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Yes! B&B Lugs CAN Be Repaired!


Yes, B&B lugs can be repaired. And since replacements are expensive and virtually unobtainium, this may be the way to go for many.

The process is long and arduous but worth the effort. Lugs with broken tabs will work, as long as at least half the tab is intact. It's a three step process.

Here's what you need:

> 5/8" x 24 #10 zinc plated machine screws and nuts
> Propoxy20 Steel Epoxy Putty
> JB Weld (Quick Dry)
> Lacquer thinner or acetone (lacquer thinner preferred)
> Razor blade
> Grinder or metal file

WARNING! Lacquer Thinner and Acetone are very powerful chemicals. They'll melt some plastics they touch, they are highly flammable, they stink to high heaven, and the fumes are dangerous to your lungs, and brain cells! What's more, they're not good for your hands, either. Work in a well ventilated area! You will use these to clean the putty off of the outside of the lugs.

Step One: Fill the lugs with metal epoxy putty, and use an extra lug nut as a stenciling or embossing tool. (You have to be sure that the lug nut and spring fit properly in place after the putty dries.) Stenciling the lug end creates a shouldered, reinforced bearing area to either side of the nut. This is what strengthens the original design. Note that the amount of putty to use is thicker at the ends of the lug, and is just a light coating through the center of the lug where the spring floats.

Here's a repairable lug, the lug nut stencil or embossing tool, a replacement screw and a ground nut. Yes, sometimes the nuts need to be altered because of the extremely tight tolerances between the lug nut and tab. Note that I pushed a wad of duct tape through the lug nut. This serves two purposes. (1) It acts as a handle and also helps push excess putty out of the lug hole; (2) It protects the lug threads so that it doesn't become worthless:

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View after step 1, before cementing the nut above the tab of a badly cracked lug:

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Step two: For lugs with broken tabs, you'll need the 5/8" x 24 #10 machine screws and a matching nut to replace the 1/2" x 24 screws. Use JB Weld to fasten the nut in place above the broken tab. The JB Weld is gooier than the steel putty and encircles the nut more efficiently. Use a screw to align everything properly as the assembly dries.

Step Three: Use more epoxy putty to seal in the nut to the shell, which also adds additional strength. Add even more putty (as shown) to reinforce the tabs.

While the putty is drying (about 20 minutes) use a razor blade to scrape the material flat and flush with the lug edges. To me, this was the most fun part because, at this point, the lug looks and feel hefty, strong and svelte--if not a bit of an ugly duckling inside!

IMPORTANT! Between all steps, you want to check that the lug nuts and springs assemble [sign in to see URL] the lug is toast.

Two finished lugs. The lighter gray area shows where the razor blade smoothed the surface:

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When you're done, viewing from the outside, it's nearly impossible to see the old cracks. I believe that the lugs are stronger this way than as factory originals. I even reinforced the good lugs prior to rebuilding the drums. I hesitated at this point, but thought, screw it, I want to play these babies, and I don't want a lug snapping off when I need it most.

Here are some samples of the finished product:

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As a side note, these are more of the restoration products I use. More info on a different thread:

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Last edited by tommykat1, 4/19/2008, 11:43 am
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Re: Yes! B&B Lugs CAN Be Repaired!


You are on to something BIG here. Good Show!!! emoticon
4/18/2008, 6:07 pm Link to this post Send Email to rogerwdowns   Send PM to rogerwdowns
 
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Re: Yes! B&B Lugs CAN Be Repaired!


Thanks for your info on B&B Lugs.

I've been using a process very similar to yours on my project.

Instead of using a regular nut, I've been using a speed nut which easily slips over any broken tabs. I then use putty to get them in place and cold weld to later get them stronger. If any weld makes them too thick, I just file it down.

As you say, it's a slow process, but so far I've gotten a snare and bass together, and they sound great!!
4/21/2008, 9:24 am Link to this post Send Email to mhdrummer   Send PM to mhdrummer
 
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Re: Yes! B&B Lugs CAN Be Repaired!


Mhdrummer, hadn't thought about a speed nut, but this would be a heckuva lot easier, and probably stronger. Great idea! Definately looks like some filing would need to be done.

Here's a link for anyone interested:

]Speed Nuts


Last edited by tommykat1, 4/21/2008, 12:06 pm
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Re: Yes! B&B Lugs CAN Be Repaired!


Actually the Speed Nuts I have used are the U-shaped ones. They slip right over the broken tab. With using those, there is very little if any filing needed.
I usually cold weld them in stages so that the U-Speed Nuts are fully in place before I fill in the sides. I also make sure the Speed Nuts are in the correct position for putting the lug back on the drum.
The only other thing I do is put clamps on the cracked lugs. It helps keep them together better. A couple I have put gently in a padded vise to get them back to their original shape.
4/22/2008, 2:56 pm Link to this post Send Email to mhdrummer   Send PM to mhdrummer
 
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Re: Yes! B&B Lugs CAN Be Repaired!


I tried the vice trick and had difficulty getting the lug to stay tight without distorting it. That brass is so darn soft. Also, lining up the vice in the right spot made it difficult for me to fit into the contortions needed to work the stencil apparatus.

Re the Speednut: I've been re-thinking this, and it would appear that after the nut is clamped onto the tab, the depth would be increased, causing the bottom part of the nut to grind its way into the shell...?
4/22/2008, 8:17 pm Link to this post Send Email to tommykat1   Send PM to tommykat1
 
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Re: Yes! B&B Lugs CAN Be Repaired!


Great ideas, I love it.
mhdrummer, can I just check that when you say "U" shaped nut , you are talking about the second item on Tommykat1's link.
Also, what is cold welding?
Thanks
Alan
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Re: Yes! B&B Lugs CAN Be Repaired!


Nutbox, I don't think my link went far enough. Here's the "U" Fastener. It would certainly be easier using these, but they might distort the shell. It also may not matter, except for the ultra-anal!

Fastener


Last edited by tommykat1, 4/23/2008, 1:45 pm
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Re: Yes! B&B Lugs CAN Be Repaired!


Cold weld is an epoxy two part mix,such as JB weld. Perfect for small metal repairs when no heat can be used. Like gas tank repairs or little brass drum parts! emoticon
4/23/2008, 6:43 pm Link to this post Send Email to rogerwdowns   Send PM to rogerwdowns
 
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Re: Yes! B&B Lugs CAN Be Repaired!


The Propoxy20 is also a two step process and MUCH stronger than the JBWeld. It comes in a cylindrical tube and is kind of like a jelly roll. The hardener is in the center, and the epoxy surrounds it. You slice off a chunk, and knead it in your hands. It is like putty and can be modeled like clay. Hardens in 20 minutes, so you have time to get it into and around the lug.

The JBWeld is more like a classic epoxy that will pool. It is difficult to load into the lugs without the pooling effect, and it also is just not that strong. I only use it to attach the nut, because it forms a tighter bond around the nut, and it dries in five minutes. Then I use another batch of the Propoxy20 to seal it all in.

Long process, but very fulfilling. I play my Stew McGoo cocktail outfit daily, and the lugs are holding up just fine.
4/23/2008, 11:11 pm Link to this post Send Email to tommykat1   Send PM to tommykat1
 


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