Notice the placement of the tube lugs

Drum Building 101 – The Pros and Cons of Tube Lugs

In Drum Building 101, Drum Building Resources, Drum Building Tutorials, Drums, General Updates by Philip2 Comments

Using Tube Lugs on Your Drums

Tube lugs seem to be the lug of choice for most “custom” drum companies and for good reasons – they look great on any drum and are usually made out of solid brass which makes them very durable. There is however some characteristics about tube lugs that could make them difficult to work with for the amateur drum builder. You may have noticed that many lugs have an insert inside the lug that can move around slightly to accept the tension rod. Tube lugs do not have this move-able insert so your drilling must be precise.

slingerland lug copy


Have Extra Gaskets on Hand

Also, when you use tube lugs it is a good idea to grab some extra rubber gaskets or nylon washers/spacers to put in between the lug and the shell. They will come in handy if you install your lugs only to find out that the lug doesn’t have enough lift off of the shell for the tension rod to screw in straight. Example:

angled t-rod into tube lug

The tension rod in this picture screws in at an angle (this picture is pretty dramatic because I put a tom lug on a bass drum) which will ruin your lug and your tension rod over time, not to mention it will give you major tuning problems. Also know that you can’t use the same lug on a bass drum as you would on a tom or snare.

Make sure you are working with “bass drum lugs” on the bass drum!

Bass drums need lugs specifically made for bass drums. Bass drum lugs have more “lift” off of the shell than tom or snare lugs because they use larger hoops than a triple flanged or die cast hoop. A best practice when ordering lugs is to talk to your supplier over the phone to discuss exactly what you need and make sure that whatever they supply you with will work for your drum. Learn more about how to make your very own custom drum or custom drum set by signing up for our email list.

Questions? Comments? As always feel free to leave a comment and I’ll do my best to answer any questions you might have!


  1. Is it normal for the bottom head resonant snare to loose tention when loosing batter head when removing it that because the connected tube lug are pulling because they’re in the same shell even though separate inside. I’m thinking having separate tubes lugs would be better to eliminate that issue. Or is this my imagination? ?

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