Ludwig Vintage 3ply WMP 12/15/20 complete!


Platinum Member
Bo's thread on finding a thermogloss kit project inspired me to finally dig out my 3ply White Marine Pearl Shells and finish this project.

Had all the heads I needed, just needed to thoroughly dismantle and clean everything. So that's what I did yesterday and today.

Bass Drum - 20x14 3ply virgin, small curved spurs, clear maple interior, B&O Badge, new hoops and inlay, originals were cracked and deformed and destroyed. I actually finished this drum three years ago.

Rack tom - Club Date 12x8, Keystone badge, white interior, baseball bat muffler, 1.6mm hoops

Floor Tom - Converted marcher 15x12, Keystone badge, still has the snare side hoop on the bottom. One Ludwig leg mount installed by previous owner (bought this drum on eBay) , as if they started to install floor tom leg brackets but then quit. I have it on an L-arm and also added a 'foot' support on the other side. Not sure what to do here, but I think maybe I'll get two more Ludwig leg mounts and finish it. These are waaay cool but will never , ever be collectors grade so why not.

Cleaned all the hoops with dish soap and scrubbed with tin foil (NO steel wool, ever), and put all lugs and tension rods in a warm bath of dish soap for a few hours....light scrub with tin foil again, air dry.

Applied some Novus plastic repair / cleaner on the 12" and 15". I used Novus #2 (couple of times) and then Novus #1. Then I used some light spray wax/polish (Dunlop Formula 65) and buffed with a micro fiber cloth. The 12" had the most yellowing ...but I think I'll stop there with the attempts to clean and match the whites exactly. I think they look like a pretty good match.

Installed new coated Ambassaodrs and voila! They sound amazing. My textured grey Acrolite goes really well with these, in every way.
Damn I love drums. Wish I could do this for a living.


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Platinum Member
Thanks guys.

Have any of you ever used one of those floor tom rim cradle / suspension mount things on a vintage drum?
Or should I just install the other two leg mounts and be done with it ?


Senior Member
I haven’t used a floor tom rims mount, but I don’t think they look that good in my opinion. I’d just use those leg mounts instead.


Platinum Member
Thanks guys.

Have any of you ever used one of those floor tom rim cradle / suspension mount things on a vintage drum?
Or should I just install the other two leg mounts and be done with it ?
Mounts with legs. Those cradles are bulky and don't look very good to me.


Platinum Member
OK, leg mounts it is.
I've never used one of those cradle things, just wanted to see what the general consensus was.

Vintage Old School

Gold Member
Mounts with legs.
+1 I concur with Greg.

I used RIMS mounts on all my toms (10/12/13/14/16) on my last kit and they work great, but honestly are really bulky. I had to get larger cases to accommodate them.

On my current set I went back to basics. All floor toms have standard legs.

If you want to add a bit more resonance on the 15" floor tom try a set of Pearl Air Suspension R40/3 rubber feet. Make sure you order the proper diameter to fit your tom legs.

Very nice job on your kit. You may need to hang out a shingle to start your own refurbishing company.


Platinum Member
Digging up this post;

Wasn't 100% finished with these after all - Recently had my drum restoration pal do some some fixing and recut the bearing edges.

They sounded pretty good before but the 15x12 still had snare beds and part of the reinforcement ring delaminated and was creeping up a bit towards the bearing edge.

Naturally, with these issues fixed, it would sound more like a floor tom, allowing lower and even tuning. So my drum guy 'built up' the beds with wood filler (and pieces of wood I think) - then sanded to get the edge even 'level' , then recut the edges on a router table. The batter edge was also recut, but just a tiny bit or correction needed there.
The holes for the snare strainer and butt plate filled, and added a knob muffler. Wanted a baseball bat muffler to match the 12", but this drum was originally fitted for a knob muffler. The bat has a larger diameter bolt, and it is not as tall as the knob muffler, meaning when engaged, it doesn't touch the head at all. So knob muffler it is. Works great.
Finally, drilled and added the floor tom leg brackets, making it a real floor tom.

The 12" tom was pretty good but also required a small bearing edge "touch up", top and bottom.

The bass drum was perfect as is. Virgin 20x14" B&O badge, mid 70's 3 ply , clear maple interior, small curved spurs. Sounds deadly.

Rounding it out, my 14x5 Grey Textured Acrolite. Perfect snare for these.

Toms currently setup with coated ambassadors over clear ambassadors and IMHO - the absolute best combo for these drums. Bass drum has a coated PS3 and an ambassador weight ported Fiberskyn resonant head. Small light pillow inside.
Snare = Ambassador X for now (it's fine but prefer a regular Ambassador) over a ludwig snare side head.

Here's the thing: I have other drum sets that cost 10x what I have into these...they sound fantastic but they don't sound better.

Here's a setting up pic from tonights' gig



Platinum Member
Looking good Neal! One of my favorite bass drum sizes and I'm keen to check out a 15" floor tom one of these days. I also dig the smaller logo on the bass drum reso!
Thanks! Yes, the 15x12 is a great size for a floor tom. It really is the best of both worlds (those worlds being 14 and 16). Heads are easy to get too. Tone of a 14" and thump of a 16.
I made the smaller logo myself - Avery clear labels. Just download the logo online and then use Avery's template (online, on their site) to print. I like a logo but don't want the BIG logos. Understated is more my style - like the iconic Keystone badges.

Did the bearing edge work make a noticeable sound improvement? Im also digging the sizes, great kit!
Thanks J! Yes, the bearing edges made a huge difference. Really. I had to tune them too high before the edge work, and that isn't why I have these drums. Now they can do lower tuning- the classic 3ply rock n roll 'tubs'. What Ludwig is best at IMHO. They still sound great tuned higher too though - and I will do that if I'm playing these in a jazz/latin context.