Camco Oaklawn Snare 14 x 5.5

howiedrum

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I know someone who is willing to sell me their Oaklawn snare. It's a 14 x 5.5 in a walnut finish.
There are some sanding on two panels from a former owner... but otherwise it is in great condition. It has the original cob hoops and Camco strainer. They want $700 for it. Camco folks, do you think that is a fair price? Is there any known issues with the strainer? I know a lot of folks replaced the Camco hardware (my Camco had all Roger parts). I plan on adding it to my Camco set that I am refurbishing and using it as one of my main kits for a studio I am building.
 

levelpebble

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Sounds pricey to me. But then again I don't understand the Camco mystique at all.

Are you certain it didn't live a previous life as a wrapped drum?

Pics would help in evaluation.
 

howiedrum

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Here are some pictures. It may have been wrapped previously. Not sure. Is that an issue?
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Prufrock

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That's an interesting one. Looks like it has all the right hardware, and the air vent grommet looks like it is probably original (just double check the inside to ensure it hasn't been messed with).

A few points:
- If it had been wrapped, it would have been painted white on the inside. If you don't see any white, then it was likely a lacquer finish.
- The finish looks like it is probably original. Too bad about the sanding...!
- The hardware looks like it is in pretty good shape. Check for small cracks in the COB hoops, and micro cracks where the inserts go into the lugs. You even have the original washers.
- With that badge and a dark (aged) brass grommet, I would expect that to be a 5 inch shell rather than a 5.5 inch shell. The 5.5 inch shells only appeared at the very beginning of the Camco period (left over from George Way shells).
- If that drum were parted out (I am not endorsing this!) the parts would sell for around $600+. $700 for a complete Aristocrat in nice shape is not an outrageous price, although the issue with the shell being sanded makes putting a price a bit more difficult.

Great sounding drum, BTW, and totally worthy of a studio.

Hope this helps!
 

howiedrum

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Yes this does help. I brought up how the 5.5 inch shell contradicts the badge and the guy got offended. Like I was insulting him. He later apologized and he went from being 100% sure it was a 5.5 to 98%. He's going to measure it and get back to me. I think $700 is a bit high considering the sanding that took place.

Another person has a BDP George Way 5.5 x 14 that I may buy instead. It’s a 1958 or 59. It has 3 or 4 extra holes behind the strainer but the casing covers them all. The lugs have the typical volcano effect but nothing blown out. And the white interior has been repainted. He would sell it for $500.
 

Prufrock

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Yes this does help. I brought up how the 5.5 inch shell contradicts the badge and the guy got offended. Like I was insulting him. He later apologized and he went from being 100% sure it was a 5.5 to 98%. He's going to measure it and get back to me. I think $700 is a bit high considering the sanding that took place.

Another person has a BDP George Way 5.5 x 14 that I may buy instead. It’s a 1958 or 59. It has 3 or 4 extra holes behind the strainer but the casing covers them all. The lugs have the typical volcano effect but nothing blown out. And the white interior has been repainted. He would sell it for $500.
The Way 3 ply drums can sound great, just a bit different from a Camco. The lugs limit the tuning somewhat (unless you replace them and preserve the originals). $500 for a drum with extra holes and re-painted interior is top dollar. It's not unusual, however, to find Way drums that have had some modification due to strainer changes, and Way drums are not all that common.
 

jaymandude

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I don’t have a horse in the race as I’m not a Camco guy. I’m not really an anything guy.

But sometimes I consider or equate the cost of a drum to sound. As in “ what else can I buy for 700 that gets me this sound “. It’s been helpful when I started getting more serious about a collection of working drums, not just duplicates of what I like.

Anyway.. carry on :)
 

howiedrum

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Thanks. Good advice. I always wanted a Camco wood snare to complete my Camco set. But you raise a good point. Why pay that much? What else could I get for the money? Why now? Plus how much time and energy will it take to fix any issues with these vintage drums. Plus I live in a rural area so I have to rely on eBay and reverb. So I can't hear and test out the drums prior to buying. I have to go by pictures and videos and what the seller says about the sound. Not the best way.
 

jaymandude

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Thanks. Good advice. I always wanted a Camco wood snare to complete my Camco set. But you raise a good point. Why pay that much? What else could I get for the money? Why now? Plus how much time and energy will it take to fix any issues with these vintage drums. Plus I live in a rural area so I have to rely on eBay and reverb. So I can't hear and test out the drums prior to buying. I have to go by pictures and videos and what the seller says about the sound. Not the best way.
Ah yes. The buying and selling, trial and error because you’re not near “civilization” ,I know about this.

Don’t knew what to tell you. Depends on your budget in this case. Woukd you pay more for a cleaner Camco snare ?
 

howiedrum

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Woukd you pay more for a cleaner Camco snare ?
Maybe. The real clean Camco snares are selling for $1,000 plus. Under that they all seem to have some issues. But I have only been researching this for the past 2-3 weeks.
 

Troyh

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Howie,
I would probably pass on both snares. Be patient, (I know you already have been!) and one will show up. Although did I miss that the former matches your refurb set? If that is the case, it does change my view somewhat.
 

howiedrum

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Yes if I sanded the one above it would be a nice match. However it has a crack in the metal hoop by the snare gate. Can that be fixed?
Screen Shot 2019-11-18 at 9.24.22 AM.jpg
 

howiedrum

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Here are photo's of the George Way drum. The strainer has some heavy pitting but all other hardware is in good shape. Seller says after taking the head off it appears that the bearing edges have been recut. It’s more of a sharp edge than the typical GW rounded edge. That concerns me. There is one area on the top rim that has a slight bend but it’s also right at the welded seam so it may have been manufactured that way. He wants $500.
Badge.jpg
Lug.jpg
Snare Mechanism 1.jpg
Snare Mechanism 2.jpg
snare gate.jpg
snare gate 2.jpg
inside.jpg

screws and washers.jpg

holes.jpg
 

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Prufrock

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Thanks for posting the photos of the Way BDP drum. The hardware would shine up okay, but of course you would have to live with the pitting. It has a first version Way "Precision" strainer, which is probably correct for the drum, but there have been at least two other strainers installed on the drum at some point given the holes. These first version strainers work, but apparently they had some issues that caused them to be replaced by other versions. It isn't unusual to see Way drums with a later version of the Precision or Aristocrat strainer installed within a few years of the drum's manufacture. Ronn Dunnett is supposedly working on a new version of the Aristocrat strainer that might be a possible replacement if you wanted one that was more reliable, and to preserve the original one from damage.

Hard to tell from the angle of the photos about the bearing edges, but taking the seller's word that it had been repainted and that the edges appear different, that has to be taken into account. A few other observations:

- the tension rods are not original George Way.
- some of the lugs look in good shape; a few others might show the "volcano" effect that can happen with the early Way turret lugs. Sometimes you find Way drums with some of the original lugs that haven't completely blown out combined with later Camco replacements. The only real way to tell is to take the lugs off to see if they are all the same or not. It is interesting that the lugs seem to be in much better condition than the hardware on the rest of the drum(?). In other words, is the level of grime consistent between the hoops, the strainer, the tension rods, and the lugs? If not, why? All good things to think about.

That drum could be cleaned up and made into a good player. Still, you have to consider the condition issues and modifications when thinking about the price.
 

multijd

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You might consider a modern GWay drum. I was looking at them a few months back. Great snares and within your price range for a brand new drum.
 

howiedrum

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Yeah I have thought about that and I spent some time checking them out. But having an older aged maple shell appeals to me more.
 

jaymandude

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Another reply from me. I’d wait until a drum in better condition comes up. You’ll be happier even if it is more money. At least I know I am when faced with similar circumstances
 

DolFan54

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The Way 3 ply drums can sound great, just a bit different from a Camco. The lugs limit the tuning somewhat (unless you replace them and preserve the originals). $500 for a drum with extra holes and re-painted interior is top dollar. It's not unusual, however, to find Way drums that have had some modification due to strainer changes, and Way drums are not all that common.
This snare wasn’t for sale and to be honest I was hesitant about selling it in the first place. I threw it out there to David and now Howie. After playing it last night at rehearsal I’m keeping it! Damn it sounds so good! Good luck on finding what you’re looking for.
 


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