Duluth Brass Manufacturing Redux.

Nacci

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I spoke with the owner of Duluth Brass Manufacturing, John Holt, today about the possibility of having a cast bronze snare shell made. He was very receptive to the idea. Adam Holt no longer works for the company, that is all I know about that. John's instructions to me were to send the exact specs for the shell you want to them by email and they will get back to you with a quote. Here is part of his response to me from a follow up email which gives some context:


"We’ve found that making the drums out of our aluminum bronze has had the best success as far as hit rate on our castings (less pieces of scrap mean faster production) and machinability (our CNC lathe programs are set for aluminum bronze and it’s a metal we work with on a regular basis). These produce a drum with a wonderful sound. We are able to machine the drum shell, drill the necessary holes for part installation and also machine the snare beds. We also make the hoops for the top and bottom of the drum, along with the necessary milling for install. We don’t do any of the finishing/installing because, honestly, we’re just a machine shop.

While we have made drums out of a different materials we found that it was very difficult to pour (we lost half of all castings before even getting to a lathe for machining due to holes in the casting) and to machine (half of the castings that made it through the pouring process had what could only be described as a “cloudy” finish). For that reason, we would recommend aluminum bronze. It doesn’t mean we can’t visit the idea later on, let’s just establish a relationship first.

Thanks again, John"

I think that this is an exciting possibility considering the almost complete lack of a producer for shells like this. Hopefully this thread will be filled in the future with pictures of cast bronze snare drums from Duluth.

Here is the email address to send your requests to: sales@duluthbrass.com

Here is some information I got of the net about Aluminum Bronze: Aluminium bronzes are most valued for their higher strength and corrosion resistance as compared to other bronze alloys. These alloys are tarnish-resistant and show low rates of corrosion in atmospheric conditions, low oxidation rates at high temperatures, and low reactivity with sulfurous compounds and other exhaust products of combustion. They are also resistant to corrosion in sea water. Aluminium bronzes' resistance to corrosion results from the aluminium in the alloys, which reacts with atmospheric oxygen to form a thin, tough surface layer of alumina (aluminium oxide) which acts as a barrier to corrosion of the copper-rich alloy. The addition of tin can improve corrosion resistance.[1]
Another notable property of aluminium bronzes are their biostatic effects. The copper component of the alloy prevents colonization by marine organisms including algae, lichens, barnacles, and mussels, and therefore can be preferable to stainless steel or other non-cupric alloys in applications where such colonization would be unwanted.
Aluminium bronzes tend to have a golden color.
 

bongomania

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Thanks for digging deeper for that information. It bear mentioning that Oriollo makes cast bronze drums, and so far as I've heard, they have been good about delivering everything they promise.
 

swarfrat

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http://oriollo.com/drum-shells

They have a bell bronze cast shell on the web page. No animosity towards Duluth -they seem like stand up folks. But if this is a brand new order deal (and not a special case based on the bad faith dealings with Ocheltree), I'd be a lot more comfortable dealing with Vukan as he IS a drum maker. With a machine shop, there's always the chance you could screw something up and get exactly what YOU ordered and be out again, because you forgot the beds...or something.



BELGRADE
Oriollo Belgrade™ drum shell is made out of top quality bell bronze. It's first centrifugally cast with 10mm thick wall, then machined to 3.4mm wall. The machining process is shown in this video.

Shell type: Seamless / Cast / Machined
Diameter: 14"
Depths: 5.5", 6.5" and 7"
Material: Bell Bronze
Thickness: 3.4mm
Top bearing edge: rounded outside, 45 degrees inside
Bottom bearing edge: rounded outside, 45 degrees inside
Snare bed: medium wide and shallow
Finish: Grooved
Note: Lead time for this shell is up to 30 days. You can order shells out of this alloy with different specs (wall thickness, diameter, edges, ...
 
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oriollo

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Yes. We got bell bronze and "Oribronze" (a special bronze alloy; soundwise, it's like a cross between brass and bronze).
 

oriollo

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Yes, everything can be customized. From exact diameter (say 13.8" or 13.875" or ...) to thickness, re-rings and their depth/height, outer surface (grooves), each edge, ...
Generally, with more metal (thickness, or added re-rings) you get more attack / less overtones.
 

DWHOARD

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I will be the first to throw my Duluth shell in the ring I guess!

Hope you like it!

John is super cool and very easy to work with. I'm sure he would be open to custom lug drilling if you just ask. He did the DW stuff for me, all I had to do was send in the parts for them to measure.

single file please...haha tholt@Duluthbrass.com
 

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Nacci

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Very cool DWHOARD. I received my shell from John and Duluth last month but have not had a chance to build it yet because we are in the process of moving but I agree, they are a pleasure to do business with. I went the Tama Bell Brass hole pattern route. Your snare looks great. Did you snag those Ocheltree lugs off eBay last mount?.....I just missed them.
 

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DWHOARD

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cool man! Thanks! I like your Tama design, cant wait to see the finished pics.

Actually, I'm the guy that was selling the Ocheltree lugs.

The last set was sold to the one and only...Danny Carey! he said only got 10 spares with the 2oo2 kit and he's stripped them all. haha!
 

Nacci

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DWHOARD said:
cool man! Thanks! I like your Tama design, cant wait to see the finished pics.

Actually, I'm the guy that was selling the Ocheltree lugs.

The last set was sold to the one and only...Danny Carey! he said only got 10 spares with the 2oo2 kit and he's stripped them all. haha!
You've got to be kidding me. Well I guess if you have to miss out on an eBay auction it eases the pain to know it was to one of the greatest drummers in the last twenty years. Again, your snare looks great and I'll make sure to post mine as soon as it's complete.
 

biggator

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DWHOARD said:
cool man! Thanks! I like your Tama design, cant wait to see the finished pics.

Actually, I'm the guy that was selling the Ocheltree lugs.

The last set was sold to the one and only...Danny Carey! he said only got 10 spares with the 2oo2 kit and he's stripped them all. haha!
Tell him to come join up at DFO.
"-)
 

davezedlee

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DWHOARD said:
I will be the first to throw my Duluth shell in the ring I guess!

Hope you like it!

John is super cool and very easy to work with. I'm sure he would be open to custom lug drilling if you just ask. He did the DW stuff for me, all I had to do was send in the parts for them to measure.

single file please...haha tholt@Duluthbrass.com
Holy Smokes!

Able to post any videos/mp3s?
 

K.O.

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Would any of you guys who have taken the plunge on these shells care to elaborate on the price? Just a ballpark idea is fine. They look very intriguing but, at least in my case, the price of the shell would heavily influence whether it was something worth pursuing (ie: relatively affordable) or just another pipe dream.

My guess is these shells aren't cheap (and rightly so) but curious just how "un-cheap" they are.
 

Nacci

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K.O. said:
Would any of you guys who have taken the plunge on these shells care to elaborate on the price? Just a ballpark idea is fine.
I am happy to answer that on my part K.O. My shell was the last "Ocheltree Bronze" shell that Duluth had left, it cost $366, shipping was $35 and it cost $80 for hardware holes and snare beds, so roughly $480 total. I don't think that that is a solid indicator of future pricing though. My sense is that Duluth spent a significant amount of time and money to be able to produce these shells for Ocheltree, that ability has obviously laid dormant for a period of time and I think that they are looking to get their shells and name out in the drum community now so, at this point, their pricing is geared towards making that happen. In short, I think if someone is interested in one of these shells, now is the time to buy.
 

DWHOARD

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im right there with Nacci.
I got the REAL last treebronze shell (lol) and it was right around 450 all said and done.

I have an 8x14 on the lathe right now that cost me 550 or so with shipping.

John has a killer deal going on cast bronze hoops as well. I have a set coming for my 8"
 

DWHOARD

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ha! I wish. im pretty sure we got the last 2 Cheers!
 

John@DuluthBrass

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Hey guys,

Glad to hear you are enjoying the shells we made. It's been a lot of fun dipping our toes back into making these shells again. Nacci, you received the last 14" dia. x 6.5" long Treebronze shell and DW snagged the last 14" dia. x 5.5" long Treebronze shell. Though, since we made a mistake on the drilling of Nacci's shell, we had to re-cast to make the mistake right. We cast two 6.5" long Treebronze shells to make sure we could justify melting a pot of Treebronze metal.

So, long story short, after replacing Nacci's 6.5" long shell, we have one more Treebronze 14" dia. x 6.5" long shell on the shelf. We have received interest in it already, but that person may be looking for more than one. When I was in talks early on with Nacci about switching exclusively to aluminum bronze because of the higher hit rate we were getting, I thought that we'd try a different casting technique when we had to remake his Treebronze shell. It turned out beautifully, so we may be offering Treebronze again.

As was stated above, we are not exclusively drum makers, but as Nacci and DW stated, we are happy to talk to you about your possible drum shell interests. Thanks!

John

tholt@duluthbrass.com or
sales@duluthbrass.com
 

lossforgain

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This is very cool to hear about! I often think, when I see the cool projects others are doing, I would buy one of everything if I could afford it! Nacci and DW, would love to see/hear video of the finished drums.
 

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