First time drilling a shell

boomstick

Silver Member
I've always preferred floor toms fitted with legs, so that was a consideration when I was looking for a kit back in 2005. At the time, "fusion kits" with hanging toms seemed to be all the rage, so it made my search a bit difficult. I finally came across a kit that met all my criteria except for the floor tom legs, but the previous owner had fitted the 15x13 drum with a RIMS Dynamount, so I figured I could work with it. I just never liked this mount though. It added weight to the drum, made it harder to fit in a carrying bag, was less wobbly than a true hanging tom but still a bit wobbly, and it made changing the bottom head very tedious. Nor did I like the way it looked.

I finally worked up the courage to take a drill to my drum and install brackets and legs. I must have checked the measurements 5 or 6 times. Then I drilled pilot holes with a very small drill bit. The construction of this particular drum made the rest of the job somewhat easy. The drum diameter was big enough that I could drill from the inside out. To prevent tear-out from the drilling, I started cutting the hole from the inside by turning the drill bit gently by hand. Once I got the hole started, I installed the bit into my power drill and went all the way through. The outer wrap was perfect for preventing tear-out on the outside of the drum, so in the end, I had six clean holes to attach the brackets to.

It is possible to buy Spaun branded mounting brackets, but I decided to go with some nice Gibraltar brackets instead. They are very good quality, and I like the looks of them better. I think the round shape and chrome finish nicely matches the Spaun lugs.

Soundwise, there is no negative effect that I can discern. I do notice a difference, but it sounds like more of a positive difference than a negative one to my ear. Beyond that, the drum is now lighter in weight, easier to fit into a drum bag, and super rock solid when mounted. With the memory locks installed, setup is super easy. I know some people disagree with drilling shells, but I am much happier with this mounting method. My only regret is not doing it sooner.

Before and after photos:
 

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Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Nice job. I don't believe the floor tom cradles really work well. There's no such thing as full isolation, & the added mass of the assembly negates any potential benefit IMO. I think you did the right thing.

Now, two bits of advice:

1/ Get some Pearl suspension feet for those legs. Don't think about it, don't hesitate, just do it! Thank me later :)

2/ Next time you need to drill a shell, just buy an appropriate size 5 point FCE drill bit. Absolutely no tear out whatsoever. Super clean holes every time. If only the so called "professionals" would use them eh!
 

boomstick

Silver Member
nice looking drum, great job.
Thanks!

1/ Get some Pearl suspension feet for those legs. Don't think about it, don't hesitate, just do it! Thank me later :)
I'm pretty happy with the sound of the drum as is, but it couldn't hurt to give these a try. Always room for improvement. They're pretty cheap, no?

2/ Next time you need to drill a shell, just buy an appropriate size 5 point FCE drill bit. Absolutely no tear out whatsoever. Super clean holes every time. If only the so called "professionals" would use them eh!
I bought this bit from the hardware store for the job. It was a bit intimidating to push this into my drum shell, but it seemed to work pretty well. I will certainly keep your recommendation in mind for any future hacks.
 

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Stixnergard2

Senior Member
Nice job! I also own a Spaun kit with 2 hanging floor toms and have been considering drilling them. hanging FT's were the in thing back in 2002 when I ordered my kit. I'm trying to sell off half the kit 22,10,14 and keep the other 22 and 12,16 for a gig kit. I want to drill the 16 and planned to use the Ludwig Eleite mounts as those are what Spaun used. I do like the round Gibraltar mounts you went with. Great drums BTW
 

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boomstick

Silver Member
Nice Spauns, stix! I didn't know those were Ludwig mounts that Spaun uses. They are definitely nice, and I assume that's what's attached to the RIMS mounts on your rack toms, so it makes sense to match everything up. I don't use any rack toms, so I figured I could go with different style mounts on the floor tom and liked the Gibraltars. As you can guess, I do agree with drilling and installing legs as long as it's done with care. I'm very happy with the conversion. Your kit looks pretty cool with the double kick setup, but I understand the decision to scale down. I've done the same.
 

drumdevil9

Platinum Member
Nice job! When I first bought a bass drum mounted cymbal holder (same round bracket) it took me forever to install it mostly because I was scared to screw it up. I don't consider myself a handy with power tools guy. But I eventually got on with it and it turned out fine. Now I'm considering putting a rail mount on my Renown and I'm not even scared! Well maybe a little.
 

boomstick

Silver Member
Nice job! When I first bought a bass drum mounted cymbal holder (same round bracket) it took me forever to install it mostly because I was scared to screw it up. I don't consider myself a handy with power tools guy. But I eventually got on with it and it turned out fine.
Yeah, it's intimidating to put a drill to an expensive drum for the first time, and to see wood chips from your shell go flying all over the place. I made some practice holes on some scrap wood first. Putting in pilot holes with a small drill bit helped too.
 

TColumbia37

Silver Member
1/ Get some Pearl suspension feet for those legs. Don't think about it, don't hesitate, just do it! Thank me later :)
^ This. I will never own a drum kit again without using the Pearl feet on the floor tom (unless of course something better comes out). They have made a night and day difference on every floor tom I have used them on. I think I paid $10 for the set of 3.
 

boomstick

Silver Member
Pearl suspension feet have just been ordered. I'll let you guys know the results after I receive and install them.
 

TColumbia37

Silver Member
What's the link to the Pearl suspension feet? Do they fit all makes of tom legs?
Just search Amazon for them, they're like $12 and fit 3/8" legs, which is most models unless you have a kit with the thinner legs (some Pearl Visions, some DW, some PDP)
 

Trip McNealy

Gold Member
I got two sets of the Pearl feet in, they are beefy! I didn't put them on my legs yet, those who did, did you just force them on or did you use a helper lube like WD40, Pam spray, dish detergent, etc smeared on the leg or inside the feet? My legs are 10.5mm so I'm expecting a bit of resistance while going on.
 

TColumbia37

Silver Member
I got two sets of the Pearl feet in, they are beefy! I didn't put them on my legs yet, those who did, did you just force them on or did you use a helper lube like WD40, Pam spray, dish detergent, etc smeared on the leg or inside the feet? My legs are 10.5mm so I'm expecting a bit of resistance while going on.
They went on my Yamaha legs without much resistance. No lubrication needed.
 

boomstick

Silver Member
Pearl feet are installed, and basically, yeah they work. It's instantly noticeable on the first hit. Significantly more resonant now. With a bit of muscle applied, the feet slid right onto my 10.5mm legs, and they are on there tight enough that I would not expect them to fall off easily.
 

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GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
My Renown have the normal rubber slip on feet. I went to the hardware store and bought three more about two sizes larger and slipped those over the regular ones and achieved about the same effect for about .60 each.
 
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