I had to replace the head on the snare of my Wurlitzer Mandolin PianOrchestra Model 33A. I soaked the new split rawhide blank in warm water, which allowed it to stretch a bit.
Look at the original carefully as you take it apart; you might have to take out a pie-shape section to see how it was originally wrapped. You will see the open edge wrapped over the top of the hoop, down the outside, returned across the bottom back up on the inside, then squeezed between the top of the hoop and the underside of the skin and returned over to the outside of the hoop between it and the skin.
You will probably have to use a few, light spring clamps to hold one side on as you do the alternate sides. It seems impossible but it can be done -- I know, first hand!
Once you have it completely wrapped, keep trying to get rid of any slack by pushing it over the last edge from top to outside, under the side skin. When you are satisfied you have gotten it as tight as you can, put it aside to dry for a day or so. It doesn't have to be as "tight as a drum", just so it's not floppy. When the skin dries, it shrinks and tightens itself. After all, you take out the extra little bit of slack as you tension the head. See attached section diagram for a wrapping view. Hope this helps.
Syosset, New York
Date: Fri, 19 May 2006 00:18:17 -0400