1966 Ludwig Bass Drum Restoration

BGH

Gold Member
I bought this 1966 Ludwig kit last December and posted a few photos at that time. The toms were in good shape, except that some owner added a 2nd muffler to each tom. So each tom has the baseball bat and knob muffler, both on the batter side. Strange, but true.

The kick drum had several issues. Initially, I thought I would send it out to Precision Drum to have these corrected. The more I thought about it, I decided I would attempt the corrections myself. The first issue is that someone also removed the inlay on the hoops, sanded them to natural and coated them with varnish. They did a lousy job and the hoops looked bad.

The more serious issues involved the shell. Ludwig installed the reso side re-ring backwards. That is, the beveled side faced the interior of the drum and the flat side was the bearing edge. I can't imagine that this is how it was supposed to be - it makes no sense. So essentially, there was no bearing edge on the reso side. The seam in that re-ring was just horribly done as well. It had gaps and was misaligned. There were also some cracks and lifting to the interior ply, as well as a few spots that had bubbled up and cracked.

The 3rd pic shows the beveled edge facing inward.
 

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BGH

Gold Member
Correcting the hoops was straight forward. I sprayed with primer, then black lacquer then installed matching inlay.
 

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bobdadruma

Platinum Member
It seems that you have your work cut out for you. Having mufflers on both heads of a drum was done by other manufacturers of the time so I can see how that happened. Someone either ordered the drums that way or they installed them aftermarket.
Ludwig was going crazy with orders during the mid 60's so I can see how a re-ring could be installed backwards and somehow make it through QC inspection.
Good luck and keep us posted as you correct the issues. Your kit still has great potential so don't be discouraged.
 

BGH

Gold Member
To address the shell issues, I lifted the areas of the interior ply that had cracked, filled them with epoxy and clamped them. For the spots that had bubbled, I poked a hole in the centers of the bubbles, injected epoxy and coated them with epoxy.

For the bearing edge, I first filled in the horrible re-ring seam with filler as well as any low spots. I let the filler set-up and harden for a few days. I got out a file and hand filed a rounded bearing edge, where the flat sided re-ring had been. It turned out well. Most of the filler was removed in the filing process, so not much filler remains, but the bad gaps are filled in. I decided to coat the new bearing edge with epoxy, to give it a hard finish and ensure that it is very smooth.

Anyway, not a professional restoration, but it turned out pretty well. The drum now has its bearing edge and the hoops now look correct.

Bruce
 

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BGH

Gold Member
It seems that you have your work cut out for you. Having mufflers on both heads of a drum was done by other manufacturers of the time so I can see how that happened. Someone either ordered the drums that way or they installed them aftermarket.
Ludwig was going crazy with orders during the mid 60's so I can see how a re-ring could be installed backwards and somehow make it through QC inspection.
Good luck and keep us posted as you correct the issues. Your kit still has great potential so don't be discouraged.
Thanks, its all done 'cept for the tom mufflers. I don't use any of them (keep my toms wide open) and I don't know if I should remove either set. It will just leave some holes to deal with. Yeah, the re-ring thing creeped me out when I saw it, but so it goes. Its much better now.
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
The re ring thing wasn't done by Ludwig.Those bearing edges are cut AFTER the rings are glued into the shell.Ring and ply seperation isn't uncommon especially in moist or hot enviornments.So someone attemped to reglue the ring that obviously seperated and glued it in backwards.

The knob mufflers were no doubt installed AFTER the drums left the factory and at a later post 69.

The only mufflers Ludwig had between 66 and late 68 were baseball bat and not the one inch knob.They may also be non original and not a Ludwig part.

Your kits was originally the super classic 4 piece converted post factory to the hollywood kit.I see the holes for the consolete rail mount and the addition of the center bass drum mount.

You have a bass drum mounted cymbal mount bracket,then only came with the super classic kit,and not the Hollywood model.

Steve B
 

BGH

Gold Member
The re ring thing wasn't done by Ludwig.Those bearing edges are cut AFTER the rings are glued into the shell.Ring and ply seperation isn't uncommon especially in moist or hot enviornments.So someone attemped to reglue the ring that obviously seperated and glued it in backwards.

Steve B

Steve

Thanks for the info. Yeah, there are certainly some puzzling things with this kit. The re-ring is interesting, because its in there nice and tight and the shell is absolutely in round. If someone re-glued it, they 'halfway' did a good job. I assumed the edges were cut afterwards, so that did puzzle me that the ring is backwards. What you are saying makes sense, esp considering the ring's seam was also very funky.

The 2nd set of mufflers are aftermarket as you thought. I looked closer at one of them and there is a small sticker that says 'Made In China.'

Beyond all of this, the kit sounds great. It definitely has that vintage sound. I'm not usually a fan of coated ambassadors for tom batters, but they are just great on these - the right sound and feel.

Thanks again.

Bruce
 

Ian Ballard

Silver Member
I've got a similar era Clubdate snare drum with the champagne sparkle. Cool-looking drum but the sound was awful. I re-cut the exterior side of the bearing edge and it improved the sound and tunability, as well as sanded down a "snare bed" to improve the response. I hated to mod the drum but I actually use it and now, with good heads and a Puresound set of wires, it sounds like a nice, vintage drum.

AMAZING resto job, man!
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
Steve

Thanks for the info. Yeah, there are certainly some puzzling things with this kit. The re-ring is interesting, because its in there nice and tight and the shell is absolutely in round. If someone re-glued it, they 'halfway' did a good job. I assumed the edges were cut afterwards, so that did puzzle me that the ring is backwards. What you are saying makes sense, esp considering the ring's seam was also very funky.

The 2nd set of mufflers are aftermarket as you thought. I looked closer at one of them and there is a small sticker that says 'Made In China.'

Beyond all of this, the kit sounds great. It definitely has that vintage sound. I'm not usually a fan of coated ambassadors for tom batters, but they are just great on these - the right sound and feel.

Thanks again.

Bruce[/QUOTE

My standard advice for head selection for 60's 3 ply Ludwig and Slingerland (mahogany/poplar/mahogany) is coated ambassadors.

Like I told Bobdadruma,just put coated ambassodors on en'and let the magic happen.

Steve B
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
I've got a similar era Clubdate snare drum with the champagne sparkle. Cool-looking drum but the sound was awful. I re-cut the exterior side of the bearing edge and it improved the sound and tunability, as well as sanded down a "snare bed" to improve the response. I hated to mod the drum but I actually use it and now, with good heads and a Puresound set of wires, it sounds like a nice, vintage drum.

AMAZING resto job, man!
Just a point of information.

Ludwig never made a clubdate model snare drum.You have probably have either a Barret Deems,Swingster,Jazzfestival,Pioneer or super classic model,which were all 3 ply mahogany/poplar/mahogany shells and used classic "bowtie" lugs like the club date kits.

Clubdate kits came with a jazzfestival,then a Pioneer,and lastly the acrolite snare drum.

Steve B
 
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