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Old 02-11-2008, 01:15 AM
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Default Drum refinishing project (in the works)

Last night, I began what will become an extensive and progressive project of converting an old, low-end Gretsch Blackhawk acoustic drumset into an electric-ready shell set. The purpose of employing wooden shells is mostly aesthetic, providing good looks in addition to a solid base upon which to stretch triggered mesh heads. In short, a full kit that can either be played acoustically or produce electric module effects.

Thus far, the project has proven more upsetting and messy than rewarding. The decidedly cheap, soft metal screws Gretsch employed for this low-end series to fasten lugs to the wooden shells tend to strip and/or jam easily, lending themselves to no end of frustration for me. Consequently, some more excessively-torqued screws have required some ingenuity to remove, including taking a hacksaw to the length of one particularly difficult screw (while necessary, caused unwanted shell damage).

Currently, having only done cursory cleaning of adhesive and wood shavings without any actual sanding, the shell hardware has been reapplied and the set as it exists has been momentarily set aside. The set is entirely playable as is with regular acoustic heads, though more cleaning, dye application, and new hardware are in the planning stages.

Eventually, I would like to apply several coats of glossy or semi-glossy black paint inside and outside the shells, equipping each with new, gold hardware and, perhaps, new rims. My question for anyone familiar with the process of refinishing is what processes are necessary to apply paint or dye without getting a fuzzy finish. For that matter, what materials are available for an mostly-handy amateur to apply a glossy coating once the dying process is complete? Is anyone familiar with an inexpensive means for finding drums, drum parts, and accessories? Please let me know! In the meanwhile, I will post whatever pictures I can of the steps completed thus far.
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Old 02-11-2008, 02:40 AM
baz's Avatar
baz baz is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Alberta Canada
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Default Re: Drum refinishing project (in the works)

...hola MRTener.

As far as buying cheap hardware is concerned, sometimes you are better off buying a cheap used shell pack with lugs that have the same spacing as the ones that you are replacing. If you have a specific hrdware in mind, you may be better off checking out sites such as American Drum Parts, or Drum Supply House.

One way to get a nice shine on a painted shell is to use a hardwood floor paste wax, and a lot of elbow grease. It will not give you that piano gloss finish, but if your paint is even, it will give it some shine.

You have chosen the right place for advice, as there are many members here who have done some really nice refinishing work on their kits. You should recieve a lot of good advice to sift through.

Good luck and good drumming.

...if you can't keep it civil, at least make it funny.
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Old 02-11-2008, 06:41 AM
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Mendozart Mendozart is offline
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Location: So. Cal
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Default Re: Drum refinishing project (in the works)

You also might want to run some questions by the guys at www.ghostnote.net. There are some talented finishers over there.
Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.

Jenkins-Martin, Blaemire, & Ludwig drums
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