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  #1  
Old 04-16-2018, 09:06 AM
Gretsch that stole xmas Gretsch that stole xmas is offline
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Default Dating a Ludwig Shell

I recently found a 14" Ludwig floor tom shell that I'm trying to date. When I found it, it had been poorly re-wrapped with a wood veneer so I removed it to find the remnants of a black/gold duco paint job. Under the paint job is maple but the inside was factory painted white. No date stamp. From my research, Ludwig started painting the interiors white around '61 and continued through to '68. It's a bit confusing though because I thought the white interior era was also the mahogany era so why the maple? And I can't find a timeline for the gold/black duco paint jobs. Anyone know when Ludwig stopped offering ducos? If it helps, the shell is a clubdate.
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Old 04-16-2018, 10:29 AM
ATeam ATeam is offline
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Default Re: Dating a Ludwig Shell

If there's a badge on the drum, the serial number (or no serial number) will help to date it.
https://www.ludwig-drums.com/en-us/ludwig/serial-guide
https://reverb.com/news/how-to-date-a-ludwig
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Old 04-16-2018, 11:27 AM
Gretsch that stole xmas Gretsch that stole xmas is offline
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Default Re: Dating a Ludwig Shell

Yea, that would've made this job easy but there was no badge.
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Old 04-16-2018, 11:33 AM
mlayton mlayton is offline
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Default Re: Dating a Ludwig Shell

Duco was the name given to any of Ludwig's painted finishes, single or dual colors. They were still doing this at least until the 70's. The maple exteriors were commonly used when a drum was to be painted. During this same time frame, many interiors were still mahogany. Center ply was always poplar during this time. Your drum would be no later than '68 as they went to the clear maple interiors at that time. The white interiors did appear earlier in the 60's. Was your drum drilled for a baseball bat muffler or a round knob muffler?

Mike
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Old 04-16-2018, 03:14 PM
Gretsch that stole xmas Gretsch that stole xmas is offline
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Default Re: Dating a Ludwig Shell

I looked over the shell and there are no holes for mufflers. Once again, this is a club date floor tom shell. I know there were mufflers on the club date toms but did the floors have them too?
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Old 04-16-2018, 07:55 PM
mlayton mlayton is offline
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Default Re: Dating a Ludwig Shell

Most of the 60's Club Date floor toms had mufflers. On '60 and prior drums, mufflers were less of a standard thing. Sometimes had one, or none, or two! But those drums are usually natural wood interiors. Have seen some Trans badge (late 50's/early 60's) drums with white resacote interiors though. And....most of the 14x14 floor toms did not show up until the 60's. 12x15 was more common earlier on and even into the early 60's.
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Old 04-17-2018, 03:32 PM
K.O. K.O. is offline
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Default Re: Dating a Ludwig Shell

I'd echo what Mike said. 14x14 Club Date style floor toms weren't introduced until around 1963-64 ish. Drums destined to be painted (you could request any color(s) of lacquer you wanted if you provided Ludwig with a sample) were given a maple exterior ply to provide a smoother surface for the paint. The middle ply was always poplar, wrapped drums almost always had a mahogany outer ply (the wrap glue stuck to the more porous mahogany better) while, as mentioned, painted drums had a maple outer ply. The inner ply might be either maple or mahogany. Generally Ludwig used mahogany here as well but might use maple if they had extra on hand, especially once they were in the "Beatle Boom" and selling drums faster than they could make them. One of the reasons for the white paint was to give the drums a uniform look on the interior regardless of what type of wood was used and often sets were put together with drums that had different layups (no one at the time paid much attention or cared much about such things).

So, based on the size (it is a 14x14 floor tom and not a converted 10x14 marcher, correct?) your drum is probably from post-1963 and therefore should have a serial number on the badge. That number should get you within about a year of when the drum was made. Figure a 14x14 Club Date with a white interior probably had to be built sometime between 1964-1968 anyhow.

BTW: painted Ludwig drums from before approx 1968 (when the production method for wrapped drums was changed) will have the same overall outside diameter as a wrapped drum so if you add a layer of wrap to them you may end up with problems fitting heads as the shell will end up oversized. Just an if you're thinking of re-wrapping it.

Last edited by K.O.; 04-17-2018 at 03:35 PM.
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Old 04-17-2018, 11:26 PM
Gretsch that stole xmas Gretsch that stole xmas is offline
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Default Re: Dating a Ludwig Shell

Thanks for all your input! The interior ply is definitely mahogany as you can see the more porous wood through the paint. This was definitely born a 14" x 14" tom (not a snare) as the club date bow tie lugs left an indentation. I did discover another curious thing about this shell, the air/badge hole is in the center of the shell, not toward the top like my '67 downbeat floor tom. I can find pics of '64 club date floor toms with the center hole but all the drums post '64 have the badge up higher. So this is probably a '63 or '64 shell

Last edited by Gretsch that stole xmas; 04-17-2018 at 11:34 PM.
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  #9  
Old 04-17-2018, 11:42 PM
mlayton mlayton is offline
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Default Re: Dating a Ludwig Shell

Center badge placement back to top placement happened in mid '65 sometime.
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