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  #71  
Old 02-12-2012, 09:00 AM
tubelugs tubelugs is offline
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Default Re: What is the definition of a real drum builder as opposed to a Drum assembler?

I think what most people miss in this discussion is how few opportunities there are to be an "assembler". The real work is in finishing the shell, then measuring it correctly for drilling. While it is possible to buy pre-finished, drilled shells, its very uncommon. So most people are buying raw shells.

Here's an example. I have shells hanging in my garage with 10+ coats of lacquer or oil finish, each coat sanded down before the next coat is applied. Once they're smooth enough and thick enough, I'll sand the shell 9 times in a row, progressing up to 2500 grit. Then I'll buff the shell with 3 different levels of compound. It took quite a while and lots of practice to figure out how to do this and get a glass-smooth finish, but I know how now. It's still a lot of work. Once that's done, I still have the opportunity to screw it up by measuring sloppily for all the holes (37 holes on an 8-lug drum). Then I could screw it up while routing the bearing edges on the finished, drilled shell. After all that I could screw it up while sanding in the snare beds by hand.

Everyone is welcome to their definition, but this feels to me like a lot more than simple "assembly".

$.02

Last edited by tubelugs; 02-12-2012 at 09:08 AM.
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  #72  
Old 02-12-2012, 09:02 AM
fungus amungus fungus amungus is offline
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Default Re: What is the definition of a real drum builder as opposed to a Drum assembler?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MIKEY777 View Post
Ok guy's my take on this.A drum assembler is someone or one person who has say Keller shells that come in done,edges,wraped,drilled ete.They order parts from one of many drum parts site and put the drum together put's their name on them ans sell's them...A drum Builder or custom drum builder to me is what we were at O.C.D.P..We used Keller shells them came in 4 feet to 6 feet tubes,4,6,8,10,ply.We cut the shell's to whatever size We added the inside rings by hand in any plys.Cut the edge's ,wrapped,drilled, ete all by hand.We also did in house painting of the shells most were dome by me..Yes it true that we used other maker's parts when we started out.But we always picked out the best made parts that we could fine,parts as far as lug's.strainer's,rim's.mount's..But in 2004 we came out with are own lug had them made in the U.S.A almost around the corner from the shop...Also a side note the badge's we had made next door to us from day one are badge's never did change on the top ended drums that we made...i would also like to say a drum re-storer is not the same as a drum builder or assembler....Mikey
Well said Mikey! There are few people with the resources to manufacture shells, it is a very large front end investment that can suck the profits out of a small start-up business. Besides, you want to supply your customer with the best available product...the people that make shells for a living do it because they're damn good at it. In the final process, they're just another link in the food chain...a supplier. This has been going on since Henry Ford invented the "assembly" (ya'll like that one?) line. Out-sourcing is standard practice everywhere...I try to use U.S. made products in my builds, but it depends on what the customer wants. Some stuff is just not available in the U.S. market & if it is usually cost twice as much. Depending on the customers budget, you do what you have to do.

Dan
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19?- Ludwig Field Snare (US Marines)
1960's Premier Gold Glitter Student Snare kit
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  #73  
Old 02-12-2012, 10:58 AM
vintagemore2000 vintagemore2000 is offline
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Default Re: What is the definition of a real drum builder as opposed to a Drum assembler?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tubelugs View Post
I think what most people miss in this discussion is how few opportunities there are to be an "assembler". The real work is in finishing the shell, then measuring it correctly for drilling. While it is possible to buy pre-finished, drilled shells, its very uncommon. So most people are buying raw shells.

Here's an example. I have shells hanging in my garage with 10+ coats of lacquer or oil finish, each coat sanded down before the next coat is applied. Once they're smooth enough and thick enough, I'll sand the shell 9 times in a row, progressing up to 2500 grit. Then I'll buff the shell with 3 different levels of compound. It took quite a while and lots of practice to figure out how to do this and get a glass-smooth finish, but I know how now. It's still a lot of work. Once that's done, I still have the opportunity to screw it up by measuring sloppily for all the holes (37 holes on an 8-lug drum). Then I could screw it up while routing the bearing edges on the finished, drilled shell. After all that I could screw it up while sanding in the snare beds by hand.

Everyone is welcome to their definition, but this feels to me like a lot more than simple "assembly".

$.02
There are tons of assemblers, maybe you need to give Precision a ring and ask them how many prefab-ed shell blanks they send out each week? and thats only one company? But it's good to see all you ghostnoters responding to the thread and spending so much time over here seeing as you all feel so strongly about this forum!. I actually liked your very first response to this thread, Groan!! here we go again, but you did edit it though! Why?

Last edited by vintagemore2000; 02-12-2012 at 11:21 AM.
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  #74  
Old 02-12-2012, 12:43 PM
tubelugs tubelugs is offline
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Default Re: What is the definition of a real drum builder as opposed to a Drum assembler?

Quote:
Originally Posted by vintagemore2000 View Post
But it's good to see all you ghostnoters responding to the thread and spending so much time over here seeing as you all feel so strongly about this forum!
I've been into vintage drums a lot longer than I've been building. My collection goal is to have one good example of every engineering stage in snare drums, particularly field drums. Plus exotics like Bower. Umm, plus current fun stuff. Hmm, maybe I have a problem. Anyway, started refurbing, wanted to learn more, discovered the online drum forums, and it was all downhill from there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vintagemore2000 View Post
I actually liked your very first response to this thread, Groan!! here we go again, but you did edit it though! Why?
You read fast. After posting that, I was sanding a drum, and thought "No, that's a knee-jerk reaction" so I went back and gave something more reasoned.

The question has been asked before. It can be a bit of a loaded question. There are builders who promote a holier-than-thou attitude, drawing a line between what they do and those who "just slap a badge on a Keller". Those builders themselves use shells from others, so the differentiation is disingenuous. Also, by broad-brushing all 3rd-party shells as "Keller", it glosses over the fact that building a quality drum from any raw 3rd-party shell requires developing a number of skills, and takes a lot of time and effort. So those who have never built a drum from scratch come away thinking that if you don't make your own shell, you aren't doing anything.

Anyway, there's a redux of my initial response, hopefully without the knee or the jerk.

Last edited by tubelugs; 02-12-2012 at 12:45 PM.
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  #75  
Old 02-12-2012, 01:58 PM
vintagemore2000 vintagemore2000 is offline
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Default Re: What is the definition of a real drum builder as opposed to a Drum assembler?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tubelugs View Post
I've been into vintage drums a lot longer than I've been building. My collection goal is to have one good example of every engineering stage in snare drums, particularly field drums. Plus exotics like Bower. Umm, plus current fun stuff. Hmm, maybe I have a problem. Anyway, started refurbing, wanted to learn more, discovered the online drum forums, and it was all downhill from there.



You read fast. After posting that, I was sanding a drum, and thought "No, that's a knee-jerk reaction" so I went back and gave something more reasoned.

The question has been asked before. It can be a bit of a loaded question. There are builders who promote a holier-than-thou attitude, drawing a line between what they do and those who "just slap a badge on a Keller". Those builders themselves use shells from others, so the differentiation is disingenuous. Also, by broad-brushing all 3rd-party shells as "Keller", it glosses over the fact that building a quality drum from any raw 3rd-party shell requires developing a number of skills, and takes a lot of time and effort. So those who have never built a drum from scratch come away thinking that if you don't make your own shell, you aren't doing anything.

Anyway, there's a redux of my initial response, hopefully without the knee or the jerk.
Thank you great explanation.
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  #76  
Old 02-12-2012, 02:07 PM
kevins kevins is offline
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Default Re: What is the definition of a real drum builder as opposed to a Drum assembler?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fungus amungus View Post
Well said Mikey! There are few people with the resources to manufacture shells, it is a very large front end investment that can suck the profits out of a small start-up business. Besides, you want to supply your customer with the best available product...the people that make shells for a living do it because they're damn good at it. In the final process, they're just another link in the food chain...a supplier. This has been going on since Henry Ford invented the "assembly" (ya'll like that one?) line. Out-sourcing is standard practice everywhere...I try to use U.S. made products in my builds, but it depends on what the customer wants. Some stuff is just not available in the U.S. market & if it is usually cost twice as much. Depending on the customers budget, you do what you have to do.
Dan
Just nitpickin' here, but it was a cat named Ransom Olds that came up with and patented the idea of an assembly line.
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  #77  
Old 02-13-2012, 04:06 AM
latzanimal latzanimal is offline
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Default Re: What is the definition of a real drum builder as opposed to a Drum assembler?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tamadrm View Post
How about this.There is more art in some instruments,that others.So then all things being equal,the more art and skill involved in the creation of that instrument,has a direct bearing on its value as a piece of art,and not JUST an instrument.IMHO,Lantanimals segmented snare drum,falls into that catagory.

That piece wasn't simply just put together like a model kit.Forethought and creativity were also involved in a greater,not lesser degree,in that drums creation.And how about sound?I've seen beautiful looking instruments,that quite simply sounded like crapola.
Just had to say "Thanks!"

Would you be diappointed if I told you I just threw that shell together?
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  #78  
Old 02-13-2012, 07:40 AM
kellyj kellyj is offline
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Default Re: What is the definition of a real drum builder as opposed to a Drum assembler?

My grandfather (long passed) had a great wood-working shop in the basement of his barber shop in a small town. In the barber shop was a 60's coke machine where on hot days you could drop in .10$ and an ice-cold coke in a glass bottle would drop out from a chute in the front of the machine. There was a screwed on steel bottle opener on the front. You had to put your hand under it as you opened the bottle to catch the cap.

Coke in hand, grandpa and I would descend the stairs to the basement wood shop. It was like a entering man's heaven, no girls ever came there,ever...the smell of wood and saw dust filled my nostrils every time. From a carefully placed stack of solid, black walnut and solid cherry, grandpa would place a piece on his giant saw. A saw that was strange. it had a long band of steel that turned. When he cut wood there he could make it into different shapes.

Often grandpa would present my dad with beautiful lamps, ships-wheel tables, walnut and cherry art work. I vowed that one day I would make something out of wood like him.

I ended up crafting a snare drum. No, I didn't make the shell, and I don't have a big band saw, joiner or lathe like he did. I did feel like grandpa would have felt though using the router to hand cut bearing edges, carefully measure for the 46 holes on this 10-lug drum, cut and sand the snare beds by hand. What a feeling to hand craft (build) a drum!

Thanks grandpa! I think you would have liked it.

-kellyj
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Last edited by kellyj; 02-13-2012 at 10:03 AM.
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  #79  
Old 02-13-2012, 09:58 AM
wayne wayne is offline
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Default Re: What is the definition of a real drum builder as opposed to a Drum assembler?

Nice memory to hang on to...When custom builders hit the scene a number of years ago,it never dawned on me that there would be a debate about this years later.With the exception of a handful of misfit,deceitful,lying,con artists,i,d say the industry can be proud of the contributors thus far. If your love and dedication can be transferred into a blank canvas and you beam with pride when your drum is done,then i can honestly say you are a "custom builder" The low lifes de railed the business for a short time while they basked in thier own self proclaimed titles,calling themselves builders of all things. I,d forgotten there are many of you that put your heart and soul into your creations,not to mention the respect you have for yourself and your potential customers. I allowed the bitter taste of thieves and liars to overlook your passion,and to those i may have been less than suppotive of over the years..i apoligise.
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  #80  
Old 02-13-2012, 11:24 AM
RogerSling RogerSling is offline
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Default Re: What is the definition of a real drum builder as opposed to a Drum assembler?

Oh, there are still a few low life deceitful swag flaunting cretins adrift amongst the floatsom and jetsam that is the vintage drum community. ENRON, Adelphia, and others struck it rich when trusting souls denied the obvious. Granted, these slime molds are dealing on a much smaller scale, but they are crooks nonetheless. Until folks stop living under a mushroom, they will continue to fall prey to 'em.
The good news ... the spuds will reap what they sow.
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