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  #21  
Old 01-06-2010, 06:04 PM
lonecomic lonecomic is offline
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Default Re: tucking a calf head

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Originally Posted by tbone View Post
Hi, haven't checked in for while, been working an a John Grey drum that's taking longer than I thought & will have a full report with pics soon.
But I was searching to see if there was info on calf head tucking & couldn't find anything with the search function. So I thought I'd start a thread to see if there's some 1st hand experience out there.
I tried my 1st tuck job for heads for this John Grey drum I'm making. I researched & read everything I could find about head tucking with a Google search, and ordered some untucked calf skins (4" larger diameter than the drum size). I had some old unusable oversized calf heads laying around & soaked them to get the flesh hoops to use; then I cut a section out of each to make the hoops the correct size for the drum. Sorry I didn't take pictures of the rabbit joint (I think that's what the step cut is called) I cut & glued together, rather than a scarf joint. Then I made a 'tucking tool with a large conduit strap & paint brush handle (I'll get a picture of this thing this weekend). Anyway, I started by soaking (in cold wated) the skins for 20 - 30 minutes & laid the hoop on the skin & began tucking at the 12:00 position, 3:00, 6:00 and 9:00. Then, wishing I had at least 2 more hands, it was basically a free for all trying to tuck in between tose spots while the original tucks would come undone. Eventually, I got it tucked all the way around, sloppy, and with many 'folds' which I smoothed out as good as possible. Then I mounted it loosely on the drum with the single flanged hoops & snare clips (or claws). As it dried for the next few days, it ended up looking just like a calfskin head. I'd hear it snap, crackle & pop now & then as it dried, & I tightened the tension rods just enought to make the ridge on the bearing edge form. So I ended up with some 'new' calfsin heads - the folds shrunk & smoothed out pretty much, and some are still there, but my mission accomplished! I'll try to add some pics to this thread in the next couple days.
So anybody else have a head tucking story to tell?
Man this takes me back.....
BUT In the old Haskell Harr basic drum book I believe they show it...

There are a few ways to make you life easy doing this...

When we did them at slingerland we had the proper tools to do this...

You need the head....
a flesh hoop
a tucking tool ( it looks like a very narrow putty knife with out 90 degree corners)

And something for the head to dry on.

YOU must allow about 1 1/2 to 2 inches of skin to wrpa around the hoop.
You start by placing the wet head on a flat surface..
Then you place the flesh hoop in the center of that..

Then you tuck in one section and then go to the opposite end
so you tuck it half to half
then half to half again
then half to half again
and so on until you are at a narrow gaps..pick a short section and tuck the head in under the hoop.

Carefully remove the head off of the smooth table top and place on a drum.

Put the counter hoop on it and then tighten down but only just enough to develop the collar or crown....Lets dry for a few days...
DONT place near the heater....Calf will pull unevenly and may pull out or crack the drum.
Buy the REMO Fidbreskyn and love yourself.
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  #22  
Old 01-06-2010, 07:42 PM
Ludwig-dude Ludwig-dude is offline
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Default Re: tucking a calf head

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Originally Posted by lonecomic View Post
Buy the REMO Fiberskyn and love yourself.
After attempting this a few times, with good success I might add, I can see how mylar heads became popular to begin with.....this is a pain in the butt to do!

Agreed, buy the fiberskyn heads and close enough....
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  #23  
Old 02-01-2010, 06:05 PM
Kona Kona is offline
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Default Re: tucking a calf head

I haven't tried to tuck a calf hide onto a metal flesh-hoop. It's supposed to be a little more difficult. I had very little difficulty tucking my calf hide onto wood flesh-hoops mostly because of the natural glue in the hide that wants to stick to the wood hoop.

The calf hide heads have been on my rack,floor t & snare since Dec 22 09 - just over a month - with no problems yet. I keep them in a room where the temp varies only a few degees here and there. I've tuned them up and down a lot mostly because I like the sound of them high, med and low.....I can't get enough of how nice they sound on these 50yr old Gretsch drums. It's my first encounter with calf hide heads.

I don't think I'd want them on 'gigging' drums though - moving around - lots of temperature and or & even more critical, humidity changes etc. But, in the house - in the 'drum room' they are absolutely awesome!

Has anyone here had success tucking hides onto metal hoops?

Last edited by Kona; 02-02-2010 at 02:12 AM.
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  #24  
Old 03-09-2013, 12:04 PM
BUCKIE_B BUCKIE_B is offline
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Default Re: tucking a calf head

Re: Has anyone here had success tucking hides onto metal hoops?

Yes. I have many times removed the mylar from a worn modern plastic head in order to tuck skin on to the aluminum flesh hoop, and some of the vintage European drum makers lapped skin on to very thin and narrow steel hoops. Tucking skin on to metal just requires getting used to the "feel" of how moist skin reacts being lapped over and under the metal. In working with thinner metal hoops you may have to use something smaller than a clothes pin to hold each lap in place so that you can move on to the next lap without the previous one pulling out of the hoop as it draws up. Metal flesh hoops give a great advantage in terms of strength and consistency. They can also be reused. But this inflexibility can more easily result in the skin splitting if the weather suddenly becomes hot and dry, or if the skin is tucked too tightly on the hoop without allowing it enough slack.
Like metal hoops, wooden flesh hoops have both advantages and disadvantages. They're lightweight, flexible, and porous. Moistening skin releases its natural gel which acts as a natural glue. This gelatin clings to wood more readily than to metal as the head dries and sets. Once dry, a skin head performs the same function with either hoop material, metal resonance notwithstanding. However, wood tends to swell and warp when exposed to moisture. A moist skin head begins to immediately shrink, "draw up", and tighten, even as you are working with it. Unless the fully lapped head is quickly secured overnight on a shell or frame to form a "collar", the wood hoop will be warped out of shape by the shrinking skin into a twisted and tight "figure eight". While you may be able to salvage the skin from a bady warped head by wetting it and gently "unlapping" all the tucks, the wooden hoop itself will be unusable.
On occasion the joint of a wooden flesh hoop will come undone just from the amount of water in the moistened skin working on the glue used to close the joint. This is somewhat easier to remedy but no less frustrating and time consuming. Several small nails are often seen used for additional strength closing the joint on antique wooden flesh hoops.
Once a skin head is completely dry and fully set it can be removed and stored in a vertical position off the floor in a moisture and temperature controlled room. A supply of pre-mounted heads kept on especially made frames for maintaining tension and shape is the only way to prevent yourself staying up all night in a bus trying to tuck and mount a new head in time for the next show.
Choosing to perform live with calfskin heads requires non-stop attention to the climactic conditions, readiness to wipe down heads with a dampened cloth and/or having an electric space heater in or around the drums. And sometimes, even with the best preparations, climate, room atmosphere, and the drummer's own body heat and perspiration can all combine to make drumming on skin heads virtually impossible.
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  #25  
Old 03-09-2013, 12:10 PM
BUCKIE_B BUCKIE_B is offline
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Default Re: tucking a calf head

The "rule of thumb" for sizing unmounted skin to tuck on a flesh hoop:

The skin selected must be approximately 4 inches larger in diameter than the diameter of the head you intend to make.

Thus, if you intend to tuck a 14" diameter head, you must start with a skin 18" in diameter and a 14" flesh hoop.
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  #26  
Old 03-09-2013, 10:15 PM
cuquito717 cuquito717 is offline
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Default Re: tucking a calf head

Its very easy look a film http://youtu.be/1Vt7Nh3nWjo
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  #27  
Old 10-24-2013, 02:31 PM
Virre Virre is offline
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Default Re: tucking a calf head

Last sunday me and my friend tucked a calfskin onto a metal ring, it was my first try but my friend has experience folding timpani heads. We used teaspoons that we bended. It all went well past my expectation and now it sounds and looks great!
Although I got skin now, the snare is still far from being done!
I need to repair the snare mechanism (by the way, how bad is it to drill new holes and replace it?), clean it fold another skin etc. etc. But this was really funny and great!
I'll send some pictures!
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  #28  
Old 11-11-2013, 09:01 PM
Bludrmr Bludrmr is offline
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Default Re: tucking a calf head

Hello,

I am looking to buy new calfskin heads for a 1910 snare I bought. I found them at a company called Sterns Tannery up in Milwaukee. Any one have any other sources?
The original hoops still seem to be in good shape. I'm not sure I want to tuck these myself as Sterns also sells calf skin heads ready to go.
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  #29  
Old 11-29-2013, 12:30 PM
cuquito717 cuquito717 is offline
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Default Re: tucking a calf head

Stern is the best out there. There are a few but Jeff stern Has the best skins
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  #30  
Old 12-02-2013, 08:03 PM
diddle001 diddle001 is offline
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Default Re: tucking a calf head

Guys,
Just a little info re: Head Tucking.

Does anyone remember Norman "Scotty" DuCette from Jacks drum shop in Boston? He was a very good friend of mine for a number of years before he sadly passed away.
Scotty did a short video showing head tucking for Rob Cook, Rob released this in his first VHS tape years ago. It may be worth contacting Rob and asking him if he's had the old VHS converted to DVD.
Just a thought.

Dav
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