How to take care of the interior of my Saturn (wallnut) Drum


Junior Member
Hi all,
I'm a proudly new owner of a Mapex Saturn Kit and i have to say that the sound of this drum is SUPERIOR.
But, the point of this post, is that i don't know how to take care of this drum.

The other day i was playing and i notice that the interior of the drum is a little dry, or something like that. and i found that there was littles pieces of wood (very small ones) that are taking off the shell. I have to say that the interior of this drum is wallnut. (not maple).

Is this normal?
I have to put some product to take care of this?
I have to polish my drum from the inside?
I was thinking on put some oil on it, but I don't know if it will affect the sound of the drum. (something like a Wood Hardener decayed?)

Please any advice it will be apreciate.



Senior Member
One or two applications of Tung oil a year should keep the interior looking really nice and won't have a noticeable effect on the sound of the kit.


Gold Member
Did you buy this kit new? Mapex have a lifetime warranty on their shells, but if you do ANYTHING to the shell like oiling the interior, you'll void that warranty. I would send an email to Mapex with pictures if you are worried about it. Mapex started coating the interior of their shells at some point in the last few years. I think my kit was made before this happened, as I have seen photos of Saturns on the forum with interiors much darker than mine. My interiors are also quite dry, and I have seen a few tiny fibers of wood come off, but nothing at all serious.

Edit: Here you go:

From Mapex HQ:
"Pursuit of superior sound in Saturn 2009 and Black Panther snares
The quest for better quality products is always the goal of MAPEX, especially in Saturn series. We would like to inform you a production running change that an ultra thin clear coating on the inner shell will be implemented from Jan, 2009 throughout Saturn series and as well as Black Panther snare drums.
The thin inner clear coating provides perfect protection to the shells that prevents the environmental conditions, such as humidity, temperature, damage valuable wood shells.
Therefore, we believe this protective lacquer coat will enhance the shell consistency and further lengthen the life-time of our high end product.
Not only the shell consistency will be improved but also the look and the feel on inner shell surface improved a lot."



Staff member
Walnut is a fairly dry wood with a very low "oil" content. It's very soft/not very strong too, so especially as a thin veneer glued to a different wood substrate, it's potentially vulnerable to environmental conditions, as it will contract & expand differently to the other plies. Mapex obviously found that out after producing these drums for a while, so unless the warranty specifically states adding a benign protective substance to the inner shell will void the warranty, I say go for it. If you want to be ultra cautious, bring your concerns to Mapex's attention, highlight their "upgrade", & ask for guidance in writing. That way, your warranty remains intact.

Tung oil / teak oil works well, as does wax.


Junior Member
hi all;

Thanks for the answers
No, i don't have the warranty becasue I buy it used.
Due the same thing, I don't know the year of my Saturn was made, so I don't know if it has a Inner Shell Coating or not. Probably it don't because it don't look like it have one hahaahah.

I'm thinking on apply some tung oil, but i don't know if this will affect the sound of this drum (Which I LOVE IT, and i don't wanna make some change).

Do you think this will help on the tiny fibers of wood that are coming off?
Do you think that this is a future big problem?



Platinum Member
I think it would be best to treat the drums with Tung Oil. The effect on sound will be imperceptible.

Wood does sometimes need oiling and in this case I would certainly endorse it. Remove the hardware and plug the holes. At the very least, mask the hole on the outside of the shell with masking tape very tightly to avoid any oil going through the shell and staining the finish. Apply the oil in a circular motion with a lint-free cloth. Apply a coat and wait for it to dry, then repeat three or four times. It's not difficult.

EDIT: Here is a thread that I posted a few months back. I bought an old bass drum shell that needed some work. I treated the shell with oil and applied a light shellac finish. The 'before' pictures are at the end of the thread: