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  #1  
Old 09-06-2013, 01:19 PM
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Default Axis Longboard double pedal facelift

I got a used pair of Axis Longboards yesterday, bought them from our member David Floegel. Never seen Axis pedals in the flesh or tested them before but I'm sure they'll make a great repacement for my first double pedal, a dw2002. I even didn't test them after delivery but went straight ahead to give them a thorough cleanup (a habit of mine - first get it clean, then check it), repolishing the aluminum parts with a special polishing paste. Once started, I realized that I'd want to resand everything (using fine sand paper) to get it super shiny and then do the polishing - which will enhance the cosmetics but also serve as a kind of protection coat.

Still working on the main pedal after a couple hours. Will upload progress/comparison pics. I'll try to dismantle a few parts to have an easier time reworking them. Also noticed that the heel part can be flattened by a few mm. Before doing any mod on the heel block I'll definitely test the pedals to determine whether it's worth doing the mod.

Dumb to do all that work? Possibly yes. The as is look of the Axis pedals just seemed so raw/crude to me so I decided to do something about it. Also, there were a few scratches/nicks here and there so reworking/resanding seemed like a great way to get rid of all this, plus I'd have individualized pedals. Should look killer afterwards.

(BTW, I've done some modding on the dw2002 also. Not sure yet whether to keep it as an additional/spare double pedal or let it go.)

Here's a pic from the previous owner (w/ non-original beaters, drums = Sonor SQ2).
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  #2  
Old 09-06-2013, 01:26 PM
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Default Re: Axis Longboard double pedal facelift

I am OCD in the same way. I buy a majority of my gear used, and the first thing I do is a through cleaning and functionality check. Even cymbals I will clean up a bit before they ever make it to the kit.

Enjoy the Axis', I tried them out before I bought my 9000's, they are amazing peices of engineering.
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Old 09-07-2013, 08:10 AM
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Default Re: Axis Longboard double pedal facelift

I tried Axis for a while and they were just not the pedals for me but hopefully these will aid you in your quest for world double bass domination : )
So the pic below is the "before" photo? If so, they don't look all that bad to me but be sure to post the "after" photos post-cleanup!
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Old 09-07-2013, 09:10 AM
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Default Re: Axis Longboard double pedal facelift

Todd - yes, that's the "before" pic. I agree the pedals look rather nice on that one but they do look 'uglier' in real. If I weren't listening to music while sanding (haven't even gotten to polishing yet) I'd have given up already. I need to turn off my mind and just get this huge work done. Looks damn good so far. (Already have a blister but that's typical when doing stuff like that.) Honestly I simply assumed that Axis pedals are made of polished/brushed aluminum but I was wrong ;-) I'm simply converting them to the cosmetic state that I expected them to have to begin with.
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Old 09-07-2013, 11:22 AM
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Default Re: Axis Longboard double pedal facelift

Ok, here are some pics.

Haven't disassembled the slave pedal yet. Wanted to first finish the main pedal and then do the slave pedal. This is still work in progress and the parts are all unpolished yet. (I did polish the main pedal footboard at first - it looked ok - but then decided to resand it, then repolish, which I haven't done yet). But I think you can see the difference between the orig. and reworked pieces. I guess I should use some power tools for the plates. Let's see.

Pics were taken in the morning, with "lo-fi" sunlight. I added a tad of contrast in the pics. There were 6 velcro type strips at the bottom side of each groundplate which I removed for better cleanup. I have similar tape (3M DualLok, leftovers from my guitar fx stageboard) that I can use.
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Old 09-07-2013, 11:25 AM
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Default Re: Axis Longboard double pedal facelift

That's it with the pics for now.
Will make some more when I get close to finishing the main pedal.
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Old 09-09-2013, 02:14 PM
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Default Re: Axis Longboard double pedal facelift

How's the cleanup going, Arky? Having spent the last couple of days doing something similar, I think I can guess at how it feels!
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Old 09-09-2013, 06:28 PM
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Default Re: Axis Longboard double pedal facelift

Duncan, at times I wondered what I even started - but I know this feeling from previous (similarly crazy) projects. - It's coming together slower than I'd like to. Plus, I didn't have the full weekend to work on it. About 1/3 of the work is done now. At first the cleaned up areas didn't stick out too much as there weren't too many of them. But with more and more areas being reworked, the overall cosmetic impression has changed drastically. Now it's vice versa - the eye would detect anything that still looks unworked, haha. Looking forward to the finished result. Hopefully, the polishing will do the Trick so I can get my Hoofs on the Axis ;-)

What has helped me a lot (mentally) was listening to music - Symphony X, Tarja Turunen (singer, ex-Nightwish), Animals As Leaders, some soundtracks... haha.

You've got a nice project running! Some work is worth being done properly. That snare will definitely come to new life!

Last edited by Arky; 09-09-2013 at 06:46 PM.
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Old 09-09-2013, 07:07 PM
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Default Re: Axis Longboard double pedal facelift

You're a much more patient man than I, Arky. I've watched your guitar videos a few times and have some idea of the amount of serious practice that goes into developing a technique like yours' on the guitar. It's the same kind of patience that goes into making projects like these really work. Needless to say, my work usually comes out reasonably well but I get tempted by shortcuts and often take them out of frustration and boredom! I iron listening to Merzbow. Does that count?!

Props as ever.
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Old 09-10-2013, 04:54 AM
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Default Re: Axis Longboard double pedal facelift

I've done some metal polishing on motorcycles and drum pedals and various other things.

It can be tedious work, but somehow it's rewarding seeing it change. If it's something you're keeping for the long haul, the work will be worth it every time you see it.
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Old 09-10-2013, 11:10 AM
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Default Re: Axis Longboard double pedal facelift

Just tried using a power tool for sanding/polishing - wow, quick progress and great results! Definitely going to use this for the bigger areas. I'll still add some additional hand polishing in the end. Looks gorgeous!

Later... Decided to start working on the slave pedal, too - that fast progress (using power tools) motivated me.
First did some rough sanding (80 grit), then continued with 150 grit. Then 280. Reworking the edges is next, then hand polishing.
The footplates started looking so good so I continued sanding and tried to get rid of the 'structure' and get a plain/flush surface.
After taking the pics I did another sanding round though... damn perfectionism, haha! So the pics aren't up to date but I was too lazy to shoot some new ones.

You can clearly see which edges have been reworked - and those aren't even polished.
The 150 and 280 grit sandpaper is high quality stuff that I bought from a luthier - haven't finished modding an el. bass guitar, that's what I bought that stuff for.
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Last edited by Arky; 09-10-2013 at 05:45 PM.
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Old 09-16-2013, 09:40 PM
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Default Re: Axis Longboard double pedal facelift

If I saw that much sandpaper, I would never want to see any more ever in my life!

How's the work progressing?
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Old 09-16-2013, 10:11 PM
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Default Re: Axis Longboard double pedal facelift

Had a lot of work over the weekend but got rid of it now. Buffed the pedalplates and ground plates yesterday. That aluminum is totally unforgiving... When I did some fine sanding the day before it was slightly raining and a few raindrops made it onto the pedals. Some fingerprints also got engraved - couldn't get them out by buffing, I'd have to resand it but I don't want to. I need to finish them and start playing. I used some Paiste Cymbal Protector after the buffing (I did the same with my DIY bells).

The last few pics show the difference between reworked and raw parts.
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Old 09-22-2013, 04:07 PM
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Default Re: Axis Longboard double pedal facelift

Stop and go for the last few days...
Decided to rework the footboards and ground plates - they look better now but it seems I can't get them perfect, aluminum is too unforgiving.

Cleaned up/polished the beaters and a few smaller parts yesterday.
I think I can finish this project within the next few days.

I learned that it's time saving to sand the areas with coarse sand paper first before switching to some finer grit. Thus, sanding the slave pedal post and the stuff attached to it takes less time than the main pedal post. I've been wasting some time working with uneffectively fine sand paper grits... lesson learned.
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Old 09-22-2013, 04:55 PM
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Default Re: Axis Longboard double pedal facelift

The trouble with aluminum is that it oxidizes over time. Your work will not be permanent. They will oxidize again and get ugly over time. Just like brass.

Axis used to anodize their pedal components but they stopped because of cost.

Frankly, many direct drive pedals I see are not anodized. As an anodizer and a drummer, that ticks me off.
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Old 09-22-2013, 05:00 PM
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Default Re: Axis Longboard double pedal facelift

Lots of work Arky. Nice job... the clean up looks great
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Old 09-22-2013, 05:18 PM
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Default Re: Axis Longboard double pedal facelift

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Almeyda View Post
The trouble with aluminum is that it oxidizes over time. Your work will not be permanent. They will oxidize again and get ugly over time. Just like brass.

Axis used to anodize their pedal components but they stopped because of cost.

Frankly, many direct drive pedals I see are not anodized. As an anodizer and a drummer, that ticks me off.

The polished aluminum on my motorcycle needs constant maintenance. Looks great after a polishing though. Chrome or anodizing would be a lot less headaches though.
There are also some clear coat sprays for mag wheels and things that would probably work for the larger, non-contact parts.
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Old 09-26-2013, 10:09 AM
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Jeff, I've treated the worked areas the same way I treated those DIY bells/chimes I made, and it looks like it's working. I used Paiste Cymbal Protector directly after the polishing (I cleaned the polishing paste off before applying the protection). Those bells have kept their nice look so far so I guess this protection will work. Paiste recommends to reapply the protection once in a while though.

No progress for the last few days (time constraints). Eager to get it finished and try out those pedals eventually ;-)

----
UPDATE (Oct. 5)

I can't believe it - finished reworking and just assembled both pedals.
Pics and testing will follow tomorrow. Tired and fed up for now.
The drive bar isn't polished yet but that's not a big thing.

Last edited by Arky; 10-06-2013 at 09:12 PM.
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  #19  
Old 10-06-2013, 09:15 PM
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Default Re: Axis Longboard double pedal facelift

Pics...
Drive shaft isn't finished yet. I started reworking but it'll be a few more hours.
That project has taken a crazy amount of time. Was it worth it? Cosmetically - yes. Mentally - not sure... ;-)
And it's even not perfect. I got some surfaces rather perfect but then I still managed to get some marks/colourations on it - maybe from fingerprints, sometimes even the finest buffing pads I used created some colourations so at one moment I simply stopped caring - to prevent going mad.
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Old 10-06-2013, 09:24 PM
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Default Re: Axis Longboard double pedal facelift

In the end I fastened some 3M velcro type strips to the bottom side
It was quite some fumbling to attach the main pedal to the kick practice pad - with the dw2002 this was a piece of cake. I had to add some rubber and then it worked.

Oops - that last pic - gigantic courgettes and cucumbers in various sizes... harvested a few weeks ago.

So how does it play? Hard to say, I need more time. In a way it feels cool and classy. I feel there's some inertia to those pedals - they keep rocking like crazy but they seem to have a bit less response than my dw cheapos. Well, short vs. long board. Plus, I haven't experimented with the setting options. Spring tension is slightly above average for now. What I don't like is the heel plate being too high. That heel block below the footplate is high enough so I could flex away a few mm and get the footplate some lower.

Sorry for the modest pic quality - I did them in the afternoon and we had poor weather/lighting.

When I got the pedals there were 2 screws missing - the footplates were attached to the heel block with one screw each, that would be 2 screws from stock. Additionally, I managed to somehow lose 1 more screw from that bass drum hoop holding piece. Good news is that I found 1 perfect replacement of those heel block screws in our garage - same thread, same colour (black), same length, same head! Plus a few more screws with the right diameter/thread but excess length but those can be shortened of course.
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Last edited by Arky; 10-06-2013 at 09:44 PM.
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Old 10-07-2013, 02:29 PM
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Default Re: Axis Longboard double pedal facelift

You are indeed a fastidious man in everything you do. Nice refurbishment job, although what your impressive vegetables have to do with this thread, I'm not sure :)
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Old 10-07-2013, 06:44 PM
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Default Re: Axis Longboard double pedal facelift

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Originally Posted by keep it simple View Post
(...) although what your impressive vegetables have to do with this thread, I'm not sure :)
;-) Maybe they've been adding to my madness... Maybe those courgettes are growing wildly large in our area with a nuclear power plant being located as near as some 10 km from us? haha

It just struck me that I have another kick practice pad. I haven't decided on what to do with my dw double pedal - either sell it (not going to fetch a lot of money given the model, plus it's used and modded) or keep it for nostalgia. If I keep it I'll have one kick practice pad for the dw and one for the Axis so there would be no need to switch the practice pads. Or have one pair at the kit and the other at the PC (the PC practice pad gets way more use... usually several hours a day).

Another thing I noticed is that while the dw2002 double pedal was super easy to fold with the drive shaft installed to put the pedals away under my PC workdesk when not using it, the Axis drive shaft has some pretty limited angle of motion so I have to detach the drive shaft on one end. So I have to have a drum key at hand.

Last edited by Arky; 10-07-2013 at 08:56 PM.
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Old 11-10-2013, 09:07 AM
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Default Re: Axis Longboard double pedal facelift

Decided to do that heel block mod I had in mind. This will get the heel part of the footplate closer to the ground and the footplate will be more angled.

Apart from reducing the height/thickness of the heel blocks (by some 4 mm) I also wanted to give them a more appealing shape so they'd line up with the base plate and foot plate outlines.

One pic shows the original and modded heel block on top of each other.
Due to the reduced thickness I also had to round off that joint where the foot plate gets mounted to because otherwise it would scratch along the base plate or the pedals couldn't be used at all. I guess that will be the last mod for now on those pedals.
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Old 11-10-2013, 07:15 PM
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Default Re: Axis Longboard double pedal facelift

Done. Here's some pics - those heel blocks after fine sanding and polishing, plus mounted to the pedal. Those few mm in height difference make a noticeable difference - not huge but it's more to my taste now.

On the very last pic you can see that the 'U' end of one of the heel blocks is actually suspended from the ground plate - I have no idea how that happened. I simply assumed that the block would line up perfectly but it seems when I reworked the block I did so asymmetrically. Looks weird but there's no stability issues. I just never checked the blocks with the ground plate during the reworking and this is what turned out ;-)

On the previous pics the sides of the heel blocks had too much of an angle - which I noticed afterwards so I adjusted this and made them more lining up with the ground plate. I also rounded off the front contour, I thought that would look nicer.

You might notice that on one pedal I'm using different screws. When I got the pedals there were 2 screws missing. Funnily, I found one matching screw in our garage (why not 2? damn). We have a couple screws with the same threads but different heads. So I'll either get some more orig. Axis screws, use a mixed set or will buy a bunch of identical screws with matching heads.
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Last edited by Arky; 11-10-2013 at 07:29 PM.
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Old 11-12-2013, 07:37 AM
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Default Re: Axis Longboard double pedal facelift

Done, part 2 ;-)

I reworked the heel block shape, they looked too pointed on one end to me which also didn't feel comfortable when using the pedal barefoot (which I would usually do).

The second thing I changed was the screws. 1 orig. Axis screw was still missing and I decided to buy some stainless screws and replace the screws on the footplates - silver cosmetics throughout which looks pretty cool IMO. I needed to shorten those screws though and also to deburr the edges after trimming them. Which is a bit of a pain with stainless steel due to the higher stability of that material.

Those stainless screws were hard to mount so after much fumbling around I decided to rework them using a thread cutter. They fit perfectly afterwards - lesson learned for next time. Next to the thread cutter you can see the 'salvaged' orig. Axis screws and a few spare screws. The new screws looked ok as they were but I thought I'd sand off that labeling on the screw heads. More time, more aching fingers, more cosmetics. The end result looks cool to me.

So what's next? Finishing the drive shaft. And forgetting about touching the Axis for any more modifications ever.
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Old 12-05-2013, 09:56 PM
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Default Re: Axis Longboard double pedal facelift

I have bought a set of longboards that are in desperate need of a facelift. I dont think I have the patients to do this though..lol.
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Old 12-05-2013, 09:59 PM
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Default Re: Axis Longboard double pedal facelift

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I have bought a set of longboards that are in desperate need of a facelift. I dont think I have the patients to do this though..lol.
Do you really think I would do this again? haha

I've been enjoying those pedals in the meantime. They got a few more scratches here and there - it's aluminum in the end, and cosmetically, that stuff is super unforgiving.
Still haven't gotten around to finishing the drive shaft buffing. (Time is not the problem.)
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