2012 Lawton Drum Company

Enhance Collectability of drum

Q: Which will enhance the collectability of a drum with badly worn or pitted lugs; finding identical replacement lugs in better condition, or rechroming the original ones?

A: When we talk about "enhancing the collectability" of a vintage drum, we generally want to make the drum look and sound as good as possible, while still maintaining it's originality. If the drum in question would be a mid 1960's Ludwig Jazz Festival, with badly pitted lugs, it would probably be best to find replacement lugs in good condition, provided they were from the same era, but, you should hold on to the original lugs just in case you want to put the drum back in original condition some day. As for rechroming, if the lugs are badly scratched or pitted, the imperfections and flaws are in the metal, and possible would still be noticeable under the new chrome, giving it that replated look. The other thing to consider is that rechroming a lug is refinishing that lug, and if we think of the original finish on the lug in the same way we do about the original finish of the drum shell itself, we'd be better off using era-correct lugs with their original chrome finish. Of course, there are exceptions to this line of thought. Suppose that jazz Festival in question belonged to someone famous, like Ringo, or someone with historical significance, then, it would be best to leave well enough alone, and keep it as original as possible, regardless of any cosmetic imperfections. I think that in years to come, we'll probably look at vintage drums much the same way antique dealers look at antiques, and accept the scratches & pitting, along with the fading and discoloration of pearl finishes as "proof-of-age" instead of imperfections that need to be corrected.