Are my drums dying?! [HELP]

BabyBob

Silver Member
Hello my fellow Drummers,

I think my drums are dying from the inside out :(

The drums are Mapex M series used kit. I believe it was purchased during 2006/2007.

Ok some back ground info,

I was performing my annual drum cleaning routine where I take the drums apart and just dust them and such. And I notice the screw where the lugs screw onto the shell have some sort of precipitate on, this seems too affect the rack toms more than any other of the drums. I'm not really sure what the precipitate is, I think it is rust? But one of the screws have white precipitate. Kindda powdery but it's sticking onto the screw. I've also notice my hoops also have some dots on. Here are some pics,









I really hope this can be cured and prevented in the future. Recommendations are welcomed, it's saddening to see my drums this way :(

Thanks for your time.
BB
 
A

audiotech

Guest
What is the humidity in the room where they are kept? I keep a dehumidifier in the room where most of my kits are located. The humidity in my drum room is about 42%.

Dennis
 

Sjogras

Silver Member
Looks like mold on the last picture? And rust on the others. Is your drumming room really damp?

You can place the affected parts in a solvent, ordinary 95 octane gas works fine as far as I know.
 

jornthedrummer

Silver Member
Hey Babybob, I'm in Malaysia too. Its rust, my Gretsch's also rust. Even my Vdrums rust.
My drum room is only airconditioned when I play.
I will be interested to hear from other members how this is avoided.

thx

jorn
 

mandrew

Gold Member
This is a case of oxidation (rust). If you keep you r drums in a humid place, this is going to happen. On the interior of the drums, you can clean of the oxidation, reassemble the drums, then put a coat of clear fingernail polish over the exposed metal parts. this will keep air from the metal surfaces. It is harder to manage on the outside of the drums, including hardware. You can clean off a lot with a little gasoline, let it air dry, wipe clean as possible and use any chrome polish on surfaces. a little wd 40 on a rag, then rub it on will also add protection. In the end, these are musical instruments and will keep better in humidity controlled rooms.
 

evolving_machine

Silver Member
Because I am color blind I can not trust my color perception. I will have to assume that you are seeing a corrosion. I will also assume that your drums are in a location where the humidity is very high. Another cause for that corrosion of the screws could be an electrolytic reaction of two dissimilar metals (Galvanic Corrosion) and the humidity can amplify this.

Some of the other posters suggested that it was your practice location being a higher humidity, such as a basement. If that is the case, purchase a dehumidifier for that location. If controlling the humidity is not an option, you may want to control how the humidity effects your drum equipment.

You could replace the screws by matching them up with screws that are stainless steel. You should replace the same thread and length. Also match and replace the lock-washers and washers as well. The stainless replacement parts will help with the corrosion.

The hoops are a little more difficult. To me it looks like there is rust on your hoops. You have to either remove the corrosion or replace the hoops. To remove the coorosion you have to bring them to a place that does electroplating. The electroplater can remove the old plating and put new plating on the surface. The electrolytic bath should clean the rust off of the sub-straight material, but you may want to mention this to the electroplater and make sure of it. At this point you have some options with the plating and you can do some creative things with what type of plating you choose.

Unless you find a very good deal on the plating, it may cost you more than just replacing them with a better quality hoop with either a better plating or one that is aluminum.

If you go the aluminum route and you have the drums in an environment that is high humidity, you have to isolate (electrical isolation) the rims from the tension rods if they are different materials other than one being a stainless steel. You can place plastic or rubber washers between the hoops and the lug screws.

Did you inspect the lugs? Is there any corrosion on the inside where the tension rods come in contact with the lugs?
 
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DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
You live in Malaysia, where I suspect the humidly is very high all year around.

So yes, you're seeing rust and corrosion.

As others have said, a de-humidifier would be ideal for whatever you keep the drums.

I would just replace all the screws at this point. Just take them to a good hardware store and match the thread and length.
 

Smoke

Silver Member
As others have said, it's oxidation/corrosion/rust from high humidity.

I just replaced the dehumidifier in my basement with an inexpensive model for 140 USD. A dehumidifier won't help much if your drum room has open windows/doors, so it may not be a viable solution.

If it were my set, I'd remove the hoops and other affected hardware and clean them with chrome polish - it'll remove most of the rust freckles but may leave a bit of pitting in the metal if the rust was heavy. After a good cleaning, I'd give them a coat of automobile wax. Oh yes, you'll also need a lot of "elbow grease" (hard work!) :)

You can remove the lug screws and clean them up with some light grade oil (WD-40 or some such) and extra-fine steel wool (Grade 0000 also called "4-aught" or "4-O"). I'd bet an old used green kitchen scrub pad would work fine too. After the oxidation is gone, wash them up good with soap and water, rinse well and allow to dry completely. Lay the screws out on old newspaper or some such and give them a light coat of clear lacquer from a spray can.

These won't be permanent fixes, but should keep the oxidation at bay and the out of pocket expense should be less than 15 USD. Your time and elbow grease will be your greatest expense.

Good luck! John
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I second Smokes advice. But if you have the money? Go get stainless washers and screws and be done with it. Assuming you are going to keep the drums a long time. The hoops you just have to keep waxed, like Smoke said.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Its not just the humidity. You live on an island, and when sea water evaporates the salt in the water allows for a chloride rich air. The extra chloride, compounded by heat and humidity, will accelerate the corrosion process.
 

Ian Ballard

Silver Member
I generally give my hoops a rub down with WD-40 and that helps protect them. I've never had an issue with the interior screws getting rusty but I'm wondering if Tama uses stainless. My Rockstar kit is 21 years old and the interior hardware is still fine and those drums have been through hell and back. My Silverstars have black paint or a coating on the screws/washers so maybe that is another rust deterrent.
 

Chunky

Silver Member
Oh my God, that looks horrendous! I think I'd cry if this happened to my drums. I hope you can fix it with the tips other people have given you. If not it looks like you may need a lot of new hardware.
That'll be pricey.
 

BacteriumFendYoke

Platinum Member
I have had this same issue with an old Pearl kit that was kept in a loft for years. I am in the Thames Estuary and it's famously humid here so we get these issues too.

My solution was abrasive cleaning. I tried a few things. Firstly I tried soaking the screws and washers in a vinegar solution to remove any dirt and then rubbed them down with fine steel wool. After that, I immediately put them in a warm soapy solution to rinse off the vinegar (potentially corrosive) and put them in a well ventilated area to dry. It got rid of most of the surface corrosion.

As for the hoops, there probably isn't an awful lot you can do. I would polish them with a chrome polishing product - that may take some of the surface rust away - and then monitor them very closely. As others have said, changing the hoops out or getting them re-plated would be the best way of dealing with it because once corrosion starts, it's hard to stop it. Just look at cars.

As others have also said, a dehumidifier is a good solution. At the very least you can buy passive moisture traps and have a few around your drums. You'll need to empty those regularly - they use desiccant crystals to absorb the moisture in the air. That may prevent this from happening again.

EDIT: I just thought of a very inexpensive solution. Provided the threads aren't too close in the screws, you could always clean them then cover then in automotive paint of some kind. A black spray paint should be relatively cheap and will protect the outer surface from rust.
 

BabyBob

Silver Member
What is the humidity in the room where they are kept? I keep a dehumidifier in the room where most of my kits are located. The humidity in my drum room is about 42%.

Dennis
I have no idea how to measure humidity. I live in a tropical country, Malaysia which is hot and wet.

Looks like mold on the last picture? And rust on the others. Is your drumming room really damp?

You can place the affected parts in a solvent, ordinary 95 octane gas works fine as far as I know.
Mold? I am not sure TBH. That's why I am asking :)

No I don't feel the dampness, maybe because I've been living in my house for my whole life? Idk.

Thanks for the suggestion.

Hey Babybob, I'm in Malaysia too. Its rust, my Gretsch's also rust. Even my Vdrums rust.
My drum room is only airconditioned when I play.
thx

jorn

So how did you treat the rust?

Air con or not I believe is the the nature of our country which cause this :(

I will be interested to hear from other members how this is avoided.
Yeah me too.
 
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BabyBob

Silver Member
This is a case of oxidation (rust). If you keep you r drums in a humid place, this is going to happen.
Yes of course, Malaysia is a humid place, it can't be help can it?

On the interior of the drums, you can clean of the oxidation, reassemble the drums, then put a coat of clear fingernail polish over the exposed metal parts. this will keep air from the metal surfaces. It is harder to manage on the outside of the drums, including hardware. You can clean off a lot with a little gasoline, let it air dry, wipe clean as possible and use any chrome polish on surfaces. a little wd 40 on a rag, then rub it on will also add protection. In the end, these are musical instruments and will keep better in humidity controlled rooms.
How do I clean the oxidation in the drums again?

What?! Fingernail polish? Did I read that right?

You guys seem to talk alot about gasoline, and how am I suppose to obtain it? Gasoline = Petrol right? Isn't it dangerous?

Thanks for your suggestions :)
 

BabyBob

Silver Member
Because I am color blind I can not trust my color perception. I will have to assume that you are seeing a corrosion. I will also assume that your drums are in a location where the humidity is very high. Another cause for that corrosion of the screws could be an electrolytic reaction of two dissimilar metals (Galvanic Corrosion) and the humidity can amplify this.
Thanks for the info.

Some of the other posters suggested that it was your practice location being a higher humidity, such as a basement. If that is the case, purchase a dehumidifier for that location. If controlling the humidity is not an option, you may want to control how the humidity effects your drum equipment.
I'd pick whichever that gives the more satisfying result.

If I am to purchase a dehumidifier, are they any things/features/criteria too look out for?

You could replace the screws by matching them up with screws that are stainless steel. You should replace the same thread and length. Also match and replace the lock-washers and washers as well. The stainless replacement parts will help with the corrosion.
Damn, I always thought drum hardware are stainless steel, I thought wrong I guess. :(
I see, thanks for the heads up, hardware shops should have them right?

The hoops are a little more difficult.
TBH, the dots aren't only on my hoops, they are on the surface of my hardware which comes into contract with air. But I am not really sure if it's rust or not.

To me it looks like there is rust on your hoops. You have to either remove the corrosion or replace the hoops. To remove the coorosion you have to bring them to a place that does electroplating. The electroplater can remove the old plating and put new plating on the surface. The electrolytic bath should clean the rust off of the sub-straight material, but you may want to mention this to the electroplater and make sure of it. At this point you have some options with the plating and you can do some creative things with what type of plating you choose.
I've studied about this electroplating stuff but I don't think there are any electroplater in my area, I'm not sure but all these electroplating seems really industrial to me.

Unless you find a very good deal on the plating, it may cost you more than just replacing them with a better quality hoop with either a better plating or one that is aluminum.
What exactly is a better plating? I assume that my current hoops are chrome plated? (not really sure about them) As I used to thought the metal on drums are stainless steel :(

If you go the aluminum route and you have the drums in an environment that is high humidity, you have to isolate (electrical isolation) the rims from the tension rods if they are different materials other than one being a stainless steel. You can place plastic or rubber washers between the hoops and the lug screws.
Aluminum hoops? Cool, I wounder how will it sound on my drums. So in other words, if I change the screws that screw the lugs from the inside of my drums to stainless steel I need not place rubber washers? Do I also need to replace my tension rods also? But they seem good, as they are covered in a thin layer of oil? (grease?) I believe.

Did you inspect the lugs? Is there any corrosion on the inside where the tension rods come in contact with the lugs?
No, it's covered in a thin layer of oil/grease...I am not sure what but it's smooth.

Sorry, had to split your reply up into a few sections as it was too long for me IMO.

Thanks for the reply :)
 

BabyBob

Silver Member
You live in Malaysia, where I suspect the humidly is very high all year around.

So yes, you're seeing rust and corrosion.

As others have said, a de-humidifier would be ideal for whatever you keep the drums.

I would just replace all the screws at this point. Just take them to a good hardware store and match the thread and length.
Yeap, all year round. Rust yes for the rest, but I ain't sure about the white precipitate, do you have any idea? Okay, I guess I need to replace every single screw that touches my drums?
Wow, that's like a lot of screws :(

Bass drum and snare seems less affected by the rust and white stuff. The rack toms are the ones that are most affected, then floor toms.

As others have said, it's oxidation/corrosion/rust from high humidity.

I just replaced the dehumidifier in my basement with an inexpensive model for 140 USD. A dehumidifier won't help much if your drum room has open windows/doors, so it may not be a viable solution.
Ok, just some extra info, the drum isn't in a basement but in a guest room however there is a attached bath room and the door of the bath room is just like 2 to 3 metres away from the drums.

If it were my set, I'd remove the hoops and other affected hardware and clean them with chrome polish - it'll remove most of the rust freckles but may leave a bit of pitting in the metal if the rust was heavy. After a good cleaning, I'd give them a coat of automobile wax. Oh yes, you'll also need a lot of "elbow grease" (hard work!) :)

You can remove the lug screws and clean them up with some light grade oil (WD-40 or some such) and extra-fine steel wool (Grade 0000 also called "4-aught" or "4-O"). I'd bet an old used green kitchen scrub pad would work fine too. After the oxidation is gone, wash them up good with soap and water, rinse well and allow to dry completely. Lay the screws out on old newspaper or some such and give them a light coat of clear lacquer from a spray can.

These won't be permanent fixes, but should keep the oxidation at bay and the out of pocket expense should be less than 15 USD. Your time and elbow grease will be your greatest expense.
Alright, this seems more do-able, than electroplating hahah :)

So basically I'll need,

Chrome polish,Automobile wax, light grade oil, extra-fine steel wool, clear lacquer from a spray can.

and I'm set right?

I think I have 3 of the above, the automobile wax is the one use to polish the car? Or is it not?

Good luck! John
Thanks I'll need it :)
 

BabyBob

Silver Member
Or you could start all over again and get some Mapex Saturns. Those never rust, too ;)
Bo, are you really sure about that?! I'm in Malaysia you know...

I second Smokes advice. But if you have the money? Go get stainless washers and screws and be done with it. Assuming you are going to keep the drums a long time. The hoops you just have to keep waxed, like Smoke said.
Thanks Uncle Larry for chiming in :)

Its not just the humidity. You live on an island, and when sea water evaporates the salt in the water allows for a chloride rich air. The extra chloride, compounded by heat and humidity, will accelerate the corrosion process.
Sorry but I think you made a mistake, it's called a peninsula.

A peninsula is a piece of land that is bordered by water on three sides but connected to mainland.
I actually live quite far from the sea.

I generally give my hoops a rub down with WD-40 and that helps protect them. I've never had an issue with the interior screws getting rusty but I'm wondering if Tama uses stainless. My Rockstar kit is 21 years old and the interior hardware is still fine and those drums have been through hell and back. My Silverstars have black paint or a coating on the screws/washers so maybe that is another rust deterrent.
Yeah, I guess I should've look into the drums before purchasing it? But I think it's really the humidity in Malaysia.
 
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