Old 11-03-2022, 02:32 PM
#1
hochelaga hochelaga is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 27
Default Ply overlap in 70s Ludwig shells?
When looking at the bearing edges of a 70s Ludwig I just acquired, on the top edge of the 13" and 16", there is this strange overlap in the ply, causing it to loose the sharness of the edge for a flat surface of almost 1/8" wide. Wondering if that's frequent, considered as bad workmanship? Does it affect really the tone, and is this an easy fix by recuting the edges?

thx !
Attached Thumbnails

Last edited by hochelaga; 11-03-2022 at 02:34 PM.
Old 11-03-2022, 03:22 PM
#2
thin shell thin shell is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 482
Default Re: Ply overlap in 70s Ludwig shells?
That would be bad workmanship. Looks like part of the inner poplar ply blew out while cutting the scarf joint and the guy just went with it. I would either cut a piece of poplar to tightly fit that void or use a two part wood filler such as PC Woody and fill the void and hand shape and true up the edge.

As to whether it affects the sound.. If it tunes up well and sounds good then it's probably fine. Lot's of Ludwig edges looked really bad, especially in the mid to late 60s. Some worked fine and some caused problems so it really needs to be addressed on a drum to drum basis.
Old 11-03-2022, 07:06 PM
#3
O-Lugs O-Lugs is offline
Vintage Drum Guru
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 5,136
Default Re: Ply overlap in 70s Ludwig shells?
Sorry about those drums, man. I feel partly responsible for choosing that kit, as a favorite, out of the three kits you showed the other day.

That is the infamous Ludwig lump....VERY common among that era of Ludwig shells. As explained, it's the scarf joint overlap that causes the bulge. It doesn't seem to affect tuning....most of the time.
__________________
"God is dead." -Nietzsche

"Nietzsche is dead." -God
Old 11-03-2022, 07:39 PM
#4
K.O. K.O. is offline
Vintage Drum Guru
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Northwestern Illinois
Posts: 2,010
Default Re: Ply overlap in 70s Ludwig shells?
That's how they were made at the time. The plywood was made as a flat 3 ply board, then a scarf joint was cut into the two ends and it was bent into a circle. In your second photo I don't see any gap in the shell itself, that open area is in the re-ring. Still not great but not quite as serious. I can't really tell much on the first picture due to the paint.

Back in the day drums were not built to anywhere near the finish standards that we all expect and take for granted today. That's just the way it was. The drums still sounded good and that was enough. Back then drums were made of "wood" (nobody knew what kind....or cared), no one knew what a bearing edge was, or how thick the hoops were or really anything like that. You picked the brand you liked and pretty much accepted what they provided. And they got away with it. That wouldn't fly today but taken in context those look pretty much par for the course.
Old 11-03-2022, 09:02 PM
#5
hochelaga hochelaga is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 27
Default Re: Ply overlap in 70s Ludwig shells?
You are right, at the time they had nothing to compare the workmanship, as you said, people just bought "drums made out of wood". I wonder if they had some sort of quality control at the time.

I get the idea of the Ludwig hump, but is it common that this hump doesn't have an angled (or rounded) bearing edge at all? I mean, it's totally flat at the hump.
Old 11-03-2022, 09:47 PM
#6
thin shell thin shell is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 482
Default Re: Ply overlap in 70s Ludwig shells?
No that's not normal. It should have an edge profile that matches the rest of the shell more or less. Really it gets down to can you tune it easily and do you like the sound. If yes to both, then probably best to leave it alone. Otherwise it needs attention.
Old 11-03-2022, 09:55 PM
#7
hochelaga hochelaga is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 27
Default Re: Ply overlap in 70s Ludwig shells?
I can tune it, but where it's flat I have to put more tension than the other lugs to have it really touching the shell. So when I want to tune it pretty low, I can't get the head completely touching the shell near that flat hump. So, while I can work around this, I find it annoying.
Old 11-04-2022, 10:32 AM
#8
hochelaga hochelaga is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 27
Default Re: Ply overlap in 70s Ludwig shells?
The funny thing that shows that Ludwig workers didn't give a damn at the time, is that on my drums, the imperfections are only on one side of the drums. So, even if the imperfection passed, when installing the hardware, it makes sens to put the imperfect side on the reso side. But no, they didn't give this a second thought as the imperfections are on the top of the drums...
Old 11-04-2022, 11:25 AM
#9
O-Lugs O-Lugs is offline
Vintage Drum Guru
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 5,136
Default Re: Ply overlap in 70s Ludwig shells?
If you DO get them re-edged, then make sure you find a competent entity to do the job. Precision Drum Company comes to mind.

As far as Ludwig's quality control...It varied. When the early 70's hit, they were pumping put drums to meet the demand for them. Bands were cropping up everywhere...concerts everywhere...drums everywhere. In many instances, drums and guitarswere getting kicked, thrown and destroyed as part of the show. There wasn't a demand for meticulously-made instruments during that era. No one cared. Most music was being performed on the back of a flatbed trailer, outdoors in the blazing sun and driving rain. And, for what it's worth, I believe that also can be part of the attraction to these old battleships. They were built for WAR! It shows in their construction. They were being built to meet the demand....and there was a BIG demand -especially for LUDWIG drums. Ludwig was so ubiquitous a name, people often just referred to "drums" as "Ludwigs"....and that''s no lie!

to the brotherhood of vintage drums, man. This is your trial-by-fire!
__________________
"God is dead." -Nietzsche

"Nietzsche is dead." -God
Old 11-05-2022, 11:41 AM
#10
thin shell thin shell is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 482
Default Re: Ply overlap in 70s Ludwig shells?
Quote:
Originally Posted by hochelaga View Post
I can tune it, but where it's flat I have to put more tension than the other lugs to have it really touching the shell. So when I want to tune it pretty low, I can't get the head completely touching the shell near that flat hump. So, while I can work around this, I find it annoying.
Sounds like it is a problem then. At least in certain instances. Ludwig production when through the roof after the Beatles were on Sullivan so drums after that point became more hit or miss. But by the time those shells were made, the Ringo craze had died down. Ludwig was still the most popular drum company, but it is hard to comprehend that clear maple interior shell getting out the door. The "Ludcoat" shell is more the norm. Even when they were done well, most of them had a hump at the scarf joint but some of them were pretty bad. I have a 16" floor tom orphan that I pulled the original wrap off and they had sanded right through the outer mahogany ply into the poplar middle ply in an effort to make the hump smaller. This was a clear maple interior shell.

In order to fix that shell, it will have to be placed on a perfectly flat surface to see if it is true. It probably won't be so it will have to be trued on a perfectly flat surface covered with sandpaper. Once it's sanded flat the outer edge can be cut on a router table. Since the surface around the hump isn't true, that edge usually needs to be done by hand to get it as true as possible. Run the whole thing through the router table and the edge will get messed up at the hump. Cutting the inside bevel has to be done similarly. There is always problems with the inside surface of the re-ring at the hump so you have to use caution and do most of it by hand. Long story short, you need to be carful who you get to fix that.
 

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules

Collapse Forum Rules Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Search Options
Tag Search Advanced Search

Updated Threads