Craviotto tension rods & lugs

robthedrummer

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Hi there,

I was wondering if any other have this annoying Craviotto issue.

Of course, the shells themselves are perfect and the drums sound great. No issues there. My problem is that many of the tension rods on all drums do not spin freely in the lugs. I would describe it as similar to at situation where there is a bit of rust somewhere. There's no rust, and I've tried different types of lube, from the heavier, grease type to lighter gun oil types. I use a minimal amount, whichever I use.

I like to finger-tighten rods before using drum keys and I find this extremely annoying. I know everything is aligned properly and nothing has been cross-threaded.

Any thoughts or suggestions?

Thanks!
 

cochlea

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I know I'm not being of much help in addressing your problem but I just changed heads on my Johnny C snare (from 2015) and did not encounter any issues with the tension rods freely spinning. However, the lugs on the Johnny C models are different from the Custom Shop snares, so maybe that's a factor if you're using a custom model.
 

wayne

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Two.things come to mind that are quite common.

1...Even though it appears aligned, its possible its out ever so slightly, and it only takes one lug to start the domino effect and work its way to the last couple of lugs. Can drive you crazy!
2...There could be microscopic bits of metal logged in the threads of the receiver [lug] from the threading process.A hand tap is a handy tool to have, it will clean them right up...good luck.
 
J

jaymandude

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robthedrummer said:
Hi there,

I was wondering if any other have this annoying Craviotto issue.

Of course, the shells themselves are perfect and the drums sound great. No issues there. My problem is that many of the tension rods on all drums do not spin freely in the lugs. I would describe it as similar to at situation where there is a bit of rust somewhere. There's no rust, and I've tried different types of lube, from the heavier, grease type to lighter gun oil types. I use a minimal amount, whichever I use.

I like to finger-tighten rods before using drum keys and I find this extremely annoying. I know everything is aligned properly and nothing has been cross-threaded.

Any thoughts or suggestions?

Thanks!
which series/lug ? Diamond or tube ?

I've got a more than a few, all tube lugs. Maybe there's is this issue on one of the lugs, that's a highly doubtful "maybe", I really can't say . I havent changed heads in a quite a while. ( I like them broken in).

I'm not sure what to say. Call them, or Steve Maxwell maybe ?
 

indedrum

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As others have asked, tube lugs or cast with floating insert? This is a problem common to tube lugs- check alignment first if that is the case. Otherwise, if it is a thread issue, you can figure out if the problem is in the tension rods or lug receivers by moving tension rods to different lug locations. Does the problem follow the rod or stay at the lugs? If it is a lug problem, you need a 12-24 tap, if the tension rods are the problem, you need a 12-24 die, or just replace t-rods.
 

robthedrummer

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Thanks for the replies thus far. The lugs are the custom shop tube lugs. I should add that I had a previous Craviotto set with none of these issues. The sizes weren't exactly what I was looking for and I found this set on Reverb, so I sold mine and bought this one. It was very well taken care of, but the bass drum and both toms all have t-rods that don't turn easily on at least 50% of the lugs.

Could it be some really old thread grease used by the original owner has crusted up and not working itself out? I've never had an alignment issue with a Craviotto drum. If needed, I could take off the lugs and soak them in Dawn to remove any old thread grease, but what's the best method for making sure they are aligned properly when putting them back on?

Josh, could you explain the 12-24 tap? I wouldn't damage the existing threads on a lug if they aren't the problem, would I?

Thanks again, guys!
 

indedrum

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If you just thread the tension rod straight into the lug, without a hoop or head, does it bind still? If so, that would eliminate the alignment from the equation.

You shouldn't cause any damage with the tap, if the threads are OK, the tap will just thread right through without much effort and clean the threads. It is basically just like a screw that will clean the threads, and cut away any metal that is where is shouldn't be.
 

Buffalo_drummer

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wayne said:
Two.things come to mind that are quite common.

1...Even though it appears aligned, its possible its out ever so slightly, and it only takes one lug to start the domino effect and work its way to the last couple of lugs. Can drive you crazy!
2...There could be microscopic bits of metal logged in the threads of the receiver [lug] from the threading process.A hand tap is a handy tool to have, it will clean them right up...good luck.
I was thinking #2 as well, small burrs on the threads of the rod or insert would cause this. You could chase the threads on one, with a tap, to see if it helps.
 

noreastbob

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I would verify the threads and inspect the rods for damage then tap the receivers with the appropriate tap. You could run a die over the rods if you have access to the right die, or find a nut to run over them to check their threads. Replace bad rods if found.
It's unusual to hear of a problem like this on such a premium instrument and makes me think they were either kept and played in a dirty environment where debris entered the receivers over time and usage, or someone damaged the threads via carelessness or an attempt to install the wrong tension rods. Or conceivably someone swapped out the rods with some inferior quality cheapies for some reason.
 

Nacci

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robthedrummer said:
Thanks for the replies thus far. The lugs are the custom shop tube lugs.
Tube lugs a be problematic, basically causing the exact problem you described, when the are not positioned directly under the rim holes. This happens when a shell is slightly undersized causing the lug holes to be recessed and because there is no play in threading tube lugs as opposed to inserts it pinches/wedges the tension rod against the rim hole. You can check this by removing the head, and placing the rim holes directly on the lug holes, of course, be very careful not to scratch your shell. There should line up exactly. If not you will have to gasket the lugs out, or possibly remove the gaskets, until they do line up. In extreme circumstances you may have to step drill your rim holes bigger. The most common scenario I have see that causes this issue is slightly undersized shell and tube lugs on a 5" shell where the end of the lug is very close to the rim.
 

owr

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I love my Craviottos but on two of them the shells are slightly over sized which causes a few issues with tight lugs, a 10" tom and 14" cherry snare. Do you have the issue if you try screwing in the rods with no hoop on?
 

amosguy

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To be sure to get the correct tap or die to run over the threads, take the tension rods with you to a good hardware store, and ask someone to double check the fit and size to make sure you have the correct tool. You should be able to tell if there is an issue, and the tool will correct any question of fit.

Also ask them to recommend a good lube for assembly that will not leave residue to collect dirt.
 

Treviso1

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Start with 3 in 1 Sewing Machine Oil and make sure everything is well lubricated.
 
J

jaymandude

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owr said:
I love my Craviottos but on two of them the shells are slightly over sized which causes a few issues with tight lugs, a 10" tom and 14" cherry snare. Do you have the issue if you try screwing in the rods with no hoop on?
That's interesting. How did you discover that ? I know mine shift just a little, the solid shells change ever so slightly with temp and humidity
 

owr

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I live pretty close to the "factory", was able to snag a used kit from an employee that was put together from an assortment of extra shells. The 10" tom was the last added and the hoops are pretty tight. It could be undersized hoops and that was my original assumption, but the next story now has me believing otherwise. All of this was known by me at the time of purchase, I got a great price, and the drums sound fantastic, so no dissatisfaction on my end.

The other instance is a 14" cherry snare. It was a NAMM drum I grabbed from Maxwells about 10 years ago, purchased brand new. Again I was able to grab it from the factory being so close. Johnny gave me a tour, told me he bent the shell himself. It's a fantastic drum and I play it almost exclusively. Anyways, about a year ago I grabbed some used AK brass rims from Maxwells hoping to try out something a little different. When they arrived I tried getting them on my cherry. Not a chance, I couldn't get half the rods in, seemed like the rim was too small. The eye holes on those rims are just big enough for the rods, no play there. I returned them to Maxwells no problem and had them try them out on one of their Craviottos, they had no problem fitting.

So I haven't measured my shells explicitly to fully confirm my suspicion, but 2 cases out of 5 drums is enough for me. The drums all seem to be in round and sound great, I just chalk it up to them still essentially being hand made instruments.
 

Drumming-4-Life

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Thanks for the replies thus far. The lugs are the custom shop tube lugs. I should add that I had a previous Craviotto set with none of these issues. The sizes weren't exactly what I was looking for and I found this set on Reverb, so I sold mine and bought this one. It was very well taken care of, but the bass drum and both toms all have t-rods that don't turn easily on at least 50% of the lugs.

Could it be some really old thread grease used by the original owner has crusted up and not working itself out? I've never had an alignment issue with a Craviotto drum. If needed, I could take off the lugs and soak them in Dawn to remove any old thread grease, but what's the best method for making sure they are aligned properly when putting them back on?

Josh, could you explain the 12-24 tap? I wouldn't damage the existing threads on a lug if they aren't the problem, would I?

Thanks again, guys!
I know this is an old thread Rob, but I wanted to know if you ever resolved the issue with your Craviotto tension rods/lugs? Did you ever try the tap? Or did you just replace the tension bolts?
 


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