Camco restoration. Gaskets? Bearing edges?

Several weeks ago I scored an undated Camco kit (12"/13"/15"24") with Sabian AA cymbals for $150. The kit had been sprayed with auto paint inside and out. So far I've cleaned the hardware, filled and sanded and primed the shells, and am getting ready to do a custom paint finish followed by clear coat. Two questions have arisen and after searching here at DW, I still haven't really seen a clear consensus. My questions are:

Gaskets under lugs? The Camco kit I have and kits I found photos of didn't have them. Their progeny, DW seem to have them, my Renowns and Premiers do, and as far as I can see Ludwigs and Yamaha don't. I previously read the discussion here about how removing the gaskets from the Black Beauty "opens up the sound". Common sense would suggest that putting several pieces of rubber around the shell would dampen resonance, whereas, allowing all the components of the drum to resonate together would be ideal. Of course there have been many threads about the affects of tom mounts, floor tom legs(and feet) on resonance . I'm afraid I didn't take the time to check to see if there is a link between shell thickness and use of gaskets. Are gaskets only common on thick shells, as opposed to ones with re-rings? Did I just answer my own question and waste 30 seconds of your life by inviting you to read this?

Raw or painted bearing edges? As I mentioned, the Camcos I scored were entirely painted with what looks like auto enamel. I'm not planning on trying to sand the bearing edges down to raw wood even though my Renowns and Premiers are so. The good news is that the quality of the paint job is quite professional, so the edges are nice and smooth. Is the general consensus that paint is less desirable on bearing edges?

I know there are some very knowledgeable members here who are builders and restorers. Would anyone be willing to offer their thoughts?

I'm not usually that obsessed with these kinds of technical minutiae, but I guess hanging out here has made me more of a drum geek than I used to be. (And I have to say that it's been a pleasure) Overall, I still believe that I'm better served to practice more and DW less. Let's just say I'm working on it.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I would not paint any bearing edges. The paint will wear off unevenly and will alter the sound. Minimally I understand but how good is your ear?
And always consider your DW time as chalkboard or mental practice.
 

BGH

Gold Member
The deal with this kit is: you bought it for next to nothing. If the entire shells in/out/edges are already painted, restoring these to original would be very difficult. It doesn't really matter what anyone thinks, unless you are going to attempt a true, full restoration. If you were, then opinions on what you should do would be helpful.

If you just want to make them 'nice' in a way that you like them, and if they sound good to you, don't mess with the edges (is my opinion). Clean them up, do your customization and play them and enjoy them. You can't hurt the value any because they are already toast as far as value, unless you do a full restoration.

Pics would be nice. Cool score!

Oh, and by the way - yes, all the talk about gaskets - don't fret over it. Use them if you wish, don't use them if you don't want to. They won't make a hill of beans difference.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
I would not put gaskets where no gaskets ever were. The original shell had none, so they are not needed.If bearing edge is painted, and its smooth, I would leave as is.

Sounds like a nice score for $150. I came across another Camco kit with a 15 tom, 24 bass. Must have been a common match.

What colour are you painting it? be sure to post pics.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Forget gaskets. The drums never had them, & no matter what manufacturers tell you, the gaskets just add unwelcome mass to your drums. Lug isolation using compressed gaskets - it's a myth. The only reason they're used on cast lug bodies is to mask the gap differences when applied to different diameter drums (without something there, you'd need different radius lugs for each size of drum).

Bearing edges: Without recutting them, paint removal will be punishingly difficult, even chemically. Find the best flat surface you can. A stone kitchen counter top is close enough on older drums. Put a light inside the shell & look for really obvious low/high points. If the edges are reasonable, leave well alone. If they're all over the place, get them re-cut by someone competent. Check for shell roundness before investing anything. More than 3mm (1/8") on drums 14" & under, 6mm (1/4) on drums 16" & above, then question the time you're investing.

Hope this helps.
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
Forget gaskets. The drums never had them, & no matter what manufacturers tell you, the gaskets just add unwelcome mass to your drums. Lug isolation using compressed gaskets - it's a myth. The only reason they're used on cast lug bodies is to mask the gap differences when applied to different diameter drums (without something there, you'd need different radius lugs for each size of drum).

Bearing edges: Without recutting them, paint removal will be punishingly difficult, even chemically. Find the best flat surface you can. A stone kitchen counter top is close enough on older drums. Put a light inside the shell & look for really obvious low/high points. If the edges are reasonable, leave well alone. If they're all over the place, get them re-cut by someone competent. Check for shell roundness before investing anything. More than 3mm (1/8") on drums 14" & under, 6mm (1/4) on drums 16" & above, then question the time you're investing.

Hope this helps.
+1...
If you wish to make gaskets they are easy to make. Just order a thin sheet of vinyl. You can get different thickness for different needs. I made some gaskets a few weeks ago for my vintage Gretsch kit. I had to make thick (1/4") gaskets for the bass drum to raise the lugs to eliminate splay. You can buy thin rubber sheet to make standard thickness gaskets.
I simply cut them out with a razor knife. I used the lugs as templets. I drilled the screw holes with a regular drill bit. It only took a few hours to do the job.
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
Forget gaskets. The drums never had them, & no matter what manufacturers tell you, the gaskets just add unwelcome mass to your drums. Lug isolation using compressed gaskets - it's a myth. The only reason they're used on cast lug bodies is to mask the gap differences when applied to different diameter drums (without something there, you'd need different radius lugs for each size of drum).

Bearing edges: Without recutting them, paint removal will be punishingly difficult, even chemically. Find the best flat surface you can. A stone kitchen counter top is close enough on older drums. Put a light inside the shell & look for really obvious low/high points. If the edges are reasonable, leave well alone. If they're all over the place, get them re-cut by someone competent. Check for shell roundness before investing anything. More than 3mm (1/8") on drums 14" & under, 6mm (1/4) on drums 16" & above, then question the time you're investing.

Hope this helps.

^This.What made Camco drums special,was the detail paid to their bearing edges,and painting them was just.....dumb,reguardless of the quality of the work.

Keep it Simple...is a drum builder,as in he makes his own shells,and builds some of the best sounding drums out there.I'd listen to his advice,especially about gaskets,which I consider just functionless drum fashion.

Like Andy said,check them for roundness and for a flat bearing edge before going any further.If they need to be recut,there are, my opinion,are only a handfull of guys, competetant enough to cut the original Camco edge profile.Cut a different edge profile,and you'll lose that warm Camco sound.

The shells you have are either made by Jasper or Keller,depending on when they were made,and are a ply lay up of maple/poplar.

Steve B
 
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Thanks,guys for the wise words of advice. Much appreciated. I'm going to keep moving forward with getting this kit up and running as soon as I can, without sweating the small stuff so much. I'll post some photos when I'm done.
 
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