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View Full Version : Dented Brass Sensitone Advice



HiFiBri
11-09-2011, 06:50 PM
I found this 5" x 14" Sensitone lying a church storage room, and asked to take it home to clean it up. The idea is to tune it as a trashy raggae snare with very loose snare tension.

So I get it home, and first thing I notice is the throw-off arm is bent. No big deal, I can straighten that out.
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Then I look closer and see it has a pretty big dent/indentatiion at the fixed side right at the the strainer supports, so it was obviously dropped right on the end sometime.. Looking at the inside, there is s smaller dent vertically along a lug, so probably bounced off that side, lol. Maybe on the throw-off arm end along the way too.

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It's pretty rough, but I'll get it cleaned up quite a bit, and at worst, will have a fairly shiny dented snare drum. SIlly me didn't play it befiore I started taking it apart to hear what it sounds like.

So to answer your quiestion. No. I did not drop the drum, lol. I swear at my parent's vault. I just get all CSI on a drum after a being short year in here and bet that's what happened. Even Joey (Music Dir.) asked me tonight why I thought it was there (ie, not being used). Answer seems to be because it's dented, sorry to say.

I do have a rubber mallet , and could attempt to bend it back a little. I'm not overly enthused about that idea, and again, as a trashy raggae snare, it should be OK as is.

Any advice on trying to straighten out the dent?

3pearlkits
11-09-2011, 08:05 PM
Hello HiFiBri,
I agree, looks like it's been dropped to me too.

Sure, try a rubber mallet if you're game.
But seriously, also try talking to a local auto panel repair shop. They are professionals at knocking out bumps in metal. And you don't need paint or anything, so it may turn out to be a cheap professional fix going that way.
The main reason I suggest this is that a dent that large has to move metal elsewhere too, that may mean your bearing edge is slightly out, enough to make a difference in tuning...

HiFiBri
11-09-2011, 09:02 PM
Hello HiFiBri,
I agree, looks like it's been dropped to me too.

Sure, try a rubber mallet if you're game.
But seriously, also try talking to a local auto panel repair shop. They are professionals at knocking out bumps in metal. And you don't need paint or anything, so it may turn out to be a cheap professional fix going that way.
The main reason I suggest this is that a dent that large has to move metal elsewhere too, that may mean your bearing edge is slightly out, enough to make a difference in tuning...

Thanks! Yeah, that's a good idea. It does appeear to be out of round, batter head more than the snare/reso. Maybe I'm crazy, but thought I saw out of round in top SuperHoop, too. The head (Remo Amb) doesn't really go on right on it, and if you turn the head it hits a tight spot. I've only messed with it a little tonight.

But if dented and out of round, I might skip any expense on it and see how the "reggae sound" works on it, and leave it at that.

PS Sorry about the pics, not sure what happened there.

erwinner
11-09-2011, 10:00 PM
Piece of wood on the outside and hammer away from the inside! It's super thin brass so it should bend right back, just don't get overzealous. :D
I had a Sensitone II which I think is the same shell and it was out of round so I just stripped the shell and held it on the carpet and pushed down on the wide side until round hoops fit on it smoothly.

nickd
11-09-2011, 11:50 PM
I'd be tempted to block it with wood around the shell supported, and fasten the snare bracket to a strap that was fastened to a vice or similar. Slowley try and 'pull' the dent back out, particularly as its brass as brass isn't all that elastic. if you tried bonking it back into shape, chances are somewhere else on the shell would give way near the area.

Another way would be to push it from the inside using an expanding gripper, you can get them from most hardware shops. It's just a g-clamp in reverse. Just my opinion. If it was steel I'd be tempted to try hammer it back into shape like erwinner said.

3pearlkits
11-10-2011, 02:39 AM
I know erwinner and nick have both sorted out sensitones before, so their advice is good.
Good luck with your project...

mpthomson
11-10-2011, 02:56 AM
Just be aware that it'll never look absolutely perfect because the metal will have stretched fractionally, but it'll look a lot better and sound fine. Metal drums are easy enough to put back into round too.

I've (carefully and with a rubber/hide mallet) hammered dents out of a Premier brass snare that was dropped onto its mechanism and it's worked fine. A proper panel beater would do a much better job for you though.

HiFiBri
11-10-2011, 07:38 PM
Thanks for the advice, guys!

I was thinking the idea is for an "island" sound, so why not just take of the bottom and strainer stuff off and make it a timbale. I could try to bend it back, but as said, would be likely to bend it elsewhere. It's not going to get used much, we're only talking about doing reggae songs. It probably will be loud w/out the bottom head, but so are timbales. Seems a simple and cheap fix, and I'll have it looking pretty good for being rough, the hoops turned out great, but lugs are a fairly pitted and so is the shell finish...can't seem to sort out 10 un-rusted tension rods...what did Slip (I think) suggest...brake fluid?

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nickd
11-10-2011, 09:34 PM
vinegar

HiFiBri
11-12-2011, 10:38 AM
So, round one rehab.

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It cleaned up pretty well, I took everything apart and buffed the shell with a little buffer I have. I even took the lugs apart and polished the brass receivers, and found it's actually is quicker to polish the lugs taken apart, anyways I used Turtle Wax Auto Rubbing Compound on the chrome, there's still pits but it looks 100% better. I used Wright's Silver Polish on the shell (I didn't have anything for brass), still hack marks and some rust, but again a whole lot better. I still might try to bend the dent back out, and will get some kind of chrome screw blanks to cover the holes from the throw off and other end.

Otherwise, I dunno. Doesn't really sound like a timbale to me, and has wierd overtones.I was thnking maybe I have the wrong head on it (Remo Amb.) but I looked on Evan's site, and they recommend a G1 or Etched. I had thought maybe a smooth or clear head is what's on a timbale, and thinner, ya' know? I might go to SA and play some timbales there.

nickd
11-12-2011, 02:30 PM
pull that dent out and make it a snare I hated the sound of mine to start with, now I love it!

HiFiBri
11-12-2011, 06:07 PM
pull that dent out and make it a snare I hated the sound of mine to start with, now I love it!

Yep, I think so. Just doesn't sound like a timbale.

REP to all you guys!

erwinner
11-12-2011, 08:31 PM
I'm betting the shell is too thin to give a really distinct fundamental note like a timbale. That's how my 6.5 Sensitone was.

nathanieljobe
11-13-2011, 08:38 AM
Hammer it out, brother! if you want a cheap timbale, there are plenty of them out there. I think you'll get more bang for your buck using the snare as a snare. If those hoops are bent, I wouldn't bother putting them on the drum at all. They're just going to complicate matters. Bent hoops are just going to transfer their torque to the shell and brass is softer than steel--so, new hoops! Looks like a nice salvage, btw!

HiFiBri
11-13-2011, 07:42 PM
Hammer it out, brother! if you want a cheap timbale, there are plenty of them out there. I think you'll get more bang for your buck using the snare as a snare. If those hoops are bent, I wouldn't bother putting them on the drum at all. They're just going to complicate matters. Bent hoops are just going to transfer their torque to the shell and brass is softer than steel--so, new hoops! Looks like a nice salvage, btw!

Thanks, it did turn out pretty nice.

Well problem is I think the shell is out of round. At least the head didn't go on right, and there was a little slop (might be nothing) between the hoop and head on the edge. It is the church's and I'm not spending one penny (like new hoops) on it and wouldn't ask them to, either. I have my new snare, and there's others at the church, so there's no need to fix it up if it means $$$$ .

But you are right in that it should be a snare...it's not a timbale (I thought it was a good idea, lol). The original idea was for it to be a reggae type snare, might still be ok for that. But I want it to be fun, and was tired of working on it. Next weekend. And, as is, I see no harm in trying to hammer out the dent.

nickd
11-13-2011, 08:44 PM
just bend it with your hands, use a hihat as a round guide

davezedlee
11-17-2011, 04:44 AM
find a sandbox near you and bring your rubber mallet and a garbage bag or thin sheet of plastic

create an impression (half-mold) in the sand of the side opposite the dent, using the plastic as a barrier against scuff marks

tamp from the inside using the mallet, and use the handle end to build/stamp the sand around the impression until everything feels (and sounds) solid

rotate the shell so the flat spot is at the bottom of the impression, and hammer away

bigiainw
11-29-2011, 01:56 PM
I repaired my pearl brass snare which had similar, if less serious damage, but on both strainer and butt end sides of the shell. I used a rubber mallet after removing all of the hardware from the shell, using a carpeted floor in my home as the former. If the shell is out of round, just check where it's out by measuring across the shell, or as someone else said, by using a 14" cymbal to check it and just bend it gently back into shape. If it cost nothing to start with, it's probably not worth spending money to put it right- the shells are pretty thin and don't require much effort to put right, Just work slowly and methodically to prevent going too far and bending the shell in the other direction from which it was dented.

Good luck!

nickd
11-29-2011, 03:25 PM
ever thought of a hand hammered finish snare? that would be awesome!

HiFiBri
11-29-2011, 04:44 PM
I repaired my pearl brass snare which had similar, if less serious damage, but on both strainer and butt end sides of the shell. I used a rubber mallet after removing all of the hardware from the shell, using a carpeted floor in my home as the former. If the shell is out of round, just check where it's out by measuring across the shell, or as someone else said, by using a 14" cymbal to check it and just bend it gently back into shape. If it cost nothing to start with, it's probably not worth spending money to put it right- the shells are pretty thin and don't require much effort to put right, Just work slowly and methodically to prevent going too far and bending the shell in the other direction from which it was dented.

Good luck!

Thanks! I've turned lazy and haven't done anything in 2 weeks on it. I'll work on it again this weekend (I have to be a good mindset to break out the rubber mallet, lol, right now just seems like a pain to do after work).

HiFiBri
11-29-2011, 04:45 PM
ever thought of a hand hammered finish snare? that would be awesome!

If I could do it consistently, lol.

nickd
11-30-2011, 05:08 AM
If I could do it consistently, lol.

don't deny how awesome a badly hammered snare would be

HiFiBri
12-04-2011, 07:23 PM
Well I brokei out the rubber mallet this weekend. I found it was pretty easy, maybe over-hammered a tad on one spot. There's creases that won't come out no matter what (as said above), still a big improvment. Sorry for the lousy pics, I will try to get it outside for pics.

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HiFiBri
12-04-2011, 07:48 PM
I used vinegar on the tension rods's as suggested- thanks! I'm not sure about the out of round thing, the shell had a ring to it that didn't sound "bad", so here I am. Better pics to come. I have the snares set very loose and think I found that "island" sound.

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nickd
12-04-2011, 09:38 PM
I used a hihat to check the roundness of mine. just kept nudging it here and there until reso and batter where round. Made a hell of a difference to the sound, not just a placebo or the power of persuasion.. Also, do it with the hoops too!

3pearlkits
12-07-2011, 03:39 PM
Well Done HiFiBri...