68 Ludwig snare: question about scarf joint

criz p. critter

Silver Member
I'm thinking of buying this 68 Ludwig snare that has been re-wrapped by the seller. I've never had a snare with a scarf joint, so I don't know what to look out for. In this pic the joint seems pretty messed up. Is that normal, or does this snare look like trouble?
 

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bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Looks fine, but if you feel the slight gap is an issue, have Chris Heuer squirt some epoxy in it. :)
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Like Jon said, some epoxy, and a squeeze clamp, problem solved.

How cool is when Weird Al's drummer offers up suggestions? Jon you really do rock. You embody the best this forum has to offer, a total pro helping out regular guys.
 

criz p. critter

Silver Member
Thanks for the advice, guys. Very quick and very helpful.

So as I said, the snare was re-wrapped. I would want to remove that wrap and wrap it in white cortex, so I'm trying to understand how it all works, before I commit myself and buy the drum. Did the original wrap go all the way to the interior? If so, does that mean the owner had to separate the whole joint to remove the original wrap? Or was the original wrap just tucked under the outside lip of the joint? In the pic, it looks like the joint has an edge and the rewrap is just butted up to it?

What would be the best approach for me to take in re-wrapping it? Butt the wrap up to the joint, as it seems to be done in the pic, and then hide the far end of the wrap under a pair of lugs?

Thanks again for your time and advice!
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
The new wrap should butt up to the joint, don't attempt to get it under the ply, it won't end well.

Bermuda
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Like Jon said, some epoxy, and a squeeze clamp, problem solved.

How cool is when Weird Al's drummer offers up suggestions? Jon you really do rock. You embody the best this forum has to offer, a total pro helping out regular guys.
Thanks, and I've learned a lot from the eyes and ears from around the world that contribute here as well. Who better to talk drums & drumming with, than other drummers?

Bermuda
 

Toolate

Platinum Member
I might go a step further than a c clamp with epoxy though.

Probably make a couple blocks that match the inside and outside diameter of the shell and put them between the clamp and wood so you don't create a flat spot there. Just thinking out loud since I have never done this but its 50 years old and epoxy doesn't give you a second chance.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Ok, this is where I become most unpopular. That drum's a mess. It's clearly been re-wrapped to disguise the fact that the scalf joint has failed utterly. This is only a quick fix if you're satisfied with an end result that represents a typical below par condition drum of the era. If you really want that drum to sound it's best, there's a significant piece of work needed.

Really look at the picture. The scalf joint has failed across it's entire length. You can clearly see the strain/bulge under the wrap. It really wouldn't surprise me if the shell springs apart when you remove the wrap, as that's pretty much the only thing holding it together. Even when reworked, the bearing edges will need to be re cut. No big deal, but the exact match of the scalf joint is critical to the bearing edge. Another point, don't put epoxy anywhere near that shell. It's a modern adhesive that's not designed to work with wood outside of construction. It's too strong, & works by forming a layer bond between the wood faces. A high quality PVA is a much more satisfactory adhesive when working with wooden instruments. Although not as strong as epoxy, it's easily strong enough if applied correctly, and much more in line with the strength of the wood itself.

First off, check that shell for roundness (excluding deformation specific to the scalf joint failure). If the shell is warped, it's almost certainly not worth putting the work in. If in any doubt, consult a local drumsmith that really knows what he's doing. You can go the half measures route if you wish. Simply re bond the scalf joint, a quick sand of the bearing edges, re wrap, & away you go. Do that, & you'll end up with a playable drum. Do the job properly, & you'l have a great drum on your hands. If the shell is substantially warped, walk away.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
The joint looks like a typical joint, thety were rarely perfect even when new. My suggestion of epoxy was not to secure the joint, only to fill-in that possible thin gap. Hard to tell in the pic if anything's really up with the shell/joint, but it looks normal to me. Those old shells had humps & bumps and were rarely actually round. It's part of what made some Ludwig drums brilliant (and others, dogs.)

Unless it's severely out of round and the head won't seat easily, I say go for the drum.

Bermuda
 

criz p. critter

Silver Member
Ok, this is where I become most unpopular. That drum's a mess.
Not at all! I welcome everyone's input, good or bad. I was having big doubts about the drum, especially because the seller wants $350 for it. I was thinking it a borderline case, that depending on how much work it would need, I might be willing to spend that much. But you've just tipped me over into don't go there, and I'm happy you've done it.

A 6.5" School Festival is exactly what I'm looking for, and I lost an auction for one in very clean condition just recently, because I didn't bid high enough. It went for $479, and I'm kicking myself, thinking that was probably a fairly good price. So I'm just gonna pass on this one, wait for a better condition snare, and pay whatever it takes to get it.

Thanks again everyone!
 

criz p. critter

Silver Member
The joint looks like a typical joint, thety were rarely perfect even when new. Unless it's severely out of round and the head won't seat easily, I say go for the drum.

Bermuda
Good advice, if I could actually see the drum, and play it, but I can't, and the seller doesn't allow returns. I'd want it for less than the $350 asking price, too, now that I'm factoring in what it would cost to do the needed repairs. I was just about to email Chris Heuer and ask what he'd want to touch up the joint and edges, and do the re-wrap for me too. But I can't imagine he'd want less than $150 for it. Which gets me up to $500.

So I'm gonna pass, wait until I see something better.
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
Someone re wrapped that drum in Oyster black pearl in order to make it into a "Ringo" snare.Re wraps of 60's Ludwig wrap finished drums are very easy to detect.

Ludwig used to make their shell the opposite way of how the're made now.They used to take a flat pre cut piece of 3 ply wood (essentially ply wood) and then glue the wrap to that pre cut flat piece.They would then take that wrapped piece with a scarf cut on both ends,and mold it into a shell,with the wrap becoming a part of the scarf joint.The original wrap should always be visable inside that joint....unless the perp in this case tried to remove it.That is always a bad idea in attempting to re wrap 60's keystone Ludwigs.

That's why the drum is "coming apart at the seams".That drum as Andy said will come apart if the wrap was removed.

Big time pass on that one.:)

Steve B
 

Les Ismore

Platinum Member
They would then take that wrapped piece with a scarf cut on both ends,and mold it into a shell,with the wrap becoming a part of the scarf joint.

In other words: Wrap and scarf the joint.

You can do way better for $350 IMO
 

bobacwrd

Senior Member
The joint looks like a typical joint, thety were rarely perfect even when new. My suggestion of epoxy was not to secure the joint, only to fill-in that possible thin gap. Hard to tell in the pic if anything's really up with the shell/joint, but it looks normal to me. Those old shells had humps & bumps and were rarely actually round. It's part of what made some Ludwig drums brilliant (and others, dogs.)

Unless it's severely out of round and the head won't seat easily, I say go for the drum.

Bermuda
Having looked at the picture, that in my opinion doesn't look like a scarf joint, but more of a fatigued crack in the veneers. Having been a professionally trained wood worker and owned and maintained a wood working shop of my own as well as having been to a couple of drum factory tours and read and seen countless articles and videos about ply wood drum manufacturing, scarf joints are not used in plywood shell construction. Scarf joints are used for solid wood and steam bent shells. The ply wood drums are usually prepared with staggered joints amongst the subsequent plays. If you look at the picture you can see that the so called joint is not even in nature. If it was a scarf joint that was just simply coming apart it would still have an eveness to the joint. That picture shows that the separation is going in an uneven pattern. If anyone here has ever worked with plys you would know just how difficult it would be to use a scarf joint for that type of construction. That is why when working with plys that they would stagger butt joints in the veneers, strictly to avoid a separation of that nature. By staggering the joints in plywood shells, the overlapping of the subsequent layers would secure any seam separation and the possible compromising of the structural integrity of the shell. If you look in the photo you can also see a distinct bulge in the newly applied wrap. That bulge is not consistant with just a seam separation but looks more in line with a shell that has suffered a significant crack. Usually when a plywood shell would have any separation it would be between the layers horizontally not vertically across the veneers. I personally would stay away from that drum all together unless the price is short of giving it away and you don't mind taking on a project.
 

bobacwrd

Senior Member
Besides, correct me if I'm wrong, but in 1968 Ludwig drums were still incorporating the inner supporting hardwood rings. I have 2 Ludwig drum sets prior to 1975 and they both have the rings on the drum interiors...including the snare! I don't see any re-rings on this drum....
 

wsabol

Gold Member
Besides, correct me if I'm wrong, but in 1968 Ludwig drums were still incorporating the inner supporting hardwood rings. I have 2 Ludwig drum sets prior to 1975 and they both have the rings on the drum interiors...including the snare! I don't see any re-rings on this drum....
Well, you can see the reinforcement rings in the reflection in the reso head - in the top right corner of the photo

Also, I'm pretty sure the era of Ludwig's history when they were painting the interior white was before they started making straight shells...
 

bobacwrd

Senior Member
Well, first off, you can see the reinforcement rings in the reflection in the reso head - in the top right corner of the photo

Also, I'm pretty sure the era of Ludwig's history when they were painting the interior white was before they started making straight shells...
As you stated, I do now see the reinforcement ring in the reflection. Good find! Also, I believe the reference to the white paint is accurate too.
 

Les Ismore

Platinum Member
Having looked at the picture, that in my opinion doesn't look like a scarf joint, but more of a fatigued crack in the veneers. Having been a professionally trained wood worker and owned and maintained a wood working shop of my own as well as having been to a couple of drum factory tours and read and seen countless articles and videos about ply wood drum manufacturing, scarf joints are not used in plywood shell construction. Scarf joints are used for solid wood and steam bent shells. The ply wood drums are usually prepared with staggered joints amongst the subsequent plays. If you look at the picture you can see that the so called joint is not even in nature. If it was a scarf joint that was just simply coming apart it would still have an eveness to the joint. That picture shows that the separation is going in an uneven pattern. If anyone here has ever worked with plys you would know just how difficult it would be to use a scarf joint for that type of construction. That is why when working with plys that they would stagger butt joints in the veneers, strictly to avoid a separation of that nature. By staggering the joints in plywood shells, the overlapping of the subsequent layers would secure any seam separation and the possible compromising of the structural integrity of the shell. If you look in the photo you can also see a distinct bulge in the newly applied wrap. That bulge is not consistant with just a seam separation but looks more in line with a shell that has suffered a significant crack. Usually when a plywood shell would have any separation it would be between the layers horizontally not vertically across the veneers. I personally would stay away from that drum all together unless the price is short of giving it away and you don't mind taking on a project.

What's being referred to here as a 'scarf joint' is probably in relation to the wrap.

It wasn't uncommon to hit the shell with a corse sanding wheel to gouge out a relief in the shell for the glue/wrap to run flat.

The picture isn't that clear, as it looks like the camera auto-focused on the lug not the joint.
 
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Toolate

Platinum Member
Ok, this is where I become most unpopular. That drum's a mess. It's clearly been re-wrapped to disguise the fact that the scalf joint has failed utterly. This is only a quick fix if you're satisfied with an end result that represents a typical below par condition drum of the era. If you really want that drum to sound it's best, there's a significant piece of work needed.

Really look at the picture. The scalf joint has failed across it's entire length. You can clearly see the strain/bulge under the wrap. It really wouldn't surprise me if the shell springs apart when you remove the wrap, as that's pretty much the only thing holding it together. Even when reworked, the bearing edges will need to be re cut. No big deal, but the exact match of the scalf joint is critical to the bearing edge. Another point, don't put epoxy anywhere near that shell. It's a modern adhesive that's not designed to work with wood outside of construction. It's too strong, & works by forming a layer bond between the wood faces. A high quality PVA is a much more satisfactory adhesive when working with wooden instruments. Although not as strong as epoxy, it's easily strong enough if applied correctly, and much more in line with the strength of the wood itself.

First off, check that shell for roundness (excluding deformation specific to the scalf joint failure). If the shell is warped, it's almost certainly not worth putting the work in. If in any doubt, consult a local drumsmith that really knows what he's doing. You can go the half measures route if you wish. Simply re bond the scalf joint, a quick sand of the bearing edges, re wrap, & away you go. Do that, & you'll end up with a playable drum. Do the job properly, & you'l have a great drum on your hands. If the shell is substantially warped, walk away.
Cant disagree with anything here (enormous amount of experience backing this up) but I would be nervous about using a PVA glue to make a repair on a joint that was originally glued with same because of the lack of ability of that type of glue to stick to itself. Epoxy would stick it all back together but the question of whether its a scarf or crack is more important. Crack- then use regular wood glue- open scarf I would go with epoxy unless you could really open it and get back to some bare wood fibers for the gluing surface(s).

Thoughts?
 
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