Re Finishing Drums?

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drumfreak1987

Guest
Hey Fellas:

I have a Catalina Club Jazz I want to re-finish. The current finish is a white marine pearl wrap. I want to rip the wraps, then get a a wood dye and stain them. What's the best way to get rid of the glue on the shell? What advice and experience can you guys share on removing wraps then staining the shells?
 

pwrplay

Junior Member
I've never done it myself, but maybe a heat gun would help get the glue off?

As for the rest, it would be just a matter of sanding it nice and smooth and clean with fine sandpaper (keep about 1/4 inch away from bearing edge when sanding and staining, use masking tape if necessary), and then applying a few coats of stain evenly with a cloth not a brush so you don't get brush marks on the shell. Make sure you go with the grain when applying the stain so it gets right into the pores of the wood.

Then you just apply a few coats of clear coat on it( the more the better protection from scratches), preferably in a spray, again so you don't see brush marks.

The finishing clear coats are best done with the drum suspended in the air to allow continuous even spray around the drum.

Hope this gets you started.
 

Big_Al47

Senior Member
I have done this project....be careful ripping the wrap off the shells, you don't want to take any wood off at the same time. I heated the glue with a hair dryer and the wrap came off really easy. Mine only had the glue "strip" on each drum and was not glued around the entire shell. I used "Goo Gone" to remove the left over adhesive. They sell this at any hardware store. You could also use "Goof off" or if you are really impatient (like I was, doing 4 drums at once, use paint stripper remover but don't let it sit too long, and the glue came right off. The "goo gone" method required a few applications)

Also, use sanding sealer before applying the stain, it helps it even out. For the Polyurethane, I used a clear gloss and sanded in-between coats as instructed on the label. I used foam brushes on mine and it left no brush marks at all.
My set came out looking great.

Good luck!
 

rmandelbaum

Platinum Member
sand the shells, even with sanding sealer you run the risk of a chemical reaction.

also be aware that the wood under the wrap may not be perfect. drum companies normally save the shells with the perfect outer ply for painting and wrap the rest.

if you are going to stain or tint the shell you can use a paint tint and color the sanding sealer. shoot coats until you get the color you are after then shoot with clear.


you also can stain the shell with stain or tint but I find shooting it easier to get even coverage.

also be aware that to get a pro looking finish takes a lot of time, patience and sanding ;-)
 

Big_Al47

Senior Member
sand the shells, even with sanding sealer you run the risk of a chemical reaction.

also be aware that the wood under the wrap may not be perfect. drum companies normally save the shells with the perfect outer ply for painting and wrap the rest.

if you are going to stain or tint the shell you can use a paint tint and color the sanding sealer. shoot coats until you get the color you are after then shoot with clear.


you also can stain the shell with stain or tint but I find shooting it easier to get even coverage.

also be aware that to get a pro looking finish takes a lot of time, patience and sanding ;-)
I forgot to mention about the sanding.....sand, sand, then sand some more. When you think you are done....... Sand some more :)
 

BillBachman

Gold Member
Yes, I've stripped and refinished my drums as well. All but one of the maple shells that I unwrapped or palm sanded off the lacquer had beautiful maple shells. Only one had multiple sheets of unmatched sections of maple for the outer ply. Actually, one pearl MLX "all maple shell" had an outer ply of birch. It had a solid lacquer finish so I guess they figured that no one would ever know they cheated.

Sanding, yup, lots of sanding!

One earlier comment confused me, someone said to use sanding sealer before staining. Wouldn't that stop the stain from sinking into the wood grain?
 
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drumfreak1987

Guest
Yes, I've stripped and refinished my drums as well. All but one of the maple shells that I unwrapped or palm sanded off the lacquer had beautiful maple shells. Only one had multiple sheets of unmatched sections of maple for the outer ply. Actually, one pearl MLX "all maple shell" had an outer ply of birch. It had a solid lacquer finish so I guess they figured that no one would ever know they cheated.

Sanding, yup, lots of sanding!

One earlier comment confused me, someone said to use sanding sealer before staining. Wouldn't that stop the stain from sinking into the wood grain?

Sweet, thanks man! What I've gathered from research is the dye causes a chemical change by absorbing into the actual cells of the wood, remarkable!

That said, I think that once you apply sealant, lacquer or matte coating, it will prevent the dye from fusing to the grain.

Does anybody know where to find craviotto-style inlay strips? My plan for my old Catalina Jazz is to strip the wraps, use a glue removal or thinning agent on the remaining glue, sand them with fine sandpaper, then stain the middle portions of the drums with a black gloss (a stripe/band as wide as 1/5th or 1/6th the depth of the drums' shell), then stain the remaining portions with scarlet red. Then I want to apply an inlay around the middle of the black center band. Who knows where to find an inlay that will look sharp with black and red?
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
Sweet, thanks man! What I've gathered from research is the dye causes a chemical change by absorbing into the actual cells of the wood, remarkable!

That said, I think that once you apply sealant, lacquer or matte coating, it will prevent the dye from fusing to the grain.

Does anybody know where to find craviotto-style inlay strips? My plan for my old Catalina Jazz is to strip the wraps, use a glue removal or thinning agent on the remaining glue, sand them with fine sandpaper, then stain the middle portions of the drums with a black gloss (a stripe/band as wide as 1/5th or 1/6th the depth of the drums' shell), then stain the remaining portions with scarlet red. Then I want to apply an inlay around the middle of the black center band. Who knows where to find an inlay that will look sharp with black and red?
If that is your plan then I hope you're very good at using a table saw with a dado blade set up,since those inlays like on the Cravioto drums(not a new idea,it was done in the 30's)are flush with the shell,as in"inlayed"

You can usually buy inlay strips at a woodworker supply house.Good luck,and be sure to wear a dust mask,and eye protection.

Steve B
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
What's the best way to get rid of the glue on the shell?
This it the stuff I use. The only stuff I recommend.​
When you're done with the Jasco, take a Jitterbug (orbital sander) to the job. I don't use disc sanders or belt sanders. After you're done with the Jasco, and the Jitterbug ... you'll be left with a beautiful (I guess that really depends on Gretsch) shell, to stain.​
To avoid bad "chemical reactions", use products from the same manufacture. For example ... I like Minwax. So, if I use a wood prep., I use Minwax wood prep, if I use a stain, I use a Minwax stain. If I use a poly ... I use Minwax polycrylic. No bad "chem. reaction" because the products are designed to work together.​
 

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drumfreak1987

Guest
sand the shells, even with sanding sealer you run the risk of a chemical reaction.


if you are going to stain or tint the shell you can use a paint tint and color the sanding sealer. shoot coats until you get the color you are after then shoot with clear.


you also can stain the shell with stain or tint but I find shooting it easier to get even coverage.

shooting tints as in using a spray gun?
 
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