Advice on bass drum drilling needed

jp-90

Junior Member
I've been looking for a certain kit for a while (Ludwig classic, 20x14, 12x8, 14x14), and finally found a used one for a decent price--took the plunge. I held out for a while to get exactly what I wanted but had to give in on one thing. I wanted a mounted tom, but got a virgin kick.

So, i'm planning on drilling the kick for a tom mount (maybe cymbal mount too while im at it). Any advice on doing this would be appreciated.

Should I put tape over the spot to be drilled to minimized the finish burring? Any tips on how to get the cleanest holes? How about placement? How do I figure that (are there specs for the placement of the factory mounted tom holders)?

Lastly, i'm not sure which style mount to get, so I thought I'd ask opinions on that as well. Ludwig sells the somewhat updated "rail consolette" mount, which looks cool, but I have had at least one person tell me to stick with the regular, center mount post. I like my tom almost centered over the kick, not way out to the left. Is one of the two mounts preferable for that set up?

THANKS.
 

Deathmetalconga

Platinum Member
Don't do it! Please!

You have been given a great gift with an intact kick drum. Just get some tom stands or a rack and don't chop up your instrument any more than you have to. If it is done correctly, the risk of screwing it up is low, but why bolt hardware to your drum if you don't need to? There is no way to really undo the damage once you have done it.
 

Mad About Drums

Pollyanna's Agent
Don't do it! Please!

You have been given a great gift with an intact kick drum. Just get some tom stands or a rack and don't chop up your instrument any more than you have to. If it is done correctly, the risk of screwing it up is low, but why bolt hardware to your drum if you don't need to? There is no way to really undo the damage once you have done it.
+1 on this, there is enough harware combination out there without the need of drilling your bass drum, once it's done it's no way back, food for thought. :))
 

opentune

Platinum Member
+1+1
No don't do it. Maybe you like the idea or simplicity of lugging less hardware around? There are lots of ways, very simple ones, to mount toms. I've compared, and even weighed them all gram per gram, and for your tom, its not much extra weight to carry a snare std , or to do a suspension mount off a cymbal stand. And it looks better! Moreover, I can tell you that drilling a mount for a tom, don't bother drilling for a cymbal stand mount. You can rarely use the two off the bass drum at the same time, at least for any large cymbal.

Don't buy a drill, buy some nifty hardware (which you would need to bass drum mount anything anyway).
 

Les Ismore

Platinum Member
If you decide to drill put tape down and use a hole saw w/drill.

Wouldn't worry about factory placement too much. If you're doing this its going to be for yourself, not some random person who might play the set. Normally the holes are set over the spurs, if you're taller you might want them more forward, shorter arms-back etc.



I like my tom almost centered over the kick, not way out to the left. Is one of the two mounts preferable for that set up?

If this is the case, you probably won't want to drill as the center of the kick is where the mounting post will be, no way to get a tom there unless its on a stand separate from the bass drum.
 

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sticks4drums

Guest
The picture of that hole saw should be enough to stop you from drilling your virgin bass drum. You will need cymbal stands anyways, so just mount the toms off of those. Placement is so much more versatile on stands. Plus it looks so much cleaner to see a nice clear bass drum. Don't do itttttttttttttt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

jp-90

Junior Member
haha, i figured there's be a lot of "don't do it" replies, and I appreciate the opinions, so maybe I'll play it for a bit with the tom on a snare stand first.

That said, are the "don't do it" people speaking from a standpoint of people who never like mounted toms (which I do), or from the stand point of "don't do it, you'll screw it up...go buy a drilled bass drum if that's what you want." If you just never like mounted toms, I totally understand, but after playing my virgin kick kit for years, I'm ready to get EXTREMELY streamlined on gear for certain gigs. I'm easily swayed towards NOT drilling for a cymbal arm, but I'm heading towards a small setup of kick, rack, snare, floor tom, one ride and hi hat. If I can lose one piece of hardware, that's a noticeable weight drop on such a small kit. Still, all opinions welcomed.

As someone who is fearless in the face of potential disaster (don't get me wrong, I've screwed up my fair share of things along the way), I'm inclined to add the tom mount, so:

1)Is a hole saw the right way to cut the kick? As opposed to a paddle bit, unibit or???

2)Do people with mounted toms have anything to say about the throwback rail mount vs the more typical center post tom mount? One potential plus to the rail is that I believe i'd drill multiple small holes instead of the one huge hole.

THANKS!
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
+ 1.Put down the drill and step away from the drum.Drilling anything other that factory holes in a some day collectable drum kit, will decrease its resale value between 35 to 50%.

There are more than a few vintage kits out there, that some genius thought would be "upgraded"by drilling holes,and installing "better"hardware.Quite the opposite happens.Why don't you want a virgin bass drum,when that is what will make your kit more valuable,and easier to sell?

Visit any vintage or drum collector site,and the overwhelming motto would be"friends don't let friends drill holes"

Steve B
 

bonzolead

Platinum Member
I've been looking for a certain kit for a while (Ludwig classic, 20x14, 12x8, 14x14), and finally found a used one for a decent price--took the plunge. I held out for a while to get exactly what I wanted but had to give in on one thing. I wanted a mounted tom, but got a virgin kick.

So, i'm planning on drilling the kick for a tom mount (maybe cymbal mount too while im at it). Any advice on doing this would be appreciated.

Should I put tape over the spot to be drilled to minimized the finish burring? Any tips on how to get the cleanest holes? How about placement? How do I figure that (are there specs for the placement of the factory mounted tom holders)?

Lastly, i'm not sure which style mount to get, so I thought I'd ask opinions on that as well. Ludwig sells the somewhat updated "rail consolette" mount, which looks cool, but I have had at least one person tell me to stick with the regular, center mount post. I like my tom almost centered over the kick, not way out to the left. Is one of the two mounts preferable for that set up?

THANKS.
Put that tom on a snare stand that's what I did with my EPIC's..same sizes. as others posted..don't. do it.

Bonzolead
 

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jp-90

Junior Member
would it devalue a drum if it were drilled by a professional shop and ludwig hardware was used? Would you even be able to tell it wasn't factory?
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
My bass drum is clean. I had three rack toms on stands when I first got it, then bought a Icon rack for more stability. There is no way I would ever drill any holes in my Gretsch bass drum. Besides throwing all of the warranties away, there is always a risk of making mistake. Don't do it.



edit. let us know what tools you use and how it works out. lol
 

bonzolead

Platinum Member
would it devalue a drum if it were drilled by a professional shop and ludwig hardware was used? Would you even be able to tell it wasn't factory?
Something to ponder..virgin kicks are worth even more on vintage kits, I love my tom on a snare stand it's a lot more study than any rim mount plus it doesn't. cover up some of the shell like most rim mounts do..I like too see the drum..lol

Just with a snare stand put the clamp arms on the inside edge of the rim if you put the arms on the outer flared part of the rim it will choke the tom out.

unless you get the exact tom mount that came with the kit the Ludwig experts will know..lol

Bonzolead
 

Mad About Drums

Pollyanna's Agent
would it devalue a drum if it were drilled by a professional shop and ludwig hardware was used? Would you even be able to tell it wasn't factory?
Depends how "professionaly" this is done, and if you plan to put the original hardware featuring on this particular line. Any non-Ludwig design, such as placement of the holes and a different choice of hardware from the original will devalue the bass drum.

However, since you want your tom in the center of the kick, I still strongly urge you to use an alternative harware option, it will allow you to put the tom in the centre of the drum. I'm not sure you will be able to do this if you put a tom mount on your bass drum.
 

Les Ismore

Platinum Member
would it devalue a drum if it were drilled by a professional shop and ludwig hardware was used? Would you even be able to tell it wasn't factory?

You don't need a professional shop to drill a hole in your bass drum, its easy to do if you have any wood working skills*. Its a hole in a piece of wood, covered by a mount.

If its done right there's no way it will devalue the drum, nobodies going to try and knock the price down b/c you drilled a tom mount into it, besides if its done right no one would even know you did it. It works both ways, it could add value if a potential buyer is looking for a bass drum mount, not a virgin kick. Of course you'd want to use the correct LUDWIG parts.

All a pro shop will have on you is tools*, and in this case there's no real speciality tool needed, hole saws are common and cheap.

A sharp hole saw started from the top, then about half way through come from the underside will not leave any burs, it'll be a clean cut.

If bass drum mounted toms are what you want, I say don't hesitate, do it. You need to be happy. Its like painting your house some colour that might be an easier sell in 10 years than the colour you really want to live with, it makes no sense. You have to live with the drum and be happy, or else what's the point?
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
I respectfully disagree with you're assessment with the value of this kit not being devalued due to modification,that would be the exection to the rule.Collectors set the price and the rules in reguards to collectable drums,and The number one rule is NO modification from factory original condition.

Drilling additional holes in a factory original virgin bass drum will most certainly affect the resale price.Any collector or drum expert will tell you that.The experts such as John Aldridge,Rob Cook,Harry Cangany,Chet Falzerano,Robert Blaedel and Bruce Simpson who are published experts ALL state the same thing.

Its your drum,and you can do whatever you want to with it.If you don't believe me,just read about what the experts say in reguard to your pending modification..Matters of taste are very transient,from generation to generation.Once you modify the shell,there's no going back.You don't get a do over here.

Steve B
 

jp-90

Junior Member
Thanks for all the input. For what it's worth, let's assume I'm not thinking of this as a collector piece--it's gonna be played a lot. I have a pearl masters kit that I love, but I could never stand the hoops style floating floor tom. I held off drilling it for years, but finally (about 4 years ago) drilled it and added legs--the only thing I regretted was waiting so long. It probably devalued the tom, but it is well worth it considering it became a drum i love to play.

Also, stating that I like the tom centered is not quite right. I was just curious which of the two mount types allowed for a higher over the kick placement. Anyone own a kit with the throwback rail mount?


So far we have a bunch of "don't do its"

Les ismore is all for it (Les, you sound like me. I have the tools, why pay someone to do it)

Are there any players among you who like a mounted tom? I see a number of Ludwig classic kits on the memphis drum shop site with mounted toms, so I assume someone is buying them.
 
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sticks4drums

Guest
Thanks for all the input. For what it's worth, let's assume I'm not thinking of this as a collector piece--it's gonna be played a lot. I have a pearl masters kit that I love, but I could never stand the hoops style floating floor tom. I held off drilling it for years, but finally (about 4 years ago) drilled it and added legs--the only thing I regretted was waiting so long. It probably devalued the tom, but it is well worth it considering it became a drum i love to play.

Also, stating that I like the tom centered is not quite right. I was just curious which of the two mount types allowed for a higher over the kick placement. Anyone own a kit with the throwback rail mount?


So far we have a bunch of "don't do its"

Les ismore is all for it (Les, you sound like me. I have the tools, why pay someone to do it)

Are there any players among you who like a mounted tom? I see a number of Ludwig classic kits on the memphis drum shop site with mounted toms, so I assume someone is buying them.
I think a lot of the people that buy them probably don't know any better until they live with them for a bit. I see a lot of first time people with bass drum mounts.

I do all sorts of mods to my stuff. I recently took off all the badges on my new limited Edition Saturn kit so I could antique them all. I never think about resale. I worry about what I want, and like at this particular time. Not like we are going to get rich selling a 5 piece drum set down the road.

My reason for not doing it is for more flexible tom placement, and looks. You do what you like. It is your drums. Just remember, once its done, you won't be able to move them closer or farther away. :)
 

opentune

Platinum Member
That said, are the "don't do it" people speaking from a standpoint of people who never like mounted toms (which I do), or from the stand point of "don't do it, you'll screw it up...go buy a drilled bass drum if that's what you want." If you just never like mounted toms, I totally understand, but after playing my virgin kick kit for years, I'm ready to get EXTREMELY streamlined on gear for certain gigs. I'm easily swayed towards NOT drilling for a cymbal arm, but I'm heading towards a small setup of kick, rack, snare, floor tom, one ride and hi hat. If I can lose one piece of hardware, that's a noticeable weight drop on such a small kit. Still, all opinions welcomed.
This is what I was saying. A bass drum tom mount+ the post +mount to hold the tom in the bass drum, EQUAL the weight of a suspension mount off of a cymbal stand. I have weighed them with a scale (for a Gretsch kit i have). The footprint is the same too, if you use a cymbal (stand) to your left, which most folks do. So you don't save on weight either way. Maybe you like just shoving the post in the bass drum, and hooking on your tom, but as mentioned its easier to position a tom mounted to a cymbal stand. You don't save any weight, and you deppreciate the drum.
 
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audiotech

Guest
I'm pretty good with hand tools, but I wouldn't drill my bass drums myself. I do have several kits with bass drum mounted toms and enjoy and gig them a lot. The mounts were all drilled and installed at the factories. BTW, I'm no first timer, lol. The bass drum mounted toms take a lot less time to get them configured exactly the way you want to play them, especially with memory locks, and is extremely handy when set-up and tear down time is limited. Sets that I have mounted toms are, Yamaha Maple Custom Absolute, DW Classic series, Ludwig Classic Maple and a 1965 vintage kit.

Dennis
 

jp-90

Junior Member
I hear ya, Opentune. I'm just thinking this would be used, at times, as a really small kit where i wouldn't have a cymbal stand on the left, so I'd have to add that too. But maybe it still weighs out to roughly the same. I've had bad luck with any cymbal stand mounted toms--they just never seemed sturdy enough, but maybe I was using junky mounts.

This has been somewhat illuminating, I got to say. While some people are in the "do whatever you want" mind of thinking, NO ONE has mentioned playing on a kick-mounted tom themselves.

edit: one vote in favor of the kick-mounted tom
 
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