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Thread: Fixing out of round brass snare - HELP!

  1. #1

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    Default Fixing out of round brass snare - HELP!

    Background info...
    A friend's dad who was a drummer passed away last year and she had no idea what his stuff was worth. I spent about 10 hours going through this guy's collection of mostly Gretsch stuff. He had two 7 piece USA kits (both in wine red and with cases) an old Tama beater kit, a Ludwig Accent Fab 4 kit, a Tama Bell Brass snare from the 80s (she got 1800 for it!), a Gretsch 4166 COB snare, a Gretsch USA snare in WMP, and a crapload of hardware. In the end, she wanted to sell me something really cheap as a thank you for spending so much time. I had been eyeing the Gretsch COB snare the entire time, so I got it with a case for $150 (I figured it was worth around 300). When I got it home, I realized that it is seriously out of round...

    The real issue...
    Has anyone every attempted to fix a problem like an out of round metal snare? I posted a question to Reddit, and got little help other than someone that said "get a dead blow hammer, a couple of 2x4 blocks, and a new head for reference". I called Columbus Percussion and the repair guy said it was probably the rim, not the shell, but I'm sure it's the shell as a new head doesn't sit squarely and rotate around. I hate to spend a ton of money having someone else fix it since I got it for so little, but right now it's just sitting on a shelf. It does sound pretty good as-is, but it bothers me that it's warped and I really want to do something. Any help is greatly appreciated.


  2. #2

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    Default Re: Fixing out of round brass snare - HELP!

    You could get a bar clamp. One of those with the handle you squeeze to clamp it harder. Most of those have a removable end piece that you can put on the other end of the bar. So whenever you squeeze the handle, it pushes away instead of clamping together. You could probably put a piece of wood on each side and push with the clamp lightly every day. I would be careful with denting the shell though.
    Quote Originally Posted by rickthedrummer View Post
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  3. #3

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    Default Re: Fixing out of round brass snare - HELP!

    That's a tough DIY project. No jig, no proper tools, no way to measure what you're doing to it (making it better or just out of round in another spot?).There's so much opportunity to make it worse. Any idea what Cols Percussion would charge you to do it? I'd be afraid a well intended ham-fisted attempt to fix it would end up dropping the value to $0.

  4. #4

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    Default Re: Fixing out of round brass snare - HELP!

    Thanks for the replies gentlemen. I was hoping there was some easy, DIY secret to this, but I was guessing there probably was not. I never got to the pricing point with Columbus Percussion because they obviously want to see it first, and I live 100 miles away. I'll probably just bite that bullet and head that way.

    Thanks!

  5. #5

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    Default Re: Fixing out of round brass snare - HELP!

    It's a first rate drum shop. They'll take care of you well.

  6. #6

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    Default Re: Fixing out of round brass snare - HELP!

    Pretty drum, makes you wonder how that can happen. I'd be a little concerned having just anybody working on it though. Seems like a hard fix and probably costly. I'd probably just end up playing it the way it is.
    Last edited by slinky; 01-16-2017 at 09:33 PM.
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  7. #7

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    Default Re: Fixing out of round brass snare - HELP!

    I know what I'd do, but I'd never recommend it to someone else, LOL. My formal advice is to take it to the drum shop, let them inspect it and give you an estimate for repair. Who knows...they may take it in the back room, out of sight, and do what I would, LOL.
    -Brian

    "Too many crappy used drum stuff to list"

    Play the SONG......not the DRUMS!!!

    "I think that feeling is a lot more important than technique. It's all very well doing a triple paradiddle - but who's going to know you've done it? If you play technically you sound like everybody else. It's being original that counts." ~ John Bonham

  8. #8

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    Default Re: Fixing out of round brass snare - HELP!

    Quote Originally Posted by slinky View Post
    Pretty drum, makes you wonder how that can happen. I'd be a little concerned having just anybody working on it though. Seems like a hard fix and probably costly. I'd probably just end up playing it the way it is.
    I believe I know how this happens. I had similar experience. The culprit is an out of round die cast hoop. (a simple fall can knock it out and unlike a regular triple flange hoop, it can't be put back into round) The tensile strength of the hoop will eventually pull the shell out of round. I see in the pick that the die cast hoops have be traded out for for triple flange.

    all the best...

  9. #9

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    Default Re: Fixing out of round brass snare - HELP!

    I would also caution attempting this without knowledge or experience.
    You can quickly make it worse than better.
    14pc Yamaha Maple Custom Vintage (24pc in total) | 12pc PDP X7 | 9pc Ludwig Jr. | 9pc Pork Pie ZebraWood | 6pc Sonor | 5pc Ddrum Dominion | 5pc Orbitone |4pc Sonor Martini |4pc PDP Concept Maple Classic| 57 Snare drums and growing!

  10. #10

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    Default Re: Fixing out of round brass snare - HELP!

    Found this:

    "You could take the heads and rims off and measure across all around the drum at and in between the lugs.

    The section that is out of round should show up. Mark the area with a piece of tape. Set the drum on it's side with the tape pointing up then turn the drum so the tape now points straight out in front of
    you.

    Now put your hand palm down on the drum and press down. Do this on carpet or a thick pad. Go slow and check your progress by fitting a head on the shell. Perfection will be very hard to achieve but you will get it very close. Remember the key is to GO SLOW and keep checking the shell."


    Good luck!

  11. #11

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    Default Re: Fixing out of round brass snare - HELP!

    Quote Originally Posted by late8 View Post
    Found this:

    "You could take the heads and rims off and measure across all around the drum at and in between the lugs.

    The section that is out of round should show up. Mark the area with a piece of tape. Set the drum on it's side with the tape pointing up then turn the drum so the tape now points straight out in front of
    you.

    Now put your hand palm down on the drum and press down. Do this on carpet or a thick pad. Go slow and check your progress by fitting a head on the shell. Perfection will be very hard to achieve but you will get it very close. Remember the key is to GO SLOW and keep checking the shell."


    Good luck!
    Yep, that's what I would do, LOL.
    -Brian

    "Too many crappy used drum stuff to list"

    Play the SONG......not the DRUMS!!!

    "I think that feeling is a lot more important than technique. It's all very well doing a triple paradiddle - but who's going to know you've done it? If you play technically you sound like everybody else. It's being original that counts." ~ John Bonham

  12. #12

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    Default Re: Fixing out of round brass snare - HELP!

    Quote Originally Posted by G-man View Post
    It's a first rate drum shop. They'll take care of you well.
    Agreed.
    I lived in Columbus for 5 years, and I've been going to the shop once every three months since I moved away 10 years ago, so I'm familiar with how well those guys treat their customers. I've never had anything repaired there, but I'm sure that attitude must transfer to that department.

    Quote Originally Posted by slinky View Post
    Pretty drum, makes you wonder how that can happen. I'd be a little concerned having just anybody working on it though. Seems like a hard fix and probably costly. I'd probably just end up playing it the way it is.
    I have played it a bunch, and I think it sounds good, but I have this nagging feeling it would sound better repaired. It would probably only be a small improvement, so I'm torn.

    Quote Originally Posted by N2Bluz View Post
    I know what I'd do, but I'd never recommend it to someone else, LOL. My formal advice is to take it to the drum shop, let them inspect it and give you an estimate for repair. Who knows...they may take it in the back room, out of sight, and do what I would, LOL.
    Quite right. I'm sure they would estimate it quickly and for free, so what do I have to loose?

    Quote Originally Posted by kay-gee View Post
    I believe I know how this happens. I had similar experience. The culprit is an out of round die cast hoop. (a simple fall can knock it out and unlike a regular triple flange hoop, it can't be put back into round) The tensile strength of the hoop will eventually pull the shell out of round. I see in the pick that the die cast hoops have be traded out for for triple flange.

    all the best...
    BINGO! When I got it, there were these crazy, super-heavy black die cast aftermarket hoops on it that are not completely round. I feel stupid now for not realizing they warped the shell and not the other way around. I wonder if the original owner even realized until it was too late. The daughter had the triple flange rims that are currently on the drum laying around and I think those are the originals.

    I wonder if I could reverse the process...get some new die cast hoops that I'm sure are round and force them onto the drum and just let it sit for awhile.

    Quote Originally Posted by SpazApproved View Post
    I would also caution attempting this without knowledge or experience.
    You can quickly make it worse than better.
    Agreed. That's why I have been sitting on it for a year+ now. I'm scared of ruining it.

    Quote Originally Posted by late8 View Post
    Found this:

    "You could take the heads and rims off and measure across all around the drum at and in between the lugs.

    The section that is out of round should show up. Mark the area with a piece of tape. Set the drum on it's side with the tape pointing up then turn the drum so the tape now points straight out in front of
    you.

    Now put your hand palm down on the drum and press down. Do this on carpet or a thick pad. Go slow and check your progress by fitting a head on the shell. Perfection will be very hard to achieve but you will get it very close. Remember the key is to GO SLOW and keep checking the shell."


    Good luck!
    In spite of some very good reasons not to, I'm really temped to try this. I was definitely not going to go at it with a hammer or mallet, but this seems a little safer. I'm conflicted now.


    Thanks a lot gentlemen for all of the great input and suggestions. They have given me much to consider. I'll attempt to document whatever I decide to do.

  13. #13

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    Default Re: Fixing out of round brass snare - HELP!

    Quote Originally Posted by Redeye View Post
    I'm really temped to try this.
    It's that "try" word that bothers me. If it's not working (or making it worse) when would you know to stop?

  14. #14

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    Default Re: Fixing out of round brass snare - HELP!

    If I were in this position I would definitely see what the shop thinks then ask either the manufacturer or someone with a lot of experience in the area (Greg Keplinger comes to mind) what their thoughts are.

    Off the top of my head you could use something like a hydraulic press or large vice (cushioning the shell with towels of course) to slowly try and bend it back into round.

    You could even make a box frame, like scaffolding around the shell, and put a weight on top- slow, steady pressure overnight or something.

    That's a sticky wicket, though. Best of luck.
    A simple, elegant design is good engineering.

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  15. #15

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    Default Re: Fixing out of round brass snare - HELP!

    Put the cast hoop (that's egg shaped) back on it....except rotate it 90* from the way it was. Let it sit for a week and see if it brings it back closer to round. I have a ton of used 1.6mm hoops and steel bass hoops. Many of them are egg-shaped. I usually set them on edge on the floor with the widest dimension horizontal, put my foot in them, then pull up on the other side with my hands (pulling in the narrowest dimension). After a few tugs, they usually end up pretty close to round.
    Last edited by N2Bluz; 01-18-2017 at 09:38 AM.
    -Brian

    "Too many crappy used drum stuff to list"

    Play the SONG......not the DRUMS!!!

    "I think that feeling is a lot more important than technique. It's all very well doing a triple paradiddle - but who's going to know you've done it? If you play technically you sound like everybody else. It's being original that counts." ~ John Bonham

  16. #16

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    Default Re: Fixing out of round brass snare - HELP!

    Crap - I'm sure I replied to everyone, but it seems to be gone and I can't remember everything I said.

    My plan is to take this drum into Columbus Percussion the next time I am in that area. If they can fix it for $50 or less, I will just let them do it (and see if I can film them fixing it ). If they want more than that, I will reevaluate how badly I want this drum in good condition. Thanks for all the advice gentlemen!

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