Cleaning up old metal snare drums

Suburbankidz

Active member
I'm cleaning up a Ludwig Acrolite snare (late 1970s) which has the anodized finish.

Kind of a dumb question, but here goes: Can I safely use something like Flitz on the finish? If so, do I get the paste or the liquid?
If not Flitz, what do you recommend?

Thanx
 

roncadillac

Member
Dawn dish soap works well as does toothpaste. My only concern would be scratching the surface so it may be worth doing a 'spot test' on the inside of the shell. Barkeeper's friend is a great product for cleaning various metals that you can get cheap at most big box hardware stores. It comes in a powder form so you make anything from a sudsy liquid to a thick paste.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
I've just refurbed my early 60s acrolite, different shell finish but Never Dull is the way forward. I think in the thread below someone put a video of a 70s Acro refurb too.


It brought mine back to life. If you have a few pics of yours it would be easier to diagnose the patient ;)
 

wraub

Well-known member
Always start with the mildest option first, then ramp up as needed.

I used diet coke (could have also used warm water, but this stuff was in bad shape) and aluminum foil on an old steel snare and snare stand. No issues here, but definitely check your drum shell to be sure the foil won't damage it.
 

CommanderRoss

Silver Member
Dawn dish soap works well as does toothpaste. My only concern would be scratching the surface so it may be worth doing a 'spot test' on the inside of the shell. Barkeeper's friend is a great product for cleaning various metals that you can get cheap at most big box hardware stores. It comes in a powder form so you make anything from a sudsy liquid to a thick paste.

YouTuber RdavidR did a video of this very thing. Most drums he tears into clean up with just dish soap and a microfiber cloth.
 

Old Dog new Cans

Senior Member
I agree with G.Dad--start simple and cheap! Start with what you have.

I also agree that NEVR DULL is good stuff! I polished an entire kit's worth of 50+year old Premier hardware. Looks spankin' new!

I have some before and after pics. . .


I used what I had basically. I mixed warm water and white vinegar, goo gone, Mr. clean, a Stainless steel appliance cleaner. Just because these drums had been sitting in a garage for 30 years uncovered--I wanted to make sure I did more than enough. But the nevr dull Really shined everything nicely.
 

Suburbankidz

Active member
It may actually be early 1980s, the serial number on the blue and olive badge is 3098042. Also kind of wondering if it's the powder coated version?

My snare seems to look very similar to the 1984 version; the blue-olive badge has the rounded tips with the serial number box outlined with a thin black line, in this thread, "The Ludwig Acrolite."


Great history lesson and details in that thread!

Fender Jazz special bass and Ludwig Acrolite 2-12-2021 050 (3).JPG
 
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Lennytoons

Senior Member
I bought several Acrolites and Supraphonics off of shopgoodwill.com (before the word got out and the prices were driven up). I always us Flitz metal polish on the shell and hoops. It's non abrasive and cleans and polishes the drums like nothing else I've ever used. I bought a Premier Hi Fi that was really dirty for $60 bucks or so and it now looks brand new. It's at least 50 years old, maybe more.The throw off sticks a little but I'm researching how to fix it.
 

Suburbankidz

Active member
It may actually be early 1980s, the serial number on the blue and olive badge is 3098042. Also kind of wondering if it's the powder coated version?

My snare seems to look very similar to the 1984 version; the blue-olive badge has the rounded tips with the serial number box outlined with a thin black line, in this thread, "The Ludwig Acrolite."


Great history lesson and details in that thread!

View attachment 100974
After doing a thorough reading of the "The Ludwig Acrolite" thread on this forum, I'm thinking now that this is a late 1980s or very early 1990s model. The date of the serial number of 3098042 is tough to place for me. Could this be a correct badge and serial number combination?

I wanted to get a better snare than the model that came with my drum kit, and my instructor suggested getting a used Acrolite as there were so many of this model out there. If this is a late 1980s drum, that actually would be better for me, as I do plan to clean this up and use it. I will post more photos when I get them in a few hours.

Thanks everyone for your great tips on cleaning up this drum. I'll start with the mild dish soap and water and do a test spot first.

Glad I found this forum
 

Suburbankidz

Active member
Here's the badge and number

I posted photos of the drum and components over on the "The Ludwig Acrolite" thread



Fender Jazz special bass and Ludwig Acrolite 2-12-2021 063 (2).JPG
 
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