About these nylon washers

poika

Silver Member
They seem to be highly recommended, at least for the snare.
What's the difference / benefit vs. normal metal washers and what is that makes them better?

Does it affect the actual sound, or tuning, or the rims wearing down, or what?
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I think the real reason for the nylon washer is for a smooth tuning rod tightening experience. They do make things feel smooth.

But now I'm wondering if they prevent vibrations from transferring from the rod to the hoop and lug to the shell like the gaskets on the newer Supra lugs, thanks to the gasket thread discussions.
 

Anduin

Pioneer Member
I like to think that they hold tuning longer, but I haven’t heard of anybody doing any serious investigation along those lines. Maybe you could try to swap every second one for metal and let us know what happens.
 

poika

Silver Member
hmm.. But if it makes the rod turn smoother (easier) then wouldn't you think that it would actually help detune the drum?

I was thinking about the vibration thing too.

First I was like "I'd rather have metal parts on my drums than plastic parts" but after half a second I remembered that I have a set of Vistalites and threw that theory out of the window :D

Maybe I'll give the nylon things a try.. I might actually just try that Anduin
 

Aeolian

Platinum Member
Having done studies on fasteners when I worked in aerospace it's all about friction. Either within the threads or on the bearing surface. Good fastener design has the bolt slightly stretched to maintain the friction load on the threads. Since most tuning rods are fairly loose there isn't much friction at the threads (unless you have nylon patches or Loctite on them). The nylon washers smooth out the friction, but they also slightly increase it. And because they are slightly compressible, they simulate the stretching of the fastener and help to maintain tightness.

This is making me think of putting something like an O-ring under a metal washer on the rods and seeing if that helps keep things in place. Hmmm....
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
Hmmm, I just took all 20 of them off of my Joyful Noise snare thinking that if they made the tension rods that much easier to tune, then they'd make them that much easier to detune. Also, like Larry, I was influenced by all the lug gasket discussions and didn't want any metal parts isolated from each other - especially not when it's brass hoops. As someone else recently remarked on this subject, I want "metal to metal, baby!"
 

uniongoon

Gold Member
The nylon does protect the rim. With metal on metal, eventually the tension rod will wear a groove into the hoop.
 

evilg99

Platinum Member
I'm with Lar and Poika- I think they are doing the same thing as gaskets , preventing vibration from traveling down thru the rim into the shell (Larry)
And
I think they also allow the lugs to detune easily because there is less friction exerted on the tuning rod where it contacts the rim (Poika) ....yeah, smooth shiny nylon is slippery. How could this not be the case?

I have removed the nylon washers from the toms on one of my kits. I think it made a small difference.
I wish someone who had the time to look into this (I don't these days) could test these ideas and enlighten us. Somebody? Please ?
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
Okay, so having run my JN without the nylon washers it came with for a week now, I can honestly say that it goes out of tune way faster. And I don't mean a little bit faster, either, so it appears that Aeolian's claims of increased friction holding the drum in tune bears out just like he said. I'll be putting them back on next practice.
 

edvia

Senior Member
Okay, so having run my JN without the nylon washers it came with for a week now, I can honestly say that it goes out of tune way faster. And I don't mean a little bit faster, either, so it appears that Aeolian's claims of increased friction holding the drum in tune bears out just like he said. I'll be putting them back on next practice.
Did you replace the nylon washers with metal washers, or did you go washerless for this test?
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
Did you replace the nylon washers with metal washers, or did you go washerless for this test?
The snare came with both so removing just the nylon washers reduced it down to what is considered "normal" (using just the metal washers). I thought the nylons were unnecessary, but apparently not.

I wonder if the tube lugs might be partially responsible since they're machined brass and don't have inserts. If there's any extra wiggle room in there for the tension rods, that might explain why the drum goes out of tune so fast and why the nylon washers are necessary. I don't use nylon washers on any of my other drums, but this is the only one with tubes.

I might consider those tension rods with the nylon inserts to hold tuning better rather than stick with the nylon washers so I can maintain metal to metal contact between hoop and shell (via metal washers, of course). But I don't like the way those rods prevent you from feeling how much tension is at each lug.
 
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