Re: Cutting a hole in the bass drum...How big, methods etc...
I'm one of those, "back in the day" 70s and 80s club drummers who took the front head off completely. We were loud back in the day too, laying a Shure mike on the pillow jammed against the beater head inside the drum.
My little 20" Fibe sounded like a big, thick cardboard box getting hit with a baseball bat. Bap, Bap, Bap Bap, BAP!
A problem with that method was, you had to do something with the hoops, T-bolts and claws. Instead of letting them rattle around in my kit boxes, I stashed them in the back of a storage closet at the Club we were playing. We were on a circuit and had been hitting this particular roadhouse once a month and were scheduled to keep doing so . . .who knew. The next week our schedule changed and we didn't return to that club for almost four months.
It had changed ownership and of course my hoop and hardware were nowhere to be found.
Another problem with the no hoop/no head method is the front of the drum can start to get out of round. Especially since I was using the Premier Tom Mount that goes straight through the top of the bass and loads on the bottom.
With Fibes changing hands and going in and out of business over the years, I was never able to replace the parts.
I put the drums away about 1985, but broke them out again in 2000 to join a punk-pop band and start playing live again. the cardboard box sound worked well in the clubs, and when we went in the studio.
However, I wanted to get my set whole again, join the modern world with a small hole in the resonance head, and generally replace bits of hardware that were showing the wear of 30+ years.
I finally thought of searching eBay for hoops and Fibes Tbolts and Claws and in this last year have replaced everything that was worn broken or missing. The hardest find was the Fibes Tbolts and Claws, but I got them a month or so ago and started looking for Hoops.
There are tons of hoops on eBay, none Fibes, but I decided I could live with after market hoops. About two weeks ago they came up, a pair of Custom Rodgers Hoops, chromed metal, I got 'em for $55 for the pair including shipping.
Man, do they look sweet on those Clear Acrylic Drums with all that other chrome hardware.
So I searched and found this forum and this thread today, cause I was cutting a hole in the front head and was looking for guidance.
What I did was use a junk CD as the Template (about 4-1/2" dia.) to mark a circle, loosened the head but kept it on, then using the CD as a guide, I used the Exacto Knife to cut around the line. Worked perfectly.
Wordy first post, hope to keep exchanging info with you guys . . .