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  #1  
Old 04-12-2015, 01:35 AM
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Default Antiquing / Distressing drums and hardware

Bit weird, I know, but I've always been a little bit put off by shiny lacquers and chrome plated hardware.
I'm slowly amassing the parts and info I need to make a dirty, gritty old antique looking drum set out of new shells and hardware.

I know there are many tricks to distressing wood through painting techniques, flat looking stains and finishes, scuffing it up lightly here and there, etc.
And I know brass has dozens of ways to be antiqued or add patina (not sure about brass plated stuff though)

Not sure what I'm going to do about my chrome plated hardware though, don't really know where to start altering it.

Anyone else have any experience distressing and antiquing stuff, or any interesting stories?

Last edited by gallonsloth; 06-22-2015 at 08:30 PM.
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  #2  
Old 04-12-2015, 02:32 AM
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Default Re: Antiquing / Distressing drums and hardware

There's lots of this going on in the guitar world. Seems people either love it or hate it. The truly nice looking guitars are done by very experienced people -- the process is meticulous and time-consuming, and sometimes can come out as works of art. OTOH, there's a lot of guitars out there that were distressed by first-timers in their basement or garage...and LOOK like it.

Guitars are a lot different than drums; they have natural wear-points on the body, neck, and fretboard. If finished in nitrocellulose, the finish may have a cracked appearance. Then there's the "battle-scar" dings and scratches (sometimes the hardest to make look natural), and the "dirtying" to make it look like it's been in a thousand smoke-filled bars and seldom cleaned.

What level kit do you plan this on? Beginner? Mid-grade? Pro-grade? There's plenty of info on guitar forums about aging metal components. On the wood you might be on your own. I'd start out with a cheap set, as you may not be pleased with your results (and no one else will, either, resale-wise).

Just my .02 cents...
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Old 04-12-2015, 03:11 AM
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Default Re: Antiquing / Distressing drums and hardware

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Originally Posted by FreDrummer View Post
I'd start out with a cheap set, as you may not be pleased with your results (and no one else will, either, resale-wise).
Good point...
I'm gonna give it a go with a cheap Sonor kick and floor-tom I picked up for under 100$ first.
But I eventually want to start up a project like this from scratch.

I suppose that's true too, it is pretty popular amongst the guitar world, hadn't thought about that. Might ask some of the older guitarists in the shops around here if they know anyone who does this.
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Old 04-12-2015, 08:58 AM
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Default Re: Antiquing / Distressing drums and hardware

I have never understood this desire. I was looking for a new guitar a few years back and could not understand why Gibson and Fender in particular were selling ranges of new gitars that were made to look old.

I have noticed that it is now very difficult to buy a pair of jeans that dont look 3 years old and in a lot of the high street fashion chains even the shoes are made to look worn and distressed. Whats that all about? If I want a new pair of footwear or trousers I want them to look new and with jeans in particular thay will wear with age.
None of that rant has any bearing on the question the OP asked, each to there own, just my take on things. Apologies.

If you like I have a set of very distressed Premier hardware from the early 80s, you can have it if you pick it up.
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Old 04-12-2015, 02:47 PM
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Default Re: Antiquing / Distressing drums and hardware

Ahaha, definitely agree that it is a little strange to buy purposely roughed up clothing... at that point, it becomes more than the outer surface or visual part of the product that is altered, and you're sometimes significantly sacrificing the function and life of the product just for visual appeal. Which does seem a little absurd.

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If you like I have a set of very distressed Premier hardware from the early 80s, you can have it if you pick it up.
If you happened to by some wild chance live somewhere close to Mississauga I might be interested in that actually.
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Old 04-12-2015, 04:20 PM
Captain Bash Captain Bash is offline
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Default Re: Antiquing / Distressing drums and hardware

Beer, blood, wine,sea water and strong acids and or alkaline reagents are particularly good at distressing all manner of musical instruments. If you don't like lacquer finishes you could easily distress finishes and enhance the look by splashing some organic solvents around eg. methylene chloride. Then fine tune the look by handing any bass player a hand axe and letting him learn to carve into the maple/birch etc. also hardware can be dethroned by leaving stands out for winter, they come up a lovely flakey earth brown!

Hey presto your bespoke antique finish.
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Old 04-12-2015, 08:46 PM
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Default Re: Antiquing / Distressing drums and hardware

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Then fine tune the look by handing any bass player a hand axe and letting him learn to carve into the maple/birch etc.
lol

I'm actually considering taking an old stand, protecting all the threads, etc. and throwing it outside for a few weeks to see what happens.
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Old 04-13-2015, 07:57 PM
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Default Re: Antiquing / Distressing drums and hardware

i think this is a really cool idea, and I've often wondered why drums are lagging behind other instruments in terms of distressed/antiqued finishes.

Long before Gibson and Fender started "relic-ing" guitars, instrument makers in the classical world have been antiquing their instruments for hundreds of years. It's not a new phenomenon, and violin makers have gotten really good at it. I'd look to their techniques and see what you can glean.
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  #9  
Old 04-13-2015, 10:29 PM
Giltkitguy Giltkitguy is offline
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Default Re: Antiquing / Distressing drums and hardware

I aged the hardware on my telecaster by tinting shellac, which will stick to pretty much anything, with dark brown alcohol based wood stain that I got at Mohawk Finishing Supplies. There's one in Missisauga: http://www.mohawk-finishing.com/dist...asp?distNbr=76

I sprayed it on using an airbrush. You could brush or rag it on. Shellac is alcohol based, so methyl hydrate, which is available at any building supply, is what you use to remove the shellac. You can experiment until you get the look you want. The beauty of the shellac/ methyl alcohol system is that you can clean the shellac off without damaging the substrate, even if it's been dry to touch for years. Also, OOOO grade steel wool is an easy to use gentle abrasive.

Hope this is useful info....
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Old 04-14-2015, 03:29 AM
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Default Re: Antiquing / Distressing drums and hardware

Most of the guitar "relicing" of hardware is done with fairly aggressive acids to promote corrosion. Which has to be neutralized very thoroughly or you will have problems down the road. Also, sometimes forcing rust on the hardware causes it to lock up. Really an issue with things like the small screws on a guitar bridge, but could be a problem with certain types of clamps like a vintage Rogers tom mount.

There's lots of info out there on "antiqueing" furniture. Muting the finish with fine steel wool, hitting it with chains and such to put small dings. You probably don't want major rub off points like on a guitar as that would be unnatural. Maybe on a shell tom where a snare might hit it.

I do get the idea of "road worn" equipment. Creating the image of a journeyman musician instead of someone who just ran down to Guitar Center with a handful of money. But I got over it when I met the tech for one of my favorite guitarists, Robben Ford. And he was polishing Robben's newer guitars in-between sets with hard carnuba wax. Keeping them looking new. Robben is known for playing a '54 Les Paul and a '64 Telecaster that have some natural wear. But they aren't brutalized. Fender made a Tele for Robben that was pretty heavily antiqued. The finish is totally gone where your arm goes, which Robben's actual '64 doesn't have. He gave that "imitation" to another fellow I know up here. There's nothing wrong with nice stuff if you can play it.
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  #11  
Old 04-14-2015, 06:23 PM
mikel mikel is offline
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Default Re: Antiquing / Distressing drums and hardware

You want a "real" road worn guitar? Look at some old shots of Rory Galagher, bet he spent more time playing than worrying if his gear looked beat up enough.
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  #12  
Old 04-14-2015, 10:53 PM
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Default Re: Antiquing / Distressing drums and hardware

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Originally Posted by Giltkitguy View Post
Wow, nice... these guys have everything.
I'm throwing them an email explaining the kind of look I'm going for and I'll see what they recommend for me.

Aeolian,
Yeah, I'm realizing now just how many threads, rivets, etc. there are on drum hardware that you don't really want rust on.
Certainly makes things a little tricky.
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  #13  
Old 04-15-2015, 05:12 PM
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Default Re: Antiquing / Distressing drums and hardware

I realized after watching this video, interesting veneers look like a pretty easy way to get a more weathered kind of vibe.
I really like how he used the holes in the veneer.
Interesting veneer with a satin or flat finish instead of glossy might be what I end up trying out for my shells.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bISH...SpKi_w&index=1
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  #14  
Old 04-15-2015, 06:09 PM
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Default Re: Antiquing / Distressing drums and hardware

If you want to take the chrome off the lugs without sanding I suggest you deplate them using electricity and some DC current.
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Old 04-15-2015, 06:17 PM
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Default Re: Antiquing / Distressing drums and hardware

Quote:
Originally Posted by gallonsloth View Post
I realized after watching this video, interesting veneers look like a pretty easy way to get a more weathered kind of vibe.
I really like how he used the holes in the veneer.
Interesting veneer with a satin or flat finish instead of glossy might be what I end up trying out for my shells.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bISH...SpKi_w&index=1
Why not just do what motorcyclists do if they want a "Rat" bike, ladle on the matt paint.
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  #16  
Old 05-19-2015, 05:30 AM
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Default Re: Antiquing / Distressing drums and hardware

So... made some progress with this project, here's the kick so far.

Ended up going with a burl veneer and coating it in tung oil. So now I've got my low luster finish I was looking for.
I tried a satin water-based spray finish on some test pieces, but they ended up looking cloudy and filmy with very little saturation, tough to get an even coat on the burl too.

There are no seams in between the veneer, figured that gives it a "log-with-lugs" kinda look that help it look a bit aged too.
I thought some fiberskyn heads would look pretty badass on it, so hopefully those come in soon.

Still have a long way to go though... I think I might actually leave the chrome on there, rather than strip it off, and put a thin layer of automotive paint, or something else that'll stick to it on there, and then put on one of these guys metal finishes and try to work with that.
http://metalfinishesplus.com/
Attached Images
  

Last edited by gallonsloth; 05-19-2015 at 06:18 PM.
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  #17  
Old 05-19-2015, 06:21 AM
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Default Re: Antiquing / Distressing drums and hardware

Oh yes !

I'm really liking this. Especially where the veneer is missing.
A distressed drum kit is a great idea.


.
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  #18  
Old 05-19-2015, 08:25 AM
mikel mikel is offline
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Default Re: Antiquing / Distressing drums and hardware

Why not simply gig it for a few years and neglect it, then it will be a real road worn instrument.
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  #19  
Old 05-19-2015, 03:45 PM
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Default Re: Antiquing / Distressing drums and hardware

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Originally Posted by mikel View Post
Why not simply gig it for a few years and neglect it, then it will be a real road worn instrument.
Definitely would get a more authentic worn in look that way.
I only really take the drums out of the house maybe once a year if that now though.
Also, I think I may have turned this project into less of a "worn in" set and more into a stylized rough looking kinda set I suppose.
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Old 05-19-2015, 05:33 PM
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Default Re: Antiquing / Distressing drums and hardware

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Originally Posted by gallonsloth View Post
Definitely would get a more authentic worn in look that way.
I only really take the drums out of the house maybe once a year if that now though.
Also, I think I may have turned this project into less of a "worn in" set and more into a stylized rough looking kinda set I suppose.
It sounds like what you are going for is an antique / worn out looking kit that has good working hardware. And a kit that sounds good.
For instance if you had new high end hardware but it is tarnished and or rusty. I think it is a great idea.

.
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Old 05-19-2015, 06:29 PM
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Default Re: Antiquing / Distressing drums and hardware

I wasn't really sire about your plan till I saw that bass drum. I like it, worn but classy looking. Looking forward to see how this project turns out.

How do you plan to age the hardware? How about that hoop? It looks a bit out of place on that aged looking bass drum.
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  #22  
Old 05-19-2015, 06:56 PM
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Default Re: Antiquing / Distressing drums and hardware

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It sounds like what you are going for is an antique / worn out looking kit that has good working hardware. And a kit that sounds good.
.
Yeah! Pretty much. The charm of an old set with the sound of a new set I suppose.

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Originally Posted by Red Menace View Post
How do you plan to age the hardware? How about that hoop? It looks a bit out of place on that aged looking bass drum.
The hoops I'm thinking about staining dark green and then throwing some tung oil on those too. I'm gonna test it soon to see what it will look like.

http://metalfinishesplus.com/
These guys here have some finishes that have flakes of copper and such in them, and apparently, if I understand them correctly, you can apply these to a surface and then over them you can apply an oxidizer and actually rust the paint itself. But I'm going to have to get some kind of primer that sticks to the chrome first in order to pull that off.
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Old 05-19-2015, 07:14 PM
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Default Re: Antiquing / Distressing drums and hardware

Back to your original question regarding chrome hardware. You need temperature or electrochemical techniques. The latter is likely least accessible.

For temperature, try a few parts in an oven, coat them beforehand with anything that causes reaction or oxidation - vinegar has acetic acid, bleach could be nasty too.
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Old 05-19-2015, 09:12 PM
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Default Re: Antiquing / Distressing drums and hardware

On the chrome, have you thought of attacking it with steel wool? Finer grades will simply make it shine, but repeated buffing with 000 or 00 steel wool will eventually start dulling the chrome. If the process is too slow, buy one of those synthetic buffing/rust removal bits that work in a drill and try that. I would experiment on a spare piece of chrome hardware. If nothing else, the light abrasive should wear the chrome down enough that it will make it easier to obtain corrosive effects.

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Old 05-19-2015, 09:27 PM
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Default Re: Antiquing / Distressing drums and hardware

If you have access to a sand blaster that would work great. Sand blast parts of the hardware then soak then in salt and vinegar.

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Old 05-19-2015, 09:49 PM
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Default Re: Antiquing / Distressing drums and hardware

try some saltwater on the metal parts, all but the lug nuts and screws. don't mess with the threads.

Those bass drum hoops could use some light pounding with the ball side of a ball pien hammer then a bit of light stain to get closer to old looking. I have done this with new picture frames to age them.
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Old 05-19-2015, 10:05 PM
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Default Re: Antiquing / Distressing drums and hardware

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I have done this with new picture frames to age them.
Great tip! I did this with a new picture frame that was significantly discounted because it had a little ding. I sanded it to simulate normal wear it now it looks like an older worn frame. Much more my style.

I have been tempted to try something along these lines but starting with some vintage shells and turning them into a newer looking kit. I think this thread had fueled my crazy idea.
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Old 05-20-2015, 05:06 PM
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Default Re: Antiquing / Distressing drums and hardware

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Originally Posted by Hollywood Jim View Post
If you have access to a sand blaster that would work great. Sand blast parts of the hardware then soak then in salt and vinegar.

.
That's a very good idea. With the vast number of abrasives available, he could achieve almost any finish he desires.

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Old 05-21-2015, 04:12 PM
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Default Re: Antiquing / Distressing drums and hardware

And if you want the wood to age even faster, put no finish on it. Dirt, moisture all adhere nicely when no finish is there to block it.
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  #30  
Old 05-22-2015, 12:12 AM
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Default Re: Antiquing / Distressing drums and hardware

I'm not a fan of the pre-distressed look. I think it tends to cover careless craftsmanship, and looks ten times worse after actual distress. Though everything in Ethen Allen is aesthetically very nice, I prefer getting plain gear and letting it acquire the look naturally.
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Old 05-22-2015, 01:00 AM
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Default Re: Antiquing / Distressing drums and hardware

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I'm not a fan of the pre-distressed look. I think it tends to cover careless craftsmanship, and looks ten times worse after actual distress. Though everything in Ethen Allen is aesthetically very nice, I prefer getting plain gear and letting it acquire the look naturally.
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Old 05-22-2015, 01:11 AM
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Default Re: Antiquing / Distressing drums and hardware

Give it to me, I'll play a few punk gigs, spill some beer, throw it in the truck without cases, and you're done.
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Old 06-22-2015, 09:56 PM
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Default Re: Antiquing / Distressing drums and hardware

Howdy everyone,
long longtime no post.

I've decided to abandon this project for a few reasons.

This was originally supposed to be essentially just a finishing project, but after installing the hardware and throwing a head on the kick drum, I realized the bearing edge is completely wonky on this shell and will need to be recut. It looks as if the supplier I got this shell from doesn't have much experience with cutting edges.

I also completely butchered the hoops. They look terribly out of place IMO and will need quite a bit of sanding and refinishing.

Also, removing the chrome is proving to be too much of an inconvienence now, and painting over it is going to be mighty expensive

It's proving to be a lot more work than I'd hoped for, just to get a maple kit that looks different, not making much sense at this point.

Eh, it was fun though, maybe someone else will have more luck with a project like this.
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