Ludwig Wood Shell Construction
Date Guide
  Shell construction Internal finish Other notes

1960

3-ply Mahogany/poplar/
Mahogany

(Clear lacquer)

Narrow (maple) reinforcement rings

1961

 

White paint
(except for larger, 18" floor toms which were left unfinished)

Shell date-stamping started with red ink in 1956 with comparitively large numbers and letters

1962

    1961 and 1962 stamping were still red, but with slightly smaller characters

1963

    1963 shells can be found with either red or black ink stamps

1964

     

1965

     

1966

1967

     

1968

Beginning in September / October 1968; most shells were made with 3-ply Maple / Poplar / Maple Change back to natural finish interior except for the Standard series which changed directly from white paint to granitone The white diagonal line in this photo is the pearl covering. Up until 1969 the covering was applied to the shell while the wood was still flat, and the covering was "lapped" into the shell. This made for a less perfect round shell, but prevented problems with the finish pulling off.

1969

     

1970

Through the 1970s mahogany was occasionally still used internally or externally. (Most commonly on large floor toms and large bass drums.) Nearly all shells began to receive interior granitone paint  

1976

Beginning in 1976, the Classic series was made with new molds and a new construction; small (6" and 8") toms were 4-ply and larger drums were 6-ply maple & poplar, with no reinforcement rings. These shells were not only stronger but less expensive to make. The interior was a clear-coated natural finish.

1978

The 1978 Combo series was made with old 3-ply shells until they were used up; the inside was sprayed with granitone.

1982

Standard series; Snare and tom-toms "Select 4-ply diamond wood shells", Bass drums 6-ply.

1984


Rocker: "Select American wood veneers" 4-ply, maple interior

Rocker II: Same shells as the Rocker, sealed inside with a brownish speckled "Lud-Cote" finish.

1988

Super Classic: 4-ply for all sizes; lighter in weight, billed as having "clean, resonant sound"
(same price)
(Offered as an option; the Classic shells were still catalogued, described as producing a "deep, powerful" sound)

1994

Rocker "9-ply cross-laminated veneers with a maple inner ply"

1998

Classic 9-ply maple approx 6mm, all maple
Rocker Pro: 7-ply, Birch & Italian poplar, 7mm
Rocker Elite: 5-ply, Maple inner and outer plies

2001

Rocker Elite: Maple inside, basswood outside 8-ply 8mm
Rocker: Basswood inside, Luan outside, 8-ply, 8.1mm
Accent: Phillippine Juniper inside, mahogany outside, 7-ply, 7.2mm
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