In Search of the Missing Fundamental: by Richard K. Jones
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Rulon Tape

Using Rulon Tape as a Bearing Edge on Timpani

The author has used 1 inch Rulon tape (a PTFE derivative) as a lip surface on drums with wide rounded lips with great success. Rulon tape is a few mils thicker than the traditional Teflon tape used by some professional timpanists. The “wide-lipped” drums are excellent for producing a period sound with slightly less resonance and sustain than “thin-lipped” instruments, yet they yield a prominent principal tone. (see The Bearing Edge) Rulon is a PTFE based material which works very well as a bearing edge. The following video is a demonstration of how to prepare a timpano bowl to receive Rulon Tape on the bearing edge and to apply aerosol PTFE spray.

N.B. Adding any type of material to the bearing edge of a copper timpano bowl has the potential to reduce its thermal mass at the points of contact. Some players purport that using teflon tape of any kind impedes vibrations of the head to a very small degree. The author has experienced no degradation in sound of  drums when using teflon tape on bearing edges.

Rulon tape: CS Hyde Co, IL, USA

Rulon® is a manufactured from skived compounded PTFE Rulon® film material. The RU-Series is often referred to as bearing tape and offers outstanding abrasion and temperature resistance as well as enhanced wear resistance in a PTFE fluoropolymer based material. Both Rulon® tapes have an 8.0 mil. backing thickness and 2.0 mil. of pressure sensitive adhesive for the silicone system and 2.3 mil. of pressure sensitive adhesive for the acrylic system. Color is Raspberry Red. Available in slit rolls in 5 yards or 18 yards.