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  #1  
Old 01-11-2014, 07:19 PM
CCdrummer CCdrummer is offline
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Default Basic drum maintenance?

The thread on why people treat their drums so poorly made me realize that I know Absolutely nothing about basic drum set maintenance, someone mentioned oiling the tension rods something that I have never done. Not surprising, I remember my dad telling me "you are hard on equipment son", but that was referring more towards vehicles, tools , powertools etc

So would anyone like to share what a schedule for drum set maintenance should look like?
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  #2  
Old 01-11-2014, 07:27 PM
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Default Re: Basic drum maintenance?

What more can you do besides cleaning off dust and making sure everything is in tune?

I guess trying repair use damage if that happens...
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Old 01-11-2014, 07:28 PM
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Old 01-11-2014, 07:29 PM
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  #3  
Old 01-11-2014, 07:32 PM
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Default Re: Basic drum maintenance?

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Originally Posted by WhoIsTony? View Post
I rarely do any "maintenance" ....what is maintenance for a drum kit anyway?

I'll wipe the drums off occasionally

sometimes I get a can of compressed air and blow out the crevices in the hardware and pedal..... but not very often at all

maybe once a year or every two years while changing heads I may grease the tension rods .... but I never worry too much about it

my drums sit in my studio until it is time for the gig or recording session to which they are transported in cases and always in my presence

if drums are in a basement, garage, or damp rehearsal room they may require more maintenance .... or maybe if they are transported without cases.... but I don't ever find my drums ever needing anything that I would call "maintenance"

to me "maintenance" is what road techs for the Who had to perform ..... for me ... I wipe down the kit once a month and take care of the instrument
Well, that's pretty much what I was thinking, just wondered if there was any preventative things that I should be doing.
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Old 01-11-2014, 07:34 PM
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Default Re: Basic drum maintenance?

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Originally Posted by CCdrummer View Post
Well, that's pretty much what I was thinking, just wondered if there was any preventative things that I should be doing.
You could not touch them at all. I guess there are dust repellants on the market and you can use products that help keep tension lugs in place. Maybe check to see if screws and movable parts are coming loose.
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Old 01-11-2014, 08:14 PM
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Default Re: Basic drum maintenance?

I think some of the rust type stuff you see is from people who play gigs, don't have their stuff bagged up, and it needs to be moved through, temporarily set down in, or played in rainy or snowy conditions.
Not too much of a problem if they're thoroughly wiped down quickly.
A good soaking in rain might take a complete disassembly though.
Some bar gigs always present spilled drink opportunities too - ha ha.

Lots of chipped finishes from dropped toms and other things dropped on drums.
Accidents happen, but it's never a good feeling, and sometimes the damage can run deep.
Chipped chrome - I'm not sure. Could be some manufacturing problem that didn't allow for the right bonding.
It'd take a pretty good whack to chip a chromed piece.

A set that's used mainly in one place, and not moved around much, shouldn't need more attention than what's been mentioned though.
Unless it's used in extreme humidity or temperature conditions.

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Old 01-11-2014, 08:20 PM
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Default Re: Basic drum maintenance?

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhoIsTony? View Post
I rarely do any "maintenance" ....what is maintenance for a drum kit anyway?

I'll wipe the drums off occasionally

sometimes I get a can of compressed air and blow out the crevices in the hardware and pedal..... but not very often at all

maybe once a year or every two years while changing heads I may grease the tension rods .... but I never worry too much about it

my drums sit in my studio until it is time for the gig or recording session to which they are transported in cases and always in my presence

if drums are in a basement, garage, or damp rehearsal room they may require more maintenance .... or maybe if they are transported without cases.... but I don't ever find my drums ever needing anything that I would call "maintenance"

to me "maintenance" is what road techs for the Who had to perform ..... for me ... I wipe down the kit once a month and take care of the instrument
Phew.

Every so often I wipe off the cat hair.
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  #7  
Old 01-11-2014, 08:26 PM
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Default Re: Basic drum maintenance?

This depends on where and how much you are gigging as well as whether or not your gear is being used as back line for the support acts. Fact is that most venues are in the cold light of day rather dirty and fairly harsh environments, e.g. Big temperature changes ranging from boiling hot with stage lights and lots of people to freezing cold empty.

Even if the bar area gets cleaned the stage areas and back rooms harbour what we might call gig fluff. This seems to love drums and pedals in particular, this stuff will cause problems long term, for example it can get under bearing edges.

For maintaining gear I have two schemes:

1) Complete service clean and lube once a year. I degrease with wd40.

2) Every month, I check and clean snare mechanism + wires and hi hat pedal. I only lube tension rods if they are getting stiff or the drums are not tuning up nicely.

3)Cleaning wise I just wipe down drums with pledge spray about four times a year. I have lacquer finishes but have never had any problems.

Last edited by Captain Bash; 01-11-2014 at 08:28 PM. Reason: Spelling
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  #8  
Old 01-11-2014, 08:59 PM
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Default Re: Basic drum maintenance?

For most drums, a quick check of fixing/screw tightness, bearing edge condition, removal of debris build up, etc, whilst changing heads, is sufficient. In addition to that, you may care to lightly wax then buff the bearing edges. This keeps them smooth, enabling the head to freely move when tensioning, & also guards agains ingression of moisture. Not essential by any means, but something I do as a matter of routine.

Drums with a natural wax finish will benefit from a re-application of wax & buff to shine every year or two.

If you're going to store drums for any length of time, always ensure they have heads fitted, evenly tuned around mid tension.

Lubrication of lugs is a good thing, but only sufficient to stop them running completely dry.
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Old 01-11-2014, 09:06 PM
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Default Re: Basic drum maintenance?

I tighten fasteners that hold the lug to the shell, clean, sometimes wax the shells with paste wax for cars, clean the hardware, and lube the rods and lugs with vaseline or 3 in one oil maybe once every year or 2. But it really doesn't need it that often, I do it because that's just how I roll.
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  #10  
Old 01-11-2014, 11:11 PM
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Default Re: Basic drum maintenance?

I dust my drums off as needed, clean the bearing edges as I change heads, and check bolts and such if I hear or feel something off. I have very rarely had anything go wrong on my drums, and so this is probably the minimum requirement.
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  #11  
Old 01-11-2014, 11:37 PM
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Default Re: Basic drum maintenance?

Take off the heads and clean out the muck between the head and the hoop. Look for frayed snare cords or worn straps. Clean the moving parts on the pedal and hihat. Dust the drums thoroughly. While the heads are off make sure every nut is tight. Do not over tighten. Make sure the cymbal felts and and plastic bits aren't worn. And when all of this is done, please come and do mine. I will buy the beer.
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  #12  
Old 01-12-2014, 02:15 AM
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Default Re: Basic drum maintenance?

I've purchased a couple used kits lately. I check every screw and nut, clean and lube every moving part, lube the tension rods and wax the rims. Clean the shells and all the chrome. Hardware gets disassembled and cleaned and every moving part or screw lubed. Once all that's been done, I just give each drum a cleaning one drum at at time as I have the time and motivation.
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  #13  
Old 01-12-2014, 02:42 AM
Bonzodownunder Bonzodownunder is offline
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Default Re: Basic drum maintenance?

I ALLWAYS clean the tension rods with INOX MX3 300g (better then both CRC&WD 40 as it,s NON runny,&NON toxic), i also lubricate any hinges (hi-hat/kick pedal)replace tension rod washers&cymbal &hi-hat felts lubricate the cymbal stand threads with either Inox or grease so as NOT to wear the cymbal cup washers &so you DONT get metal to metal.To stop tension rods loosening i use liw strength Loctite thread locker.
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  #14  
Old 01-12-2014, 03:07 AM
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Default Re: Basic drum maintenance?

I replace the heads about once a month on my working kit, or sooner if the head is sounding bad. When I do that I check for any sort of looseness inside or other signs of peril.

Tensions rods and all nuts and bolts on your stands should ALWAYS be kept lubed. Don't use WD-40, it's water based. Instead use anything with a teflon base. You can put all your tension rods into a hoop and hang that hoop level so that the rods are hanging down and shoot the bottom 1/4 of each with a bit of lube. Make sure none are bent.

Thing about cymbal stands is this- a lot of those parts are made from pot metal (cast) and if you were to look at one of them under a microscope, you'd see a very jagged and unforgiving surface. The lube fills in those cracks and allows them to tighten properly. Otherwise what happens is that when you begin to tighten an unlubed fitting the pressure of the tension coupled with the cragginess of the nut will cause it to bind and that's why stuff strips out. You're trying to tighten it but it cannot tighten because it's seized and what happens when you seize up pot metal? Yep! It fails.

I've gotten so many great deals on old boom mic stands because the owner was throwing them away, when indeed all it needed was a little bit of lube to make the stand tighten up again and therefore become useful.

On things such as HiHat clutch bottoms and bass drum pedal screws, use some Locktite "Wicking" formula to prevent them from coming undone. This version won't lock them down permanently so make sure you're using the green stuff! Blue is a bit stronger while the red stuff will require a torch to remove.

On your stands where there's a small roll pin...if that's come out you can use a poprivet gun to insert a steel poprivet and that will render that useful once again. Conversely this will work with any other place on the kit where there's a fitting. On stands that have the "disappearing" boom arm- you may not be able to insert the boom arm back into the stand, so if that's a necessity I'd recommend getting another roll pin and use some of the red locktite to cement it in (or some epoxy...or a short metal screw)
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  #15  
Old 01-12-2014, 03:13 AM
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Default Re: Basic drum maintenance?

If I had to make a schedule:

Once a year- change heads, clean edges, remove hardware and clean it, clean/polish shells and hoops.

Every 6 months to 1 year- heads, pedal maintenance, check hardware is snug to the shells or mounts (RIMS, STM, ISS, etc).

Every 3-6 months- head changes and snug checking hardware (if needed).

All the time- use the hardware as it was intended, and everything will generally be fine. The most damage to drumsets that I have seen occurs on tom brackets, particularly the Ludwig or Premier style solid castings with an eyebolt or setscrew. Not using memorylocks or adjusting without loosening the wingnut will destroy those things in a hurry. If something starts to go pear-shaped, just replace it asap, before it sets off a chain reaction of suck that consumes the entire kit.
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Old 01-12-2014, 03:20 AM
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Default Re: Basic drum maintenance?

IMO, quality drum kits don't require a lot of maintenance if they are properly handled (ie: not thrown around, kept in cases for transporting, kept out of the elements, etc.). About the only thing that needs to be done is check the tuning and wipe off the dust (if they are in dusty environments or they s it for a long time). Basic repairs for damage should be done but, other than that, they are pretty durable. Anyone else agree with that?
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  #17  
Old 01-12-2014, 04:41 AM
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Default Re: Basic drum maintenance?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zickos View Post
IMO, quality drum kits don't require a lot of maintenance if they are properly handled (ie: not thrown around, kept in cases for transporting, kept out of the elements, etc.). About the only thing that needs to be done is check the tuning and wipe off the dust (if they are in dusty environments or they s it for a long time). Basic repairs for damage should be done but, other than that, they are pretty durable. Anyone else agree with that?
I think over years, the shell vibrations will cause things to loosen. When going over the lug screws on older sets, some screws are snug, some turn a few times to snug. Could have been that way since manufacture date, I suppose, but I think all those vibrations will move things over a long period of time.
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Old 01-12-2014, 06:11 AM
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Default Re: Basic drum maintenance?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GRUNTERSDAD View Post
Take off the heads and clean out the muck between the head and the hoop. Look for frayed snare cords or worn straps. Clean the moving parts on the pedal and hihat. Dust the drums thoroughly. While the heads are off make sure every nut is tight. Do not over tighten. Make sure the cymbal felts and and plastic bits aren't worn. And when all of this is done, please come and do mine. I will buy the beer.
I would say you have got it about right as far as ritual maintenance goes, I probably spend more time cleaning/working on my kick drum pedal than any other single part.
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Old 01-12-2014, 09:50 PM
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Default Re: Basic drum maintenance?

There's huuuuge difference as they age between a drum set that's been maintained and one that hasn't.
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  #20  
Old 01-13-2014, 12:43 AM
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Default Re: Basic drum maintenance?

Depends on the player ... if you are touring and gigging every night, yeah you need to be a little more dilligent on keeping your kit in top form. If you rarely take it out of your rehearsal space or studio, you have less to worry about. If you hit like a sledge hammer that would have an influence on the integrity of your kit as well.

I would say that maintenace to me would be fixing anything that needs to be as soon as I see that it needs attention. Keeping a drop cloth over my kit when it's not in use, using good cases (BIG ONE), the odd dusting here and there. Mostly I see maintenace as having great technique so that the drums don't get abused.
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Old 06-19-2016, 07:13 PM
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Default Re: Basic drum maintenance?

Hi all, so my question for maintenance is a bit different..

So obviously you clean your kit(dust grunge etc) and if there's a lose screw you tighten it & all the standards for the pedals (bass & hi hat)

So my question is, what Maintenance or care & preventative steps do you guys take for drum sets that are in less then ideal spaces...
(Garages, out buildings, shipping containerss (converted of course) etc)
You know those place that at not weather resistant, have excess moisture, visible cracks or tiny holes to outside and roll back garage style doors...

I have no idea how to keep a set from rusting, warping etc..
Obviously I keep my nice stuff In the house but have a good sounding lower end set in a space described above that I want to keep in solid working order as it what I practice on when folks are at home & I can't bang away in the house.

Now I just have it up on a few pallets and through a tarp over it Incase a leak starts in the roof it doesn't get rained on or sit in water & call it a night.
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Old 06-19-2016, 07:37 PM
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Default Re: Basic drum maintenance?

For chrome, there's a technique that uses aluminum foil and water. This assumes the chroming was a quality job that can be restored in the first place.
I would start with a cloth and some chrome polish first though, as that is all that may be needed as shown in these before and after photos...
Attached Images
  
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Old 06-19-2016, 08:07 PM
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Default Re: Basic drum maintenance?

I'm fully on board the once a year full maintenance train. I've always been a motorcycle rider all my life, and preventative maintenance and cleaning is in my soul I guess by now.

Drums: I pull all the heads off drums, put a dab of vaseline on all the tension rods, check all the screws and wax the shells with car wax. I look at the heads and see how they look, and replace them if they seem pretty thrashed. A bit of wax on the bearing edges. chrome polish on rims and lugs if needed, and reassemble.

Stands and Hardware: I also usually put car wax on all the cymbal stands and tom stands once per year. Check for rusting and clean or lube things as needed. I wipe all the dust off the pedals, and look for loose or missing screws everywhere. Check the cymbal felts and post covers to make sure there's no metal to metal contact and replace bits if needed. Zildjian make a terrific cymbal parts bag that is a great deal for a bunch of felts, wing nuts, washers and other bits. I keep one in my hardware bag at all times.

Cymbals I typically clean every 6 months, or before an outdoor gig. I've tried a bunch of different cleaners and methods, none have turned out to be a favorite.

It seems like a lot of work, but I find it keeps you in touch with your drums. If you care for them, they are more fun to play. If you gig a lot, stuff falls off and gets left behind. If your kit sits in a basement year round, then it won't need as much work obviously.

I probably did 800 bar shows with a set of Pearl Exports, and they still look great after all these years. (I sold them to a buddy a couple years ago, so still get to use them from time to time)
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  #24  
Old 06-19-2016, 10:22 PM
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Default Re: Basic drum maintenance?

Even heavily used drums need little maintenance, but pedals and hardware do.

The plastic cymbal stand sleeves that stop the cymbal key holing need checking for wear and replacing. Pedals need pivot points lubing and the spring checking. Also, if you use a falam patch on the BD head, check for wear and change if needed. Check for wear and clean all the moving parts on drum mounts and stands.

Check the strings or tapes on the snare wire ends for wear. Check hi-hat pedal for wear on lower cymbal mount, and check rod for wear and straightness.
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Old 06-20-2016, 05:40 AM
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Default Re: Basic drum maintenance?

I serviced my hi-hat stand and my bass pedal a few weeks ago and I was shocked. It had been about 3 years.
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Old 06-20-2016, 07:04 AM
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Default Re: Basic drum maintenance?

Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteknightx View Post
I'm fully on board the once a year full maintenance train. I've always been a motorcycle rider all my life, and preventative maintenance and cleaning is in my soul I guess by now.

Drums: I pull all the heads off drums, put a dab of vaseline on all the tension rods, check all the screws and wax the shells with car wax. I look at the heads and see how they look, and replace them if they seem pretty thrashed. A bit of wax on the bearing edges. chrome polish on rims and lugs if needed, and reassemble.

Stands and Hardware: I also usually put car wax on all the cymbal stands and tom stands once per year. Check for rusting and clean or lube things as needed. I wipe all the dust off the pedals, and look for loose or missing screws everywhere. Check the cymbal felts and post covers to make sure there's no metal to metal contact and replace bits if needed. Zildjian make a terrific cymbal parts bag that is a great deal for a bunch of felts, wing nuts, washers and other bits. I keep one in my hardware bag at all times.

Cymbals I typically clean every 6 months, or before an outdoor gig. I've tried a bunch of different cleaners and methods, none have turned out to be a favorite.

It seems like a lot of work, but I find it keeps you in touch with your drums. If you care for them, they are more fun to play. If you gig a lot, stuff falls off and gets left behind. If your kit sits in a basement year round, then it won't need as much work obviously.

I probably did 800 bar shows with a set of Pearl Exports, and they still look great after all these years. (I sold them to a buddy a couple years ago, so still get to use them from time to time)
This is what I do too, perhaps not so often, but it looks like it.
I would say once in a year checking, dusting, cleaning, polishing the hoops. Each time I disassemble a drum I check for loosen screw, oiling what needs to be, cleaning bearing edges...
Once in a while I disassemble the chains to clean them, they're often full of dust.
But I never clean that much the cymbals, just dust, but barely polishing them.

i like my drum kit to be clean and shiny even if it's old, and to be trustworthy!
I had once a bad experience with snare strand breakage during a concert and a lug screw rattling on the bottom skin of a tom ; I really prefer spending time with maintenance than having that kind of experience again.
[sorry I don't have the term for the snare attachment!!!]
This goes with a small bag of "first care" parts for concert (wing nuts, felts, ...)...

Last edited by Tamaefx; 06-20-2016 at 07:14 AM.
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Old 06-20-2016, 04:35 PM
Createsounds Createsounds is offline
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Default Re: Basic drum maintenance?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Createsounds View Post
Hi all, so my question for maintenance is a bit different..

So obviously you clean your kit(dust grunge etc) and if there's a lose screw you tighten it & all the standards for the pedals (bass & hi hat)

So my question is, what Maintenance or care & preventative steps do you guys take for drum sets that are in less then ideal spaces...
(Garages, out buildings, shipping containerss (converted of course) etc)
You know those place that at not weather resistant, have excess moisture, visible cracks or tiny holes to outside and roll back garage style doors...

I have no idea how to keep a set from rusting, warping etc..
Obviously I keep my nice stuff In the house but have a good sounding lower end set in a space described above that I want to keep in solid working order as it what I practice on when folks are at home & I can't bang away in the house.

Now I just have it up on a few pallets and through a tarp over it Incase a leak starts in the roof it doesn't get rained on or sit in water & call it a night.
Any recommendations to avoid your kit going to hell...
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  #28  
Old 06-20-2016, 04:43 PM
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Default Re: Basic drum maintenance?

Just like a car. Keep it tuned and keep it clean. A lube job now and then won't hurt.
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  #29  
Old 06-20-2016, 04:57 PM
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Default Re: Basic drum maintenance?

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Any recommendations to avoid your kit going to hell...
Really, drums are made to handle those conditions.

I've often just gone to a store and gotten a large cheap bed spread to keep dust off. If water is actually dripping I'd fix the leak, but short term a thin nylon tarp, like you can get for your car I guess would work.

Hardware that starts oxidizing really just needs a clean and some sort of light polish. Any typical microfiber cloth is fine.

A bit of oil maybe preceded by a clean in the right places.

Drums are transported around in al sorts of weather, played inside, outside, whatever... They can take it.

In extreme and hasty temperature/climate changes finishes will crack, but it takes going from a hot car and setting up with absolutely to time for things to acclimatize to something like a Siberian winter for that to happen. Not very likely for most of us.
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Old 06-20-2016, 05:11 PM
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Default Re: Basic drum maintenance?

Barring head changes and the odd squirt of WD40 on the bass drum pedal there's not much you need to do.

If I have a promo vid or a photo shoot then I'll polish the pies.

If you're silly enough to keep your kit in a damp area or extreme hot or cold then you're in for trouble.
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Old 06-20-2016, 06:50 PM
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Default Re: Basic drum maintenance?

Odd Arne
Thanks For the tips there definitely no leaking currently but there's always the possibility when you've converted a full sized 18wheeler trailer into a studio & performance space. I'd definitely fix any leaks as soon as they occurred but things happen in the middle of the night or while your away... So I definitely use a tarp to cover at the end of the day. And I guess I look into oil &/or wax to help delay oxidation/rusting as that and moisture damaging the wood was my main questions.

- mikyok
Thanks for saying "silly" & not stupid as I usually do if I intended the word stupid. Haha
Unfortunately we all can't have ideal locations for rehearsals etc. but fortunately there are individuals willing to share the suggestions and knowledge as to how to make the best out of an less than ideal situation.
And in my case at least I am fortunate to have 2 places: 1 for a higher end set but can only be used part time and a 2nd space that has 24hr access but less than ideal environment, were I can have a less than perfect kit set up that Im not as attached to or worried about adverse reactions to weather etc. but would at least like take whatever precautions I can to keep my lower end things from got to total shit while I use the season to finish the converting from A standard wood paneled 4 walls and garage doored 18wheeler trailer to and insulated walled and entry way converted to studio 18wheeler trailer.

Thanks again for the helpful suggestions
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Old 06-21-2016, 12:44 AM
eamesuser eamesuser is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2009
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Default Re: Basic drum maintenance?

I agree that a heavily gigged kit needs more attention I had a kit that I gigged an average of 5 times a month, was cased the rest of the time,and at the two year mark I pulled them out of the cases in daylight and they were totally spooged.I broke them down and cleaned/detailed,and applied turtle chrome wax to all the metal parts and buffed the wmp shells with auto polish.prtects and is somewhat slippery to help keep dust off.Dust turns to dirt,which retains moisture and that is what starts rust.After that I would dust the drums and hardware off occasionally,sometimes I would clean with a damp towel,and that kept them looking good for a long time.
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