanks for going the extra mile, Prufrock.
Perhaps someday somebody will collate enough information for a Camco book.
 

Prufrock

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OK, Dammit. I'm ordering that book today! Thanks for going the extra mile, Prufrock.
Perhaps someday somebody will collate enough information for a Camco book.
Rob's book will scratch that itch! Lots of good photos and information.
 

thin shell

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By the way, I forgot about this since it is relatively new, but Rob Cook's book The Leedy Way has some good photos and descriptions of the differences in Way and Camco lugs. On page 87 he has a number of photos of Way lugs that is basically what I wrote in my first post to this thread. I'll quite this bit, though, as it partly collaborates one point we have been discussing:

"The first generation George Way turret lug casings were milled units." Milled = machined, right?

In terms of the single-sided George Way lugs (he calls these "second generation" because they don't use the plugs, but he doesn't detail the two variants of plugs used on the first version lugs). He writes:
"These lugs were used on George Way drums as well as on Oak Lawn Camco 4-ply drums and the first of the Oak Lawn 6-ply shells."

On page 294 he shows differences in the flat-backed and trench-backed lugs (which he refers to as the 2nd and 3rd generation of turret lugs). Along with the difference to the back, he shows that the turret on the Way/early Camco lug is 1/2" tall, while the turret on the later Camco lug is 9/16" tall. If you compare them side by side in your hand (or on a drum) you can see the subtle difference.
I don't think Mr Cook knows the difference between a milling machine and a lathe. A round turret lug would be made on a lathe. Not a mill.
 

thin shell

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Can you tell me if that is the stamp partially hidden by the right side center of the strip? You will need to enlarge the photo.
The strip inside is definitely a separate piece. I can feel a bit of a gap under it with my finger and you can see what I believe is a solder or weld on either side. Prufrock, did the Geo. Way turrets have this strip?

View attachment 459432
Well in that picture it does appear to be a strip of metal. Perhaps to retain the insert or keep it front rattling?
 

Jolo

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By the way, I forgot about this since it is relatively new, but Rob Cook's book The Leedy Way has some good photos and descriptions of the differences in Way and Camco lugs. On page 87 he has a number of photos of Way lugs that is basically what I wrote in my first post to this thread. I'll quite this bit, though, as it partly collaborates one point we have been discussing:

"The first generation George Way turret lug casings were milled units." Milled = machined, right?

In terms of the single-sided George Way lugs (he calls these "second generation" because they don't use the plugs, but he doesn't detail the two variants of plugs used on the first version lugs). He writes:
"These lugs were used on George Way drums as well as on Oak Lawn Camco 4-ply drums and the first of the Oak Lawn 6-ply shells."

On page 294 he shows differences in the flat-backed and trench-backed lugs (which he refers to as the 2nd and 3rd generation of turret lugs). Along with the difference to the back, he shows that the turret on the Way/early Camco lug is 1/2" tall, while the turret on the later Camco lug is 9/16" tall. If you compare them side by side in your hand (or on a drum) you can see the subtle difference.
I sent those photos and info to Rob but something got mixed up in the description.
The second tiers on both lugs are identical, not 1/2" and 9/16" as shown in the book.
The height difference is in the wider base tiers with the 3rd generation being 1/16" higher.
This makes the distance from the shell to the center of the insert hole 1/2" on the 2nd generation
and 9/16" on the 3rd generation lugs... usually.
Camco didn't consistently drill the holes the same height so sometimes you'll find the holes drilled rather high on the lug.
Some floor tom/cymbal arm brackets have different height holes on each side.

They were also really inconsistent with their lug mounting holes as you can see from the photos with a straight edge.
Funny thing, this was also done in the Los Angeles era. The red sparkle 12" tom is an Oaklawn and the Stradivarius lacquer 12" tom is a Los Angeles.
The round lugs disguise this well but if you have a set, check this out.

"The Leedy Way" is another great book about Leedy, Conn, L&S, George Way, Camco, and Advance drums and history from Rob Cook.
Please buy it and support all our hard working authors! They are doing a wonderful service for the drumming community.
 

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