One Million Pound Drum Kit
Restoration: Bass Drum

John and Carol Summer 2010.


John had taken off the front hoop, like a lot of us did in the 70s, and lost it, along with the tension rods and claws.

For Bonham's auction we had found replacements, but the front hoop lacked Red Sparkle inlay.
The kit came with a full set of cases some of which still had DC5 painted on them.
The bass drum with its original parts.
John told me that when he received the kit the heads had been played. He replaced a few but he doesn’t remember which ones. There are a lot of old heads on this kit.
 
There are various sites of damage inside the shell where something (lighting) has been secured.
Same damage viewed from the outside. The holes have been made by small screws from the inside or by something like a bradawl.
One of the collet nose/wing assemblies (that big wing nut thingy) on the bass drum spurs (legs) is of American manufacture. Someone must have lost the original and got a replacement when they were in the US.
Some of the lugs (AKA nutboxes) had cracked. These are made from pressed/drawn brass and are known for a tendency to cracking. Seven lugs needed to be replaced. Many of the tension rods and claws had seen a hard life too, and I replaced many from my stash accumulated over the years.
Both of the collets on the top of the bass drum which receive the tom tom arms have distorted the collet plates on which they sit, likely as a result of the leverage that the mounted toms have exert on the collets.
The plates in turn have transmitted these forces to the shell. There is the beginning of some very slight distortion to the shell.

The fitting of the collet plates inside the drum is unusually untidy for an English Rogers. Makes you wonder if it was done in a hurry.

Every other English Rogers bass drum I have seen has had a reinforcement plate where a tom is mounted on the bass drum. Like this one…………….
The distortion to the plates can be seen clearly when removed.
 
I’m sure that there is a lot of life left in this setup but if I gig this kit I would use a separate floor stand for the two toms. I left the original collet plates in place rather than replace them. I don’t expect to use them
The reason for the distortion of the collets and plates becomes clear when the drums are set up as DC had them.
It is testimony to the quality of the brazing that the joints have not cracked.

 

 

This bending/distortion can be seen to be present when the drums were presented to Carol and John.

 

 

 

 

 

 
Like-wise the two non-Rogers chrome-headed bolts which can also be seen in the photo of DC presenting the drums to Carol and John. The bolts were held in place by some glue and easily came away from the shell.
Seen from the inside these look they could have been bolts securing a transformer or something similar. The holes drilled in the shell do not look professionally done. These birch shells are very prone to "breakout" or splintering and require support from the back if holes are drilled.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Years of build up of dirt.
Stripped and ready for a clean.
The original bass drum hoop is made of solid beech. Boosey & Hawkes who made the drums would also use laminated birch. The replacement I found has the same profile as the original but is of the birch variety.
The original hoop had grey/silver paint under the black.
The scarf joint on the original hoop had started to come apart and there were various bits of damage that you find on bass hoops. Glue and filler to the rescue.
The Red Sparkle inlay for the “new” front hoop came from ST Drums in Germany and is an extremely good match for the original. The sparkle in these wraps is achieved by using flakes of aluminium foil. The flakes in the new inlay are slightly smaller than the original wrap, but you would need your specs. on to tell.
I had found an Ajax bass drum anchor, of the sort that was fitted on the original front hoop that John had lost (marked on photo) last year on ebay. I had bought it because I have an Ajax Nu-Sound kit which originally had one. I diverted it to this project - another blow to the stash.
 
It didn’t turn out too bad. Looks similar to the one below, wouldn’t you say?