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New Bearing Edges for MIJ


Hey guys,

I apologize up front for the fifty-bagillion posts you're likely to see me make as I go along restoring this MIJ kit I've got.

But...I want to ask the experts and the experienced...

Have any of you re-done the bearing edges on a MIJ kit...?

If so, what are some guidelines for this? What type of edge did you use/what works best?

Is it best to use a roundover edge or 30's or 45's? Did you combine these in any way?



Posted on 4 years ago

I'm not an expert, I just play one on TV...:D

What makes you want to do the edges? Do they not tune up? Not stay in tune? Sound wonky?

You can do a couple of things to check them out, like put a drum head on at normal tension and then run your finger along the edges of the head just inside the hoop with some pressure. You should be able to feel any imperfection, like a dip. You can also put your drum on a flat surface with no drumhead, shine a flashlight inside and if any light is leaking out on the side laying on the table, you might have a problem. Also check to make sure your drum shell is still round.

It could also be your hoops are not round anymore. MIJs normally have thin 1.6 mm triple flange hoops on them. I changed mine to the 2.3 mm stick saver style, and I have a tighter sound now with easier tuning.

I'm just throwing stuff out there. I should have asked what the problem is and left it at that!DOH

Posted on 4 years ago

Well...on the bass drum they're banged up. And I've sanded them kinda flat.

On the 12" tom they're in decent shape.

I dunno...I almost feel like some conscientiously cut fresh edges might feel good on them. Give them that extra bit of care.

Perhaps might feel like I've covered all of the bases with this restoration...

Posted on 4 years ago

Oh...yeah...I'm gonna install re-rings into the drums that don't already have them. The bass drum is starting to lose some of the roundness...and I'm trying to get a handle on it quickly...

Posted on 4 years ago

I don't think it can hurt any to do it. I don't think originality matters in your case, which can be a consideration on a more expensive kit. I sometimes think about having my MIJ edges done. I'm sure they weren't done with much care BITD, because even the more expensive American brands weren't exactly done to precision. But it's an investment you'll never recover. I think you have to make sure they're keepers.

I can actually run my kit up to Precision Drums in upstate NY, about an 1.5 hr ride from NYC. I think they charge an average of $55 a drum to cut the edges according to the size. If I decide my Norma's are keepers, I might just take the ride and have them done someday.

Posted on 4 years ago

What are the shells made of? If we're talking about soft woods, such as Luan, aka Philippine Mahogany, they can be difficult to cut new edges.


Posted on 4 years ago

Standard “Philippine mahogany” of the era and make lol. I’ve seen it called “Japanese firewood” before...which isn't totally off...the do burn up much like corrugated...

The re-rings I’m eyeballing are maple. So...I’m hoping most of the brunt of cutting new edges will be taken by the maple. The outer edge though....might be either a much lesser cut or maybe just a round over. I was considering 45’s...

Posted on 4 years ago

I linked an interesting article on cutting your bearing edges. It might make you think twice -

Posted on 4 years ago

I've had several of my vintage MIJ kits re-edged, professionally. They squared the shells up (these shells are rarely true), and then re-cut the edges. I've had 30's and 45's, with round over, finished by hand, etc, just depends on your sound/feel preference. Yes, it drastically improved the sound.

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Posted on 4 years ago

In general, I am always against edge cutting.

A much softer path is the simple correction of edges using a flexible strip of thin plywood with glued sanding paper.



Posted on 4 years ago
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