Drum key ridiculously difficult to turn

Executor

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Hi
I just tuned my snare drum using that Bob Gatzen video on youtube. Its sounds much better now but the drum key is ridiculously hard to turn on the batter head. Its the same on every lug. I have 2 ply remo head on the drum right by the way. Has anybody had this problem? Is it a problem?
Thanks
 

cdlaine

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Exec....

Couple three things come to mind...

drum out of round
head doesn't fit (turns freely on bearing edge when not under tension)
tension rod/casing mechanism needs lube
wrong size tension rods

also...

remove the other head and see if the problem still exists...

others will have better options...

Peace, Chas
 

HHammerHeadD

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Executor, welcome... Here is something for you to execute...
I would measure the distance between the lug, and the bottom or the collar of the tension rod first. Before you take the Hoop off., Then I would take the Hoop & head , remove it from the drum, and individually screw in each one of the tension rods, and measure the distance again, this will give you an idea wether or not the tension rods are too long. At the same time of disassembly, I would get some Brasso, a toothbrush, and plenty of rags, and go to work on the threads, and maybe also take the lugs off the shell, and squirt or drip some brasso into the threads of the lugs, then run a rod in and out, to clean out any dust, lint or other gumshoe goo, polish and reassemble, You will pay close attention to evenly tightening each lug screwbolt to same tension.

Not only is this good maintence, but, gives you a chance to inspect your gear from the inside out as well.

Good luck, and while you're at it, look on the bearing edges for any nicks, scrapes, or sharpness. You may want to use some 600 grit or larger then smaller, depending on the inspection. Well, mechanically, I am sure you can figure it out. What kind of drum is it? Wood, Metal, Just out of curiosity.

Persistence in being a good Drum Detective, finding out what makes things on a drum work, is a necessity. Yes?
 

Kevin OConnor

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Exec,

Welcome to the forum! Were the rods very difficult to remove in the first place? To see if the drum is out of round, try measuring diameters at points 90 degrees apart. Is the bearing edge of the drum flat? Check this on something perfectly flat like a glass surface.
 

Pounder

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IF you can't tune the rods tighter then they're running against the insides of the lug. Be careful because overtightening can cause the lugs to get damaged. Try either less tension on the heads or shorter tension rods. Also, be careful that your heads aren't too tight because you can also damage the shell if they are way too tight. The snare tuning method he uses is good but there could be a tendency to attempt to follow it to the same detail, when your situation, drum, heads, may be different. Try using his methods but with a different note in mind, one lower in pitch. That may work.
 

Guest
You should NEVER force any nut,bolt,screw,etc anywhere on a drum set.Find the problem,or you could do damage that could be costly. :wink:
 

Executor

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Wow. Thanks everybody. I just read these so I haven't done much yet.

I put the drum on a flat surface and it turns out its not perfectly flat when it has the head on, but without the hoop and head it is perfectly flat.

Also, with the idea about measuring the distance between the lug and collar of the rod, then measuring without the hoop or head, what sort of difference in the measurement will mean that the rods are too long?

Okay. I'm going to try some of these things right now.

And by the way, the drum is a metal ludwig, I not sure about the model but its a newer one.
I bought it used off of ebay.

As for eating my wheaties, unfortunately I have none at my disposal; will rice krispies suffice?

Thanks again for all the help. I'll let you know if I fix and/or break it.


Edit: I just took the measurements. When I took off the hoop, the rods screwed almost all the way into the lugs without any difficulty. So I guess the rods aren't too long, right?

I also measured diameters 90 degrees apart and it seems like theres about a 1/32 inch difference.
 

Kevin OConnor

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Executor said:
As for eating my wheaties, unfortunately I have none at my disposal; will rice krispies suffice?

.


Blaine,

Do we have a call from the line judge? :lol:
 

Executor

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Does anyone have any other ideas about what this could be?

I tried putting the head on again and I noticed that the rods are very slightly slanted when I screw them in.
 

dead_head

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I'm thinking that somebody forced a metric rod in there as every one of them can't be cross threaded.

New rods, new inserts. Try exp or madsplash.... both are Ludwig dealers

Could be the rod bottoming out too like mentioned above. Just get new inserts, correct length rods..

Do it right..
 

HHammerHeadD

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Executor said:
...Also, with the idea about measuring the distance between the lug and collar of the rod, then measuring without the hoop or head, what sort of difference in the measurement will mean that the rods are too long?
...And by the way, the drum is a metal ludwig, I not sure about the model but its a newer one.
I bought it used off of ebay.
...Edit: I just took the measurements. When I took off the hoop, the rods screwed almost all the way into the lugs without any difficulty. So I guess the rods aren't too long, right?...


OK, the idea of measuring the distance between lug and bottom collar of rod, is, you said you couldn't tighten it any further. So, if you measured it before you took the hoop/head off, being as tight as it could get, that is the distance that you cannot tighten any more.
When the hoop/head removed, and you finger tighten the rods in to the point of you cannot turn them any more...measure the space between lug and bottom collar, compare the measurement.
If the measurement is same or within 1/8", you know your rod is bottom'd out. Especially if you have to have a key to turn it at the last eighth inch. If you can finger screw the rods into the inserts, your rods and inserts are fine. I would be likely to state that you need 1/2" shorter tension rods, if you can finger screw them down to where they bottom out. Did you remove your lugs? You might get a magnifiying glass and look carefully at the inserts under some good light, and see if they are infact crossthreaded. Having the correct parts to start with is essential...but you know, 1 more thing is comming to mind with me, any way, I had some heads one time, that had the rim of the head, fall a long way down before it started to tighten up. I could tell that the hoop was closer to the lugs, when turned the snare on its side, and looked a quarter side of her... :lol:
the other hoop was futher away from the lugs. It was very noticeable. Some off breed head that was on it, and the rods bottomed out with that head. Changed head out to Evans G-1.
it was fine.
HHHD
 

Executor

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The thing is I don't think its the rods. Like I said, I easily screwed them all the way in without the hoop or head on.

As for it being a strange head, I don't think this is the case because, when I bought it off ebay it already had a head that was really worn that I replaced. It was just as difficult to turn the key with the old head, and the one I have now is a different type.

The only thing I can think of is maybe the hoop is oversized because, like I said, the rods are slightly slanted when I screw them in with the head and hoop on. If this is problem, I might be able to widen the rod holes on the hoop so that the rods aren't slanted when going into the lugs through the hoop.
 

SteveB

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I don't know what you have there but some lesser expensive drums get bound up pretty good. A set of quality washers can make a difference. I'd recommend nylon if you can find them.

On the cheaper hoops the ears can be elongated enough for the rod to slip in and they can also have some small burrs from lousy chrome plating which could stop the nut from turning up top. Try a good hoop if you have one there..steal it off a drum that doesn't have this problem and see if it's any better. If everything is operating correctly the cant of the rod shouldn't be an issue even if it doesn't look too hot.
 

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