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WFL Kit

wflkurt

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Kurt! Thanks so much for your input on these. I listened to the podcast you were on recently and the history behind WFL is really neat. The challenges...big challenges actually, that could make a lot of people just give up on everything - but WFL stood strong, did what he knew to do and did it well. I'm leaning on cleaning these up - it'll be a slow process. No wet sanding involved. I'm liking the yellowed WMP more each day.
Thanks Patrick. as I mentioned in the podcast, I really do have a ton of respect for WFL II. Senior certainly got things going again and came up with some incredible designs and ideas but without Wm F Ludwig II, the Beatle era may never have been a reality. They most likely would have stayed WFL drums forever. WFL II was young enough to have a pulse on what was needed to make Ludwig drums the biggest (IMO of course) name in drum history. The two of them crushed it!
 

patrickwitherow

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I’d mildly clean them but not a total polish or shine, but that’s just me.

Such a lovely kit. Congratulations and I’m so glad they are now in the hands of someone who loves and respects the heritage.
Thanks CC! I never thought I'd get the opportunity to get complete set of WFL's. Are they minty mint...nope, but I'm certainly proud to have them. They will be well taken care of while they are under my roof - as long as this Hurricane Ian doesn't blow my roof off :)

One thing I noticed is the P-87 strainer on the SuperClassic snare that it came with looks slightly smaller in size than the P-87 that's on my '58 WFL SuperClassic snare. Did they alter the size of these P-87's over the years by chance? I found this listing on eBay of someone selling a 'rare' 40s/50s P87 strainer and they keep saying it's hard to find this 'early' version. Was there actually an earlier version?


Ludwig Vintage P87 Snare Strainer

This is a very rare early version. Hole spacing is 1-3/4” center to center.

It’s in good condition and fully functional.

Nickel plated. Has a newer chrome plated Ludwig lever.

Exceedingly difficult to find early version.
 

AaronLatos

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Man, I'd give those a light wipe and take them on a gig. Beautiful instrument!

I have a zephyr-ish lug (It's an odd variant, have only seen it a handful of times) rack tom with that bearing edge.

And also a similar era 14x20 WFL bass drum that is unquestionably one of the best bass drums I've ever played.

Enjoy them in good health!
 
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DamnSingerAlsoDrums

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I've had a 13-16-22 wmp set and they sounded very good, but they didn't have the freshest of edges, (Floor's were as flat as yours with a few bonus dents and dings) and the wrap had, if possible, maybe a bit too much "mojo". Sold them because I caught the Gretsch bug.

I bet this 24 kick is all sorts of pillowy goodness though. Congrats on the buy, post soundclips/vids when possible..
 

patrickwitherow

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I've had a 13-16-22 wmp set and they sounded very good, but they didn't have the freshest of edges, (Floor's were as flat as yours with a few bonus dents and dings) and the wrap had, if possible, maybe a bit too much "mojo". Sold them because I caught the Gretsch bug.

I bet this 24 kick is all sorts of pillowy goodness though. Congrats on the buy, post soundclips/vids when possible..
Thank you! The 24x14 sounds really nice and takes very little effort to get an immediate big punchy/boomy sound. It reminds me of my 22x12 but on another level - very little effort and just huge sounding.
The rest of the kit sings. Even the floor tom (with the flat edges) has a nice deep rumble-tone when it's dialed in just right. These old mahogany shells just have that sound. The heads on the kit are probably 20+ years old so I'm just working with what I've got for now. After this hurricane passes through I'll be able to spend more time cleaning them up, putting on new heads, etc.
 

patrickwitherow

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Here's a few pictures of the snare. I was impressed it came with what appears to be the original snare wires.
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studrum

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I mentioned this kit in another thread, but thought I'd make an official thread on it. I've been wanting a 24" bass drum for a while now to switch back and forth on my other kits for some sound variety. Nothing for sale was local and I didn't want to pay crazy shipping amounts. I then looked at WFL kits for a while. I have a few WFL snares. -all super high quality in craftsmanship and sound. Having a kit would just be awesome. Then this kit came up for sale (with a 24x14) just 2 hours away and I took the leap.

WFL White Marine Pearl (13/16/24 with matching 5.5x14 SuperClassic snare)
All badges match (WFL Drum Co.) with the address at the bottom of badge
The wrap on all drums has yellowed evenly so they all appear to be of the same age - wrap goes into scarf joint on all drums as well
Nickel hardware throughout
Floor tom has really flat bearing edges. I think these were designed for calfskin heads back in the day. The snare, rack tom and bass drum have regular bearing edges that match my mid-50's snares.
It's interesting in that it came with all different heads probably all at least 20+ years old:

Snare: Coated Diplomat over Remo Snare side
13x9: Remo Reemlar? over a very old coated Weatherking Ambassador 'Tom-Tom'
16x16: Coated Evans G2 over a smooth white no-name head that feels like it could be 2ply.
24x14: Clear Pinstripe batter with a coated Remo Ambassador 'Bass Drum' reso

After a few minutes of tweaking and adding some felt to the bass drum reso head, it sounds pretty darn good. I can't imagine how new heads would sound - I may leave these on for a while as they sound not bad.
Now the question - do I clean them? There are a few rusty parts I'd like to clean and tension rods. Should I polish up the nickel lugs/rims - or leave them? Maybe just give everything a dawn/water bath and leave it at that...?
Should I clean the wrap with Novus2 to get any layers of gunk off? I'd like to keep the yellowing or at least not take it off very much. Now for the pics...

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My late-30's Zephyr lug WFL's very definitely have flat edges like yours, not to doubt the estimable levelpebble's later drums, which I do think show the evolution away from calf and towards plastic heads.
 
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JazzDrumGuy

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Yes. Take the hardware off and clean the shells with a towel and hot water. Maybe a drop of Dawn if needed. Soak the hardware. That nickel looks great. Use steel toothbrush to get rid of rust. I would not touch the badges nor edges. Put cottonballs in the lugs and a drop of oil in the inserts and play those gorgeous drums!!!
 

patrickwitherow

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Yes. Take the hardware off and clean the shells with a towel and hot water. Maybe a drop of Dawn if needed. Soak the hardware. That nickel looks great. Use steel toothbrush to get rid of rust. I would not touch the badges nor edges. Put cottonballs in the lugs and a drop of oil in the inserts and play those gorgeous drums!!!
What are your thoughts on polishing up the nickel? I took all the hardware off the snare earlier this evening. The tension rods all had some rust. All of the snare hardware (except the hoops) is currently soaking in a dawn bath. The amount of crud that came off the lugs was pretty bad. I’ve got some evapo-rust for the tension rods after the overnight dawn bath and some 3-in-1 oil for the inserts.
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D. B. Cooper

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What are your thoughts on polishing up the nickel? I took all the hardware off the snare earlier this evening. The tension rods all had some rust. All of the snare hardware (except the hoops) is currently soaking in a dawn bath. The amount of crud that came off the lugs was pretty bad. I’ve got some evapo-rust for the tension rods after the overnight dawn bath and some 3-in-1 oil for the inserts. View attachment 585012


Good call!
 

patrickwitherow

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Good call!
After a good wipe down of a little dawn mixed with water on a microfiber cloth. It got a layer (maybe two) of crud off the wrap, mainly where the lugs meet the wrap. I may go after it with some Novus2 and a little Turtle Wax just to add in some protection. I love the yellowing on these.
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JazzDrumGuy

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Nice clean up. It's still got a little shine in the middle. I have old drums with both shiny and "dull" or patina-ed nickel. Depending on the drum, some stay dull and look great and others are shinier and match the drum.

I've never had luck trying to shine nickel. I know there are Cape Cod wipes and some chemicals. Check this link from 2009. Google it and a DFO result will appear. See post #2 for the "right" way to do it. I've never used the wipes and have always failed using the wrong product - go figure. I'd prefer yours dull as they were.....

 

patrickwitherow

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Nice clean up. It's still got a little shine in the middle. I have old drums with both shiny and "dull" or patina-ed nickel. Depending on the drum, some stay dull and look great and others are shinier and match the drum.

I've never had luck trying to shine nickel. I know there are Cape Cod wipes and some chemicals. Check this link from 2009. Google it and a DFO result will appear. See post #2 for the "right" way to do it. I've never used the wipes and have always failed using the wrong product - go figure. I'd prefer yours dull as they were.....

I’ve used Simichrome in the past with great results. It gets the nickel to that slight golden hue.
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