A little story

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
She sure has pretty shells. I would enjoy pics or vids of any cleaning and restoring.
Likely to be a while yet. I'll decide once they're back in my hands, but I'm thinking in terms of a completely new French polishing job. My finishing abilities improved over the years - shame not to give these shells & hoops a treat :)
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
Ash, in shells of that thickness, are likely to be on the brighter side of the tonal spectrum.
They might be a little thinner. I actually think the effect is more due to the vertical grain and the fact that it’s hollow log. The response of the drums is really instantaneous. The note is short but packs all the volume into that short span of time. I’ve grown up playing on horizontal grain ply drums, which often ring for longer, and take longer to respond and get to full volume.
 

Smoke

Silver Member
Likely to be a while yet. I'll decide once they're back in my hands, but I'm thinking in terms of a completely new French polishing job. My finishing abilities improved over the years - shame not to give these shells & hoops a treat :)
I used French Polish in high school woodshop back in the early 70s. Nice! If I may, I'd like to offer 1 million USD for the set (after refinishing, of course). It will take me about 50 years to accrue the funds, and I know it's a lowball offer, but please keep me on your radar. ;)
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
They might be a little thinner. I actually think the effect is more due to the vertical grain and the fact that it’s hollow log. The response of the drums is really instantaneous. The note is short but packs all the volume into that short span of time. I’ve grown up playing on horizontal grain ply drums, which often ring for longer, and take longer to respond and get to full volume.
Of course, response is a combination of all factors.
I used French Polish in high school woodshop back in the early 70s. Nice! If I may, I'd like to offer 1 million USD for the set (after refinishing, of course). It will take me about 50 years to accrue the funds, and I know it's a lowball offer, but please keep me on your radar. ;)
With very few exceptions, all Guru drums were finished using shellac & a French polishing method. Many deliberately matt - satin, some gloss. I'll probably take these to a nice satin, which is close to the original finish choice.

Thank you for your kind offer - works out at $20K / year - I'm fine with that :)
 

Smoke

Silver Member
When polishing, do you use rottenstone or pumice? Back in my school days I mostly only french polished lathe-work, as it was fast. Now-a-days, I hand-rub tung oil, but it takes forever to fill the grain. Most all of my finishing is reclaimed dressers and tables. Would alternating or incorporating an abrasive help? Of course, the same question would apply if one was re-finishing drum shells. ;) BTW, the check is in the mail.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
When polishing, do you use rottenstone or pumice? Back in my school days I mostly only french polished lathe-work, as it was fast. Now-a-days, I hand-rub tung oil, but it takes forever to fill the grain. Most all of my finishing is reclaimed dressers and tables. Would alternating or incorporating an abrasive help? Of course, the same question would apply if one was re-finishing drum shells. ;) BTW, the check is in the mail.
I use a rubber (lint free close weft / weave cotton cloth filled with shredded cotton), blonde shellac, usually combined with a small amount of linseed oil, then for a gloss finish, I'll gradually move to a spirit wipe.

First / rough application:

 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Update: Kit landed today. Considering it's done around 1,000 gigs over the last 7 years, it's in good condition. I'll probably replace the floor tom legs as they've been beaten up (cosmetic only) loose in a hardware case, but other than that, the all aluminium hardware is great. A fair few shell & hoop scuffs, but as I'm refinishing the kit, that's irrelevant.

I'm interested to see if there's any drift in bearing edge accuracy, but that will need to wait until I strip the shells spring / summer this year.
 
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