Slingerland 1948-50 RK 14x5 snare WMP - crusty attic find - UPDATE - CLEAN UP and ASSEMBLY DONE

Tama CW

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Picked this up today. Started the cleaning process with parts soaking. Missing the 2 slide parts in the throw off plus the snare wires. RK stamped top hoop. The wood hoops were there but no calf skin. Fairly original drum that won't ever be a stunner. This crusty RK would be a reasonable fit in my orphan/beater 30's/40's RK kit.

Interesting that the lever arm was still with the drum. It bent back into the correct shape rather easily. Re-rings have contracted 1-3 mm in 3 spots on each bearing edge. Will be buying some clamps to give that a go. Another article I read suggested fully removing the rings, giving them and the shell a week to "relax." Then moisten the rings and re-install with clamps. But a dry run with a couple of large clamps seemed to easily move the shell and ring together. Top hoop polished up pretty decently. Very little of that dingy, sand blasted look remains. Bottom hoop only came out half as nice.

slingerland rk rough 1948 barn find.jpg
 

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Tama CW

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FWIW, I’ve never had nickel do much of anything with a Dawn soak. Chrome gets grubby and pits, nickel oxidizes. Simichrome is my nickel go-to.

Cook snare, though. Bet that comes up pretty nice.

I agree. I use the Dawn as the first step. It didn't do much on the hoops or brackets. I'll have to try Simichrome. I used some Zildjian cymbal cleaner on the top hoop and it got much of the gritty stuff off and it actually shines fairly uniformly.

Cook snare? New terminology for me. Got the grunge and dirt off the wrap - next step is some Novus and polishing.
 
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CaptainCrunch

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I agree. I use the Dawn as the first step. It didn't do much on the hoops or lugs. I'll have to try Simichrome. I used some Zildjian cymbal cleaner on the top hoop and it got much of the gritty stuff off and it actually shines fairly uniformly.

Cook snare? New terminology for me. Got the grunge and dirt off the wrap - next step is some Novus and polishing.
“COOL” snare.
My autocorrect has started drinking around 10:30am the last few weeks.
 

JDA

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What else was in that abandoned house err... attic..
 
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Tama CW

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Still trying to find glue syringes for the re-rings. Might be best to find someone on line who sells them. Picked up 20 C-clamps.

The tension rods are slowly cleaning up in the Dawn soak.....each day more bright nickel appears. So I'll keep them soaking. But, after a couple days with the snare brackets soadking I saw no progress with those or the muffler bracket supports. Haven't started on the lugs yet, though nice to know that the threads of the inserts and lower rods were still "shiny and new" looking. Drum heads will probably be Remo classic fits as I think I'll need that extra bit of "give."

Found out that all of these late 40's RK's with brackets came with the metal strap - single hole snare wires.....would have preferred an option for the multi-hole versions. So I'll be looking for one of those along with 2 parts for the 3 hole strainer. Thought I could easily find a shiny replacement for the muffler assembly for not much money. But, of the several I ran across in the 40's and 50's, there were subtle differences in the hinge rivets/screws, coarseness of the knob knurling, and with or w/o backing plates for the hold down screws. Tiny changes....that make a difference to me. Since this drum is going to be a bit "weathered" looking when done, the best thing I can do for it is ensure it's 100% correct with all original metal parts.
 

JazzDrumGuy

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I've soaked nickel hardware only to get a nice nickel finish - but they've never brightened up......
curious, but are the hoops engraved?
 

thin shell

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Check those lugs thoroughly for cracks or any other deterioration. Slingerland's lugs at that time were made from pretty iffy pot metal and if they get exposed to too much moisture and start corroding they will crack very easily. If you plan on using it I would recommend buying some of the RK repro lugs. They will be far more reliable. DFD sells them in nickle plated versions for $3.99 each. Cheap insurance against a lug breaking under tension in the middle of a gig.
 

Tama CW

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I tried a couple modern heads but they don't slide slide on easily at the moment. The shell might become more "round" after doing the re-rings so modern heads might just fit after that. Modern heads fit ok on my 1935 Slingerland snare drum. So this still might work out here.

I've cleaned half the lugs so far and they look very solid inside and out to me. Threads all work nicely. I can see some tiny "slight" edge lumps or near each lug boss end....could have been in the casting. The lugs cleaned up pretty decently, much better than I expected. This snare will be a stay at home drum and is sure a better choice for a "playable" drum than my other one with the tapped lugs. I'd like to fit this one into my orphan 30's/40's kit. And I have a lead on a RK bass drum to replace the early 30s "College/University" model I currently use. I did check out the repro streamlined snare lugs a few months back and found out they are longer than these....and could put a larger imprint on to the shell wrap. Why not make repro lugs with the same foot print?

After days of soaking the tension rods in Dawn, I rinsed them and put them into a vinegar bath. Shook them for around 5-10 minutes. Lots more surface rust came off. They came out gleaming. Should have done this earlier! Rinsed the lower muffler brackets in vinegar and they cleaned up pretty quickly. Now I'm a fan of vinegar.

Before and after on lugs - only top hoop engraved.

best 2.jpg
 

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Tama CW

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I found the Aquarian American Vintage heads to be a great fit on the vintage drums. Nice calf feel and the coating wears like iron. Also excellent for brush work.
Thanks for the input. I've only tried the AAV once before, on the batter side of that 26" 1930's bass drum shown above. The fit was pretty good. I was a hoping for a little better sound though. The calf skin sounds so much better.

In re-measuring the snare shell dimensions again I noticed that wherever the re-rings have pulled in.....the shell is the correct 13-15/16" to 14". Interesting that the re-rings shrunk in isolated spots and it didn't appear to distort the shell dimensions any. The only spot of the entire drum above 14-1/16" is a single lug to lug area on the top bearing edge measuring 14-3/16" at the peak....and the re-rings are perfect there. So about 94% of the shell measures from 13-15/16" to 14-1/16". The most commonly seen measurement is 14.0". But that one large dimension is not likely to come in much when tightening up the re-rings....and a classic head is probably going to be needed. The bottom shell is very close to 14.0" all around and it doesn't take a modern head.

best 3.jpg
 
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Tama CW

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Hardware looks nice! Still tuned here.....show me more please!
I'd like to. But, a lull in the action now that I've given the hardware a "reasonable" cleaning. Ordered syringes and needle caps for gluing of the re-rings (blunt tips of 14 to 31 guage, 1/2" needle, 3 cc syringe). Ordered the Remo classic fit drums heads. Ordered the Gibraltar "vintage" Ludwig/Slingerland repro strainer for $23....while I wait (to eternity) to locate the 2 missing strainer parts (or another entire unit). Have an old set of vintage snare wires I can use. So within 2 weeks should have this all back together and working. And no, I'm not going to drill the 2 extra lower holes the Gibratar strainer would require....sacrilege.
 
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Tama CW

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First time clamping re-rings. Setting clamps on the bottom hoop took an hour. Then 2 hours for gluing and tightening. I bought an assortment of blunt needle tips from 14 to 30 gauge (0.2 to 1.6 mm) via Ebay's finger nail decorating area. The smallest tip that would push glue through was the 23 gauge (0.58 mm). So there were a few fine gaps I couldn't address. Hopefully, it holds shape after reducing some of those large 2-3 mm gaps. First 2 photos are before gluing. Still a 0.5 mm or smaller gap at a number of places. The clamps were on pretty tight too. No real change in diameter with the one spot still at 14-1/8" (no previous re-ring gap at that spot either). First 2 and last 3 photos are before gluing. A good first time learning experience. Those 2 big construction clamps weren't very good at putting on force as those wood handles are not as efficient as the c clamp T-arms. But they can be used in lower gap areas. I used some cheap horse hair brushes to smooth out the glue at the top of the seams.

IMG_20200211_164406.jpg
 

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