Slingerland 1948-50 RK 14x5 snare WMP - crusty attic find - before and after - sound video

thin shell

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At that point in time they were using hide glue. The reason you still have gaps is that there is still old glue or other crud in there that is preventing it from closing up all the way. If that had been my drum I would have steamed those rings off so I could clean the old glue and make sure everything fit correctly. PVA glue isn't very good at filling gaps and maintaining its strength but you should be OK since the gap is small and not all the way around.
 

Tama CW

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Thanks for the input Thin Shell. That thought did occur to me. While several portions of the ring were OEM tight to begin with to keep things mostly in place all around the shell, a few sections were gapped as much as 2-3 mm, such as at the scarf taper joint. I am concerned that those wide gap areas just spring back after a while, which would stink. Then I'd have to do very aggressive sanding (100-120 grit) inside those joints or steam it off. One reason why I didn't want to remove these old, dried out rings was that they might not go back in correctly again.
 
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JazzDrumGuy

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Wow - talk about overkill! But it must have been bad. Looks like you covered every possible part of the rerings, so I would not worry about it.

I pulled out my 1959 mahogany Slingy 3 ply last week for a gig this past Sat. When I was changing heads, I noticed some ring separation. I just used some wood glue on the 3-4 larger gaps and clamped them. For the few smaller gaps, I just used the glue as filler and layered it. I don't have the guts to steam off the rerings and re-attach, & I only have 4 clamps, but it worked just fine......
 

thin shell

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Thanks for the input Thin Shell. That thought did occur to me. While several portions of the ring were OEM tight to begin with to keep things mostly in place all around the shell, a few sections were gapped as much as 2-3 mm, such as at the scarf taper joint. I am concerned that those wide gap areas just spring back after a while, which would stink. Then I'd have to do very aggressive sanding (100-120 grit) inside those joints or steam it off. One reason why I didn't want to remove these old, dried out rings was that they might not go back in correctly again.
Hide glue tends to recrystalize with moisture so you end up with little chunks that almost look like brown salt. I good way to clean out gaps like that is with a set of feeler gauges. You can work whichever ones will fit down in the crack to work the old glue loose.

PVA glue will allow some creep at the glue joint but I feel like you will be OK because you got lots of glue in there and you used an appropriate number of clamps.

A steam bent shell doesn't want to spring back to a flat piece of wood. It takes the set of whatever shape it is in once it cools down from the steaming so there is not as much stress and tension on those joints as people think.
 

Tama CW

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Pulled off the clamps today after approx 40-45 hrs of drying. I did hear a sharp crack as I loosened one of the last ones near the tapered joints. Which reminded me I heard that same 'crack' when first tightening up. Yet, didn't find anything amiss. This time I noticed the very inner, tapered re-ring joint had popped loose....or had been loose....about 4 inches worth. That was easy to sand up with plumber's tape in about 2 minutes...wasn't much glue left in there. Wiped it all clean with a damp rag. Now re-glued and re-clamped. This will delay me another day.

At the top, the re-rings show a fingernail-sized gap (20-30 thousandths or 0.6 mm) in several areas. It's fairly even though and looks presentable to me. I filled in some of the top gap with glue and brushed it down. Gave it a better finished appearance. Shell diameter didn't change. Everything still in the range of 13-15/16" to 14-1/16" except for one lugged area going out to 14-1/8." When doing the top re-ring next, those big gaps will give the plumbers tape (120 grit) plenty of space to work with before re-gluing.

Half way home. i was unhappy with the amount of black oxide on the orig dual muffler assembly. And it was short a couple original washers. Found a much cleaner one from the late 40's with orig washers....a $10-$15 upgrade that's worth it. And I ran into a 15+" (16 wire) set of vintage Slingerland wires that will work nicely with the Gibraltar throw off and the extended snare brackets. Why put 14" wires on an extended bracket drum? Should have this done by mid-next week. And I found a use for the long lever arm that came off this drum's 3 point strainer....it can go on my 1930's Slingerland snare that is missing that part.

reclamp.jpg
 
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Tama CW

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DONE with what I wanted to to do on this. Pictures come out too dark though. It looks much brighter in hand. The top side re-rings weren't as cooperative as the bottom ones. Bigger gaps too. While they came together, I caused a crack on the ring....also re-glued. It's still doing it's job and everything has stayed put for a few days. The gaps on the top re-ring were generally wider than the bottom one.....meaning perfect access for an emery cloth to sand things smoothly. The Gibraltar throw-off took a little persuason to fit up but it did...far from a perfect fit out of the box. Holds very snugly with just the 2 upper screws. Lower flange has a cushion installed. Classic fit drum heads were definitely needed. And I tweaked the aluminum rings a bit to make them fit the shell better. Same comment for the hoops. The top head resisted getting the wrinkles out for a while.....but they eventually came out.

The RK plays nice with that distinctive woody crack....brighter and sharper than my 1962 Hollywood ace 5x14. Can't complain even one little bit considering what this poor drum has been through. I love it. The throw off is easy to slap in either direction with the stick for a quick throw off or on. I originally wasn't going to clean the interior fasteners but changed my mind last night. Tossed them in vinegar overnight. Then today swished them in Windex. Still not good enough. Toss in some liquid chrome polish into the Windex and then swished for a while. They brightened up a lot. I have a vintage set of Slingerland wires coming in later. I wish the snare guides and bottom hoop would have cleaned up nicer....but they are what they are because the nickel is gone in many areas. Since the 2 sliding pieces of the original 3-pt throw were missing, the Gibraltar has the load until I run across a reasonably priced complete unit. And I doubt one will work as cleanly as this new Gibraltar. 25-30 hrs total on this drum. Lots of lessons learned. The shell/ring was not an easy repair, at least not for me. Moving 2-3 mm of shrunken re-ring maple back outwards required lots of force. A pro probably would have steamed/soaked/wetted some of the wood to get it all back into shape without a lot of stresses. Last photo a reminder of how this forgotten Radio King was 2 weeks ago. I re-used all the original fasteners. Only "new" fasteners are on the Gibraltar throw and butt plate. Only one orig butt plate, cross member screw came with the drum.

best 1.jpg
 

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EvEnStEvEn

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Thanks for posting the updates, I've enjoyed the process.
Tiime and effort well spent!
That drum now has new life and was worth saving!
Bravo!
 

steambent

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Very nice. I loved the whole story/drum start to end. I love old RK snares. That badge is just disco but bitchen as a plus.
 

Tama CW

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Gorgeous yellow serious mojo.

My cheap camera in heavy overhead lighting makes the WMP appear much more yellow than it is. The original crusty photo in the first post is more indicative of the shade of yellow. This restification was a valuable learning process.....that will allow me to consider other projects I may have once passed on. I'd have walked away from this drum if not for parts alone being worth considerably more than I paid for it. Parts is parts.

Better photo with different camera showing the true color.....and more of the nickel loss in the hoops.

slingerland 1948-50 snare drum WMP.JPG
 
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Tama CW

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Well, it looks great. I'm dying to hear this drum!
Here ya go JazzDrumGuy.......

Threw together a couple quick sound videos with my wife's IPhone 5 from a few feet away. I don't do this often and the quality is not great. But, the recorded RK sounds pretty true to what I'm hearing live.....though frankly, it does sound better to me recorded. Using ambassador classic fit heads....no muffling anywhere. Tuned medium high. 1950's to 70's 16 strand snare wires off a 15" Slingerland drum.

video 1

Video 2

slingerland rk 1948 barn 2.JPG
 
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Tama CW

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I've already got an early 30's Slingerland 26" bass drum and a pair of early 40's RK - hoop mounted 13 and 14 inch toms - so all set to stompin'. I posted a photo earlier.
 

retrosonic

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FANTASTIC job!!!!!!!! I love stories/projects like this. Congrats!
 

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