Gretsch 40s/50s 16x16 Cocktail Floor Tom? Help needed!

drumtimejohn

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Years ago I came into possession of this Gretsch 16x16 WMP FT and am looking for more information. It’s a 3 ply shell and both bearing edges appear original. The RB is slightly bent and half rotated yet the tact appears unaltered thus I gather the wrap is original. Unfortunately, the original FT brackets and legs were replaced with MIJ hardware, leaving 3 extra holes in the shell. The top hoop is also not Gretsch. The large knob and three hole pattern parallel to the top hoop I gather was for a wire system often seen on their cocktail drums. Two small holes exist left of the badge and I don’t know their purpose. Help with that is needed. The bottom hoop is COB double flange and is worn down to the brass in a couple of spots. Could this be caused by a foot pedal system? Of note, the prior owner used this drum in trap set fashion and had stands clamped to the hoops.

Is this drum an original cocktail floor tom? Any information you can provide about this drum is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance for your help.
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retrosonic

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Those two little holes may have been for a drum key holder.

Whats perplexing me about this drum are the leg mounts! Not Gretsch, but the weird thing is that there are no original "Gretsch" holes for the 50s/60s diamond plate mounts. So, maybe this is a cocktail drum that was cut down and drilled for bottom lugs by the dealer. This drum is a mystery!
 

drumtimejohn

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Those two little holes may have been for a drum key holder.

Whats perplexing me about this drum are the leg mounts! Not Gretsch, but the weird thing is that there are no original "Gretsch" holes for the 50s/60s diamond plate mounts. So, maybe this is a cocktail drum that was cut down and drilled for bottom lugs by the dealer. This drum is a mystery!
Thanks for your response. I was under the impression the floor tom is of the age that predates diamond plates and propose two point Gladstone brackets were on the drum. Only one extra hole exists per bracket mount because the MIJs spacing is shorter. I suppose I can take it apart again yet hoping someone can validate before then.
 

paulwells73

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Gretsch cocktail drums only seem to have come with a 14" head size, and either 24" or 26" deep. I checked all of my vintage Gretsch catalog scans and confirmed this. So, if it’s a former cocktail drum, it’s a custom size.
 

drumtimejohn

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Gretsch cocktail drums only seem to have come with a 14" head size, and either 24" or 26" deep. I checked all of my vintage Gretsch catalog scans and confirmed this. So, if it’s a former cocktail drum, it’s a custom size.
Thanks for looking into this. I too reviewed the catalogs and found nothing like it. Everything about the drum appears to be an original 16x16 and I gather it’s it from the late 40s to 1950. I believe 13/16 tension rods are even period correct. It’s interesting that the drum was not drilled for either batter or reso tone controls but instead the cocktail wire system. I haven’t found anything to rule out this drum as a 16x16 floor tom special ordered for the cocktail feature in lieu of the tone controls. Any thoughts about the two small holes left of the badge? A prior comment mentioned keys.
 
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retrosonic

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John: Actually, I had thought about the drum originally having Gladstone leg mounts, but I could not tell the distance between holes from your pics. You probably are correct in your thought that this is a late 40s floor tom that was a custom order. You could do a terriffic and easy resto on this drum, take it all apart, deep clean and Novus the wrap, polish all the lugs, restore the Gladstone leg mounts (chrome bolts in the extra holes) and install stick chopper hoops. And a key holder. You would have one heck of a nice looking drum!
 
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drumtimejohn

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John: Actually, I had thought about the drum originally having Gladstone leg mounts, but I could not tell the distance between holes from your pics. You probably are correct in your thought that this is a late 40s floor tom that was a custom order. You could do a terriffic and easy resto on this drum, take it all apart, deep clean and Novus the wrap, polish all the lugs, restore the Gladstone leg mounts (chrome bolts in the extra holes) and install stick chopper hoops. And a key holder. You would have one heck of a nice looking drum!
Thank you. Yes, not much to do for a restoration. The tom has one stick chopper to help produce that original 3ply Broadkaster sound. The snare system can be easily found online too. The drum is part of a 50s Leedy & Ludwig, WFL, and Gretsch WMP with Super Ludwig 402 mutt set I bought years ago however have done nothing with (except the Super of course). I was going to restore and rewrap this cocktail floor tom to match my beautiful all original red sparkle One Nighter Plus (w/ an uncommon 20” Bass) but just don’t have the heart to do it. I may just sell all of it, minus the Super of course.
 
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retrosonic

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What would you be asking for just this cocktail floor tom, as is?
 

retrosonic

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Actually, just a passing interest. It doesnt match my BDP Gretsch, but I was curious what you'ld be asking for it, as it would be a nice drum to have.
 
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retrosonic

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Pedro: Thanks for posting those pics. I had never seen that particular leg mount! I actually dont think those leg mounts were on Johns floor tom, but it was nice to see your pictures.

I had a very similar issue with my Gretsch bass drum shell. It had all these weird holes, and it took me ALOT of detective work to figure out that the original owner was a lefty, and he ordered the drum with NO mounts or Pratt muffler. Then he had his local dealer drill the virgin shell for a rare Slingy Rail mount, and a Rogers knobby cymbal mount (with only two holes!). I managed to find both items and installed them, to re-create the drum as new.
 

drumtimejohn

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Sounds good. Not sure yet based on rarity and condition. I do appreciate the encouragement to get a price together if I’m thinking of letting it go. I’ve been looking around for a match for my One Nighter for some time with no good or reasonable results so letting it go still seems counterintuitive. This feels like cross threading thus I’ll get back to the drum investigation.

I took pictures with the bracket off this time. It appears the original brackets were Gladstone. The hole spacing from center to center is 2”. Perhaps someone can confirm the Gladstone spacing yet the round imprints seem to be enough to rule in the bracket. The backing plates are original and altered which likely protected the surrounding wood. Maxwell’s has Gladstone bracket repros and originals can be found. It looks like the original brackets will conceal the extra hole as well.
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drumtimejohn

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Just floating this to the top to see if there is any additional info available or experiences with this type of drum. Thanks.
 


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