Wow, I just safely and completely unyellowed my WMP

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
If anyone has a vintage WMP that has yellowed, and like me, doesn't care for that look..
There's a way to safely restore your wrap to new condition. I just did this on my 1976 Luds that I got over the holidays. I couldn't be more pleased. Wow. Items cost me like $30.00 USD.
Here's a link to the formula I used. I used Merlin's original recipe.

http://retr0bright.wikispaces.com/Retr0Bright+Gel

The stuff works. I couldn't be happier. I should have taken before and afters. This original formula is intended for ABS plastic. Drum wrap is PVC AFAIK, so I didn't know if it would work. Yea, it worked.

If you have plastic yellowed headlight lenses on your car, this should do the trick too. It should also work on yellowed piano keys.

If anyone tells you to use bleach, don't listen. Bleach creates tiny pits in the wrap.

If you do want to make this stuff, here's a link on how to use it.

http://retr0bright.wikispaces.com/Using+Retr0Bright
 

larryz

Platinum Member
That's encouraging to hear. A photo would be great too. I have a early 60s wmp snare with yellowing. Though I wonder if de-yellowing would devalue the drum. You know those crazy vintage collectors out there. Kind of like the Beatles famous Butcher Cover album cover (relevant to the U.S. only). The album in it's "first state" (unpeeled cover) is worth more now than the "peeled" cover (which reveals the butcher photo.

Anyway, good news!
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I don't know about the devalue factor. I never consider that anyway, because I hold on to all my stuff. It makes me happy to see vintage WMP in pristine shape. Yellowed stuff looks bad to me. I just didn't want to restore this set until I could do something about the yellowing, as I really don't like that look. Besides, if you went to sell, the wrap would look perfect, fetching a higher price I would imagine. How would they know you unyellowed it? In their eyes, they stumbled upon the best kept WMP drum ever. How could you lose? You can always re-yellow it.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I am so not a picture taker. I am more of a sound recording guy. I don't have any before pics at all. I'll try to post some after pics tomorrow, I am doing a 2nd treatment because I ran out of sunlight yesterday. It take like 24 hours in the sun to finish.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Zactly Jules.

Today was gorgeous with full sunshine all day and not too hot, perfect conditions. They are still sitting outside now with the gel dried on it. Tomorrow I will moisten them back up and scrub the gel off and take some pics, then decide if it needs any more treatment. It really shouldn't, I am so pleased with what I am seeing. I might have to glue some seams down though, the peroxide lifted it in places slightly, no big deal though.

When I took the lugs off, you could clearly see the original pearly white condition of the wrap under the lugs, right next to the 5 or so shades of yellow it had become. Hopefully the pics will come out good enough to show that there is no color difference anymore.

I have a 24 x 14, 12 x 8, and a 16 x 16. Now all I have to do is find a Ludwig 10" WMP rack tom. I don't think they made them from that era. I'd use whatever Ludwig WMP 10" tom I can find. Anyone who has one LMK, K?
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
I have a 24 x 14, 12 x 8, and a 16 x 16. Now all I have to do is find a Ludwig 10" WMP rack tom.
10" rack???? Pah......weak!!

A 24" kick demands the respect of a 13x9 (or even 10) rack and an 18x16 to sit next to the 16 floor, for good measure. Anything less is just child's play old mate.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Sorry Jules, my set, my rules. I don't like a 12 and 13, too close together in size. Never understood that interval choice. I'm crazy about the 10" tom tone. And an 18" floor tom is just too much for me and too far a stretch. But I could be happy like they are, 1 up and 1 down. I prefer 3 toms. Max.

Thinking about sending the shells to Precision to get the bearing edges redone. I've always hated old Ludwig bearing edges, not nearly precise enough.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Re: Wow, I just safely and completely unyellowed my WMP, w/ pics

OK I took some after pics. You'll just have to take my word for it that it was probably 5 shades of yellow before I started. I may give them another treatment, the hidden side could use some more sun. That's the thing, you have to keep turning them so the shaded parts get the sunlight. The UV light from the sun is necessary for the chemical reaction, So naturally I have the exposed part of the drum in the sun most of the time. But I am thrilled. THRILLED I TELL YA!
A couple issues, the paint on the badges started to flake off, and the seams started to lift, very minor but still needs to be glued back down. The flaking paint on the badges I didn't expect, anyone doing this should protect the badges somehow.
SO WHAT DO YOU THINK?!!!!
NO MORE YELLOWED PLASTIC! THIS IS HUGE!
 

Attachments

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
This would work on "ginger aled" champagne sparkle wraps too. In fact any wrap that is UV damaged would benefit from this, not matter what color.
 

larryz

Platinum Member
Wow Larry you're right, that really did work. Did yellow residue and junk appearon rags or cloths you might have used? Anyway I might try this on my sky blue pearl 60s set though I admit I'm afraid. Maybe harry or others could chime in on this as well. Nice work.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
The yellowing is reversed in a chemical process. You can't see the yellow come off, it goes into the air as a result of the yellowing molecule, bromine, getting "unbonded" from the PVC and replaced with an oxygen or hydrogen atom I forget. The gel is cloudy when you put it on and perhaps the slightest bit yellowish coming off becasue as it drys I guess it gets trapped in the gel. The results are just spectacular. I am in the process of doing the treatment a 3rd time, to get the parts that were shaded, but the wrap looks factory new, no exaggeration. There's going to be no yellowing left whatsoever when I am done. Then I am supposed to protect it with Armor-All, as it blocks UV light. Pretty smart chemical engineering going on and they gave the recipe away free.

Larry, AFAIK, no one here has attempted this before, so I doubt you will get other's experiences here. Only I am crazy enough to believe that you can reverse yellowing without damage. God bless the internet and all the great info. Just another miracle thing that peroxide can do.
 
Last edited:

Otto

Platinum Member
Thats great info Larry...gotta get this in the Gear Section so I can find it 10 years from now when I need it...lol


nahh...I'll remember...


Notice any significant drying of the shell from fumes?
 
Last edited:

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Notice any significant drying of the shell from fumes?
That looks great. Little elbow grease goes well
No fumes, no elbow grease, no drying shell. Lifted the seams slightly and flaked some paint off the badge, but I was using a scrubber to get the gel off. Maybe a little elbow grease cleaning off the dried gel, but none to unyellow it, I just painted it on w/ a big paintbrush. The stuff is just a regular miracle, totally safe. Peroxide is just water with an extra atom of oxygen. It's that extra unstable atom of oxygen that's the miracle oxidizer.
 
Last edited:

Chunky

Silver Member
Nice work man! That's came out real good. Bet you were nervous as hell when you first started?
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Not nervous at all. Peroxide is awesome stuff, totally safe. I've been gargling with 3.5% since the late 80's. I would have done this sooner, found out about the method a few months ago, but I just got around to doing it. I love little discoveries like this. Friggin wrap looks perfect. It's basically 15% peroxide supercharged by just the tiniest bit of oxy-clean, with ingredients to make it into a gel so it sticks.

I would have been nervous bleaching it. That stuff isn't safe.
 
Top