Unusual 14.5” solid shell snare drum early 1900’s

jmele2

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Hi guys - found this weird drum online at a price I’m comfortable taking a chance on and it just arrived.

The listing said it was a 15” drum, but in actuality it’s 14.5” across. Trying to figure out if I can get plastic/non-calf heads made for it and if it’s worth it. Or maybe just have new calf heads tucked on the existing flesh hoops

Solid one piece shell in good shape. I’m assuming maple? No reinforcement hoops.

12 lugs that I don’t recognize at all. Die-cast aluminum hoops - similar to the Geisler/Slingerland ones. bottom one is cracked unfortunately, but I knew that when I bought it. Thinking of trying to get it repaired.

I’m pretty well versed in weird early 20th century drums, but I’ve never seen one with lugs like this. A quick Google search for these lugs has turned up nothing.

The Leedy throw off is definitely a later addition as there are unused holes in the shell and the screws they used don’t go all the way through the shell.

Anyone have thoughts on who made this originally?

Thanks for the help!
 

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rikkrebs

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Absolutely amazing drum. I've been watching this one for bit and I'm glad it went to a good home.

Tucking calf heads is pretty easy and there are a couple really good videos on youtube to point you in the right direction. the bigger problem I see is the broken snare side rim. If it's not a standard size finding a replacement could be a nightmare. Hopefully it's something that can be repaired.

I can't wait to see this up and running.
 

jmele2

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Thanks @rikkrebs - Thought it might be worth the risk, for sure. I'm assuming the Aquarian Vintage heads won't fit this drum and that I'll need to get calf or custom sized plastic heads?

Any guess as to who made this drum? It seems well made - one lug's mounting screw is a bit loose which I discovered while tightening up the rest, so I'll probably try to leave it alone for now.

The cracked hoop can be used as is, I think. With 12 lugs, I'm hoping it should be relatively solid for the time being. It seems to be a relatively clean crack, so I'm hoping I can find someone local who does aluminum welding to repair. Will see how that search goes.

Any thoughts on who made the drum? It seems really well made to me, but I've never seen those lugs before.
 

1988fxlr

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With the hoop, if theres a local shop specializing in Hot Rods or older motorcycles they can probably give you a recommendation for a very good TIG welder with experience welding old cast aluminum for repairing engine cases/heads. Alternatively it looks like there is enough meat in the hoop that you could drill and tap it for a mending plate and have it brazed

If you just want to get it playable without that much investment, any welder should be able to cut a single flange steel hoop and add a bit of filler material to increase the diameter
 

jmele2

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With the hoop, if theres a local shop specializing in Hot Rods or older motorcycles they can probably give you a recommendation for a very good TIG welder with experience welding old cast aluminum for repairing engine cases/heads. Alternatively it looks like there is enough meat in the hoop that you could drill and tap it for a mending plate and have it brazed

If you just want to get it playable without that much investment, any welder should be able to cut a single flange steel hoop and add a bit of filler material to increase the diameter
That's great info - I'll look around for a welding shop. Hopefully easy to find here in NY

thanks!
 

1988fxlr

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That's great info - I'll look around for a welding shop. Hopefully easy to find here in NY

thanks!
Just make sure they do TIG and are familiar with cast aluminum. If not that entire hoop will shatter or warp beyond use if they try to heat it too fast or let it cool too fast
 

Redfern

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Absolutely amazing drum. I've been watching this one for bit and I'm glad it went to a good home.

Tucking calf heads is pretty easy and there are a couple really good videos on youtube to point you in the right direction. the bigger problem I see is the broken snare side rim. If it's not a standard size finding a replacement could be a nightmare. Hopefully it's something that can be repaired.

I can't wait to see this up and running.
If been watching it as well. Just a great piece of history.
 

Redfern

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Hi guys - found this weird drum online at a price I’m comfortable taking a chance on and it just arrived.

The listing said it was a 15” drum, but in actuality it’s 14.5” across. Trying to figure out if I can get plastic/non-calf heads made for it and if it’s worth it. Or maybe just have new calf heads tucked on the existing flesh hoops

Solid one piece shell in good shape. I’m assuming maple? No reinforcement hoops.

12 lugs that I don’t recognize at all. Die-cast aluminum hoops - similar to the Geisler/Slingerland ones. bottom one is cracked unfortunately, but I knew that when I bought it. Thinking of trying to get it repaired.

I’m pretty well versed in weird early 20th century drums, but I’ve never seen one with lugs like this. A quick Google search for these lugs has turned up nothing.

The Leedy throw off is definitely a later addition as there are unused holes in the shell and the screws they used don’t go all the way through the shell.

Anyone have thoughts on who made this originally?

Thanks for the help!
I assumed it was a W&A snare. Seems like something of their quality from the time period. But who knows.
 

jmele2

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Thanks for the replies, guys. I'm afraid to take the lugs off of the drum for fear of breaking one. And one of them I can't tighten the mounting screw to the shell - I'm assuming that one is broken if only slightly inside the lug. Oy.

I'm wondering if that's a homemade paint job on there - fair bit of "overspray" on the inside of the shell. Under the scratched off paint, it looks like a lacquered finish/natural wood. Hmm
 

pedro navahas

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Maybe my eyes are seeing something else but that looks a ply shell??
 

notINtheband

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Is that lead paint? Sure resembles the lead paint I used to see in lots of home windows decades ago when I was an insurance adjuster.
 

jmele2

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Maybe my eyes are seeing something else but that looks a ply shell??
Here’s a picture of the seam that runs from the inside to the outside of the drum. Kind of tough to capture, but the seam is visible on the top and bottom of the drum.
 

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jmele2

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Is that lead paint? Sure resembles the lead paint I used to see in lots of home windows decades ago when I was an insurance adjuster.
Possible. I'm debating the merits of sanding the outside down and sealing or leaving it "natural" painted. Any hints as to how to tell whether it's lead or not without one of those test kits?
 

pedro navahas

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I guess I’m not seeing the single seam. I would guess from the time period, if it’s original, it has lead in it.
 

notINtheband

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Possible. I'm debating the merits of sanding the outside down and sealing or leaving it "natural" painted. Any hints as to how to tell whether it's lead or not without one of those test kits?
The test kit is the only way I am aware of, but I am definitely not informed on this. Just a thought when I seen that familiar white crackle paint.
 


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