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  1. Ew, is that a snake?

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    Default Re-Wrapping my 1970's Pearl Fiberglass Kit for $45- PICS!

    A few weeks ago, I posted photos of the Pearl Fiberglass kit I scored on Craigslist for $100. What the photos didn't show was the terrible shape of the wrap finish. The metallic orange wrap was not only rippled around the heads on all 4 drums, but ripped and cracked in spots on the 13" tom and the 16" tom. I made the executive decision to rewrap them.



    I wanted to redo at least the 13, 16, and 22" shells in some sort of sparkle or glass glitter. The only problem- who wants to pay $250 for sparkle drum wrap for a $100 kit? After some searching, I found a couple places to buy Mylar film, but ater taking a test sheet and wrapping a spare shell with it, I found the material to be so thin that the finish was bumpy and scrached/ripped easily when I bumped the shell against things. Let's face it- a gigging drumset has to stand up to a little abuse!

    Here's the naked shell after removing the finish. Thank you Pearl for not gluing your wraps to the shell. Fiberglass shells are amazingly clean and round, very precise compared to any other Japanese kit I've seen from the 1970's.



    So... My g/f who is loves working with fabric suggested I check out a fabric store for thicker vinyl wrap. Oregon has a few big fabric warehouses and after a bit of searching, I found the perfect material. It's sturdy vinyl wrap available in a multitude of different sparkle finishes with a thin layer of fabric on the back, usually used to upholster barstools and booths in 50's diners. The material is about 1-1.5mm thick, about twice as thick as regular wrap, which means on my finished drums, all Aquarian heads would be out of the question.

    I bought 2 yards of wrap, which is 70"X54", more than enough to do my whole kit. Total cost for the wrap, $38 or $19 a yard. What a deal! Add in a bottle of 3M spray adhesive and the total came to $45 for the materials.

    Here's a piece of that wrap with a square turned upside down to show the fabric texture. The wrap is a bit squishy whn held in the hand but is very rigid when applied to a hard surface. It has a glossy plastic outer coating that is garunteed scratch and water proof. Looks like clearcoat!



    To re-wrap the drums, I used only a phillips head to remove the lugs, some packing tape to hold the wrap to the shell at the beginning, the afformentioned 3M contact cement which I sprayed both on the shell and the wrap before stretching and sealing, masking tape to cover the lug holes from the inside while spraying the adhesive, and a 30 calibre bullet to poke the holes for the lugs. I chose the bullet because I wanted a gradual punch and found using a nail or a screw driver left jagged bits of the material inside the lug hole. The material is stretchy if poked at, and you can't use a drill becasue it's still partially fabric and could twist.



    Here's the floor tom after gluing and drying. I did a pretty poor job of measuring and cutting the wrap, but it actually tuend out just fine. Because it's stretchy, you can bend the wrap a little bit this way or that to keep it smooth and even as you apply it to the shell. After the whole drum was wrapped, I rolled it back and forth on my wood floors to make sure the glue set in well, then rubbed the whole surface down with a cloth to make sure where were no bubbles.



    Here are the two toms. The 13" tom has a big hole for the tom arm that I just ignored and wrapped over. I was thinking about gluing a bit of wood in the hole and sanding, but I wasn't sure how that would work with the fiberglass shell.



    Finally, here's a close-up of the tom. The sparkle is really shiny, reacts beautifully to light, and looks even more vivid than the actual sparkle drum wrap on one of my snare drums. Once the glue sets, this wrap feels and looks exactly like regular sparkle drum wrap. After playing the toms a bit with a coated Emperor on the 13" and an Evans Hydraulic on the 16", I can't tell a tonal difference so I don't think the fabric wrap dampens the drum's vibration ability, esp. with the wrap glued. All in all, you just can't beat the price, and the final product looks really great!

    Last edited by barjack; 03-24-2010 at 10:29 AM.

  2. Registered User

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    WOW
    That looks really good.


  3. Registered User

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    I wouldn't be able to do that myself. I love the new finish. Good job.

  4. Ew, is that a snake?

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    Quote Originally Posted by pdfnick View Post
    I wouldn't be able to do that myself. I love the new finish. Good job.
    You totally could! I'm really A.D.D. and have trouble waiting for things to dry, taking the time to measure things, etc... and the 2 drums in the pic only took 20-30 minutes total. Super simple!

  5. Registered User

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    Wow man. That looks awesome. I'm very impressed.

    You wouldn't happen to have any links to some suppliers for that style fabric would you ? That price can't be beat, and I've been looking around for something like that for my Slingerlands and old Export kit.

    Again, fantastic job. They look excellent. Well done.
    Quote Originally Posted by ttaM View Post
    jamfelt is a way of life. it's its own culture.

  6. Ew, is that a snake?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tay View Post
    Wow man. That looks awesome. I'm very impressed.

    You wouldn't happen to have any links to some suppliers for that style fabric would you ? That price can't be beat, and I've been looking around for something like that for my Slingerlands and old Export kit.

    Again, fantastic job. They look excellent. Well done.
    Thanks! The material I used was a product called "Sparkel". I bought it from the Mill End Store here in Portland, Or for $18.99 a yard. It's also availabe from the Fabric Depot in Portland for around that same price, though they have less color options. Both stores will ship. Mill End Store is now sold out of the grey sparkle thanks to me, but they have red, dark wine, black, turquoise, dark blue, pink, and purple in the sparkle finish as well. You should find the largest fabric store in your town and check out the home decoration section. Every store I've been in here has at least one swatch of this vinyl, usualyl in red sparkle, so I bet you could find some locally as long as you have a fabric store Walgreens-size or bigger. Most towns do. There are a few different brands apparently, so you can just call your local store and ask if they have "sparkle vinyl wrap, the type usually used to upholster bar stools".

    2 yards of the fabric will do a standard 4-piece 12/13/16/22 kit. A 22" bass drum needs 71" of fabric to fully wrap with a good seam, so it's imperative to buy 2 full yards of uncut fabric to get a solid single wrap. The wrap is 54" long so you'll have plenty of wrap for power toms or jazz sizes alike. A 16" wide bass drum or floor tom needs 15.25" of wrap or so.

    EDIT: One more thing about wrapping drums with cloth or vinyl... Because of the thickness, you can't afford to overlap the fabric very much. I start the wrap right before a set of lug holes and end the wrap with an inch of overlap so the lugs fit perfectly on the overwrap section, no more and no less. Also, this material can't really be sanded at the bearing edge, but you can use an Xacto knife to bevel it and make it easier to slide heads on and off. Remo and Evans heads both fit snugly, I've tested Ambassadors, Emperors, G1's, G2's, EC2's, and a Hydraulic. Unfortuantly, Aquarian heads WILL NOT FIT my kit and will probably not fit yours. They're just too tight as it is without the extra 2mm shell thickness.

    I put some heads on both toms and tested them both with full tension overnight just to make sure the finish didn't ripple or get loose from the pressue. It held tight.
    Last edited by barjack; 03-24-2010 at 02:32 PM.

  7. Abomination of desolation

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    Looks great!Nce job!Rep
    Beneath a summer sky
    Under glass moonlight
    Night awaits the lamb's arrival
    Liquid shadows crawl
    Silver teardrops fall
    The bride subsides to her survival

    Ref Crystal Rain Army!!!

  8. Registered User

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    wow that looks very nice!

    good job!

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    Nicely done! I'd be curious to see how the fabric holds up over time and whether it expands or buckles in higher temperature settings, but it certainly can't be beat for the price.
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  10. Ew, is that a snake?

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    Here are some photos of the completed shells set up. The wrap is holding really tight with the exception of the wrap I cut for the metal hoop inlay (the adhesive didn't stick well to the chrome). I'm planning on buying some natural maple hoops anyway. The 13x7" snare was originally a Ddrum I think, I found the shell at Goodwill and refinished/rebuilt it.






  11. Registered User

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    Default

    That looks amazing, great work man.

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