Let's look at a piece of common snare cable, 5/64" 7X7. 5/64" measures 0.078125 inches. 7X7 means it's made of 7 strands, with 7 pieces per strand, that's 6 strands wrapped around 1 center strand. If we take 7 round (identical) objects and squeeze them together, any way you measure it, you should have 3 (objects) in a row at the widest place. Let's take 0.078125 divided by 3=0.026042 inches, that's one strand's diameter, that strand is 7 pieces of galvanized wire. 0.026042" divided by 3=0.008681". A dollar bill is 0.003" thick. I think most folks will agree, you don't have much galvanize coating on a piece of wire 0.009" thick. (I'm rounding #'s up)
I'm sure my baking soda solution was a lot more than 1/4 cup per gallon, if we can make it too concentrated, that tells me that the soda is actually "eating" the galvanize.
One way we might be able to finish this thread, if a couple of you guys have "old" snares that have been boiled in baking soda, would cut off 2 or 3 inches and unroll the strands of the cable and examine the individual pieces, and give us your findings.
(pm me your address, i'll mail you a new ferrule