Tag: Slingerland

Slingerland timp (part 2) (Job No: 1247)

The first part of this post can be read in 1247: Slingerland timp (part 1), in which the base casting was overhauled.

Now the casting is back from being welded and has been painted and re-assembled.  The leg wobble has been corrected with larger bolts and spacers to ensure a tight fit.  I replaced the link bar between the two legs with a solid strip of steel so they cannot become untied whilst the drum is being moved.


With everything reassembled it is just a matter of putting on a new drum head…

However, the drum head didn’t fit the counter hoop!  The cause of the problem (and two and half hours of my life being wasted) is because Slingerland made the hoop on the small side, and Ludwig mad the head on the big side.

I learnt at school that if you multiply the diametre of a circle by pi you get the circumference.  Now I work with circles all the time, and I know that pi equals 3.14159 off the top of my head (it is actually a lot, lot longer, but to 5 decimal places is good enough for me!), but many calculators have a button marked π.  So why is it seemingly impossible for major manufacturers to make a circle of the correct diametre?

So first I have to make as much room inside the counter hoop as possible by planishing the rivets that hold the lugs on as flat as I can.


Then I have to squeeze the head in mechanically, and use a hammer and block to seat it against the surface of the hoop so it sits flat on the drum.  Just look how tight it is:


For me this is just another example of how so many instruments are made by people who don’t understand how important these supossedly minor details are to the overall quality of the sound.  If a drum head is too tight in the counterhoop it chokes the sound.  As it happens I got the drum to sound great, which took a few tricks, but was an unexpected surprise (and a releif!)


Slingerland Timpani (part 1) (Job No: 1247)


Looking at the picture above I have a song running through my head, “Oh, what shall we do with the drunken sailor?”  Those stupid little bars to join the legs together, they will go in the bin!

When I overhaul a set of timps, there is a lot of work involved over a period of days or even weeks. My approach is to fix everything properly; I am after all a professional and that is what I am being paid to do. However not everyone is as conscientious, and in the end, you get what you pay for. So when I work on timpani, I am fixing problems associated with wear and tear, and the dogs dinner that the previous person made of the job. The posts on timpani pick out examples of problems I encounter, rather than me writing, and you reading the same thing every time I do a set of timpani (which is why I have coloured this bit blue).

So before I get to the legs, I have to decide whether I need to raise the toe.


In this case it is evident that the toe does need to come up a lot.  That is level, and the adjustable casters are at their lowest position.  With that decision made I can look at the legs.

What I did notice is how badly the castings were cleaned up (or not).


Working on the mechanism is difficult because everything is riveted together, so these have to come out in order for the parts to be cleaned, inspected, etc.

This post continues in 1247: Slingerland timp (pt 2)