Leedy & Strupe 1930's Dictator De Luxe snare drum 7x14 - Gold Brilliantine

Tama CW

DFO Veteran
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2018
Messages
2,791
Reaction score
2,070
Location
SE Connecticut
A pretty good looking drum with a couple snare wire tensioning issues. Interesting that of the dozen or so L&S snares I've run across in my searches (including a few Dictators)...... all had mahogany wood in the interior.
My 3 ply shell looks maple/xxx/maple. Brownish inner ply.....poplar? The L&S '36 catalog says "laminated shell." Is a 3 ply Ludwig "laminated too?" I note a large puffy "P" stenciled on the interior shell. A fairly well-made shell with chromed hardware.

2 major issues with function. Cannot get any snare wire tension with the 2-3 available threads on the 1/16th throw off adjuster plate being potentially worn (see last photo where the adjustor can't even remain straight under its own weight).
The snare adjuster knob and shaft are good as they screw nicely into the "bulb" on the lever-extension arm. The throw off arm extension upper arm is missing but doesn't affect basic operation.
The other tension issue is on the butt plate where a tensioner bolt/nut appears to be missing.

Would be great if someone had one of these and knows what's supposed to be on the butt plate. In my search on the internet the internet I only found a single drum like this (WMP example which is part of the PAS Museum Collection).
And I'm not so sure that the butt plate tensioner on that drum isn't altered (see next post for photo of that drum).

On the throw off backing plate only solutions I can think of is to try and re-tap the 2-3 backing plate threads OR re-thread in a larger hole & find another vintage looking knob and shaft to fit that. Could tig weld the hole and re-thread but that might leave a mess. Any opinions?

IMG_3148.JPG
IMG_3151.JPG
IMG_3138.JPG
IMG_3139.JPG


IMG_3134.JPG
 
Last edited:

Tama CW

DFO Veteran
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2018
Messages
2,791
Reaction score
2,070
Location
SE Connecticut
Here's the butt mechanism on an altered drum. Some sort of odd wing nut on a bolt. The snare cord is not supposed to come up to that bolt.
The toothed clamping swivel on the bottom holds those cords.


aa a34.jpg
 
Last edited:

Speedy Keen

Very well Known Member
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2005
Messages
1,391
Reaction score
82
Have you had this drum for awhile, or did you just get it? Curious how you found something like this.
 

JDA

DFO Star
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2005
Messages
22,162
Reaction score
11,092
Location
Jeannette, Pa.
so no similarity with this
or any of this
nothing here huh..

how about this:
 
Last edited:

Tama CW

DFO Veteran
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2018
Messages
2,791
Reaction score
2,070
Location
SE Connecticut
Here's a scan out of the 1936 L&S catalog of the various snare drums that were offered.

Speedy Keen, just got this drum. It came out of a complete kit that has now been scattered (bass, 2 clamp mounted toms, snare, cymbals, and hardware/accessories). It would have been a great kit to keep together being so original.
But, I suspect the seller got this out of an estate.....quickly sold off the bass drum.....quickly ending the idea of a kit. That decision probably made all the other drums now worth considerably less. That's probably one of the few exceptions to the rule that a parted out
kit is worth much more than the complete kit. It's not like there are lots of L&S collectors out there looking for single drums to complete their kits. I know I would have paid more for the entire kit if left intact vs. the sum of all the parts.
I did get the cymbals which I listed earlier on the "latest cymbal purchase" thread. I believe the snare drum came in that large Indiana Music Company case.

aa a54.jpg
aa a600.jpg
aa a601.jpg
aa a602.jpg
aa a603.jpg
 
Last edited:

Tama CW

DFO Veteran
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2018
Messages
2,791
Reaction score
2,070
Location
SE Connecticut
All good links JDA. Seen them all, multiple times. I searched L&S and every variation of that name to find information on the dictator snare drums. Only found that one museum
drum to compare to. A lot of these throws and butt plates were removed/altered/damaged on all models of the L&S snare drums. There was a member here a few years back
selling one of these in WMP. Unfortunately, it had been re-drilled for a Slingerland throw.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: JDA

studrum

DFO Master
Joined
Jul 28, 2006
Messages
3,781
Reaction score
1,157
Tama CW, your drum looks substantial, in both materials and construction. How's it sound?
 

Tama CW

DFO Veteran
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2018
Messages
2,791
Reaction score
2,070
Location
SE Connecticut
Tama CW, your drum looks substantial, in both materials and construction. How's it sound?
I've only heard it as a concert tom so far with calf skin batter. Sounds like an old radio king tom. Bottom head is torn up - will need to get a Remo Classic Fit snare side to work. Snares don't tension up yet. More work to do.
 

JDA

DFO Star
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2005
Messages
22,162
Reaction score
11,092
Location
Jeannette, Pa.
did you look under Leedy Strupe US patents yet?
...you never know ; )
 

JDA

DFO Star
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2005
Messages
22,162
Reaction score
11,092
Location
Jeannette, Pa.
different..
different..

may be able to figure yours out



yours is a parallel version like a super sensitive Right? unlike the majority..
 
Last edited:

Tama CW

DFO Veteran
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2018
Messages
2,791
Reaction score
2,070
Location
SE Connecticut
Thanks for that US Patent filing link JDA. Never would have thought of that. Those Cecil Strupe patent dwgs do pretty much show the set up. Some differences between the patent dwgs and what ended up my drum.
Definitely a bolt missing for the butt swing plate. The dwg shows a collar on that bolt along with a restrained spring to tension things in. A simple lock nut may work instead though.
That other wmp drum has a homemade set up to get it to work. My drum has tensioners at each end of the snare wires and swiveling butt plates for the wire strings.....but it's not a super sensitive. But more a dual or parallel tension drum.
That butt side "bolt with spring" is one of the tensioners. The tiny set of Duplex 12 wires isn't a big help much either.

The throw off dwgs are generally what I expected. Gives a better view of what the missing knob and arm on the throw lever would look like. Still confusing though is the tensioner knob and shaft thread engagement. The dwg shows it going through
2 metal plates. If both were threaded that would be 4-5 threads to grip. But my drum only has the one piece with 2-3 threads. I don't see where another piece would go. The final version could have been altered from the patent dwg.
Still have to rethread/repair the threads in that plate. Attaching a fixed nut to the back of that moving backing plate could "partially" work too.

Sure is a ton of verbage with the patent to explain how the throw offs work. The patent covers Strupe's 3 major throw offs. All very different, covering multiple models of snare drums.
With all the part # typo's on the description section of the patent figures.....it's a bear to follow things from one dwg to the next. Patent submitted in 1935 and approved/published in 1937.
 
Last edited:

AaronLatos

spang spang a lang
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
4,038
Reaction score
300
Location
upstate NY
Nice looking drum!

Laminated - yes, this means ply. Three pieces of wood were laminated together, as opposed to a single piece being steam-bent.

"P" on the inside means "pearl," the term then applied to any wrapped finish.

For the knob issue, that's a tricky one, but there's some solutions for sure.

A- Tig-ing over and redrill/tapping is an option. I've done that repair with a gas torch and brazing solder successfully, too, though that might be a bit much heat on this part. If it wasn't something that's getting adjusted all the time, I'd tell you to just do low temperature silver solder and a butane cigarette lighter, as it's likely strong enough and could be easily done without risking frying all the chrome, but if it isn't strong enough... you gotta make sure it's GONE before you try anything higher temp, or itll just weaken that stronger/higher temp repair. No biggie though, that's what drill bits are for. :). These fixes make the drum the most "original" looking on the face of it, but here's the thing: at the end of the day, we're looking at a 1/16" piece of sheet metal with a small thread receiving shear forces, which is the same thing that got us to this place. It'll probably hold for another 90 years, really. But there's other options that might hold for another 180.


B-If you've got the clearance in front or behind that piece for something to stick out a little bit, a straightforward solution is to drill it out and helicoil. As you mentioned tig welding, I bet you're familiar with those but if not: it's an insert, where you enlarge the hole and tap a size or two up, then insert the part, which has the thread size you want on the inside. A sleeve between thread sizes, if you will. A helicoil will likely poke out one or both ends of the sheet, but it'd be super solid and give you plenty of "tooth" for that knob to stick in. This is an in-and-out, practical repair.



C-If you decide to drill/tap the hole larger and go up a size (also a likely wise option), find an old-school manual machinist in your area (or shoot me a line: I'm not doing too many repairs like this but it'd be quick and that drum deserves it). Have 'em chuck up the knob in a lathe, cut off the threaded portion, drill into the knob 3/16" or so, then tap it for the new thread pitch you're going to and insert new threaded rod stock. ;) There ya go.


Man, look at that interior ply of maple, not even meant to be seen. Wood like that won't come around again for another few hundred years, if ever.

Dig those lugs and wrap. I have a similar era Radio King set in gold glass as well... I love how that finish ages, fading and age spots and all.
 
Last edited:

Tama CW

DFO Veteran
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2018
Messages
2,791
Reaction score
2,070
Location
SE Connecticut
dwgs better be shorthand for "drawings" or... "I'm jumping out a window" : D
Don't jump out the window JDA................Yeah, short hand for 'drawing.' I spent a couple decades of my former professional life pouring over power plant drawings, prints, etc. Acroynms and short cuts were the rule. I'll spell them out next time.

In looking at those drawings again (figures 11,12,13) butt plate bolt + collar + spring applies tension (part #71 in figures 11,12,13). The drawing doesn't indicate the bolt is threaded. Maybe it is though.
The backing plates at the rear have an access hole through them to allow that bolt to extend in and be supported (away from the shell). But, there are no threads in those rear plates.
For now I can get a threaded bolt, washer, and nut to lock down that adjuster into whatever position works for snare wire tension. I suppose that bolt and spring allow "float" in that rear rocker plate to butt clamp rocker assembly.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: JDA

Tama CW

DFO Veteran
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2018
Messages
2,791
Reaction score
2,070
Location
SE Connecticut
Aaron Latos, thanks very much for all detail. Many ideas and all of them good. Just fantastic. That makes it a lot clearer for me to make a decision.

I was considering a heli-coil fix at one point. But now that you explain the problems with that thin 1/16" backing plate, even the heli coil is going to have that same issue with only 2 thread engagement....even if the adjuster threaded knob will have more threads to work with.
Yes, there is enough clearance both sides for that coil. What are the odds that the threads can be cleaned up and made "more usable" with a "chaser" tap?

For now I just put a nut on the end of that adjuster knob on the back side of the plate. It at least keeps the adjuster from backing out. And it applies tension.
I'll go to the hardware store and get that butt plate bolt and spring. Try to figure out a collar to press fit on. At least I'll have something where tension can be applied to the butt end and I can see how the whole pivoting butt plate idea works before proceeding further.

How'd I miss that artistic "puffy" "P" as being for "Pearl" finish? And that's a Slingerland/Leedy thing of which I own many block inked "P" shells. The puffy hand written P just never hit me right. I thought it was probably an inspector's initial. Looks more like a "heart."
A couple more photos of that clean maple interior and "Puffy P." Duplex 12 wire snares were still "patent pending" then. The "Special" reso head is like wafer thin construction paper. I don't think it's animal skin. The 2 tiny felts on the spring steel tone control
were a money-saver compared to the heavy duty unit Slingerland was using at that time. But, 20-25 years later, Slingerland was basically using that same, lighter duty tone control. PAS WMP snare throw off shown....I wonder if that extension arm lever is original? It sort of looks
like a flat edge screw driver shaft.

IMG_3136.JPG
IMG_3152.JPG
IMG_3156.JPG
IMG_3155.JPG
IMG_3160.JPG
leedy and strupe 6.jpg
 
Last edited:


Top