WHO MADE CAMCO'S SHELLS???

kdgrissom

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I'm no expert on counting plies, but my Camco that I bought from the original owner last year was originally purchased in 1965 at a music store in Anchorage. No idea how long it had been there, but I count three plies with three re-rings on the mounted tom and 4 plies on the floor tom. I haven't looked inside BD yet.
 

kb

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Since Camco 6-ply shells were Jasper, and Jasper used Gumwood, I think the Camco 6-ply layup is, out to in: Gum, Maple, Gum, Gum, Maple, Maple. I don't think they were all maple.
I remember talking to Bill from Bill's Drum Repair and Shell Shop long ago, and he once told me he thought Jasper used the same layup for Gretsch, Camco and whomever else sourced their shells in the 60s and early 70s.
The magic in the Camco sound, IMO, came from the fact that they were all undersized, and their bearing edges, which were sharper than most all others at the time, and very well-done.
Well, they certainly didn't use Gum as the outer ply on their natural or stained finished drums. The outer ply on those was Maple. And the same with Gretsch.

If Jasper used the same layup on Gretsch and Camco, it's interesting that the Gretsch are prone to being oversized, while the Camco are known for being undersized....not a good point for arguing that they are the same shells.
 

bellbrass

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Well, they certainly didn't use Gum as the outer ply on their natural or stained finished drums. The outer ply on those was Maple. And the same with Gretsch.

If Jasper used the same layup on Gretsch and Camco, it's interesting that the Gretsch are prone to being oversized, while the Camco are known for being undersized....not a good point for arguing that they are the same shells.
Yeah; I thought about that after I posted...I'm sure it wasn't gum on the inner or outer ply, as you said. I still think they are the same layup; just made differently, regarding diameter.
 

bellbrass

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I'm no expert on counting plies, but my Camco that I bought from the original owner last year was originally purchased in 1965 at a music store in Anchorage. No idea how long it had been there, but I count three plies with three re-rings on the mounted tom and 4 plies on the floor tom. I haven't looked inside BD yet.
I'm talking about the 6-ply shells. The older shells may indeed have had a different layup. In fact, the 6-ply shells may not be the exact same layup as Gretsch was back then - my only point was that it's probably gumwood in the layup, not 100% maple, or maple & mahogany.
 

bellbrass

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Agree with all of that. The shell geometry is the key thing.

I had a conversation with a C&C employee years ago that said they believed that Jasper era Camco were maple/gum, as well. They said that when trying to replicate the Oaklawn sound, they were able to get really darn close with all-maple shells, but maple/gum wound up being the ticket for really nailing it.
I can see that. Also, Camco 6-ply edges were a thing of beauty - and not "baseball bat" edges.
 

kdgrissom

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I'm talking about the 6-ply shells. The older shells may indeed have had a different layup. In fact, the 6-ply shells may not be the exact same layup as Gretsch was back then - my only point was that it's probably gumwood in the layup, not 100% maple, or maple & mahogany.
Sorry for the confusion, Bellbrass,
I was kind of referring to Dolfan54's timeline.
Additionally, My 14 inch floor tom measures 13 7/8" across and my 12 inch mounted tom measured 11 3/4".
 

bellbrass

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Sorry for the confusion, Bellbrass,
I was kind of referring to Dolfan54's timeline.
Additionally, My 14 inch floor tom measures 13 7/8" across and my 12 inch mounted tom measured 11 3/4".
Interesting! I figured all the Camco shells would be consistent in their undersizing. Maybe yours are older, George Way leftover shells?
 

kdgrissom

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Not sure. I'm a first timer as far as Camco ownership goes. I've got the shell for the Floor right in front of me, but I am going on memory concerning the 12" tom, which I detailed earlier this year. Also, all the lugs have double washers for each screw on all the drums.....if that means anything.
 

bellbrass

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Not sure. I'm a first timer as far as Camco ownership goes. I've got the shell for the Floor right in front of me, but I am going on memory concerning the 12" tom, which I detailed earlier this year. Also, all the lugs have double washers for each screw on all the drums.....if that means anything.
There are Camco guys here whose knowledge dwarfs mine....they would probably be able to accurately date your kit just from the info you've given.
 

kb

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I can see that. Also, Camco 6-ply edges were a thing of beauty - and not "baseball bat" edges.
Yes, except when they weren't. The edges on my 12 and 14 Chanute toms were indeed beautiful, and my 16 LA too.

But the batter side of my 18" Chanute kick had a huge divot in it....about an inch long and at least 1/4" deep....
 

bellbrass

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Yes, except when they weren't. The edges on my 12 and 14 Chanute toms were indeed beautiful, and my 16 LA too.

But the batter side of my 18" Chanute kick had a huge divot in it....about an inch long and at least 1/4" deep....
I wonder if that happened after it left the factory. Hard to believe they let something like that slip out of the door.
 

multijd

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Another great Jasper shell made under George Way's watch was the Leedy & Ludwig,
1951 to 1955 I believe. Very precise bearing edges on a beautiful shell with a wide
tuning range. A great streamlined art-deco lug design, too.

Did the Packers really win the SB without Brett?

Jolo........Frostbite Falls, MN
Wow this is an old post but I wonder if the shell make up of the leedy and ludwigs being Jasper shells has been verified. Interested to know if my 1952 drum would be one of these shells.
 

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marko52

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It seems odd to me, too, that Jasper would make slightly undersized & slightly oversized shells; I'd think they'd have one mold per size. I get that Camco thought that an undersized shell was an advantage, but do people think Gretsch intentionally chose to make their shells oversized?...........marko
 

Rich K.

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Wow this is an old post but I wonder if the shell make up of the leedy and ludwigs being Jasper shells has been verified. Interested to know if my 1952 drum would be one of these shells.
Would seem weird that Conn would outsource shells when they merged two companies that both made their own shells. I'm assuming that after Conn bought Leedy, all the shells were made by Ludwig and Ludwig. And if that's true... whatever happened to Leedy's shell molds?
 

bellbrass

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Would seem weird that Conn would outsource shells when they merged two companies that both made their own shells. I'm assuming that after Conn bought Leedy, all the shells were made by Ludwig and Ludwig. And if that's true... whatever happened to Leedy's shell molds?
Manufacturers outsource labor and materials all the time, even when they have the means to produce from within. I've seen it over and over.
 

Rich K.

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Manufacturers outsource labor and materials all the time, even when they have the means to produce from within. I've seen it over and over.
There was a lot less outsourcing in 1950. The Leedy and Ludwig shells seem exactly the same as the Elkhart Ludwigs.
 

AaronLatos

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Do I remember correctly that when Gretsch outsourced their shells to Jasper, they sent Gretsch's existing molds to Jasper? And that those molds then moved again to Keller (I mean, I've heard that, as of fairly recently, some Gretsch drums fit heads snugly?)? Anyone know that for sure one way or another?
 

bellbrass

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Do I remember correctly that when Gretsch outsourced their shells to Jasper, they sent Gretsch's existing molds to Jasper? And that those molds then moved again to Keller (I mean, I've heard that, as of fairly recently, some Gretsch drums fit heads snugly?)? Anyone know that for sure one way or another?
...and if that was the case, I wonder what the story was on Camco's shells all being undersized. Maybe you can vary the outside diameter using the same mold? I agree it would be hard to beleive Jasper had all these different company's molds set up....but that may have been the case.
 


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