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  #1  
Old 02-21-2009, 07:45 AM
Concrete Pete Concrete Pete is offline
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Default I just made old heads as good as new!

Hey Crew,

If this has been posted here before, or is an old trick, just ignore this post, but it's something I just discovered, and works great.

I'm on a limited budget since the economy in in the crapper, and save money wherever I can. That in mind, I needed to change out my dimpled and cratered drum heads (snare and toms) as they were getting to the point that they sounded "thuddy" from all the damage.

Long story short, I removed my smallest tom head and took a clothes iron to it, putting the head rim-up on a towel on my hardwood table, with a thin pillowcase over it, so as not to overheat it. After about 20 or so passes with heavy pressure on the iron- VOILA! The head looked brand new, and when mounted back on the shell sounded about 95% better. I did the same process with my other tom heads, and my snare, too- all with the same results. I just saved myself the cost of 4 new heads, and am amazed that such a simple trick works.

Rock on,
C. P.
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  #2  
Old 02-21-2009, 05:21 PM
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wolfmoon wolfmoon is offline
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Default Re: I just made old heads as good as new!

I have used this trick to fix a distorted looking port hole on a front bass drum head. It worked like a charm.
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  #3  
Old 02-22-2009, 12:20 AM
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Default Re: I just made old heads as good as new!

Tight budget... know that one! I'm refurbishing an old set of Ludwigs and they'll need all new heads. I've got some hydraulics I might try your iron trip on. However, I found 'Starlite' heads and I've never heard of them. They're very cheap at about six buck each. Anyone ever try them? Bad I bet. Please reply if you know of their quality.
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  #4  
Old 02-22-2009, 12:46 AM
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Default Re: I just made old heads as good as new!

Great thinking...glad to hear that it worked out for you!
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  #5  
Old 02-24-2009, 03:38 PM
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larryace larryace is online now
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Default Re: I just made old heads as good as new!

Concrete Pete....Genius....I'm mad that it never occurred to me...but then again I never dent drumheads...but sometimes others do that for me when my kit gets used at the open mic nights. Again, genius. The world needs minds like yours.
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  #6  
Old 02-24-2009, 05:01 PM
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wolfmoon wolfmoon is offline
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Default Re: I just made old heads as good as new!

That trick has been around for some time now. I think people dismiss it because it sounds so bizzare. It works.
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  #7  
Old 02-25-2009, 07:20 AM
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larryace larryace is online now
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Default Re: I just made old heads as good as new!

It's been around for some time eh? Wow I don't know how I missed that one. I swear that's the first I ever saw it mentioned anywhere. Thanks again to Concrete Pete and Bernhard, you guys rock man.
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  #8  
Old 02-25-2009, 07:37 AM
theuntitleddrummer theuntitleddrummer is offline
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Default Re: I just made old heads as good as new!

Does it work for two-ply heads?
Just wondering because I don't was to completely destroy my g2's...
But THIS IDEA ROCKS
I was thinking I needed new heads....
But again I haven't tried it. I too never heard of this "trick".
Save me some bucks..thats what happens when you play drums..money money money lol
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  #9  
Old 02-27-2009, 05:50 AM
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Default Re: I just made old heads as good as new!

Does it work for coated heads too?
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  #10  
Old 02-27-2009, 03:47 PM
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wolfmoon wolfmoon is offline
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Default Re: I just made old heads as good as new!

It will work on any head. Just follow the directions given in the first post. I just used this trick to reform an old Remo ing back into shape. I use one on my snare from time to time. Somehow it nearly got folded in half so that put a nasty crease in it and it wouldn't lat flay on the head. I put the ring on my kitchen counter and out a tee shirt over it. I fired up the iron and after 10 minutes of working with the iron, the ring is nearly perfect..

Last edited by wolfmoon; 02-27-2009 at 07:03 PM.
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  #11  
Old 03-10-2009, 04:19 AM
theuntitleddrummer theuntitleddrummer is offline
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Default Re: I just made old heads as good as new!

My iron is a bit big for my smallest tom...can it be done rim facing down, the way you would mount it on a drum?!?
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  #12  
Old 03-10-2009, 07:46 AM
theuntitleddrummer theuntitleddrummer is offline
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Default Re: I just made old heads as good as new!

WOW...
I followed your advice and it made the head tighter and worse?!?!
I can't use it anymore?!?!
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  #13  
Old 03-10-2009, 10:08 AM
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Daphfz Daphfz is offline
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Default Re: I just made old heads as good as new!

yea i had that problem also with a 16" pinstripe. after i ironed it, it went really wrinkly on the outside and rly rly tight on the inside. I can still use it, but only if i hit in the VERY center.
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  #14  
Old 03-10-2009, 09:00 PM
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Les Ismore Les Ismore is offline
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Default Re: I just made old heads as good as new!

This is fun to play around with, but keep in mind when you heat mylar the molecular structure is changed forever. Mylar is stretched from the impact of playing, there's nothing you can do to get it back to its original state.

The lighter flame under the dimples stuff works visually, but strike the spot with a stick where the dimple originally was and dimple will come back instantly.

Compare a 'heat treated' head to a new one. You might get lucky with heating one, but it'll only sound good in a very limited tuning range, ie not usable.
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  #15  
Old 03-11-2009, 08:00 AM
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Default Re: I just made old heads as good as new!

Quote:
Originally Posted by theuntitleddrummer View Post
My iron is a bit big for my smallest tom...can it be done rim facing down, the way you would mount it on a drum?!?
If you did it this way... of course it's ruined.
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  #16  
Old 03-11-2009, 08:03 AM
theuntitleddrummer theuntitleddrummer is offline
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Default Re: I just made old heads as good as new!

Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfmoon View Post
If you did it this way... of course it's ruined.
Which way are you talking about?
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  #17  
Old 03-11-2009, 10:25 AM
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wolfmoon wolfmoon is offline
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Default Re: I just made old heads as good as new!

rim facing down..

That way.
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  #18  
Old 03-11-2009, 05:14 PM
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Doug Masters Doug Masters is offline
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Default Re: I just made old heads as good as new!

I tried this on an old head and totally warped it. I assume I used too much heat. What setting did you use for the iron?
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  #19  
Old 03-11-2009, 07:30 PM
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veggo32 veggo32 is offline
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Default Re: I just made old heads as good as new!

Tried this with my old heads, took an iron to it, and not only did the heads flatten like new. Which makes the head sound as good as new but I was blown away to see the coating actually reappear on the drum head. If I were to hold the old and the new coated drum head side by side you wouldn't be able to tell the difference. So, now I'll just buy 10 year old heads and bring them back to life and sell them for a huge profit. Wow!










Not! sorry but I had to. This thread is just too ridiculous.
Really there is no harm in trying but I wouldn't expect any positive results.
Check your technique because you shouldn't be puting craters and dimples on your heads.
The only thing you can do to extend the life of a head somewhat is as it begins to lose its tone
when tuned lower, start tuning it a bit higher to get a decent tone out of it. Basically, though once
they're gone there gone for good.

Last edited by veggo32; 03-11-2009 at 07:43 PM.
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  #20  
Old 03-19-2009, 05:31 PM
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bobdadruma bobdadruma is offline
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Default Re: I just made old heads as good as new!

Did you factor in the cost of the electricity that your iron used to further weaken your worn heads? I have worked with similar plastics in the auto repair industry for over thirty years. Heating plastic materials will shrink them, But it always weakens them. The polymers in plastic materials break down when they are heated after their initial heating during the manufacturing and forming process. When plastics are recycled, only a small amount of used plastic can be added to the new product because of this fact. Aluminum is the only material that I know of that can be repeatedly heated, melted, and recycled over and over.
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  #21  
Old 03-21-2009, 11:40 PM
Concrete Pete Concrete Pete is offline
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Default Re: I just made old heads as good as new!

Hey Crew,

Glad that some of you enjoyed this trick, and it works for you.
As for the others that it did NOT work for, it might be the type of head, excessive heat setting on the iron, or leaving the iron in one spot too long.

I've done this a few times since I last posted, and have refined the technique a bit more-

First make sure the iron's contact surface is absolutely clean and dry.

Iron setting should be at the second hottest level on DRY- not STEAM.
If it's a steam/dry iron, make sure all of the water has been dumped out of it beforehand, and let set a day or 2 to allow any residual water to evaporate out.

Make sure you place a towel on a really HARD surface that will not distort under pressure, (like a solid wood table) and make sure the surface is smooth and level.

A soft pillowcase over the head helps, but is not necessary, and if you use one, you will have to make SURE it stays flat, not wrinkled. You will also have to keep lifting it up to see the head underneath, so use your own judgment.

It works on two-ply heads as long as the plies have not been too badly separated, and works especially well on Mylar, and single-ply.

The best technique is to avoid having the "pointy" tip of the iron contact the head at a downward angle- use the rounded sides of the iron near the front, and DO NOT hold the iron in any one spot for more than 1-1/2 seconds. Apply heavy pressure, using circular movements, and most of all, take your time and make many passes instead of tying to "iron out" all the dimples at once.

Let the head cool for at least 5-10 minutes before re-installing it on the drum, and make sure that you tighten the hardware very evenly and gently until you get a "full snug", then tighten it to your preference.

I also found another really weird-ass trick that I've been using for a couple weeks, now.
Yes, it'll sound stupid, but it really works good for me! I had some heavy (limo) black Mylar window tint that I had left over from doing all my side and rear Jeep windows, and cut a "dot" about 2" in diameter smaller than the drum heads. It's self-adhesive, and went right over the (freshly ironed and cleaned) head. I squeegeed out all the bubbles in it, and now it serves as extra protection from denting and stick marks. It also gave the toms a slightly richer tone, and can be ironed just like above.

Rock on,
C. P.
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  #22  
Old 03-22-2009, 01:56 AM
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Default Re: I just made old heads as good as new!

Pictures of the "dots" would be great!
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  #23  
Old 04-10-2009, 07:36 AM
Concrete Pete Concrete Pete is offline
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Default Re: I just made old heads as good as new!

Hey Crew,

Here's a few pics I just took of my "head ironing" technique,and how good it works. you can also see the Mylar "dots" i put on the heads. the last pic shows both my classic Harleys in the background.

The 1st 2 pics are "before" and the last ones are "after"- stick marks remain on the heads, but not the dents and spalling.

Rock on,
C. P.
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  #24  
Old 04-10-2009, 07:53 AM
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Default Re: I just made old heads as good as new!

Another old trick for taking a dent out of a head is using a hair dryer set on the hot setting. I accidently made a dent in a Hazy reso snare head I was putting on, used the hair dryer and it dissapeared. I remember using this on other thicker heads years ago when I used to bash and dent heads occasionally.
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