Is this authentic WFL tom?

Tunafish

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Hi, everyone.......first post.....I recently bought what looked like a WFL tom with larger zephyr lugs. Upon examination, I discovered the grain of the interior ply to have vertical grain, like a typical MIJ. the only alterations to the shell seem to be where someone changed the tone control, and put 3 Slingerland floor tom brackets on it. Does anyone have any insight on this? It has no bevel on edges, just flat and rounded slightly on outside edge, which, to me, says it was from the era of calfskin.
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mlayton

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Your drum should be legit Tunafish. You can do a google search and find several topics describing very early WFL toms with vertical grain. I have a 7x11 tom myself. Has the early WFL-Ludwig decal (37ish ?). Here is a pic of it when I purchased it years ago and also a pic of it setup with a small kit.

Mike
 

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Tunafish

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Your drum should be legit Tunafish. You can do a google search and find several topics describing very early WFL toms with vertical grain. I have a 7x11 tom myself. Has the early WFL-Ludwig decal (37ish ?). Here is a pic of it when I purchased it years ago and also a pic of it setup with a small kit.

Mike
Thanks, Mike......I, like most, I guess, always thought that all domestics were always horizontal.....BTW one of the best sounding drums I own. Calftone batter and Gretsch Broadcaster calf on the bottom. Great vintage in-the-round sound!
 

Tunafish

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May be a 40's early 50's Gretsch shell. How many plies?
Thanks for the interest, jpt!
Looks like it’s two plies of African mahogany with solid birch re-rings.......I think it’s authentic, though, unless it’s a single tension that someone drilled for the first time and added all WFL hardware.....seems kind of unlikely, don’t you think?
 

jptrickster

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Thanks for the interest, jpt!
Looks like it’s two plies of African mahogany with solid birch re-rings.......I think it’s authentic, though, unless it’s a single tension that someone drilled for the first time and added all WFL hardware.....seems kind of unlikely, don’t you think?
The outward rounded edges, verticle grain interor and lack of badge or vent steered me in the G direction
 

ChicagoDave

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...I have a 7x11 tom myself. Has the early WFL-Ludwig decal (37ish ?). Here is a pic of it when I purchased it years ago and also a pic of it setup with a small kit.

Your tom looks similar to the WFL Royal Maple Custom outfit, as endorsed by Ray Boudac.

Examples of this set can be seen in "The Aviator".
Screen Shot 2021-03-28 at 4.24.11 PM.png

Screen Shot 2021-03-28 at 4.24.35 PM.png




Also found in the biopic of Ray Charles (at about 5:15-6:00 minute mark).
Screen Shot 2021-03-28 at 12.58.55 PM.png

Screen Shot 2021-03-28 at 4.21.14 PM.png



I imagine that the same drum set was used for both movies. Is it original? Don't know. Most likely. Such an oddly specific drum set to reproduce. I tried to track down the original prop companies for those movies, but ran into dead ends.


Here's Ray Boudac. For my money, the Royal Maple Outfit is in the top three most beautiful drum sets ever made.
Screen Shot 2021-03-28 at 12.46.26 PM.png
 

K.O.

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Thanks for the interest, jpt!
Looks like it’s two plies of African mahogany with solid birch re-rings.......I think it’s authentic, though, unless it’s a single tension that someone drilled for the first time and added all WFL hardware.....seems kind of unlikely, don’t you think?
If it is indeed a 2 ply shell then you'd expect that they needed to run one of the plies the other direction for added strength.
 

mlayton

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Your tom looks similar to the WFL Royal Maple Custom outfit, as endorsed by Ray Boudac.

Examples of this set can be seen in "The Aviator".
View attachment 492045
View attachment 492046



Also found in the biopic of Ray Charles (at about 5:15-6:00 minute mark).
View attachment 491991
View attachment 492044


I imagine that the same drum set was used for both movies. Is it original? Don't know. Most likely. Such an oddly specific drum set to reproduce. I tried to track down the original prop companies for those movies, but ran into dead ends.


Here's Ray Boudac. For my money, the Royal Maple Outfit is in the top three most beautiful drum sets ever made.
View attachment 491990
Indeed. It has been my understanding that this is the type of set that my drum came from originally. Years ago I was in contact with the seller. He also had a matching bass drum. Seems like it was a 28". We discussed price. Hardware was rusted a good bit. Wish that I had bought the bass drum though for sure. The tom sounds fantastic even without the bottom head.

Mike
 

JazzDrumGuy

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I defer to others but I have a 40's Gretsch Broadkaster snare....doesn't look like yours. Those fat rerings look vintage style but the wood looks too new. Need more pics. Any badge pics (front/rear) or dates or stamps inside?
 

ChicagoDave

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Indeed. It has been my understanding that this is the type of set that my drum came from originally. Years ago I was in contact with the seller. He also had a matching bass drum. Seems like it was a 28". We discussed price. Hardware was rusted a good bit. Wish that I had bought the bass drum though for sure. The tom sounds fantastic even without the bottom head.

Mike
A matching bass drum? That would be amazing. I've got a few things that got away over the years.
 

Skins_in_the_game

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I defer to others but I have a 40's Gretsch Broadkaster snare....doesn't look like yours. Those fat rerings look vintage style but the wood looks too new. Need more pics. Any badge pics (front/rear) or dates or stamps inside?
I had this late 50s WFL and was also amazed how clean the rings inside looked. But the whole drum was in super mint condition. Even the canvas carry bag was mint.
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