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Late 1930s WFL Twin Strainer

rkingston

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Just picked this up; a gift from an old buddy who inherited it from a widowed friend of his family.

This model has an interesting back story. My understanding is that the chief went out to the Boston area crammed with a bunch of these and distributed them to drum shops and players in the area. The owner of this one was out on the Cape, so I’m happily entertaining the idea that this drum came from that road trip.

Are any of you able to definitively ID this 7x14 lyre-era badge as a 1937 Ray Bauduc Dixieland model, or is it some other variant? (Before you ask, no, there’s no date stamp.)

Looks like the only non-original parts are the heads and one snare string. It’s also missing the thumbscrew for one of the two strainers, but I’m certain I can make something work out. (Unless one of you happens to have a match for that knob)

Anyway, fully disassembled and ready for cleanup. Not looking to make it look showroom new, just getting rid of the gunk and rust.

Restoration progress pics to follow in the coming weeks, but for now here are the “before” pics.
Edited to add shell dimensions.
 

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studrum

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Really wonderful! If that's what it looks like uncleaned, well...
 

wflkurt

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Just picked this up; a gift from an old buddy who inherited it from a widowed friend of his family.

This model has an interesting back story. My understanding is that the chief went out to the Boston area crammed with a bunch of these and distributed them to drum shops and players in the area. The owner of this one was out on the Cape, so I’m happily entertaining the idea that this drum came from that road trip.

Are any of you able to definitively ID this lyre-era badge as a 1937 Ray Bauduc Dixieland model, or is it some other variant? (Before you ask, no, there’s no date stamp.)

Looks like the only non-original parts are the heads and one snare string. It’s also missing the thumbscrew for one of the two strainers, but I’m certain I can make something work out. (Unless one of you happens to have a match for that knob)

Anyway, fully disassembled and ready for cleanup. Not looking to make it look showroom new, just getting rid of the gunk and rust.

Restoration progress pics to follow in the coming weeks, but for now here are the “before” pics:
That's a beautiful drum. The story you heard about WFL II bringing drums out on trips (notably Massachusetts) likely came from me. I have virtually the same drum except mine is oddly enough a 6.5x14. I don't think a 6.5 was offered in the catalog as most of these drums are 7x14. I found mine in 1993 and in 1997 was able to meet WFL II at a drum shop where he was doing his presentation on the history of percussion. I brought the drum with me and he told me that story about making car trips loaded with gear and specifically mentioned bringing a haul through Massachusetts and heading up to Maine. I live in NH and found the drum at an auction in Goffstown NH. A lot of info was with the drum and I could see that the owner was living in Braintree Mass when he purchased the drum. My podcast episode I did for the drum history channel covers a lot of the early WFL drums so if you can manage to get through most of it without falling asleep, I go into a lot of detail regarding the start of WFL drums.

 

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rkingston

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That's a beautiful drum. The story you heard about WFL II bringing drums out on trips (notably Massachusetts) likely came from me. I have virtually the same drum except mine is oddly enough a 6.5x14. I don't think a 6.5 was offered in the catalog as most of these drums are 7x14. I found mine in 1993 and in 1997 was able to meet WFL II at a drum shop where he was doing his presentation on the history of percussion. I brought the drum with me and he told me that story about making car trips loaded with gear and specifically mentioned bringing a haul through Massachusetts and heading up to Maine. I live in NH and found the drum at an auction in Goffstown NH. A lot of info was with the drum and I could see that the owner was living in Braintree Mass when he purchased the drum. My podcast episode I did for the drum history channel covers a lot of the early WFL drums so if you can manage to get through most of it without falling asleep, I go into a lot of detail regarding the start of WFL drums.


That's definitely where I heard it! I loved that episode.

You've really been down on yourself when mentioning that episode, but I hope you come around, because it's absolutely excellent. You should be proud of that one.

And yessir, this is indeed a 7", which I inadvertently omitted from my original post. Will update accordingly.

Thanks for your reply, Kurt!
 

wflkurt

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That's definitely where I heard it! I loved that episode.

You've really been down on yourself when mentioning that episode, but I hope you come around, because it's absolutely excellent. You should be proud of that one.

And yessir, this is indeed a 7", which I inadvertently omitted from my original post. Will update accordingly.

Thanks for your reply, Kurt!


Thanks for the kind words! I'm really only joking about that episode as I joke with my wife and family members about it putting them to sleep. I know it is certainly interesting for guys like us because I listen tons of his other ones on car rides to and from gigs and it makes the drives so much better. I also listen to John DeChritopher's great podcast too as he has lots of great guests. He's also gotten pretty good at doing them as it seems to come pretty natural for guys like John and Bart. I was just hoping I didn't ramble too much and I also noticed that I said the words "ya know?" about a million times. I told my 22 year old stepson that he could probably make a drinking game out of it.

It really is amazing how many different WFL drums I have run across over the years that don't match a catalog description. I am currently down to four twin strainer snare drums but have had quite a few over the years. I honestly don't recall seeing another in a 6.5x14 size. Would be really cool to know if our drums made the trip out together with WFL II (If in fact that really happened). It's kind of unfortunate because when I saw him do his clinic, the drum shop only seemed interested in having him sign a few acrolites from the 60's so they could turn around and sell them for more than they were actually worth. The store didn't even make a clear path for him to get his stuff in so I ended up helping him get his things in, get down the stairs and get set up. I thought that was pretty crappy and I would have loved to have been able to spend more time talking to him. I met him again several times after that but by then, his memory was getting bad and would get tired pretty quickly. I have a thousand and one questions I could ask him.

I would love to do another episode with Bart on Mod Orange drums, John Densmore and the other Psych/Mod finishes but his plate is pretty full and I'm sure he wants to get a nice rotation of guests. I totally get that and we will just have to see what the future holds.

Thanks again for the kind words and sharing your beautiful drum.

-Kurt
 

Ludwigboy

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That's a beautiful drum. The story you heard about WFL II bringing drums out on trips (notably Massachusetts) likely came from me. I have virtually the same drum except mine is oddly enough a 6.5x14. I don't think a 6.5 was offered in the catalog as most of these drums are 7x14. I found mine in 1993 and in 1997 was able to meet WFL II at a drum shop where he was doing his presentation on the history of percussion. I brought the drum with me and he told me that story about making car trips loaded with gear and specifically mentioned bringing a haul through Massachusetts and heading up to Maine. I live in NH and found the drum at an auction in Goffstown NH. A lot of info was with the drum and I could see that the owner was living in Braintree Mass when he purchased the drum. My podcast episode I did for the drum history channel covers a lot of the early WFL drums so if you can manage to get through most of it without falling asleep, I go into a lot of detail regarding the start of WFL drums.

Good job on the WFL history podcast, Kurt...and no, I didn't fall asleep :p
 

D. B. Cooper

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What a cool drum.
Twin strainer sounds really cool.

Anyone ever use it in a real-life situation?
I mean, I know it's an awesome drum and could be used in any musical setting, but I was just trying to think of some situations where the two sets of wires would be deployed independently. It seems like a super handy trick to have up your sleeve.



I can't wait to see that nickel all shined up!
 

rkingston

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I can't wait to see that nickel all shined up!

Prepare for disappointment, I’m afraid. I thought at first it would be nickel, too, but it actually appears to be chrome. Apart from the lug casings (more on those in a sec), all of the plating is a completely neutral color, and lacks that soft, warm yellowish that old nickel usually takes on.

The drum came to me with a lot of grime and rust on the hardware, but unfortunately most of it was not just cosmetic. Some of that rust goes deep enough to make it unrecoverable. In some places it’s like those pictures of tooth rot you see in a dentist office. I tried all the expected tried and true methods and chemicals, but there’s just not much shine to be had.

The lug casings are a different story. The “plating” on those is unlike anything I’ve seen before. It reminds me in some ways of spray paint, in other ways of old foil. If you click on the pic of the lug casings in my original post, above, you can see bubbling and flaking. It’s definitely original (that is, I’m not suggesting it was actually spray painted), but the plating for the lug casings is unquestionably from a different process from the rest of the hardware. Any thoughts?

Anyway, I got her as cleaned up as I could. All reassembled except for the snare wires, accounting for the one missing thumbscrew. Sounds great so far without snares!

I’m hoping I can still use the original WFL snappy strands — the clips are so cool! — but they’re pretty loose and will require a lot of tension to get them flat. For the silk wound set, though, they’re in pretty rough shape. If I can’t recover those, I’ll replace them with some silk-and-steel acoustic guitar strings. They’re essentially the same makeup, if wound a little bit tighter. Meh.

More to come later…
 

D. B. Cooper

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Prepare for disappointment, I’m afraid. I thought at first it would be nickel, too, but it actually appears to be chrome. Apart from the lug casings (more on those in a sec), all of the plating is a completely neutral color, and lacks that soft, warm yellowish that old nickel usually takes on.

The drum came to me with a lot of grime and rust on the hardware, but unfortunately most of it was not just cosmetic. Some of that rust goes deep enough to make it unrecoverable. In some places it’s like those pictures of tooth rot you see in a dentist office. I tried all the expected tried and true methods and chemicals, but there’s just not much shine to be had.

The lug casings are a different story. The “plating” on those is unlike anything I’ve seen before. It reminds me in some ways of spray paint, in other ways of old foil. If you click on the pic of the lug casings in my original post, above, you can see bubbling and flaking. It’s definitely original (that is, I’m not suggesting it was actually spray painted), but the plating for the lug casings is unquestionably from a different process from the rest of the hardware. Any thoughts?

Anyway, I got her as cleaned up as I could. All reassembled except for the snare wires, accounting for the one missing thumbscrew. Sounds great so far without snares!

I’m hoping I can still use the original WFL snappy strands — the clips are so cool! — but they’re pretty loose and will require a lot of tension to get them flat. For the silk wound set, though, they’re in pretty rough shape. If I can’t recover those, I’ll replace them with some silk-and-steel acoustic guitar strings. They’re essentially the same makeup, if wound a little bit tighter. Meh.

More to come later…

Cool idea with the guitar strings.


Damn! Thats a bummer about the plating being gone. It sucks, but in my opinion, it does take away from the coolness of that old girl at all. Makes her even cooler.
How were the edges? Is it in round?

The lug casings were originally nickel, right?
 


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