Need tips on refurbishing DW drum set


Junior Member
I just scored an older DW collectors kit with a Gibraltar rack for what is probably pretty close to highway robbery.

It's double 22x18 kicks, 10 12 14 16 inch rack mounted toms, all maple. (Also a metal Remo snare and 2 small toca timbales) It's old enough that it has the black and gold badge which I'm guessing is early 90's?

It's my first DW kit and it needs work because I think the original owner played out with it a lot. The shells are in perfect shape, but the gold hoops and lugs are shot.

I eventually would like to replace all of the hoops and lugs, but for now I was wondering what is a safe cleaner to use to get them looking a little better. The wrap is sort of an ugly marble pearl which I don't want so I was thinking of not risking tearing up the wood and getting a vinyl wrap. The tension rods could also use a good cleaning, but I don't want to destroy the gold coloring. Any tips from seasoned refurbishers would be great. I'm going to try to get some pics today.


Platinum Member
A lot of professional restorers use believe it or not..Dawn dishwashing liquid..Soak the hardware for 24 hours,rinse well and dry.Polish with a soft cloth.

Steve B

criz p. critter

Silver Member
Get a big jug of Simple Green and an aluminum pan like you use to roast a turkey. Disassemble all the lugs and put everything in the pan. Fill the pan with Simple Green, just enough to cover everything. Let it soak for a few hours. That'll cut just about anything on the parts. You've got a lot of parts, so you'll probably have to do the whole process in a few batches. Good thing is, you can use the same Simple Green over and over.

Then brush everything with a nylon brush (like you use to clean a shower or whatever). It'll take the crap out of the rod threads pretty easily. Finally, rinse and air dry. I've restored 2 1/2 kits this way, and it doesn't harm the hardware.

For chrome parts or rims that have rust or oxidation, chrome polish works great. I've never used it on gold plating, though. But I imagine it's the same as chrome. Test the polish on an inside surface to be certain.

Good luck. Post before and after pics. Its always cool to see an old kit brought back to glory.
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