drilling holes in a virgin bass drum shell to accomodate a tom mount

PaulD

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To each his own. I personally like the slight, clean flair it adds to both sides of the hole.
Theoretically, taking away that extra material weakens the hole a bit. It's minor but something to consider.
 

Old Dog

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This seems... wrong.
This is basically what is done in the video I posted. Came out VERY CLEAN. Not sure what's wrong with it. I don't believe anything is set in stone when it comes to this stuff.

It IS, very time consuming compared to just--punch-pilot-drill.
 

thin shell

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Get a brad point bit of the appropriate size. If you drill slowly you will not get tear out. If you use a standard twist drill bit you will get tear out. You can get little clamp on depth stop collar that will you can set to just allow the bit to cut through. As long as you have two layers of painters tape on the surface it will protect the finish from the depth stop.

A backer board is a good idea but unless it is very narrow and you place it exactly under where the hole will come out the other side it won't do much. The inside of the shell is concave. The backer board is flat. For a backer board to work it has to be in full contact with the board being drilled.

As long as you have measured and marked where the holes go and double and triple checked everything this is not a hard job.
 

thin shell

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This is basically what is done in the video I posted. Came out VERY CLEAN. Not sure what's wrong with it. I don't believe anything is set in stone when it comes to this stuff.

It IS, very time consuming compared to just--punch-pilot-drill.

Using a pilot hole with a brad point bit is counter productive and a really bad idea. Brad point bits have a "brad point" that acts as a pilot and the hole will be centered wherever that point lands. Drilling a pilot hole eliminates that function of the point so the bit will wander around in the hole until the two side cutting edges cut into the wood.

He is actually getting tearout on the outside because his bit is wandering because of his pilot hole. You will get a perfect hole with a sharp bradpoint bit when used properly.

It makes no sense, actually makes it harder to get your hole where you want it and is some of the worst advice I have seen.

Pilot holes make sense with standard twist bits because the tip is angled and will follow the path of a pilot hole.
 
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BennyK

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You can adapt a Pearl Optimount or a couple RIMS assemblies without drilling into the shell or consider a Mapex system.
 

Old Dog

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Using a pilot hole with a brad point bit is counter productive and a really bad idea. Brad point bits have a "brad point" that acts as a pilot and the hole will be centered wherever that point lands. Drilling a pilot hole eliminates that function of the point so the bit will wander around in the hole until the two side cutting edges cut into the wood.

He is actually getting tearout on the outside because his bit is wandering because of his pilot hole. You will get a perfect hole with a sharp bradpoint bit when used properly.

It makes no sense, actually makes it harder to get your hole where you want it and is some of the worst advice I have seen.

Pilot holes make sense with standard twist bits because the tip is angled and will follow the path of a pilot hole.
The first video I posted--the guy doesn't do great work, but I think it's a sound theory. Wood density and thickness and drill bit size are going to come into play. He just rams that big arse bit into that shell like a 12 year old.


On my snare project shell, I used a punch, and then a brad point--very clean.

I've seen more than a few woodworking videos where guys started with a punch tool, and then used a brad point bit. The brad bit sits PERFECTLY in the hole punched.

Also, do you mean start with "light pressure" instead of drilling slowly? There's a difference. If the drill bit moves slowly, it's going to allow for wood to grab and be torn instead of a fast moving bit simply cutting through that wood. The guy in this video says at 1:07 "OBVIOUSLY, the faster the speed, the cleaner the cut."



As I said before, none of this is set in stone. It's in wood. :-D :rolleyes:
 

Vistalite Black

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Geesh, some of you guys get needlessly elaborate about drilling a hole in a piece of wood.

Somehow, our forefathers were able to drill holes in drums -- by themselves and without professional help -- and attach all manner of things to the base drum. Plenty of old timers NAILED the drum to the stage floor to keep the bass from walking. They did that every night.

Use a bit of tape, measure it and drill the damned hole... When the post is attached, that drum will resonate pretty much as much as Ringo Starr, Buddy Rich or Elvin Jones ever needed a bass drum to resonate -- in the days before before clever marketers sold gullible drummers on the idea that a top post reduces resonance any more than the spurs and spur mounts do.
 

PaulD

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I bet those forefathers wish they had CNC manufactured drums too.
 

blueshadow

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Geesh, some of you guys get needlessly elaborate about drilling a hole in a piece of wood.

Somehow, our forefathers were able to drill holes in drums -- by themselves and without professional help -- and attach all manner of things to the base drum. Plenty of old timers NAILED the drum to the stage floor to keep the bass from walking. They did that every night.

Use a bit of tape, measure it and drill the damned hole... When the post is attached, that drum will resonate pretty much as much as Ringo Starr, Buddy Rich or Elvin Jones ever needed a bass drum to resonate -- in the days before before clever marketers sold gullible drummers on the idea that a top post reduces resonance any more than the spurs and spur mounts do.

They didn't have drum forums then....we need a top 10 list for "how to drill a hole in a drum shell" :)
 

drummingbulldog

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These replies are funny. It's like Grumpy Old Men 3 & I am getting ready to turn fifty. I did this with a Gretsch SSB bass drum last year. My drum had already been drilled for a Yamaha mount years ago. I used a larger bit and bored mine out to accept a modern Gretsch tom holder. Pain in the ass. My Dad used to say, "If there's a doubt then there is NO doubt." Unless you are careful you can completely destroy a nice kit. Vintage collectors know what I mean. How many extra holes on old Gretsch & Slingy stuff have you seen where a douchenozzle tried to add a p85 to a Radio King? No one wants that. If finding the center gives you a headache have a pro do it. The end.
 

Ray Dee Oh King

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Theres some nice non drilling brackets out nowadays. Why drill when you dont really have to? Unless you're hellbent on a particular mount, I'd go with one of the non drill type.
 

hector48

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Thanks for all your replies.
I already have the Tama tom mounting hardware that is typically used on this kit.
So, that's what I wanted to use.
But......................I had some free time this afternoon (boss sent me home because I have a cold, and he didn't want me getting other employees sick.......first time that happened)
Anyhow, I got my toms looking pretty good with my Gibraltar Stealth rack and stand mounted tom arms.
I may not do the drilling at all now :)

Tama.jpg
 

TheElectricCompany

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I’m a finish carpenter. It’s right. :cool:
I’ll trust your opinion then! Could you protect the inner ply by having a piece of scrap wood clamped to the interior of the shell so the bit exits through the scrap rather than the shell itself?

I also wonder if the the dimensions wouldn’t be off when you’re measuring inside. The interior of the drum will be slightly smaller, right? Wouldn’t you run the risk of having an oblong hole in that case? It seems like a lot of risk for someone who might not have a talent for that kind of work.
 

pwc1141

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I did it myself many years ago when I fully converted a 16" tom to a bass drum with center holed tom mount and legs. The minor damage to the inside of the shell was covered anyway by the washers and nuts used inside the shell for those additions so no-one ever saw such minor damage .....good luck. These days I have a virgin bass drum with a cymbal stand tom mount that is fine and very easy to position things. But to each his own.
 

Mongrel

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Wait did I read:

“I want to mount a tom holder on an old 1940s bass drum I got from Gene Krupa.”

or....

“I want to add a bass drum mount to a $1500 Tama BB kit bass drum.”

I’m with Vista on this one. It’s a drum, your a man, use your brain, drill the stinkin’ holes and move on... You will be fine using the advice above (brad point bit, measure twice, use some tape, take your time).

lol

Perhaps some consolation-I am pretty sure that EVERY hole on all my 1960s Rogers drums has at least some tear out....and like PWC said above-every hole is covered by a washer.
 
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Nacci

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Radio King is spot on with his advice on the step drill. The rake on a drill bit is what “pulls” it into the wood and that pull is what is going to cause most of your damage if it does occur. Step drills are rakeless so there is no pull, it only drill what your pressure it into so there is much more user control

I would try to set up a jig or support of some kind and do the drilling on a press. That will give you even more control and accuracy.

I‘be never used painters tape when drilling a shell and don’t see why it is necessary.

Just make sure you measure and mark correctly, use a sharp set to indent your marks well so that the drill tip has a good place to start and won’t wander, drill a pilot hole, probably 3/32” the come in with the step drill from the top with a wood backer on the exit.

Once the holes are drilled you can come back to each one and give it a slight chamfer with the step drill bit as each successive increment starts off with this option.

A good chamfer will reduce the risk of edge grain chipping and lifting.

I have some drum shell pieces laying around. If you want I could send you a piece to practice on before you do the real thing.

The though of virgin bass drums is appealing but the are impractical if you are a two up player.
 

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