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Custom Nickel Lugs.

D. B. Cooper

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Hey everyone.

Has anybody ever had custom lugs made?
Are there small metal shops/machine shops that do that kind of thing or is it generally not worth their time?

I have a few shells that I want matching lugs for but the already-drilled hole spacing is making that quite difficult. I've looked for a couple years now. I feel like I've exhausted every option on DFD and have talked to a few different makers with mixed results.

I also want them to be nickel plated, because I thought to myself, why not complicate this issue even more!

Any advice is appreciated!
 

K.O.

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Well, if you can get them made and plated then a nickel finish isn't an issue as chrome is just an extra step in the process. It's like a clear coat over nickel plate, so they would just not do it. So there's that.... :) .

As I recall J.R. Frondelli had his own lug design for the drums he built and sold several years back. I believe he sourced them from Worldmax. I do not recall whether they made lugs to his design or whether he selected a pre-existing design from them but he did have a unique lug (had his own cool badges too). I don't think he is on DFO anymore but does have a presence on Facebook.
 

varatrodder

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You could always go with custom tube lugs from Allstar or Champagne. They will make them to your hole specs, and then you can take them to a player for the nickel.

You can also look into 3D printing.
 

D. B. Cooper

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What would I even look up?
I've been using Google searches and google maps to look for metal fabricators but a lot of them are sheet metal fabricators? Is that what I'm looking for?
 

rwm5

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Machine shops. Problem will be a small production run, and what the design is. If you want them to make a simple turret style lug with an insert provision or just have it tapped to take a tension rod, that in my mind would be the most basic. However, as I mentioned the small production run probably isn’t worth their time.
 

rwm5

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Perhaps share the lug hole spacing on the shells with the forum. I’d be happy to keep an eye out and even search for options.
 

K.O.

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What would I even look up?
I've been using Google searches and google maps to look for metal fabricators but a lot of them are sheet metal fabricators? Is that what I'm looking for?

Lugs are generally die cast out of zinc alloys. The hurdle there is that the cost of the steel casting dies (molds) are huge so far too expensive to create just a handfull of lugs.

There may be alternative ways of doing it for small runs, sand casting? I'm not sure. Technology marches ever forward so there could be other newer options like metal 3D printing or computer guided machining.

I doubt any option will come anywhere close to the $3-$10 cost per lug that you can get mass produced lugs for.
 
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purity

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I could be misreading your post, but are you looking to have custom lugs made to match others that you already own or just to match a specific hole spacing in a drilled shell? Perhaps you already have but I'd try contacting Champagne https://champagnedrum.com/lugsC

If you're looking for something other than a tube/hex style lug, a machine shop that has a CNC mill should be capable of doing it. But like others have mentioned, the cost is going to be pretty prohibitive for a small job and many shops likely wouldn't even be interested in the job. Any chance you live near a university that has an engineering program? If so, I'd bet they have a machine shop with the capabilities to do what you need. Usually there are training programs designed to teach students various machining techniques...sounds like your project would be something cool for them to cut their teeth on.
 

D. B. Cooper

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Lugs are generally die cast out of zinc alloys. The hurdle there is that the cost of the steel casting dies (molds) are huge so far too expensive to create just a handfull of lugs.

There may be alternative ways of doing it for small runs, sand casting? I'm not sure. Technology marches ever forward so there could be other newer options like metal 3D printing or computer guided machining.

I doubt any option will come anywhere close to the $3-$10 cost per lug that hou can get mass produceWhat section?
I was hoping for maybe nice tube lugs or something simple and elegant that can take an insert.
Also, something that meets my odd standard for proportions.a



Yeah. That's kind of how I figured it as well, price-wise. I know it will be a lot more expensive.

This project now feels like something I Have to do. Like a personal mission. It must come to fruition.

I've got a 12x24, 13x17 and 4x14. All single ply, early 1900's shells.
Then a NOS 8x14 slingerland brass shell with only beds and lug holes drilled.

24" only has 2 holes drilled in it, total. No re-rings.

17" drum is a snare shell with 12 single holes around the middle for single tension lug/guides.

4x14 is a damaged shell that I hope I can bring back to life. Started life as a wrapped drum, in WMP. But the wrap was half gone when I got it and I chipped off the rest. It's rough. But I'm going to take a chance on it. Drilled for 10 lugs with 2" hole spacing.

The 8x14 is one of those NOS slingerland factory surplus shells from a while back...
Or whatever they were.
It's cool though. No vent hole or holes for strainer drilled.
Drilled for lugs with 4" hole spacing.


Quite a variety of lugs needed.

Single post, double ended
Double post, double ended


I love the idea of lug inserts but I guess I don't know the science of it all.

Wouldn't it be better for the entire drum, long term, if it had inserts? Does it matter?
 

K.O.

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I bought one of those Slingerland brass or bronze shells many years back. Mine was a 6.5" and drilled for regular Slingerland lug spacing.

DSCN2612.jpg


my guess is, if drilled for 4" spacing that your shell was supposed to receive a set of those conjoined "high tension" style lugs (Slingerland's version of Ludwig's "Mach" lugs). You might be able to find some of those used somewhere.

SL-PG70.JPG
 

D. B. Cooper

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I could be misreading your post, but are you looking to have custom lugs made to match others that you already own or just to match a specific hole spacing in a drilled shell? Perhaps you already have but I'd try contacting Champagne https://champagnedrum.com/lugsC

If you're looking for something other than a tube/hex style lug, a machine shop that has a CNC mill should be capable of doing it. But like others have mentioned, the cost is going to be pretty prohibitive for a small job and many shops likely wouldn't even be interested in the job. Any chance you live near a university that has an engineering program? If so, I'd bet they have a machine shop with the capabilities to do what you need. Usually there are training programs designed to teach students various machining techniques...sounds like your project would be something cool for them to cut their teeth on.

Cool! Great suggestions! I remember reaching out to Champagne a while back, I dont think we ever reached any kind of conclusion. I'll have to reach back out and start from scratch!
 


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