Winter Drum Storage Ludwig

Robzildjian

Member
I have vintage ludwig, Yamaha Maple Customer and Highwood drums all in the attic of my garage. This is a great practice room but it gets cold in the winter and the humidity is 75%.

I live in the UK to give you an idea of winter temperatures.

What precautions should I take to protect the drums from the environment?

Any device welcome.
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
If the humidity levels reach 75% then you need to case the drums,and use some kind of chemical dehumidifier,like silica gel packets in all the cases.That kind of humidity can create black mold,and also oxidise on the chrome and start to rust.

Use a good automotive chrome polish that has a protectant in it,and a good wood cleaner/polish protectant on the shells,and some wax on the bearing edges.

Case them,insert silica packets and everything is......sorted.Cheers.

Steve B
 
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caddywumpus

Platinum Member
Hmm...don't take this the wrong way, but the way I see it is that if you REALLY cared about the kit, you would store it in the same environment as yourself. Although they would *probably* be alright in my garage, especially if I took the precautions that Steve laid out, I wouldn't take the chance of leaving my drum kit out there. I would rather have them stacked up obtrusively in my living space than left in conditions where the plies could separate, the wrap could lift, or the chrome could pit. But, that's just me.
 

drum4fun27302

Gold Member
Store them inside your house take them apart and put small one into the medium one and so on. Doesn't take much space that way.
 

Jeremy Bender

Platinum Member
This comes directly from Sonor...

How should I store drums?

Storage:
"Please do not expose your drums and hardware to extreme temperature and humidity fluctuations. Storage would be perfect in stable room conditions of approximately a temperature 20°C (70ºF) and humidity of 55%."

Basically what others say...if it feels good for you, it should be fine for the instruments as well. But I understand your dillema of not being able to always have the drums in an area that's not climate controlled at all times.
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
Notice the Sonor instructions specify temperature FLUCTUATIONS. I believe fluctuation plus humidity is the worst situation, because it can cause condensation and possibly mold.

I live in North Idaho, where it is relatively dry, but gets colder than heck (for example, 7 degrees F or -14 C this weekend, and it's not even winter yet). I have not had problems with my drums in these conditions. The cold itself doesn't seem to bother them. Of course, your mileage may vary, and controlled temp and humidity would be best.
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
After thinking about it,I think I'd like to revise my post concerning storage of the drums.Do all of the things I sugggested ,AND store them in your room,or in multiple rooms,inside your home.

They represent an investment in something, I hope you love to do,and should't be treated like the ugly red headed step child.....all due respect.

You mentioned on your profile page, that you have a vintage wfl snare,you inhereted from your dad.I don't know if all your questions about the drum were answered.One thing I can tell you is,it wouldn't be in the condition you describe,had it been left to temperature and humidity extremes,you indicate in your OP.

Just food for thought.If you have any unanswered questions about that drum,just PM me and include a few pics of the badge and strainer.Cheers

Steve B
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
Seeing Steve's post above made me realize I didn't know you were talking about vintage equipment. I guess I scanned the initial post too quickly. My comments about no problems in North Idaho weather apply to my stuff, which is all modern manufacture. I am not sure the adhesives used on vintage drums would be able to handle temperature extremes as well as modern glues.
 

Robzildjian

Member
Thanks for the input all.

So I have 3 large kits all set up as I play them them very regularly. In the house is out of the question - they are in a purpose built attic. I could fit a heater and or a dehumidifier.

Is it necessary to put in both?

Intereste in your thoughts...
 

Robzildjian

Member
So I've now put a heater in the loft and the temperature is 15 C and humidity is 56%. That should keep my drums safe, though I probably still need to find the most economical way to heat the space.

That should keep my drums safe.

Thanks for the advice all.

Rob
 

Robzildjian

Member
Steve,

This is just like my Dad's drum, but his is 5 inch depth. It looks like a mahogany shall with maple rings to me. Very interested to know anything about it.

Thanks

Rob
 

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tamadrm

Platinum Member
Looks mid to late 50's WFL ,3 ply mahogany/poplar/mahogany shell.The Contest concert model I think because of the chrome hardware.The Supreme concert model was very similar,but it came in nickel plating only.

Very warm sounding drums.

Steve B
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
I have vintage ludwig, Yamaha Maple Customer and Highwood drums all in the attic of my garage. This is a great practice room but it gets cold in the winter and the humidity is 75%.

I live in the UK to give you an idea of winter temperatures.

What precautions should I take to protect the drums from the environment?

Any device welcome.
I'm assuming your garage loft isn't damp. The low temperatures are not an issue, & nor is humidity fluctuation in the UK. Although humidity is always on the higher side of things, it's rarely accompanied by high temperatures. Both the Yamaha and Highwood drums are modern, & that means the thin plies are so far removed from behaving like solid wood, in the UK, you have no concerns. Your vintage Ludwig drums require a greater level of care than your modern drums, but should still be fine if protected from rapid changes & extremes. Essentially, if the drum has lived in the UK for some time, it should be used to the changes in climate. Something newly acquired from a different environment though, will require stability over an extended period to adjust.

Just about the worst thing you can do is overly dehumidify the environment. Certainly, keeping humidity above 40% is a good idea for drums that are already acclimatised to the UK. Good cases will help guard against rapid changes in environment if that's an issue. Never use silica gel packs or similar in a drum case.

The most important thing you can do if storing drums in the UK, & especially the Ludwig, is to ensure the heads are evenly tensioned prior to storing. Not too tight, but tight enough to maintain even pressure on the shell. This guards against the shells pulling out of round. It's no guarantee, but it helps. Waxing the bearing edges of older drums is also a good idea. This not only provides a stable condition for the most vulnerable part of the shell, it also helps the heads settle on the bearing edges during natural fluctuation. Apply a good quality beeswax or similar, then buff it off to a shine before putting the heads back on & tensioning as suggested.

Hope this helps.
 
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