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MMD > Archives > May 2006 > 2006.05.19 > 03Prev  Next

Replacing a Drum Skin
By Walt Kehoe

[ Larry Emmons wrote to Walt:

> Hi Walter,  I appreciate your message.  But unfortunately these
> 95-year old skins are too old and too damaged to save.  The snare
> head is totally split down the middle and the bass has a crack about
> one inch long creeping into the stretched surface.  One of the great
> things about this hobby is that we are always learning something by
> solving the challenges involved!

I had to replace the head on the snare of my Wurlitzer Mandolin
PianOrchestra Model 33A.  I soaked the new split rawhide blank in
warm water, which allowed it to stretch a bit.

Look at the original carefully as you take it apart; you might have
to take out a pie-shape section to see how it was originally wrapped.
You will see the open edge wrapped over the top of the hoop, down
the outside, returned across the bottom back up on the inside, then
squeezed between the top of the hoop and the underside of the skin
and returned over to the outside of the hoop between it and the skin.

You will probably have to use a few, light spring clamps to hold one
side on as you do the alternate sides.  It seems impossible but it
can be done -- I know, first hand!

Once you have it completely wrapped, keep trying to get rid of any
slack by pushing it over the last edge from top to outside, under the
side skin.  When you are satisfied you have gotten it as tight as you
can, put it aside to dry for a day or so.  It doesn't have to be as
"tight as a drum", just so it's not floppy.  When the skin dries, it
shrinks and tightens itself.  After all, you take out the extra little
bit of slack as you tension the head.  See attached section diagram
for a wrapping view.  Hope this helps.

Walter Kehoe
Syosset, New York

 [ Thanks, Walt.  I'll place your article and the sketch at
 [ under "Percussion".
 [ -- Robbie

(Message sent Fri 19 May 2006, 04:18:17 GMT, from time zone GMT-0400.)

Key Words in Subject:  Drum, Replacing, Skin

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