Need Drum Key for Slotted Premier Tension Rods

bodhran

Member
I have a 70s era Premier Olympic chrome/steel snare drum. It is fitted with the slotted type tension rods.
I could swap mine out for the ubiquitous square headed rods, but I'd like to keep it original.
Looking for any advice on where to find one or a suitable workaround?
 

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mrfingers

Senior Member
Why not use a short screwdriver? I know it won’t stay on the drum while you play and you can’t hang it anywhere, but....it should still work.
 

BradGunnerSGT

Silver Member
Why not use a short screwdriver? I know it won’t stay on the drum while you play and you can’t hang it anywhere, but....it should still work.
I second this, but I would just use the screwdriver to replace the lugs and keep them safe in case you want to put them back to original condition. Nonstandard parts are a pain to deal with if this will be a piece of gear that you will actually use.
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
I don't know the history or reasoning behind slotted keys/tension rods but it was such a bad idea. What was Sonor and Premier thinking? haha

Was it to make money selling extra 'dongles'?

Who do they think they are? Apple?
 

Peedy

Senior Member
I have a 70s era Premier Olympic chrome/steel snare drum. It is fitted with the slotted type tension rods.
I could swap mine out for the ubiquitous square headed rods, but I'd like to keep it original.
Looking for any advice on where to find one or a suitable workaround?
I’ve got those on my Premier 2000. I briefly considered getting a key for it till I discovered they sell for around 100 bucks on eBay (or at least they did in 2014). I use a Mac screwdriver that’s a perfect fit in the slot. I’ve also eyeballed T-handle screwdrivers but never pulled the trigger on it (something like this).



Pete
 

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IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
I’ve got those on my Premier 2000. I briefly considered getting a key for it till I discovered they sell for around 100 bucks on eBay (or at least they did in 2014). I use a Mac screwdriver that’s a perfect fit in the slot. I’ve also eyeballed T-handle screwdrivers but never pulled the trigger on it (something like this).



Pete
The problem with a standard screwdriver is how easily it can slip out of the notch and scratch up your hoops. Scratches on the chrome will eventually lead to rust when the steel underneath gets exposed. You'll have to use 2 hands to keep that from happening.

If the screwdriver isn't thick enough to match the thickness of the groove it could possibly start deforming the head of the tension screw as well.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Here's a possible answer:

Get a conduit screwdriver. It has a little collar that surrounds the blade so it doesn't slip off the screwhead. It saves holes from happening in my palm. As long as it fits over your tension rod heads, it would work great. That would have to be verified before buying. You can find less expensive ones, this one just has a good angle so you can see what's going on.

Me, I'd swap them out for regular rods and store the originals.



 

Peedy

Senior Member
The problem with a standard screwdriver is how easily it can slip out of the notch and scratch up your hoops. Scratches on the chrome will eventually lead to rust when the steel underneath gets exposed. You'll have to use 2 hands to keep that from happening.

If the screwdriver isn't thick enough to match the thickness of the groove it could possibly start deforming the head of the tension screw as well.
While you certainly should be careful, rust is not the issue as a Premier 2000 snare uses cast zinc alloy hoops rather than steel (the OP’s Olympic snare uses steel). And as I said, the screwdriver I use is a perfect match.
 
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Soulfinger

Senior Member
I don't know the history or reasoning behind slotted keys/tension rods but it was such a bad idea. What was Sonor and Premier thinking? haha
They were thinking that if you misplace your tuning key you can still tune your drums with a coin or the like. Actually not a bad idea IMHO.
I have used one of those flat t-shaped Remo thingies that come with their tuneable practice pads - works well and has more torque than a screwdriver.

Edit - pictured here on the left:
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
I could swap mine out for the ubiquitous square headed rods, but I'd like to keep it original.
I know you want to keep the original equipment and all, but geez, I'd swap those things before the sun goes down if you plan on using them. I'd put a small flat-blade bit at the end of my drill and have them gone in minutes. Put all of the original rods in a bag or box, label them, and if you find an actual key that fits, throw that in the box too in case you want to put them back on.
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
They were thinking that if you misplace your tuning key you can still tune your drums with a coin or the like. Actually not a bad idea IMHO.
I have used one of those flat t-shaped Remo thingies that come with their tuneable practice pads - works well and has more torque than a screwdriver.

Edit - pictured here on the left:

Tuning with a coin isn't a bad idea, but with one fatal flaw. It's based on the assumption that drummers have money. :LOL:
 
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