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  #1  
Old 04-11-2010, 06:53 PM
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Default Drumshell aging

OK, it seems that almost everyone is in general agreement that the older wood becomes, the better it sounds, right? More resonance, correct? SO I was thinking....What's to say you can't age your wood instrument faster by baking it? Right? We're just talking a loss of moisture right? Who cares if it's speeded up? It's not like the wood molecules change. Of course it may take a month at 200 degrees, but I'm just pulling random numbers, more research would have to be done....If it's valid it should probably be done before finishing. Do companies already do this?
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Old 04-11-2010, 07:49 PM
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Default Re: Drumshell aging

I'd be surprised if a loss of moisture is all that needs to happen.

But if the process is really that simple, people could do it themselves. I've started "baking" my sticks to make them lighter and to change the way they resonate with the drum.
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Old 04-11-2010, 09:57 PM
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Default Re: Drumshell aging

I still would like to have some more proof that the sound changes significatly after 2-4 years.
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Old 04-11-2010, 10:01 PM
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Default Re: Drumshell aging

Would two identical drums age differently if one just sat and the other was played regularly ?I would think vibration over a period of time would have some
influence
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Old 04-12-2010, 12:08 AM
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Default Re: Drumshell aging

I don't think that its as simple as the wood drying out. Humidity levels from the environment constantly changes within the shell of a drum.
The wood that drums are made from is in constant tension because it was glued and pressed together and then bowed to a round shape. Over time the wood plies get used to being this way and they relax a bit so to speak. I don't believe that this process takes a great number of years. Probably just a few months!

I believe that this drying out theory is mostly myth and legend.

Everyone wants to believe that a drum mellows with age like wine and the like.
I have never seen any scientific test that prove this theory.
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Old 04-12-2010, 12:18 AM
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Default Re: Drumshell aging

Of course it may take a month at 200 degrees

WOOHOO!
So just leaving my drums in the garage over summer will age them and make them sound better? I KNEW there was a good reason for moving to Arizona! :-)
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  #7  
Old 04-12-2010, 12:37 AM
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Default Re: Drumshell aging

I remember being in a violin makers shop when I was in Europe and they had lumber hanging from the ceiling that was already 100 years old. There must be something to the aging process or they would be baking lumber to speed up the process.
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Old 04-12-2010, 12:42 AM
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Default Re: Drumshell aging

I don't see what aging does that baking can't. But what do I know?
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  #9  
Old 04-12-2010, 12:56 AM
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Default Re: Drumshell aging

I found this. Check out the part about kiln drying.


CUTTING and SEASONING. Violin makers prefer wood cut from old growth trees, grown at high altitudes on northern slopes. The wood must be cut during the cold dormant months and stored (seasoned) in controlled conditions for several years. Most of the wood used in violin making is split or cut "on the quarter" for greatest strength.

Immediately after the tree is felled, the trunk is bucked into rounds (cut up into cylindrically shaped lengths) only slightly longer than that needed for the finished pieces. Like slicing a pie, these rounds are split or sawn radially into wedge shaped pieces called billets. The billets are sealed on their ends with hot glue, stacked in such a manner that air can circulate all around them, and stored in a cool area away from direct sunlight.

Each piece of wood dries throughout at an equally slow rate. The drying or seasoning time for a piece of violin wood is generally ten years or more, depending on its size and thickness. Fifty year old wood is even better! Kiln drying of commercial lumber destroys the cell structure of the wood and thus its physical and acoustic properties.

Shown below are backs of Stardivari model violin made for Alasdair Fraser, viola in the style of Amati made for Joseph Genualdi and Guarneri model, demonstrating the use of different woods and grain patterns
Click on the image for a detailed view.
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  #10  
Old 04-12-2010, 04:53 AM
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Default Re: Drumshell aging

It's not just the moisture content - the sap / resin composition also changes as it ages.

Also we need to consider that trees from 10, 20, 50, 100 years ago were probably bigger, stronger, healthier than the regrowth or younger trees that are used nowadays (what's left of them anyway).....
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  #11  
Old 04-12-2010, 01:24 PM
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Default Re: Drumshell aging

I was thinking that if I bake a potato for two hours at 180C trying to save time by cooking for half an hour at 720C would not be a great idea. I sometimes left my drums in the car after coming home exhausted at some crazy hour after gigs. I felt even more paranoid about it than usual in summer because I (rightly or wrongly) instinctively felt that the morning sun in summer wouldn't do the gear any favours. I guess because preservation is always associated with cool temps.

GD's Stradivarius quote seems convincing. Here's some more detail on the effect of heat on cell membranes:
In this study the crystallinity and estimations of relative triclinic (Iα) and monoclinic (Iβ) structure content of cellulose isolated from heated spruce (Picea orientalis) and beech (Fagus orientalis) wood samples were determined by using Fourier Transform Infrared (FT-IR) spectrometry. Heat treatment was applied on the test samples in an oven at three different temperatures (150, 180 and 200 °C) and two different durations (6 and 10 h) under atmospheric pressure. It was determined that crystallinity of cellulose in wood samples increased with thermal modification. The results indicate that the changes in crystallinity of cellulose in wood samples related to not only temperature but also time during thermal modification. Iα/Iβ ratio of cellulose in spruce and beech wood samples changed with thermal modification, but it was established that monoclinic structure was dominant in cellulose crystalline structure. It was designated that the crystalline structure of cellulose in spruce wood samples affected from thermal modification more than in beech wood samples.
Simple, isn't it?

James, it would be interesting to know how your drums shape up after a summer in your Arizona garage.
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  #12  
Old 04-14-2010, 02:23 AM
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Default Re: Drumshell aging

I don't think that it is an equal comparison, Violin vs Drum.
A violin resinates at a much wider spectrum of frequencies than a drum.
A violin also has a sound bridge that supports the strings and vibrates the body.
A violin has wooden baffles that are placed inside of the body to help it resonate.
The unique shape of the violin plays an important roll in the sound response generated from the body of the instrument.

Drums are the most primitive of instruments. Drums are not even close to the complexity of a violin.
The aging of the wood in a drum will not play as much of a roll as it does with a violin.
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  #13  
Old 04-14-2010, 03:01 AM
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Default Re: Drumshell aging

We, I were talking aged wood in general. Only that the older the wood the better the sound. Not that a drum will sound as good or the same as a violin. Whiskey and wine are both aged to taste better not to taste the same. Wood vibrates or resonates more the dryer it is and the best way to dry out wood is to let it age naturally.
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  #14  
Old 04-14-2010, 03:17 AM
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Default Re: Drumshell aging

These are good points Grunt. There is so much that is discussed in the drum realm about shell construction, plies, wood type, and all combinations thereof.
From my experience, a great deal of it is nonsense!
I really don't think that the drum is sophisticated enough for it all to matter as much as we would like it to.
I also like to think that it does though!
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  #15  
Old 04-14-2010, 03:24 AM
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Default Re: Drumshell aging

Aren't the vintage drum sounds we like the result of the softer woods (poplar, mahogany) and the round bearing edges?

Also, we used "old growth" woods back then. Even if it was a softer wood, it was a better quality of wood compared to the same wood we're using now. However, the manufacturing processes are probably better today - better pressing and better epoxies.

Whatever the wood, it does have to be at the right humidity content both, at the time of making the drum and the time of playing.

In terms of baking the drum- that would destroy it. The glues would go to crap. Baking the veneers before making it would product a "rot proof" drum. Baked wood, done right, is rot resistant.
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Old 04-14-2010, 03:26 AM
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Default Re: Drumshell aging

I remember watching one of the How they Make it shows and they were showing drumsticks. All of the sticks are kiln dried to I think 7 percent moisture content, and from what I'm reading in they wood articles natural drying is better so I wonder if drum sticks would last longer if they dried naturally.
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  #17  
Old 04-14-2010, 04:37 AM
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Default Re: Drumshell aging

I'm not sure about wood, but I work in an aluminum extrusion factory and our age ovens run a 6 hour cycle @ 350 degrees to take 6063 alloy from T1 (soft and can be bent by hand) to T6 (hard and if bent it will go back straight). I know this is like comparing apples to oranges but it works for aluminum.

I got my 1994 DW's new and 16 years later they have mellowed out quite a bit. They have opened up over the years (which I like). These are Keller shells too.
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  #18  
Old 04-14-2010, 04:56 AM
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Default Re: Drumshell aging

Stradivari were made from wood that had been floating in the river and bay for years and years. Martin guitars do that also, they keep logs floating in a pond for years before taking it out to dry. Even lumbermills put sprinklers on the logs to slow the initial drying process.

Kiln drying of lumber forces it to dry out and do whatever it's going to do, so you don't have all this warping and problems later on. But it's hard on the wood.

As I mentioned in the other thread, along with a natural drying out, I've experienced the differences when wood vibrates with musical tones. Some sort of coherent set of frequencies, not just random vibration.

This is one area where I think the process can be sped along.

I have an Epiphone archtop jazz guitar that was made in Korea of plywood and a molded, rather than carved top. When I got it, it sounded like the cheap instrument that it was. I had a luthier friend set it up and do what hand finish work he could to things like the bridge and frets. But it still sounded cheap. So it became a decoration. I had it in my living room in-between the TV and one stereo speaker. I almost always have music going in the house, unless the TV is on. After about 5 years, I took it out on a gig just because it looked right for the situation. Amazingly, it sounded like a whole different instrument. Warm and full in a way that belied what I paid for it. Several very proficient jazz guitarist friends have played it and can't believe how good it sounds compared to most of the ones they've seen.

Out of that, I realized that the worst thing you can do with a wooden instrument is pack it away in a case. The best thing you can do is play it. A compromise is leave it out and expose it to music, even if the music isn't coming from it. That is a lot of the magic of an older instrument. The difference in a drum shell may be more subtle that a violin, but what difference there is comes from the wood aging musically. Letting it dry out and obtain it's final character consistent with musical tones.
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Old 04-14-2010, 07:36 AM
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Default Re: Drumshell aging

Stradivari were made from natural whole wood, not wood composite materials like plywood.

Drums are made of veneers glued and pressed together under heat - high-grade plywood. Plywood isn't wood - it's a composite wood product, like particle board or OSB, and a fair chunk of a drum shell's mass and sound is adhesive.

Nothing wrong with that at all, but if you want to consider how a drum's sound changes over time, you must consider what happens to glue over time, not just the wood. Drum companies don't like to talk about glue, how much they use, how it's made, what happens to it over time, etc., but it is a significant part of a drum.

In fact, if a stringed instrument has ply construction, it is considered inferior. I disagree with that, but that is the prejudice that other musicians have about the construction of their own instruments.
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Old 04-14-2010, 08:16 AM
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Default Re: Drumshell aging

I have read somewhere that vintage cymbals mellow with age, so there really seems to be a sound difference in vintage drums and cymbals...

...or perhaps part of it is the illusion created by drums and cymbals that were made much differently to how they are now.
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Old 04-14-2010, 10:33 AM
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"A golden-age Stradivarius and a biotech violin were played as part of a five-violin blind test in September 2009 at the 27th “Osnabrücker Baumpflegetagen,” a German conference on forest husbandry. The tone of the modern engineered instrument was considered superior by the most listeners during the test." - Wikipedia; Original source: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0914111418.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stradivarius

And there have been more blind tests. Nothing really proves me that older instrument is better or that you can tell the difference in a blind test. We sceptics have done the tests, now it's you the believers that have the burden of proof I think.
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Old 04-14-2010, 11:32 AM
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Default Re: Drumshell aging

Quote:
Originally Posted by JPW View Post
"A golden-age Stradivarius and a biotech violin were played as part of a five-violin blind test in September 2009 at the 27th “Osnabrücker Baumpflegetagen,” a German conference on forest husbandry. The tone of the modern engineered instrument was considered superior by the most listeners during the test." - Wikipedia; Original source: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0914111418.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stradivarius

And there have been more blind tests. Nothing really proves me that older instrument is better or that you can tell the difference in a blind test. We sceptics have done the tests, now it's you the believers that have the burden of proof I think.
JP, I think your quote provides the proof .... "The tone of the modern engineered instrument was considered superior by the most listeners".

They didn't say "all", they said "most". That says a fair bit - not only about the effects of aging on the violins but also the sonic preferences of the listeners. No doubt old instruments can have a physical charm but it ultimately comes down to what kind of sounds you enjoy.
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Old 04-14-2010, 12:29 PM
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Default Re: Drumshell aging

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JP, I think your quote provides the proof .... "The tone of the modern engineered instrument was considered superior by the most listeners".

They didn't say "all", they said "most". That says a fair bit - not only about the effects of aging on the violins but also the sonic preferences of the listeners. No doubt old instruments can have a physical charm but it ultimately comes down to what kind of sounds you enjoy.
Yes, but the thing is that even the experts can't tell the difference between new or old instruments. So that makes me wonder if those who actually managed to know the difference were just lucky. If I throw a dice on the ground and ask 130 people to tell which side is up, some of them will say the right answer but that doesn't mean they have supernatural powers.

And as has been stated already, drum shells (the ply wood ones) have more glue in them than those violins. So I would think the difference is even smaller.
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Old 04-14-2010, 01:02 PM
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Default Re: Drumshell aging

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Originally Posted by Deathmetalconga View Post
Stradivari were made from natural whole wood, not wood composite materials like plywood.

Drums are made of veneers glued and pressed together under heat - high-grade plywood. Plywood isn't wood - it's a composite wood product, like particle board or OSB, and a fair chunk of a drum shell's mass and sound is adhesive.

Nothing wrong with that at all, but if you want to consider how a drum's sound changes over time, you must consider what happens to glue over time, not just the wood. Drum companies don't like to talk about glue, how much they use, how it's made, what happens to it over time, etc., but it is a significant part of a drum.

In fact, if a stringed instrument has ply construction, it is considered inferior. I disagree with that, but that is the prejudice that other musicians have about the construction of their own instruments.
So theoretically, if drum companies started making shells without plies and glue, then elitist snobs who had one-ply shells would be everywhere saying those who didn't sounded bad?

It still sounds pretty interesting.
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Old 04-14-2010, 01:10 PM
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Default Re: Drumshell aging

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Yes, but the thing is that even the experts can't tell the difference between new or old instruments. So that makes me wonder if those who actually managed to know the difference were just lucky. If I throw a dice on the ground and ask 130 people to tell which side is up, some of them will say the right answer but that doesn't mean they have supernatural powers.

And as has been stated already, drum shells (the ply wood ones) have more glue in them than those violins. So I would think the difference is even smaller.
Being able to tell which is which is another matter. I doubt I'd have a clue in a blindfold test, although KIS could probably tell you what year the drum was made, what kind of wood was used, and the name of the dog owned by the factory manager at the time.

The quote I was interested in was about people considering the sound better or worse.

Everything changes over time (apart from me, since I never gain more wrinkles and still maintain a perfectly smooth complexion, although I admit to becoming a terrible BS artist). So the resonant qualities of instruments will necessarily change. Do those changes make for a better or worse sound? That's mostly a matter of taste, just as it is when picking between good brands.
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Old 04-14-2010, 01:23 PM
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Being able to tell which is which is another matter. I doubt I'd have a clue in a blindfold test, although KIS could probably tell you what year the drum was made, what kind of wood was used, and the name of the dog owned by the factory manager at the time.

The quote I was interested in was about people considering the sound better or worse.

Everything changes over time (apart from me, since I never gain more wrinkles and still maintain a perfectly smooth complexion, although I admit to becoming a terrible BS artist). So the resonant qualities of instruments will necessarily change. Do those changes make for a better or worse sound? That's mostly a matter of taste, just as it is when picking between good brands.
Yes, wood will rot, but glue is more like plastic, it will stay the same much much longer and most of the wood is in between the 'plastic' layers so they are like vacuum packed.

But I believe a trained ear will tell the difference between a stave shell and a ply shell. But most of the time the difference in sound is more about tuning and the heads and the player. (if we assume the drums aren't micd which of course loses most of these finest nyances we are talking about here).
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Old 04-14-2010, 03:24 PM
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Default Re: Drumshell aging

That's why I thought baking the drums (not too hot, gradually over a month, maybe more) may do some good, because the glue holds a lot of moisture I'm guessing. But really if there was a noticeable difference, it would probably be put into practice already.
Also, the people listening in the blind violin test...were they musicians? I would want a panel stocked with people with a much higher than average audio awareness, not just any Jane and Joe Beercan type people for that test.
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Old 04-14-2010, 08:08 PM
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Default Re: Drumshell aging

My issue with "blind" tests like that, is that a lot of the desirability of an instrument is in it's "feel" to the musician. How well, or how much effort or concentration it takes for the musician to produce a tone they like from it.

That is something people on the other side of a black scrim have no idea about. A good musician can use their facility at tone production to get very similar sounds out of a variety of instruments that are sort of close. But some will sound great with no effort, and some will take a lot of work. The musician playing it will know the difference, but blindfolded listeners would not be a part of that. So when the musician says that they liked x better than y, the listener (in these sorts of tests) tells them that they're all wet. That there was no discernable difference. They don't realize that the musician didn't like it because he knew he was making up the difference with his hands.

Most folks have sat down on kits that they just couldn't get comfortable with. Everything could be adjusted to be in a familiar place, but the sound that comes out is so unfamiliar, or unwanted, that you struggle just to play things you play every day.
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Old 04-14-2010, 08:20 PM
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Default Re: Drumshell aging

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Originally Posted by Coldhardsteel View Post
So theoretically, if drum companies started making shells without plies and glue, then elitist snobs who had one-ply shells would be everywhere saying those who didn't sounded bad?

It still sounds pretty interesting.
In a case like you describe, the majority of drummers would be playing natural whole wood shells. Then, I think, they would look down on ply drums, as they tend to do with anything that's different. The only difference between a snob view and the common view is the number of people who hold the view.

That's already the case with guitarists. Acoustic guitars with ply construction are looked down upon as cheap budget instruments. I think that's sad, because plywood has many, many advantages over natural whole wood.

But back on topic: Any discussion of drum shell aging has to take into account what happens to glue as it ages.
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Old 04-14-2010, 08:46 PM
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But back on topic: Any discussion of drum shell aging has to take into account what happens to glue as it ages.
And what about acrylic drums! Those Vistalites from the 70s sure sound different. ;D

(point being: we shouldn't confuse different methods of production with aging)
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Old 04-14-2010, 10:00 PM
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And what about acrylic drums! Those Vistalites from the 70s sure sound different. ;D

(point being: we shouldn't confuse different methods of production with aging)
Well, those drums are pure glue! Plastic is organic and volatile and it wouldn't surprise me if the molecular structure of acrylic changes over time, just as it does with wood.

Glue is a significant component of drums made of wood composite materials, like ply or Acousticon drums. Just like wood, it changes over time. Nobody talks about glue much so I don't think there's a whole lot of understanding about how aging changes glue. It is mechanically and chemically bonded to the ply veneers and is as much a part of the shell as the veneers. As the glue changes over time, so does the sound of the drum.
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Old 04-15-2010, 03:32 AM
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Default Re: Drumshell aging

Well, one thing most glues do over time is continue to polymerize and cross link. Typically raising the modulus (stiffness). That is one rate of reaction that is definitely accelerated by heat. After the initial polymerization or setting up, most glues continue for another 6 months to a year. Not much change after that unless they are exposed to things that break them down like oxygen. Since most glues are permeable, and wood definitely is, the glue is probably brittle and broken down a bit in an much older plywood thing. Oxidation rate of reaction is also accelerated by increased temperature.

So Larry's supposition that baking a drum would age it ought to accomplish some degree of these changes, although as pointed out below, it's rough on the cellular structure of the wood.
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Old 04-15-2010, 04:03 AM
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Default Re: Drumshell aging

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Originally Posted by Aeolian View Post
Well, one thing most glues do over time is continue to polymerize and cross link. Typically raising the modulus (stiffness). That is one rate of reaction that is definitely accelerated by heat. After the initial polymerization or setting up, most glues continue for another 6 months to a year. Not much change after that unless they are exposed to things that break them down like oxygen. Since most glues are permeable, and wood definitely is, the glue is probably brittle and broken down a bit in an much older plywood thing. Oxidation rate of reaction is also accelerated by increased temperature.
So Larry's supposition that baking a drum would age it ought to accomplish some degree of these changes, although as pointed out below, it's rough on the cellular structure of the wood.
Very good info, are you in the adhesives business because it sounds like it. Your last sentence.."it's rough on the celluar wood"...I wonder if that would be a bad thing acoustically or a good thing.....hmmm... As long as the drum doesn't delaminate, and doesn't lose strength, and if the sound is better, what do I care if the poor cellular structure gets beat up ha ha
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Old 04-15-2010, 04:06 AM
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Default Re: Drumshell aging

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...So Larry's supposition that baking a drum would age it ought to accomplish some degree of these changes, although as pointed out below, it's rough on the cellular structure of the wood.
Effectively, baking it is burning it very slightly and very slowly.

I think if one were to just leave the drum in direct sunlight for a long time or in a heated chamber(not quite baking) that was very dry, then it might take longer than Larry's proposed process but it wouldn't be as long as it took some "vintage" drums to get where they are today. For the past week I've left a pair of my sticks in the back of my parent's car to see how the heat in the car can dry them out, effectively making them lighter. Maybe that could work for shells too?

Of course, it wouldn't have to be in a car, but still. You know what I mean?
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Old 04-15-2010, 10:22 AM
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When we talk about glues and acrylics we are talking about organic chemistry and that's where I'm almost a professional (last year in the uni). Glues and acrylics are quite well defined as chemical structures unlike wood. They will break down faster in UV radiation. They will break down faster if exposed to solvents (and of course to some more exotic chemicals). But neither of these are faster processes (in normal playing and storing conditions) than what we have happening inside wood, the biological processes. Then again biological processes usually need some amount of humidity to happen.

I think the most clever way in 'aging' wood are the different fungus types that can degrade the wood faster than aging, it was mentioned in the violin article. Heat is only a catalyst (not in a chemical sense though. heat is heat, catalyst is a catalyst. but I don't want to start talking about energy barriers), it pushes the reactions forward, gives it energy, but if there isn't anything happening anymore it doesn't really do anything unless you are burning the wood, when it starts to be oxidation again, just uncontrollable. You can try some sort of oxidative reagents and a bit of heat but that won't be as gentle as fungus or hunderds of years of aging. It's mostly used for aesthetic reasons.

Most wood that is used for instrument production has sat on the shelves for years, so I think it has stabilised quite a bit in that time alone. Give the glue 2-4 years and I think it will not change that much. Production methdos though will. We can't really compare older instruments to newer ones and hear a difference and then say it's because of the age of the wood. There's a lot more stuff involved. For example we don't know what kind of glue they used. If they used animal glues in the past, maybe in the older drums something has happened to the glue, but I don't think it's anything positive, if anything it makes your drum break more easily. Newer glues should be stabile for much longer especially since it's protected from the UV by layers of ply wood. =)

Either way, I wouldn't try to solve aging. I would try to get the sound I want by building a new drum, it's much much more controllable in outcome. Pick the wood that has the quality of sound you want and tune it properly.

Last edited by JPW; 04-15-2010 at 10:36 AM.
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Old 04-15-2010, 03:55 PM
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Default Re: Drumshell aging

Wow, this thread is interesting. I had never thought about glue this much before. I have had some concern about leaving my drums in the van on a hot summer day. They're always in cases. Would that have a damaging effect on my drums?
Also, not to get too far off of the subject here, can leaving my drums in my van in the dead of winter have a damaging effect on them? I have done this and when I do, I try to leave them in their cases for as long as possible once I bring them inside so that they can come back to room temperature gradually. One time I didn't do this and noticed some condensation. Not cool.
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Old 04-15-2010, 04:15 PM
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Default Re: Drumshell aging

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Originally Posted by JPW View Post
When we talk about glues and acrylics we are talking about organic chemistry and that's where I'm almost a professional (last year in the uni). Glues and acrylics are quite well defined as chemical structures unlike wood. They will break down faster in UV radiation. They will break down faster if exposed to solvents (and of course to some more exotic chemicals). But neither of these are faster processes (in normal playing and storing conditions) than what we have happening inside wood, the biological processes. Then again biological processes usually need some amount of humidity to happen.

I think the most clever way in 'aging' wood are the different fungus types that can degrade the wood faster than aging, it was mentioned in the violin article. Heat is only a catalyst (not in a chemical sense though. heat is heat, catalyst is a catalyst. but I don't want to start talking about energy barriers), it pushes the reactions forward, gives it energy, but if there isn't anything happening anymore it doesn't really do anything unless you are burning the wood, when it starts to be oxidation again, just uncontrollable. You can try some sort of oxidative reagents and a bit of heat but that won't be as gentle as fungus or hunderds of years of aging. It's mostly used for aesthetic reasons.

Most wood that is used for instrument production has sat on the shelves for years, so I think it has stabilised quite a bit in that time alone. Give the glue 2-4 years and I think it will not change that much. Production methdos though will. We can't really compare older instruments to newer ones and hear a difference and then say it's because of the age of the wood. There's a lot more stuff involved. For example we don't know what kind of glue they used. If they used animal glues in the past, maybe in the older drums something has happened to the glue, but I don't think it's anything positive, if anything it makes your drum break more easily. Newer glues should be stabile for much longer especially since it's protected from the UV by layers of ply wood. =)

Either way, I wouldn't try to solve aging. I would try to get the sound I want by building a new drum, it's much much more controllable in outcome. Pick the wood that has the quality of sound you want and tune it properly.
awseome, great post.
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Old 04-15-2010, 10:21 PM
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Default Re: Drumshell aging

JPW and Aeolian, great information. I learned a lot from you both!
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Old 04-16-2010, 02:32 AM
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Default Re: Drumshell aging

I'll leave the organic chemistry to JPW, he's much closer to it than I am these days. My day job is a Manufacturing Engineer. Most of my career has been in electronic assemblies but over the years I've dealt with holographic optics and flight displays, optical networking, and all manner of metal and plastic housings. Castings (ceramic investment, die, low cost sand castings, etc), machinings, moldings and so on.
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Old 04-16-2010, 02:49 AM
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Default Re: Drumshell aging

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Originally Posted by Fuzrock View Post
Wow, this thread is interesting. I had never thought about glue this much before. I have had some concern about leaving my drums in the van on a hot summer day. They're always in cases. Would that have a damaging effect on my drums?
Also, not to get too far off of the subject here, can leaving my drums in my van in the dead of winter have a damaging effect on them? I have done this and when I do, I try to leave them in their cases for as long as possible once I bring them inside so that they can come back to room temperature gradually. One time I didn't do this and noticed some condensation. Not cool.

I wouldn't leave them in any extreme. As mentioned above the amount of glue, polymer, plastic, whatever the ply wood binding material is, it could cause damage. Then you have some king of glue holding on the wrap if indeed they are wrapped, and the wood, glue and plastic wrap are all going to expand or shrink at different amounts or degrees. To me not a good thing. You also have moisture to worry about with the cooling of or heating up of the interior of the car or van.
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Last edited by GruntersDad; 04-16-2010 at 03:11 AM.
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