Saturday, January 30, 2010

2010 Collecting Goals and Other Info

My collection goals for 2010 are narrow, which reflects the process of collection where one starts out collecting any specimen, then starts focusing on specifics.

My focus this year will be on early 1900s snare drums - nothing later than the mid 1930s. Here is what I will be looking for:

  • Ludwig & Ludwig wood "Tango" drum from the 19-teens through 20s. These drums have single tension lugs and wood hoops. The lugs are not attached to the shells.
  • 1920s Ludwig heavy, two-piece shell in 5x14 with either 6 or 8 lugs.
  • Leedy Elite engraved model. I have always wanted one and my timing has been off everytime one becomes available.
  • An early Leedy wood snare drum with the wood hoops, single tension, floating lugs and overall design similar to the Ludwig & Ludwig that tops this list.
On the custom side I am in the process of collaborating with Kevin Smee of Bowie Custom Drum on a project that will remain under wraps for now. I will hint that it will be based on an 8-ply Keller VSS maple shell, will have a gloss finish, mostly modern parts and modern bearing edges. Those who know me will probably be puzzled by those specifications since I tend to have custom built snare drums made from Vaughncraft single-ply shells, eschew gloss finishes, and almost always specify 30 degree, rounded bearing edges. Ah, the mystery!

One final tidbit of information: Bill Kay, who is a moderator at Cymbalholic, as well as a regular and valued contributor on Drumforum and Ghostnote (the three top drum forums in my opinion), invited my attention to a wood finish called Tried & True Varnish Oil. A little research revealed that this is possibly the one product that would entice me into refinishing some of my vintage wood snare drums. I have been loathe to do so in the past because I did not want to alter the original finish in any dramatic manner. The company also makes another product that intrigues me too: Original Wood Finish. All of the products are "green" in that they are environmentally safe and use natural ingredients. I'll report back after I've tried it. My first candidate will probably be the Ludwig Transition Badge Pioneer.

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