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  #1  
Old 03-10-2009, 05:50 PM
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Default My drum refinishing project (PIC HEAVY)

Hey guys. Haven't been around in a while. I just had my spring break and did this over the break. I took some old sound source drums i had and refinished them. They had a ugly cheap red wrap on them. I know they are not perfectly done but i mean it was just a trial really, and the shells arent in that great of condition. There was some nasty wood on the bass drum and the edges were real messed up on it. i had to end up putting some wood glue in between a bunch of splitting areas and clamp it together. Both rack toms were in decent condition, but i messed up the grommet over the air vent on the med rack tom and so i had to get it out with pliers and ended up cutting up my hand pretty nice heh. the floor tom was in really good condition except there is a nasty warp in the inner few layers. youll see.

they aren't quite done i need to get another set of claws to put the bass drum completely together and couldn't finish quite on time so no full kit pics yet.

My process was as follows.

I took of the hardware first (duh) and then pulled up the wrap. it was really easy to do on these due to there only being 1 spot that was glued to the wood. I tried to be as carefull as possible when getting it off the shell, but on the bass drum where the glue was is where the wood was bad, so some still got pulled up.

I didnt want to spend much money cause one im a broke college student and two the shells arent that great so it was more just a fun project. I only used the sand paper i had around so i started off with 100 grit on all the shells. I would have like to start with a coarser grit to make it easier to get the glue off but oh well.

After a thorough sanding i wiped them off with a old pillowcase (makes a great shop rag)
and then i went back over them with a 220 grit sandpaper. That really smoothed them out and i felt like they didnt need a finer sanding but i might have wanted to just for a really nice polish. But then again part of this was me doing my own trial and error (i didnt look at any how tos or anything i just had what i thought in my head and wanted to try it)

Now they were ready for the first coat of stain. I taped up the bearing edges i'm not exactly sure why i just didnt do the inside, but i figured it would somehow damage the edge. i doubt it though. i kinda wish i did the whole shell, but at the same time this was a good trial and error and it unstained part gets completely covered.
I used a minwax dark walnut stain. i applied it to the shells with a cheese cloth i did that and let sun bath for half the day. i came back at night and applied the second coat of stain. This really set off the color.

Next day i applied a minwax semi-gloss poly coat to it. i waited 5 hours sanded it down with 220 grit sandpaper and applied a second coat as directed.

This is what they looked like when i started





(and floor tom without hardware)



gross right?

i cant find the pictures of them bare and unsanded but this is close

the toms after only some light sanding


the glue was a pain


and heres the warp in the tom


heres the bass drum... be prepared these are bare and unsanded pics.





that nasty spot you see is where the wood came up on removing the wrap and where i believe the wood was starting to rot.

here are some of the nasty spots on the edge of the bass drum




(the last one is also on the nasty spot)

and there were some spots that were really gouged by the previous owners poor tom placement on the bass drum (they took to sanding pretty decently but they were so deep i couldnt completely get rid of them)



There are a bunch of pictures that i took and i dont know where they are any more (particularly the fixes on the bass drum), but if requested i can get some next weekend and post them.

used and old wardrobe holder type thing to hold the shells while staining and drying it worked perfectly for the rack toms and bass drum but couldnt fit the floor tom so i made my own little rack clamping a 2x4 in a work bench.







and here is the first coat





i dont know why the floor tom was sooo much darker.

and sunbathing



i really liked the color of the first coat but i figured the second would really make it look good.

this is right after i added the second coat.
they dont look nearly as good partly due to it being at night now and only having florescent lighting instead of natural.





yeah my grubby little hand got the inside splotchy

the first coat of poly didnt really make the drums pop



(some sanding^)


(i think this one is partly sanded. i cant exactly remember)


after sanding and a second coat i think they look great now though.




(and bad picture)


okay here is the moment of truth the high rack tom and floor tom all put together!













What do you guys think? Sorry for the massive amount of pictures (and some being bad. they didnt look blury on the small camera screen heh) If i should remove some just say so.

oh and my total cost:
sandpaper = $0 (had it around)
stain = $7
poly= $10
cheese cloth = $3
stain tray = $1.50
brush for poly = $2
TOTAL = $23.50!
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Old 03-10-2009, 06:18 PM
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Default Re: My drum refinishing project (PIC HEAVY)

That looks sick for only $23!
BUT, does it sound any different?

I would have went with a different stain. maybe a red of some sort, but besides that, great!
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:04 PM
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Default Re: My drum refinishing project (PIC HEAVY)

I am guessing the floor tom's outer veneer was drier or of a different grain. It apparently drank in more stain. I have never heard of "sound source" but my guess is that's a softer hardwood like Luaan.

Still, it's a very nice resto job. Looks a lot nicer than a red plastic wrap.

I think it looks nice, in a dark way. I think if I do another resto job, it probably will be a bright cherry red.

Either way, you breathed new life into a kit that needed it.
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:08 PM
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Default Re: My drum refinishing project (PIC HEAVY)

This is that same kit isn't it?

http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/msg/1065541307.html
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:30 PM
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Default Re: My drum refinishing project (PIC HEAVY)

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Originally Posted by joshisaces View Post
I do not think so the grain and color do not match.

HEY, you did put some life into that old kit would like to see it finished.
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:31 PM
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Default Re: My drum refinishing project (PIC HEAVY)

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Originally Posted by trkdrmr View Post
I am guessing the floor tom's outer veneer was drier or of a different grain. It apparently drank in more stain. I have never heard of "sound source" but my guess is that's a softer hardwood like Luaan.

Still, it's a very nice resto job. Looks a lot nicer than a red plastic wrap.

I think it looks nice, in a dark way. I think if I do another resto job, it probably will be a bright cherry red.

Either way, you breathed new life into a kit that needed it.
I thought the same thing...a bit more sanding and the pre-stain solution would have helped even it out tremendously.
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:31 PM
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Default Re: My drum refinishing project (PIC HEAVY)

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Originally Posted by joshisaces View Post
That looks sick for only $23!
BUT, does it sound any different?

I would have went with a different stain. maybe a red of some sort, but besides that, great!
It actually does sound a bit different it opened them up more and actually gave them more tone (in my opinion at least)

Quote:
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it does look very similar i think so the lug numbers look the same
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:34 PM
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Default Re: My drum refinishing project (PIC HEAVY)

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I thought the same thing...a bit more sanding and the pre-stain solution would have helped even it out tremendously.
it might have but i did not want to pay $12 on pre-stain for a huge amount that i would barely use any of. and it really doesn't bother me. i think they look good for what they are.
I mean when i bought these drums is payed $80 for the drums with some random snare a snare stand a cheap throne b8 pro high hats with sonor highhat stand b8 crash peavey ride and 1 cymbal stand. so i dont think i could have in any way reduced the value heh
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Old 03-10-2009, 11:01 PM
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Default Re: My drum refinishing project (PIC HEAVY)

I think it was a waste of your time and effort. Not so much the money because you sent a small amount. I can sell restoring a vintage set of Ludwigs, Slingerlands or any meduim to high end kit but refinishing THAT kit???
Sorry man just calling it like I see it.
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Old 03-11-2009, 12:27 AM
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Default Re: My drum refinishing project (PIC HEAVY)

That finish is VERY cool, in my opinion. Gives off a very retro, jazzy, lounge vibe but something you could still look modern with. I will have to consider doing something similar if I don't get rid of my current kit before transitioning into college, although I would probably go with a slightly lighter stain, and definitely try to apply some pre-stain. I hate the idea of drums soaking up liquid like that.
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Old 03-11-2009, 01:13 AM
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Default Re: My drum refinishing project (PIC HEAVY)

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Originally Posted by walkera1962 View Post
I think it was a waste of your time and effort. Not so much the money because you sent a small amount. I can sell restoring a vintage set of Ludwigs, Slingerlands or any meduim to high end kit but refinishing THAT kit???
Sorry man just calling it like I see it.
I dont plan on selling it if thats what you meant by that. I was doing it for a fun drum related project. I mean why not? I can't and wont be able to afford any of the things you mentioned for quite some time, so again... why not? might as well try to bring some life into something dying. Why get grandma a hip replacement? heh
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Old 03-11-2009, 01:16 AM
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Default Re: My drum refinishing project (PIC HEAVY)

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Originally Posted by walkera1962 View Post
I think it was a waste of your time and effort. Not so much the money because you sent a small amount. I can sell restoring a vintage set of Ludwigs, Slingerlands or any meduim to high end kit but refinishing THAT kit???
Sorry man just calling it like I see it.
whats wrong with that?

i bet this set was mainly used to basically test things out. to see if he could do it and make it look good.
IMO he did a really good job. looks alllot better than they used to. and they were pretty messed.

so dont flame!

great job man.... i agree, i would've gone lighter on the stain, but that just personal preference!

Alex
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Old 03-11-2009, 03:30 AM
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Default Re: My drum refinishing project (PIC HEAVY)

I personally think its a great idea, otherwise these drums would have either got thrown out, or continued to get worse. They look alot better than they did, thats for sure. Its all about having fun anyway, and he did say he was a broke college student. I was in the exact same situation, and had a set of CB drums (still have them around). They may not have been restored ludwigs, but they played at a bar a couple times, and everyone seemed to think it was great!
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Old 03-11-2009, 03:59 AM
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Default Re: My drum refinishing project (PIC HEAVY)

yeah. another thing...lol.

say he uses these to play a few gigs. would you want to take your 1966 champagne sparkle ludwigs to a smokey bar when a bunch of drunk guys cant tell the difference between a guitar and drums?
lol

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Old 03-11-2009, 01:15 PM
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Default Re: My drum refinishing project (PIC HEAVY)

oh my! how did the bass drum turn out? nice job and at a killer price!
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Old 03-11-2009, 03:42 PM
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Default Re: My drum refinishing project (PIC HEAVY)

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Originally Posted by walkera1962 View Post
I think it was a waste of your time and effort. Not so much the money because you sent a small amount. I can sell restoring a vintage set of Ludwigs, Slingerlands or any meduim to high end kit but refinishing THAT kit???
Sorry man just calling it like I see it.
...something called Pride.

Matt, you did a hell of a nice job. One that you can definately be proud of. You have also gained some valuable experience for when you do refinish that vintage Ludwig, Slingerland, or medium to high end kit.

Once again Matt, nice job.

Barry
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Old 03-11-2009, 03:49 PM
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Default Re: My drum refinishing project (PIC HEAVY)

Yeah, that looks really nice! I like the contrast of the grain.
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Old 03-12-2009, 03:03 AM
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Default Re: My drum refinishing project (PIC HEAVY)

Great work you have done there. Very nice
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Old 03-12-2009, 06:04 AM
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Default Re: My drum refinishing project (PIC HEAVY)

Grats, dude. You did an awesome job on those and I think you made a great color choice. Anything you can do to feel better about your gear is worth the time invested, IMO. Plus, it's cool to have stuff that isn't like anyone else's.
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Old 03-14-2009, 02:37 PM
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Default Re: My drum refinishing project (PIC HEAVY)

In response to the naysayer -

I refinished a similar low-end kit. Got it for free off a mate.

Sold it for 400 Aus dollars a couple of weeks back. Sounded better, looked better, played better. There's a reaosn in itself to restore these kits.

So, same reason youd refinish any kit. To emphasise/increase the positive characteristics.

In fact, id rather someone restore a kit like this then risk restoring and possibly destroying a vintage kit.

I find it amusing you'll post up a comment saying a person who has put dedication and effort into producing something of personal value and good quality outcomes is a 'waste of time and effort', where i'm sure most people on this forum will agree your post was more of a waste of time and effort.
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Old 03-22-2009, 11:11 PM
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Default Re: My drum refinishing project (PIC HEAVY)

What a great improvment. Lots of fun I know.
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Old 05-03-2009, 06:19 AM
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Default Re: My drum refinishing project (PIC HEAVY)

very nice
awesome job
i would love to give restoring a kit a go one day
this has inspired me
*pound it*
:P
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Old 05-03-2009, 06:47 AM
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Default Re: My drum refinishing project (PIC HEAVY)

Nice job mate, and as a few people have stated, it WAS worth your time and effort.

one question though, what have you done about the damaged edges? is there anyway to fix them or have you just tidied them up a bit?
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Old 05-03-2009, 04:55 PM
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Default Re: My drum refinishing project (PIC HEAVY)

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Nice job mate, and as a few people have stated, it WAS worth your time and effort.

one question though, what have you done about the damaged edges? is there anyway to fix them or have you just tidied them up a bit?
if i were to fix them completely it would have taken cutting.
what i did was and parts that were splitting between layers: i took wood glue and tried to get it in the crack as best i could and a little on top, and then clamped it together using whatever i had at the time. one time i was trying to fix 4 spots on the bass so i used 2 actual clamps but ran out so the other two spots were clamped with a car battery recharger haha.
after that i just sanded a little. so pretty much a tidying.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bol-D View Post
very nice
awesome job
i would love to give restoring a kit a go one day
this has inspired me
*pound it*
:P
glad i could inspire
*e-pound**explosion*
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Old 05-07-2009, 01:29 AM
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Default Re: My drum refinishing project (PIC HEAVY)

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... so again... why not? might as well try to bring some life into something dying. Why get grandma a hip replacement? heh
Good one! And good point.

I like the idea and the results. What's more, it's very good practice for working on something bigger and better.

I would like to see a picture of them set up properly though.
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Old 05-07-2009, 12:19 PM
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Default Re: My drum refinishing project (PIC HEAVY)

Quote:
Originally Posted by walkera1962 View Post
I think it was a waste of your time and effort. Not so much the money because you sent a small amount. I can sell restoring a vintage set of Ludwigs, Slingerlands or any meduim to high end kit but refinishing THAT kit???
Sorry man just calling it like I see it.
That was harsh.

If you don't have the $$ to go buy a new higher end kit, then make the one you have Look sharp, that's my opinion, we welcome yours.... maybe ;)

Besides, with proper heads and tuning you can make a cardboard box sound decent. Excellent work.
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Old 05-07-2009, 08:56 PM
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Default Re: My drum refinishing project (PIC HEAVY)

Well done Matt, looks so much better! That glue is a pain to get off isn't it!! ;D It would finish it off nice if you had some black hardware on that though, but I know it will be very costly!

Definitely better than what it was, I was looking forward to the whole setup in a picture though but as said in your first post, Il come back to check when you get them on!
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Old 05-07-2009, 09:20 PM
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Default Re: My drum refinishing project (PIC HEAVY)

If I were a young, novice woodworker I wouldn't want to start out staining a high end Ludwig or any other high end set. I think this was the perfect oppurtunity to one, see if he had the skills, two would want to do again, and three, take a beat drum set and put a little blood, sweat, and tears into something that he can say, "I did that, and it looks good,"
or "Boy, I'll never try that again" Kudos to you Matt for spending 23.00 and your own time on a decent project.
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