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  1. Pearl does it for me

    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Ilfracombe, Queensland Australia
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    3,082

    Default Restoring and refinishing (vintage) drums

    There seems to be so much refinishing and restoring going on lately that I thought it was time to put it all in one thread and get it made a sticky...

    The plan is to have anyones tricks and pointers included from those who have restored or repaired or refinished drums, to prevent the usual pitfalls in such a project for others.

    And let's not clog it up with pics unless that is a quintessential part of the process.

    And if something goes wrong, you can't blame the poster, this is not professional advice, just peoples thoughts and ideas.
    If you have any doubts, always try on a scrap of something else and not the drum

    It's a work in progress, so be patient please...

  2. Pearl does it for me

    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Ilfracombe, Queensland Australia
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    Default Bearing edges-flea bites

    First up just for CLP

    Ok, 70's luan ply shells have a habit of developing flea bites in bearing edges.
    Flea bites are little segments of the ply that break or chip away, leaving the bearing edge no longer smooth and ensuring full contact of the head to the bearing edge, which leads to tuning problems.

    WARNING: The bearing edge is one of the most singular influential components of a shell in terms of tuning. If you can't hand sand well, or concoct some method of ensuring accurate sanding that won't change the bearing edge angle in the spot you are working, send it to a pro or get it recut!

    If your drums have this problem, you have 2 choices:
    1: Get them recut.

    2: Repair them.
    If you go with the second option you need to find some epoxy based wood filler. (Epoxy is better than water based wood filler for this repair because it bonds better and is stronger)
    Try to get a colour of filler approximating your timber.
    Apply reasonably liberally with a putty knife and let dry.
    Sand with about 150 grit, mimicing the bearing edge angles
    Apply again, lightly this time and after drying, sand again with 150 then 240 grit, once again mimicing the bearing edge angles.

    Some peeps use beeswax, tung oil, whatever blows your hair back!
    Just give that bearing edge a "drink" when you're done.
    And while your at it, you may want to apply something to the internal shell...

  3. Pearl does it for me

    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Ilfracombe, Queensland Australia
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    3,082

    Default Ok- the wrap looks fine...

    It's just dirty and a bit scratched, but has no bubbles.

    Take off all the hardware!
    An initial clean with windex (or other quality glass cleaner) and a open weave cotton cloth will usually change things enough to assess just how much you need to do. It nearly always takes the grime away straight up!

    A good furniture polish with wax and a buffer on a hand held electric drill will work wonders here. Stay away from solvent based polishes. Some people use auto polish. Your drums, you choose.

    So you've done that and there is still enough scratching to bother you.

    Try Novus plastic polish, you can get a three part pack that will deal with light to heavy scratching. Read the instructions!

    Show us the results


  4. Registered User

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Norway
    Posts
    718

    Default

    I found this page at Not So Modern Drummer. How to make a bearing edge restoration tool.
    http://www.notsomoderndrummer-digita...010winter#pg10

  5. Rockin' the Cosmos..

    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Sirius-2DS
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    4,163

    Default How to remove rust the lazy mans way

    Ever get rusted tension rods, screws, washers, etc etc?

    Do what I do and put all rusted what nots in a bowl filled with vinegar. I use white vinegar.
    Let it stay there a couple hrs or as I do,a day. Watch what happens to the vinegar, it starts turning rusty orange.

    Next simply take out odds n ends and go over each piece lightly with steel wool and bingo, no more rust. It wipes right off. Then soak in soapy water to get rid of smell and take out and place on a towel and let air dry.

    The acidity of the vinegar eats away the rust.

  6. Rockin' the Cosmos..

    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Default Removing wraps quick n easy.

    Hair dryers work good but take longer. If you can, try using a painters/drywall "Heatgun". It works much faster than a hair dryer and heats the glue underneath better, thus making it easier to remove wrap with a putty knife and less chance of you ripping some exterior ply with wrap!

  7. Registered User

    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    310

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BadAstronaut View Post
    Hair dryers work good but take longer. If you can, try using a painters/drywall "Heatgun". It works much faster than a hair dryer and heats the glue underneath better, thus making it easier to remove wrap with a putty knife and less chance of you ripping some exterior ply with wrap!
    Heat guns are definitely the way to go, but a word of caution...

    Older drum wrap is acetate based instead of the modern PVC and as such is highly flammable. It's common for this type of wrap to catch fire during the removal process. Work outdoors away from other chemicals, solvents, and flammable materials. Keep a fire extinguisher handy, the smaller kitchen versions work very well.
    Not So Modern Drummer Magazine
    The 1st Vintage and Custom Drum Magazine

    Read the new issue online for free at www.notsomoderndrummer.com

  8. Registered User

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    3,752

    Default

    3PK thanks for starting the thread and posting info!!!

    I have removed wrap using one of those round parabolic dish type heaters to heat up the entire shell and point it specifically at the area I was working on.
    60's Ludwig Oyster Black Pearl 20-12-16; Club Date - OBP 20-12-14, 14
    Gretsch USA Walnut 18x16 bass x 2, 22-12-13-14-16; Renown 8-10-12-14-14-16-22
    Gretsch 60's RB kit in Red Glass Glitter 20-12-14-14
    FOR SALE: Pearl Custom Z 10-12-13-16; 24 & 18 bass; Pearl WMP Fiberglass 14-16-16 toms

  9. Rockin' the Cosmos..

    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Sirius-2DS
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by NSMD View Post
    Heat guns are definitely the way to go, but a word of caution...

    Older drum wrap is acetate based instead of the modern PVC and as such is highly flammable. It's common for this type of wrap to catch fire during the removal process. Work outdoors away from other chemicals, solvents, and flammable materials. Keep a fire extinguisher handy, the smaller kitchen versions work very well.
    Thanks for posting that as I should have elaborated more.

  10. Pearl does it for me

    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Ilfracombe, Queensland Australia
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    3,082

    Default The wrap is off-but was fully glued and you want to go natural.

    Tricky one this, many of us have learned the hard way that the tiniest amount of residual adhesive from tape or glue will affect our stain finish...

    I have used acetone and white spirit to successfully remove residual glue and adhesive.
    Methylated spirits contains additives (usualy oils) to make it unpalatable. So while it will clean up glue and adhesive it leaves oily residues which once again may affect a stain finish.

    I have also used a quality paint stripper. If it's good enough for a furniture restorer to use, that's a quality paint stripper in my mind.

    Some people consider these to be toxic chemicals, treat them with respect...

    At the end of this process you end up with pristine clean shells, the best place to start your refinish.

    All this is uneccessary if your going to re wrap by the way, just put your new wrap on and save yourself the grief.

  11. Pearl does it for me

    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Ilfracombe, Queensland Australia
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    3,082

    Default Cleaning chrome in general

    Quote Originally Posted by BadAstronaut View Post
    Ever get rusted tension rods, screws, washers, etc etc?

    Do what I do and put all rusted what nots in a bowl filled with vinegar. I use white vinegar.
    Let it stay there a couple hrs or as I do, a day. Watch what happens to the vinegar, it starts turning rusty orange.

    Next simply take out odds n ends and go over each piece lightly with steel wool and bingo, no more rust. It wipes right off. Then soak in soapy water to get rid of smell and take out and place on a towel and let air dry.

    The acidity of the vinegar eats away the rust.
    BA, that's a great idea, and simple!
    I'll add to this:
    To all: can I add a word of caution about steel wool, because it scratches!
    I personaly only use steel wool as a last resort, and if it comes to that, I only ever use 0000 grade steel wool...

    Also stay away from scourers when cleaning up hardware, all it ever does is scratch things.

    The "go to" products for cleaning chrome hardware:
    Windex. It can be amazing what this will do for dirt and grime, and sometimes can be enough by itself. You should use it anyway if you think your going to have to polish, because otherwise you are polishing that dirt and crud over your hardware, which once again can lead to scratching. Spray on, scrub vigorously with soft cotton open weave cloth. Buff with a fresh cotton cloth.

    Polishes. General consensus says the best are Autosol and Nev'r'dul. If I can't find one of these two I get Maguires auto chrome polish from an auto store. If you can't find Maguires, just get any good chrome polish in that store.

    Apply in small amounts and work on small areas at a time.
    Put on with a soft cotton open weave cloth, buff with a fresh one. Most polishes will remove small rust spots as you go, with a bit of elbow grease.

    If all this fails, think about your steel wool.

    And if you have flaking rusty rims/hoops and aren't happy with your results after trying all this, consider getting your hardware rechromed.

    Cleaning chrome is a tedious job, but your efforts will reward you more often than not with bright shiny hardware.

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