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Registered: 10-2018
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Cutting Bearing Edges on my 12" & 13" Swivos, They were HORRIBLE !!!

Why and how I cut my Roger Bearing edges.

OK for all of the people who say that Rogers is the best of the best..... ok... maybe

If you have [sign in to see URL]. You will need to take a pill.
At first I was proud of my Rogers Drums...
And then I started to hate them
And now I look forward to each time I get to kick a bands' butt.

I have owned my late near perfect GORGEOUS 1960s Red Onyx Holidays since 1973ish...
And honestly the toms were very limited.
As a rock, big band and wedding band player in the 1980s the drums were certainly very LOUD with pinstripes pulled tight.

But in the recording studio..... nope... we could NEVER get them to sound pretty. And "In the mic" all of the "un-tunables" couldn't hide behind the volume of a loud band.

And I went years questioning my own ears and my ability to tune my toms..
And then a few years ago.. (2014ish) I sat in with a blues band and played a set of Yamaha Custom Oaks with Renaissance (yellow frosted tinted heads) .

[sign in to see URL]...

And what the hell !!! Weckle goes... HEY tuning is easy.... just put a head on.... tighten em up like this and BAM !!! I'm Weckle... and my drums ....they sound like WECKLE TOOOO.... dammit

And then I HATED my Rogers Toms and started on the quest.

And I learned about
1) the simple steps to check the bearing edges for level , flatness and consistency.

2) Some tom mounts can kill/choke tone.

(BY the way I was a piano tuner for over 20 years so I have (HAD) ears and some woodworking chops.

FIRST I experimented with the the mount vs choking the tone. (Look up the you tube videos on the RIMMS Floating Mounts.
Compare the tone of your toms mounted on to the Swivo ( your tom mount) and then take the tom off the mount and just hold the drum by the rim and play it.
I heard a LOT more sustain when I was holding the tom rim between my fingers.
So I bought a 12" and a 13" RIMMS on ebay that came with Yamaha Yess Hex Brackets. ( GUESS what can attach directly to a swivo ball and socket hex rod !)

So the toms had more sustain but they still sounded like wild little un-tunable brats.

While installing new heads... JUST as the head started to snug up (and get rid of the wrinkles) (tension), some areas of the head (Around the rim) started to sing but other areas sounded flabby and like dead paper. Some ares around the rim were trying to sing but other areas were WAY [sign in to see URL] then as I started snugging up the tension to get rid of the flabby.... now parts of the head were choking as they were too [sign in to see URL]

And I'm still hearing the Yamaha Custom Oaks in my head and I'm not even CLOSE.

So, referring back to YouTube and "How to check your bearing edges" and then "How to flatten, true and CUT" the bearing edges...

1) my 13" tom bearing edges were bad
2) my 12" tom bearing edges (especially the batter side) were HORRIBLE.

NONE of the edges were flat and the 12" batter side bearing had 16th inch dips and waves. These were the original edges ( I assume) because the grey speckled paint went all the way to and on to the bearing contact surface. To be polite, these drums were "Factory seconds", like maybe the new guy was learning.

AND.... on the reso end of the 12"... the re-ring had started to de-laminate right at its overlap seam. OK ... so I have woodworking chops and tools.
Although there are MANY GREAT wood glues my Go-To glues are a) Elmer's Yellow Wood Glue for most softer woods... OR b) for very hard and dense wood (Like maple) where a lot of structural integrity is required ( Like a piano bridge) ... ( they split) A GREAT glue is "West System Epoxy"
West System Epoxy is a two part "A" & "B"mix and the "B" part (the hardener) comes in different versions for slower or faster curing times. And when I repaired piano bridges I would select the "Very slow cure" hardener, which starts to firm up in maybe 15 or 20 minutes, but doesn't REALLY cure/harden for as much as 24 hours. This is good because while it hasn't yet cured, its still creeping deeper into the wood. And you NEED that CREEP time to get the glue INTO the dense maple, so that the bond is really complete .

Did we mention what the maple re-rings are made of?

There is an opposing concern that the glue soaking into the wood might change the tone. I have no idea how much that might actually change the tone. But for the re-ring repair I used a TOTAL of a Gnats, Gnats behind of West system. Look it up ... that's a real scientific unit of measure... newtons, dynes, and gnats butt.
 And of course I clamped the re-ring and then started working on the 13" bearing edges to give the 12" re-ring time to cure.

(for both the 12" and the 13" all of the following applied...)

So THEN with my router, I cut, then flattened/trued on the big flat sanding table and then re-cut the bearing edges. (45 degree inside with a peak just over where the re-enforcing ring mates to the shell)

The biggest, most obvious visual "Proofs" of how wavy and uneven the bearing edges were was, after making the first 45 degree cut to the inside of the 12" batter bearing... there were OBVIOUS "no grey paint"... "lots of grey paint" areas where the router had not yet cut into the the dips in the re-ring side of the bearing edge.... as in... there were low spots in the bearing edge that were SO LOW... it took MULTIPLE passes to start evening out the bearing edge. So I raised the router (Increased the cut) just a little more and cut the whole bearing edge again....... and then a little more. TINY increments.... but I made AT LEAST FOUR CUTS all the way around the drum... just to cut away all of the grey paint. ......BUT !!!..... I have a Porter Cable Router with a 1/2' collet mounted to a stable flat router table and each additional cut was only FRACTIONS of an inch.

And then with a MINIMUM of cutting, a 45 degree cut on the outside of the bearing edge just to assure symmetry.... and then I sanded the apex ( Intersecting top point of the two cuts) first by turning the drum on the big flat sand paper table (look at you tube) to MAKE DAMN SURE the the bearing edge was flat, and then I hand sanded the bearing with 220 and 320 grit sand paper.

Then I realized that the "red onyx wrap" seam overlap was so big (THICK) that it distorted the bearing edge as, while cutting the outer bearing edge on the router table, the router tracked outwards with the wrap seam hump... causing the bearing edge to hump outward [sign in to see URL] I filed the wrap seam hump down to free the drum head. And then I re-cut the bearing edge AGAIN... dont freak we are talking another 1/16" or less of wood cutting.


FINALLY.... new heads..
I wanted Remo Ambassadors but the music store didn't have them in stock... so I bought Evans G3 white frosted and new rims. (Just to take away the possibility of a bent rim)

With all of the above, with the current heads.... FOR THE FIRST TIME ...[sign in to see URL]......... I can actually identify PITCH on all four of the heads of my 12" and 13" toms. Honestly they sound better tuned LOWER with the Evans G3 heads and I tend to hear them as high floor toms. They sound "Nice" tuned "higher", but tuned slightly lower, they sound like they are waiting for a date in a recording studio. They aren't "PERFECT" and a small moon-jell thing helps ...especially in small rooms.

I have had the G3s on for about 6 months now so I have an excuse for getting new batter heads. These heads sound fine but I really want to know what the drums will sound like with clear Ambassadors. I'm hoping for a slighter wider or at least higher tuning range.

I also cut the bearing edges on my matching 16x16 floor tom and it does currently have Ambassadors. THAT DAMN THING IS A CANNON! Marshall amplifiers run and hide !

Yes I was afraid to do the job, but I HATED my Rogers Toms.
They weren't tunable and didn't have the tuning range or tone of many other drums I had played. BUT THEY WERE ROGERS. ????
And yes I hated cutting away some of the drum because "Now they Aren't Original" and they dont have the gray speckled paint all the way to the top of the re-ring.

BUT .....
1) They sounded like crap and I was never "Proud" of their sound.
2) Now they sound great
3) I love 'em
4) Would I do it again?.... slam dunk

The End
Sorry that took so long.

Rogers Red Onyx 1969ish (?) (Machined Collet not cast)
12", 13", 16" 20x14 bass drum. All in near perfect condition.
Minor wear from my 1969 14x6 ludwig rub wear.

Jim T

 took a ton of pics but with my iPhone the pics dont show how bad the bearings were.

If I ever find another ugly bearing edge I might just keep it for comparison.

10/22/2018, 4:43 pm Link to this post Send Email to jimthedrummer   Send PM to jimthedrummer Blog

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