Convert DW floor toms on stands to legs

gottahabet

New member
I have a DW kit that's about 26 years old now (hard to believe). I was an endorsee for a bit back in the early to mid '90's when I was in bands, and was lucky enough to have the label backing to order a custom kit from them. I don't play professionally anymore, but I'm looking to make some tweaks to this kit, first of which is to have the 14" and 16" floor toms mounted on legs instead of the tom stand they originally came with, just to offer more flexibility with placement, angle and height. Should I just order brackets and legs and drill the holes into the shells, or get one of those suspension rings that requires no shell drilling? Anyone have any experience making this conversion?
 

Lee-Bro

Senior Member
I drilled my own 14" and 16" toms. DW sent them to me w/o the drill holes because of confusion in the ordering process. I have another kit w/ 14" and 16" floor toms w/ factory installed brackets. I took them off, measured where the holes were drilled: distance from the drum edge, relation to distance between lugs, etc., and used those measurements as a template to drill my own. Photos attached.



This is the kit I used as a reference:
Full Kit.jpg


The new shells
DrillShell1.jpg
DrillShell2.jpg


The end result:

Drums1.jpg


Now all that being said, I'd seriously considering using a floor tom suspension/cradle kit next time. Such as this:1579231883045.png
 
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Mongrel

Silver Member
Get the tools all together...measure and mark the shells-TWICE, take a shot or two of whiskey and fire up the drill. Easy-peasy....

We have over 75 years worth of hits recorded with hard mounted toms and floor tom legs. Ain’t gonna matter in the long run.
 

jdavis

Member
I have a 16" stand-mounted tom that I've been wanting to convert to legs for a while. I'm not interested in drilling it so has anyone had any experience with the conversion kits like the WorldMax or Gauger DynaMount?

I've heard good things about the DynaMount, but it looks kinda' funky and it's more expensive than the WorldMax.
 

Mustion

Senior Member
Unless you're super squeamish about using light power tools, man I say just go for it. Like someone said before, measure twice, cut (well, drill) once. You can find suggestions for factory-spec bracket spacing and positioning online, I'm sure. It's really not that big a deal! Adding six more holes to the shell isn't going to negatively impact the sound any more than the two or three dozen other holes that have already been drilled into it for the lugs, vent holes etc. And you seem set on having legs on your floor toms so I don't see you have regrets later about having put drill to shell.

So I say leave cradles for babies and condenser microphones, buy some legs and brackets, break out the drill, t-square, and masking tape--and do it the time-tested way.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Drill! It’s not that hard. I concur that using those suspension cradles IS cumbersome. I tried it and hated it, and you spend $60 for one, and the drum will no longer fit in its case, so you have to buy another one of those too.
 

jdavis

Member
I tried it and hated it, and you spend $60 for one, and the drum will no longer fit in its case, so you have to buy another one of those too.
I'm not squeamish about drilling, just didn't want to have to bother with it. But, this is a good point I hadn't really considered. Don't need it causing problems with my case. Hmmm...
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I'm not squeamish about drilling, just didn't want to have to bother with it. But, this is a good point I hadn't really considered. Don't need it causing problems with my case. Hmmm...
Yeah, I added a basket to my 16” floor tom, but then it needed an 18” case.
 

gottahabet

New member
Thank you all so very much for weighing in! Esp. to Lee-Bro for the experienced tale and super good photos of the surgery! :)
I am not squeamish about drilling, I do quite a bit of stuff around the house, so I have experience there. Good tip on the masking tape, measuring twice and a shot of whiskey (Haha).
I'll post some photos when it's all said and done!
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
The only thing that would keep me from drilling is if I was worried that one day thinking that people will be seeking out un-drilled hanging floor toms for some reason. I got cradles for my late 1990's Pork Pie USA kit.

If you don't plan on moving them much, I'd consider just getting the cradles. There are some drawbacks if you plan on moving them much, but if they are staying put the vast majority of the time, I'd just go this route.

Here's a copy/paste from another thread about my experiences with them. Although it comes across as a little negative, I'd still get them for a set that I wasn't moving around too much:

Things to consider when using floor tom cradles:

a.) You need a drum key to mount the drum legs. Some people won't mind, but I find this inconvenient for gigging.

b.) The tighteners that press up against the legs are really short, and they aren't that big around either. You are basically holding the floor toms in place with a 1-inch tension rod. They feel like they go from tight against floor tom leg to almost falling out of the bracket in just a couple of turns.

c.) They can strip out easier. Apparently, there is a doofus at my church who was adjusting the floor toms on the regular, and I think he over-tightened them. I had to replace two of the three brackets that fit around the ring.

d.) WEIGHT! I swear these things add a good 5 lbs to each drum you put them on. Once again, if you aren't gigging, it's no big deal.

e.) Size. Even though drum bags can be roomy, you may have to go up a size if you put these in cases...especially hard cases...if you are gigging.
 
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