Introduction: Fix Broken Drum With New Lugs
I had two broken drum lugs on my floor tom and wanted to replace them. Due to the fact that I only play recreationally, I wasn't going to drop too much money into buying new ones. Also I play with silencers over the drum heads so tuning isn't very important, so I decided to make my own.
- Hardwood 3/4" thick (I used Alder)
- #10-32 x 2" Bolts and Nuts (Price less than $1.50)
- #8-32 x 1" Bolts and Nuts (Price less than $1.50)
- Drill Press
- Time: About an hour without staining and sealing
Step 1: Cutting the Pieces
The blocks you will want to cut if you are following my style of lugs are as shown in the below pictures:
- 18mm x 51mm x 4mm
- 12mm x 45mm x 16mm
Once you block these out, you want to then cut any raised part on the very top if you want one. I did this, but now I wish I hadn't and just left the top flat. It would have made everything easier in the drilling steps.
The last cut you want to make is the angle cut. I don't know what the exact angle is, all I know is that its 37mm in from one side. So mark it at 37mm and cut to the corner.
Lastly, I sanded the angle cut on a sanding block, because it was a little wobbly. I cut it by hand instead of using an angled miter.
Step 2: Glue the Parts Together
Next, glue the parts together using some wood glue. Before gluing however, I would suggest that you figure out your placement so that the edges around the sides are equal, then mark it with a pencil. These registration marks will help you line up your glue and, the top when you put it in place. Let the glue sit for 20 minutes, because we will be putting bolts through this, it will have plenty of time to dry when held with the bolts.
Step 3: Drilling the Holes
For the holes, you will have to check what your drum spacing is. Mine was 44mm from the top of the top screw, to the bottom of the bottom screw.
Find the center of your base piece and strike a line down the middle. Next mark where your holes need to go. What I did was take the overall 51mm subtract 44mm for my spacing which told me that I had 7 mm of play. Divide that by 2 and you get 3.5mm in from each side. Again your drum set may be different so I highly suggest that you check your own spacing.
After that drill your holes. When drilling your holes use a bit that is a few sizes down from the screw size. I did this so that the screws were very tight. Because we are not tapping or dying these holes, the screw threads will make their own path.
For the hole in the top part of the lug, I just eyeballed it. I wanted the hole far enough in from the edges, but not so far in that the side screws would cause problems. Also make this hole pretty deep so that you have the ability to adjust your screw greatly.
Make sure you do not poke through with any of these holes or else you will see the ends of your screws and an unsightly hole.
Step 4: Test Fitting and Finishing
I did some test fitting, then decided that I was going to stain these lugs.
After hitting them with some 150 grit sandpaper I put some oak stain on them, and sealed them with Varethane.
Step 5: Bolts and Assembly
For the bolts I took some extra nuts and bottomed them out on the screws this allowed me to use them as spacers. (See Picture)
For the small bolts, this allows you to put in your bolts, and then use the nuts in the reverse direction to put pressure on the inside of the drum shell. (See Picture)
Now all you have to to is put the lugs on your set and enjoy the music.
Step 6: Finished
Once assembled you're ready to play. For less than $3.00 a lug and an hours worth of work, you now have drum lugs that work pretty well. I am pretty happy with this fix for my set, the lugs seem to be holding up pretty well.
The only thing I would do differently is use a harder wood, Alder is hard, but Oak would probably worked even better.
I hope you guys found this useful. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below and I will get back to them as soon as I can.
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