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  #1  
Old 05-16-2017, 03:08 PM
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Default I think I wore out my drum key

I've been using the same Pearl key for over a decade when I gig. Lately I've been noticing that it has been skipping. This has been going on for about 6 months. It never occurred to me before today that they could wear out. I really think I wore it out. I decided to take a look at the business end of the key and yep, it's pretty rounded out. It still works, but not that well. I never would have guessed this would ever be an issue. I will retire it, possibly frame it. It's probably not good for my tension rod ends to be tightened by a rounded out key either.

Has anyone experienced this? I mean how many people use the same drum key for gigs for over a decade besides me?
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  #2  
Old 05-16-2017, 04:09 PM
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Default Re: I think I wore out my drum key

Not I.

I have a pile of them at home from all various brands and I don't really gig enough any more to wear out a piece of metal like that.

You've got some of the nicest drums on the planet, get a new key!!! :-)

I almost always use my Pearl one though, but I have 4 of them so I might be inadvertently rotating the use of em
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  #3  
Old 05-16-2017, 04:31 PM
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Default Re: I think I wore out my drum key

Man, I feel like slob or something now, Larry. I think I lose keys non stop that I don't think I've used the same tuning key for more than a year :) I'm quite impressed that you've used one key for so long. I can't imagine how organized you must be in the rest of your life.

Next up, Larry says "I've been using the same paint brush for so long that not only does it not have bristles, the handle wore down to a tooth pick"
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Old 05-16-2017, 04:54 PM
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Default Re: I think I wore out my drum key

I'm actually impressed that I've been using the same key this long too. It's kind of like a badge of honor, I actually wore out a drum key.
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Old 05-16-2017, 05:16 PM
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Default Re: I think I wore out my drum key

I always use 2 of the Tama keys with the nub on top, and I have gone through a set in the last few years. I do have several kits and I gig 3-5 nights a week, so they get used a lot.
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Old 05-16-2017, 05:30 PM
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Default Re: I think I wore out my drum key

I had a pearl key with two little bulbs on the end of the wings and had the same issue with it. Guess the metal is a bit softer than some of my other keys?
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  #7  
Old 05-16-2017, 05:35 PM
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Default Re: I think I wore out my drum key

I canít remember where I heard this; but as I understand it, when your drum key wears out your drumming career is over.


.
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Old 05-16-2017, 05:45 PM
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Default Re: I think I wore out my drum key

Yep did that a few years back.

Always have a drum key on my keys and at the time I think I was practicing at a lot of rehearsal studios with kits of dubious quality as well as the kits at uni so I was always messing about with tunings.

The metal wore through on one corner of the key and the corner next to it quickly followed suit so I had a 3 sided key. I put it down to cheap metal.

It's a feat to hang onto a drum key for it break. They usually grow legs unless you nail them down :)
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Old 05-16-2017, 05:57 PM
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Default Re: I think I wore out my drum key

Dang! I thought I had done something wrong. I've used the same key for 20 years and started to notice the same thing last month. I've had a few Evans keys/cymbal wing nuts I've had since forever too and didn't use them long, because I switched to nylon. I discovered they were too thick to fit into some slots like my pedals, so I had to order a new one. Maybe I should have quit like the above post. My playing has definitely gone down hill since I discovered my key wore out! LOL!!!
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  #10  
Old 05-16-2017, 06:01 PM
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Default Re: I think I wore out my drum key

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollywood Jim View Post
I canít remember where I heard this; but as I understand it, when your drum key wears out your drumming career is over.


.
This made me smile. Thanks!
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  #11  
Old 05-16-2017, 06:13 PM
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Default Re: I think I wore out my drum key

I've had two of them fail at one corner and a crack opened up, rendering them useless
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  #12  
Old 05-16-2017, 06:22 PM
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Default Re: I think I wore out my drum key

Can you post a pic of it? I have never seen a worn out drum key before.

I carry one on my keys and I think its been there for years, I actually just checked it and it seems to be holding up fine.

Maybe a little JB Weld and a tension rod head wrapped in plastic wrap or sprayed with release agent could fix it up?
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  #13  
Old 05-16-2017, 06:33 PM
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Default Re: I think I wore out my drum key

Which begs the question, is the drum hardware, parts, made any better than the keys from the same company?
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  #14  
Old 05-16-2017, 06:44 PM
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Default Re: I think I wore out my drum key

I've worn out a couple over the years. No idea what brans, though. They were probably cheapies made from pot metal.
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  #15  
Old 05-16-2017, 06:47 PM
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Default Re: I think I wore out my drum key

Drum keys are like guitar picks. They're everywhere.
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  #16  
Old 05-16-2017, 07:31 PM
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Default Re: I think I wore out my drum key

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
I've been using the same Pearl key for over a decade when I gig. Lately I've been noticing that it has been skipping. This has been going on for about 6 months. It never occurred to me before today that they could wear out. I really think I wore it out. I decided to take a look at the business end of the key and yep, it's pretty rounded out. It still works, but not that well. I never would have guessed this would ever be an issue. I will retire it, possibly frame it. It's probably not good for my tension rod ends to be tightened by a rounded out key either.

Has anyone experienced this? I mean how many people use the same drum key for gigs for over a decade besides me?
I've had these two Evans keys in my stick bag for about ten years now that appear to be made very well, but they only see use at the gig. My DW pedal has a DW key in that holder on the plate, which I hardly use too. My house is littered with keys all over the place, so I can't keep track of which one is being used. So I guess not me, either.

I did get one of those Evans drill bit key heads that I use a lot, though.
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  #17  
Old 05-16-2017, 08:01 PM
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Default Re: I think I wore out my drum key

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Originally Posted by Red Menace View Post
Can you post a pic of it? I have never seen a worn out drum key before.

I carry one on my keys and I think its been there for years, I actually just checked it and it seems to be holding up fine.

Maybe a little JB Weld and a tension rod head wrapped in plastic wrap or sprayed with release agent could fix it up?
It's just stripped inside the square... Can't grip the edges of the square lug well enough.
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  #18  
Old 05-16-2017, 08:11 PM
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Default Re: I think I wore out my drum key

Quote:
Originally Posted by GRUNTERSDAD View Post
Which begs the question, is the drum hardware, parts, made any better than the keys from the same company?
Wouldn't it be great if the drum industry was smart enough to make drum keys out of a little bit softer material than the drum hardware is made out of.
That way the key would wear out before the hardware. Gee, I don't know, maybe they already do that.

.
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  #19  
Old 05-16-2017, 09:02 PM
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Default Re: I think I wore out my drum key

Wearing out a drumkey? Sounds like a technique issue to me. I imagine a qualified drumkey teacher could straighten you out on that ;)
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  #20  
Old 05-16-2017, 09:08 PM
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Default Re: I think I wore out my drum key

Quote:
Originally Posted by Odd-Arne Oseberg View Post
Drum keys are like guitar picks. They're everywhere.
I found a little paper bag the other day full of guitar picks.

After I'd just gone out and bought some more guitar picks...
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  #21  
Old 05-16-2017, 09:19 PM
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Default Re: I think I wore out my drum key

Wow, so many years with just that one drum key ? Never lost it ? Never bought another ?
I have I don't know five drum keys, the most useful being the Pearl one tied to to my car key - and many old Tama keys (heart shape). I clearly imagine the key to wore out being the only one ;-) !
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  #22  
Old 05-16-2017, 09:25 PM
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Default Re: I think I wore out my drum key

I've had my favorite drumkey - my Ludwig Sta-Set multitool key - for over twenty years now and all its tool bits are still going strong. I've never worn out even the cheap drum keys that come with stencil kits... I'm not even sure how one does that.
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  #23  
Old 05-16-2017, 09:51 PM
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Default Re: I think I wore out my drum key

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Originally Posted by alparrott View Post
I've had my favorite drumkey - my Ludwig Sta-Set multitool key - for over twenty years now and all its tool bits are still going strong. I've never worn out even the cheap drum keys that come with stencil kits... I'm not even sure how one does that.
I think part of it might be that not every lug-head is the same. I've seen some that were not so well put together and it can lead to the type of reverse stripping over time. Some are more rounded off than others, some are made from harder or softer alloys... You get the picture.
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  #24  
Old 05-16-2017, 10:34 PM
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Default Re: I think I wore out my drum key

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr_Watso View Post
I think part of it might be that not every lug-head is the same. I've seen some that were not so well put together and it can lead to the type of reverse stripping over time. Some are more rounded off than others, some are made from harder or softer alloys... You get the picture.
For sure. My first kit was a Ruether (stencil kit), which had these horrible tom holders that required a drumkey for making adjustments. I over-cranked and split many drumkeys by trying to keep my toms from sagging or sliding off their posts.

Eventually, I abandoned the drumkey fantasy and just used vice grips, which of course, completely destroyed any semblance of a square head. Then, after discovering that even they were no match for these diabolical mounts, I settled on using duct tape and chopped up Nerf footballs to "isolate" my tom reso hoops from the top of my bass drum and just got used to playing them mounted low. Haha!

Edit: It just occurred to me that one of my snares has drumkey heads for tightening the snares at the butt end. Problem is that they're recessed in the casting in such that my over-engineered Evans drumkey was too big to get in there so I couldn't get a solid grip. Yep, I rounded that sucker out. It was expensive, too. Dang.
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Old 05-17-2017, 12:43 AM
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Default Re: I think I wore out my drum key

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
I've been using the same Pearl key for over a decade when I gig. Lately I've been noticing that it has been skipping. This has been going on for about 6 months. It never occurred to me before today that they could wear out. I really think I wore it out. I decided to take a look at the business end of the key and yep, it's pretty rounded out. It still works, but not that well. I never would have guessed this would ever be an issue. I will retire it, possibly frame it. It's probably not good for my tension rod ends to be tightened by a rounded out key either.

Has anyone experienced this? I mean how many people use the same drum key for gigs for over a decade besides me?

All the time with pot metal keys, I won't 'buy' them anymore, they do come free with stuff. How do you tell for sure your key is a cheap pot metal job? Magnet. For a pot metal key to last 10 years or more means a lot hi tensioning was not going on.



Quote:
Originally Posted by GRUNTERSDAD View Post
Which begs the question, is the drum hardware, parts, made any better than the keys from the same company?
Steel tension rods win over pot metal drum keys, so yeah, they (tension rods) are a better material.





Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollywood Jim View Post
Wouldn't it be great if the drum industry was smart enough to make drum keys out of a little bit softer material than the drum hardware is made out of.
That way the key would wear out before the hardware. Gee, I don't know, maybe they already do that..


They are smart enough. Pot metal is cheaper, lighter and wears out/breaks, they can't make money on steel keys, altho there are some out there.
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  #26  
Old 05-17-2017, 01:24 AM
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Default Re: I think I wore out my drum key

The key that came with my Vector pedal is stainless, partly because Goran wants quality associated with his pedals, but also because the key has an Allen key sticking out of the top of it for pedal adjustments that would wear quickly if made of something softer than hi-carbon or stainless steel.
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  #27  
Old 05-17-2017, 01:32 AM
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Default Re: I think I wore out my drum key

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
Eventually, I abandoned the drumkey fantasy and just used vice grips
Hey Larry, this gives me an idea. Stop using drum keys. Start using vice grips. They won't wear out like drum keys.
Please post a picture of you adjusting the tension rods on your Guru set using a pair of vice grips.


.
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  #28  
Old 05-17-2017, 01:33 AM
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Default Re: I think I wore out my drum key

Quote:
Originally Posted by keep it simple View Post
Indeed. Everyone knows that you use one key for tightening, & another one for slackening. That way, each key only wears on one facet of the flats, meaning they can switch roles once worn thus doubling their life.

Ptthh - amateurs ;)
Perfect idea !!!


.
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  #29  
Old 05-17-2017, 03:29 AM
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Default Re: I think I wore out my drum key

Pssht! Amatuers alright. Use a piano wrench!
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  #30  
Old 05-17-2017, 12:05 PM
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Default Re: I think I wore out my drum key

[quote=MikeM;1502328]Wearing out a drumkey? Sounds like a technique issue to me. I imagine a qualified drumkey teacher could straighten you out on that ;)[/

Seriously I think you may have a point. If you would typically place the drum key over the bolt under an angle I wouldn't be surprised if you'd wear out the key (or the bolt) more quickly.

Dutch
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  #31  
Old 05-17-2017, 02:32 PM
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Default Re: I think I wore out my drum key

So to those who have used the same key for years or who have worn one out, where do you store all the keys you get free with your gear?

Buying a new stand? Probably get a key with it
New pedal? Almost always get a key with it
New snare drum? Unless it's a Guru, you always get a key with it

Which begs the question, what are you doing with all your others?
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  #32  
Old 05-17-2017, 07:00 PM
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Default Re: I think I wore out my drum key

Pics or it didn't happen ;p
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  #33  
Old 05-17-2017, 09:24 PM
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Default Re: I think I wore out my drum key

Drum keys are conscious and they are lazy. They will always try to get out of work. That's why, no matter how many you have, when you need one, you always have to hunt around for one. They know you're looking for them. They hide from us.
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Old 05-18-2017, 04:23 AM
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Default Re: I think I wore out my drum key

I sit here reading this thread like everybody is from a different planet, but it seems I'm the one from a different planet.

I've had the same five drum keys for a bazillion years (like 30) and there's no chance in the world that any of them can wear out... because they're Sonor keys and they make me an old outcast.

I need (read - want) new drums, but only because I spend so much time here and a new "sound" after so many years might just do me some good.
But.. if I end up buying more Sonors I won't be able to help myself and I'll probably order the slotted rods... I'm such a bore.

I suppose there's nothing really wrong with an Android or a cubicle computer so maybe I'll eventually end up with those square rod thingys like you-all.
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  #35  
Old 05-18-2017, 04:10 PM
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Default Re: I think I wore out my drum key

I have a worn out key or 2. I'll see if I can post a pic later. I don't know if the metal was softer or what.

One was my grandpas who was a jazz drummer who passed away about 28 years ago so that explains the age of it. The other one could have been from overuse, or even may have slipped a few times.. They are not square and kindof round inside.



On that note, I have a few of the old Premier keys that go with a 1960's Premier kit I got from my grandpa which are round with a flat slot down the middle. What a different lug. I have never seen them anywhere else.
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  #36  
Old 05-18-2017, 04:28 PM
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Default Re: I think I wore out my drum key

Pearl keys were my favorite keys for many years. I only have like 2 of them, one is tied to a string on my home kit, the other was my gigging key.

I like the Gibraltar keys now anyway lol.

I'm dumping Pearl.
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  #37  
Old 10-22-2017, 12:03 PM
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Default Re: I think I wore out my drum key

I always have one of my 700 drum keys in the pocket:

www.drumkeys.eu/galerie.php
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  #38  
Old 10-22-2017, 05:04 PM
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Default Re: I think I wore out my drum key

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I always have one of my 700 drum keys in the pocket:

www.drumkeys.eu/galerie.php
Damn! I might have ten of those, tops. That's impressive!
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  #39  
Old 10-22-2017, 09:03 PM
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Default Re: I think I wore out my drum key

I think the lack of technique finally caught up with Uncle. Little more wrist, less elbow. Google Moeller.
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Old 10-22-2017, 09:56 PM
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Default Re: I think I wore out my drum key

I broke a Ludwig drum key many years ago. Peace and goodwill.
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