Rogers Shells - Species of the plies ?

kdsdwc

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Something I've been wondering about for over a decade ! I'd really like to know the make-up of the plies . Seems like that there are more than a few different opinions on the subject around here .
And I am doing this to DISCUSS this topic , NOT start an ARGUEMENT , because there is only one answer , whatever that answer is .
There is plenty of experience here on the DFO as far as re-wrapping a set of beat up old Rogers and restoring them to their former glory . It's a GREAT feeling . So I ask the people that have done that , and there is plenty of woodworkers here , what were you looking at ? What was that outer shell veneer of ? Did you really notice the grain ? Have you ever sanded down the interior of a shell to find out what that veneer type was ? Has anyone peeled apart a shell layer by layer to see the ' face of the grain ?" And , yes you can tell lots about the inner plys , by looking at the edge of the plies , where one will be looking at " edge grain " of the 2 outer and middle plies and you would be looking at the " end " grain of the 2 plies in between , and if the 2 exterior and middle plies were maple and the sandwhiched 2 were poplar , it would be quite evident of the different species used for the layers of plies , just by sight alone , but you are never 100% positive until you see that " face grain " of that veneer . And because maple and birch get mixed up ALL the time , even from wholesale lumber companies , do most people just go on by what they've read or thats what its suppose to be ?


I am familiar with Holidays and Fullertons and 9/72's , I haven't done anything to a Cleveland shell .

I have experience with Daytons , Fullertons and 9/72 's as in re-wrapping and re-edging . All were 5 ply , with an exterior veneer of Birch , I know what I just said is going to ruffle some feathers here , but it's birch 5 ply !! I peeled a 2" section apart veneer by veneer and ALL I saw was birch ! No Maple ! I've made 3 Dynas complete got another one on the go , made from concert toms , swivo mounts 14 " X 10 " , birch ! I've got a Fullerton bass I'm re-wrapping , birch exterior ! All , son of a birch . Thats what I've seen . What have you seen ? Put your knives away . LOL !!

The Cleveland 3 ply by Jasper , whole different animal ! What's the shell lay-up on that ? Who knows this ? And those pre war and later shells that Gary ( Grandpa Cleve ) has , what's the veneer lay up on those ? Who knows this ?

I'd like to hear everyone's opinion and experiences . I'll get pics of that peeled shell up tomorrow .
Let the games begin .
 

shilohjim

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I bought a jet black Rogers Dayton era kit to rewrap a few years back. When I took off the black wrap, it was absolutely birch on that outer ply.
 

mellotron

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According to Harry Cangany, they were a combination of birch and maple. He talked to one of the old execs at Keller.
 

mellotron

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My dad's Fullerton kit has mahogany on the outer plies. We haven't disassembled the kit for detailing yet, but I kind of wondered if one of the drums was 3 ply. Didn't they switch from 5 ply to 3 ply at some point in the the early 70's?
 

tommykat1

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The Rogers book says that the Jasper three plies were maple/poplar/maple + pearl on the plastic wrapped drums. This appears to be a fairly unanimous observation by experts over the years. However, true mahogany was also available as a less expensive choice over "pearl" as the final "wrap" in the 1950s. So, you could get a "true" three ply maple/poplar/mahogany set of drums if you wanted them. I have a 1958 Spotlight cocktail kit in this configuration (Close up photos of the bearing edges and wrap available, which I have posted on this site before).

The Rogers Book then states that Rogers went to Keller shells and the new 45 degree bearing edge in about 1963, and the shells became three ply Maple/Poplar/Maple + pearl wrap with five ply rerings. (Mahogany was still available as the exterior finish in lieu of the exterior maple or pearl wraps on snare drums and special order on kits. However, please note that I haven't seen a Cleveland 3 ply maple/poplar/mahogany Keller shell, only it's predecessor Jasper maple/poplar/mahogany equivalent, so there is some speculation on my part.)

The Rogers Book next states that the Dayton drums went to five ply maple/poplar/maple/poplar/maple with five ply rerings until about 1973. at which time the company went back to three ply construction. Next, in 1976, Rogers resumed five ply construction until the introduction of the XP8 eight-ply New England rock maple shells with no re rings.

This information was considered gospel until about eight months ago, at which time Rogers/Keller expert Harry Cangany dropped the bombshell that the then-President of Keller through the 60s and 70s claimed that Ben Strauss and Joe Thompson of Rogers insisted on birch to be the interior ply of ALL of the Keller shells from Rogers' adoption in 1963 to its conclusion in 1978. The reason for the choice of birch was to separate the connection to Gretsch, which was also using Keller shells but with poplar as the interior ply.

Only when Rogers went to the Keller-provided 8 ply XP8 series of all New England Rock Maple plies in 1979 did things change dramatically--and forever.

So, in the history above, please substitute "birch" for "poplar" in the references to Keller shells (1963 - 1976). And thank you Harry for enlightening us!
 

tommykat1

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mellotron said:
My dad's Fullerton kit has mahogany on the outer plies. We haven't disassembled the kit for detailing yet, but I kind of wondered if one of the drums was 3 ply. Didn't they switch from 5 ply to 3 ply at some point in the the early 70's?
That Fullerton "Mahogany" is likely the pearl wrap known as "New Mahogany," which is not wood. "New Mahogany" was a plastic pearl wrap produced from 1972 - 1976.

That said, until late in the game, enthusiasts could request special orders from Rogers. If your drums have a real mahogany finish--which was a choice on snare drums and special order drum sets--then you have an exceedingly rare kit, and it was a special order from Rogers. Please let us know what you find!

And, yes, Rogers went back to 3 ply from 1973 through 1976.
 

tommykat1

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mellotron said:
According to Harry Cangany, they were a combination of birch and maple. He talked to one of the old execs at Keller.
+1. Maple/birch/maple = 3 ply. Maple/birch/maple/birch/maple = 5 ply.

And NOT poplar in lieu of birch, as the Rogers Book claims, and which was what most of us believed as gospel until Harry Cangany weighed in about 8 months ago.
 

mellotron

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tommykat1 said:
My dad's Fullerton kit has mahogany on the outer plies. We haven't disassembled the kit for detailing yet, but I kind of wondered if one of the drums was 3 ply. Didn't they switch from 5 ply to 3 ply at some point in the the early 70's?
That Fullerton "Mahogany" is likely the pearl wrap known as "New Mahogany," which is not wood. "New Mahogany" was a plastic pearl wrap produced from 1972 - 1976.

That said, until late in the game, enthusiasts could request special orders from Rogers. If your drums have a real mahogany finish--which was a choice on snare drums and special order drum sets--then you have an exceedingly rare kit, and it was a special order from Rogers. Please let us know what you find!

And, yes, Rogers went back to 3 ply from 1973 through 1976.
Tommy, I meant to say that his kit is wmp. The outer ply before the wrap is mahogany.
 

tommykat1

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mellotron said:
My dad's Fullerton kit has mahogany on the outer plies. We haven't disassembled the kit for detailing yet, but I kind of wondered if one of the drums was 3 ply. Didn't they switch from 5 ply to 3 ply at some point in the the early 70's?
That Fullerton "Mahogany" is likely the pearl wrap known as "New Mahogany," which is not wood. "New Mahogany" was a plastic pearl wrap produced from 1972 - 1976.

That said, until late in the game, enthusiasts could request special orders from Rogers. If your drums have a real mahogany finish--which was a choice on snare drums and special order drum sets--then you have an exceedingly rare kit, and it was a special order from Rogers. Please let us know what you find!

And, yes, Rogers went back to 3 ply from 1973 through 1976.
Tommy, I meant to say that his kit is wmp. The outer ply before the wrap is mahogany.




Mellotron, there is nothing in the written history of Rogers to corroborate this, but I don't disbelieve you. If true, then we have even more Rogers history to dissect. There have been many anomalies and corrections verified since the second edition of the Rogers book was written. Cool!
 

kdsdwc

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Tommykat1 , when you quote from the Rogers book , this exactly what I was talking about , because it's in the book doesn't mean it's correct ! On page 118 , under the heading " Catalog nomenclature - 1970 - cross laminated maple shells with maple reinforcing rings ( 3 ply ) , 1973 - all Rogers hardwood power shells are three ply cross laminated with rock maple reinforcing rings ."
This would be the Fullerton era shells with the tag , and 9/72's shells also , and from what I have , and have taken apart , this is completely wrong , those shells are 5 ply birch with 5 ply birch re-rings . Didn't read it in a book , seen it for myself .
I am trying to get away from , " well that 's what so and so said . " And because someone is a drum expert doesn't make them a wood expert . You have said as much , in what Harry Cangany has said 8 months ago . Look at how long this has been going on , the mis-information about these shells , DECADES !! We are approaching 50 years !
It's about time , that all the mis info , finally gets corrected .
 

dan1434

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perhaps an oversimplification but what does all this mean to the SOUND of the drums in question?
 

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The only thing I have to add to this discussion are the 2 pics below. It is from a Keller 4 digit serial number Dynasonic that was trashed and had the fruitwood stain removed from the interior so I cut it up for a display. I want to do the same with a Jasper earlier shell as they showed in the catalogs for their knobby units. Email me if you have a donor shell with pearl from this era for sale please.

I can also add that it might have changed over the years because the suppliers of these shells were Keller and Jasper. Both made various other wood things like furniture as well. As the years went by the plys could have been made with different materials at hand to fill a Rogers shell order. They were wood workers. Just like the pearl finishes changed subtle over time when a new batch was ordered and made.
 

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mellotron

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That shell on the right looks like it has a birch inner ply to me. Tommy, I've only looked at 2 Fullerton kits so my experience is very limited. The one my dad has and forumite Bunnyman's Rogers kit from high school. He doesn't have that kit anymore, but I remember that he stripped the wrap off of a tom and the mahogany was splintered really bad. It was a "Powertone" tom. This was also back in the early 90's so maybe my memory is off.

My dad's Fullerton kit is a WMP 12,14,18 kit. I don't think I checked all 3 drums but I thought I saw mahagony on the outer ply behind the wrap. I can check the next time I go back over. the serial number was somewhere in the 2XXXX for 2 drums and 6XXXX for one of the other drums on the kit. They all have the larger paper labels with "Powertone" printed on them.
Good thread!

**Edit. I wonder if on my dad's kit that the reddish outer ply is really birch. Now I'm curious.
 

kdsdwc

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Gary , Thanks for that pic . That was a green sparkle Dyna that was trashed ? Oh my shattered nerves ! That's a crime !

Mellotron , that inner ply is the infamous son of a birch !
 

kdsdwc

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dan1434 said:
perhaps an oversimplification but what does all this mean to the SOUND of the drums in question?
Well people have always said that there is a difference in the sound of maple versus birch , but when your baseline is incorrect how does one really know . How many ads on Craigslist , Kijiji etc are always saying m/p/m/p/m Rogers shells ? I have found that most do believe this . I want to know the truth , because I want to build a kit from scratch . I have my forms ready and I want to lay up the plies myself . I want to see how close I can get to that Rogers sound .
Really , it's just an obsession of mine .
 

charlesm

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Is this all to say that poplar was, in fact, never used in Rogers shells?
 

rhythmace

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I am not surprised that Rogers used a better wood than poplar back then. They wanted the best materials. The Rogers Book has some errors. It says there was a COS Powertone, for one. Now, I assume this outer ply is walnut? Ace
IMG_0622.JPGIMG_0623.JPG
 

GrandpaCleve

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kdsdwc said:
Gary , Thanks for that pic . That was a green sparkle Dyna that was trashed ? Oh my shattered nerves ! That's a crime !

Mellotron , that inner ply is the infamous son of a birch !
Was a trashed marching drum-made me ill too.. Still have some pieces of it for hole plugs. If you would like a piece email me your address and I'll send out a scrap with extra holes and blotches in the pearl finish. Just needed a piece for my little project above.
 

kdsdwc

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That's not walnut , Ace . What era is that from ? Any tags on the inside ? Got any pics of the bearing edge ? To see the # of plies ?
 

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