Some oil interior of drumshells? Why?

GrooveSuperfly

Senior Member
I know that some old drummakers paint inside of shells with white, gray paint,(Tama, Ludwig, Gretch, Hayman etc) "to imporive attack", ( or hide uggly finnish?) .
I will NOT do that on my drums.

I am more wondering, whay some people oil their new drums with oil?

Can it protect shells/wood against moisure and crack? Or is it just becouse they look nicer?

If its for protect wood, how to do it right?

I am at the momet tjhinking on my LA Camco 5 ply drums, and Antonio true solid hollow snare. Is it good or bad idea?
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
I know that some old drummakers paint inside of shells with white, gray paint,(Tama, Ludwig, Gretch, Hayman etc) "to imporive attack", ( or hide uggly finnish?) .
I will NOT do that on my drums.

I am more wondering, whay some people oil their new drums with oil?

Can it protect shells/wood against moisure and crack? Or is it just becouse they look nicer?

If its for protect wood, how to do it right?

I am at the momet tjhinking on my LA Camco 5 ply drums, and Antonio true solid hollow snare. Is it good or bad idea?
Drop the oil can,and step away from the drums.Unless you're in a superdry/desert type climate,I would leave those drums alone.Thay haven't made Camco's in a very long time,and you may alter the sound,and collectability of those drums.

If your drums are stored/played in average humidity and not subject to wide temperature variations,I would just leave them be.Just clean the wrap with mild watered down dish soap,rinse and dry thoroughly,and use a quality furniture grade wax,that all the protection they'll need,A good guitar polish works also.

Steve B
 

uniongoon

Gold Member
A good quality danish oil or tung oil will protect the wood and will not harm anything. He is not talking oil spray like you undercoat the car with.
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
Aren't your interiors painted white already?I know the Oaklawn and Chanute,shells were,though I'm not sure about LA Camco's.

If you decide to go ahead with oil,tung oil stinks,and takes 1-2 days to dry.The danish oil unigoon mentioned is a better alternative,I believe.

Steve B
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
Some folks swear that finishing the inside of the shell with paint or oil changes the sound.
I am skeptical and I doubt that there is any real difference.
It is simply a cosmetic thing that you can do.
If it makes you like your drums more than I say do it.
Liking your drums is a good thing!
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
Just remember Bob, if you "just do it" to your kit, you will void the warranty! :/
In my 40+ years experience with drums I have found that if a drum shell last a few years then it will last a hundred years.
A defective drum shell shows up when the drum is relatively new.
If your kit is say 5 years old then you are safe to do what you please with it.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
Camco went out of business in 1977/78 ... so don't worry about warranty issues ... and 34+ years old drums ... a lot can happen in 3 1/2 decades. If they've made it this far, they're probably good to go another 3 1/2 decades. If you do want to oil 'em, any hi-grade furniture/wood oil will do. I like Howards Wax, but you may have other preferences.​
 

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GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I will give you my first hand experience on what I have done. I bought a 16 inch Gretsch Catalina maple floor tom to go with my Gretsch Renown set. The interior of the Catalina was natural and the Renowns are painted with the secret sealer. I know the secret but I'm not telling. With clear heads the Cat looked out of place, so I bought some secret sealer at Ace Hardware and painted the inside of the Cat. The first thing I noticed was the longer sustain. It also was less bright, not deeper but warmer. I realize one drum does not a theory prove, but this is my experience. As for oils, tung oils etc, some of this is to smooth out the interior for "better" sound, more sustain. Secondly the oil keeps the wood moist so it doesn't age to quickly and and dry out. Again this may not be the case for all drums, but any furniture manufacturer will finish wood as a protectant. Any finish on the inside will change the sound, for better or worse, but if I had an expensive or vintage set I would not touch it.
 

GrooveSuperfly

Senior Member
Thanks for a lot of ansewers...
As you can see, there is two differend minds - Do it/ Do not do it.
And thats why I am wondering...

Some says that clear ladquer make a longer sustain. Andw will give drums more warmth in sound. But not much,just very, very little...I can beleve that. But thats not why I am want to do it - only reason I am wondering is becuase to protect drums.. not get "nicer" look or to change sound.

Camco is as someone allready said , allmost 40 years and old, and they sound better than all my Ludwigs, Slingerland, Tama, Perals, Premiers, ........ and beter then ALL other drums i have been own for my 25 druming years, so to change sound is realy not my goal.
And yes, L.A. Camco have clear interioer (all LA camcos) , its 6 ply all maple. No wrap, its stain ebony finnish.


My new set I been order, AntonioDrums is still in workbench , but I receive my snare few weeks ago. Drums is curved out from one piece hollow log Elm. There is som kind of lacquer outside, but nothing inside. And its those I am most worried about. " Lot" of people ( lot- there is not many that build drums that way att all) talks about cracking when wood is drying.
I wonder, how is it with Zelkova snare? Is it oil from inside????

As someone allreday say before, furniture facotry does oil wood before it leavs factory, for protection. So do it on drums... Should NOT harm?
As another one say - he got a 74 year old drum and no one never oli them, and it still find?

Perhaps, best not to do anything, after all`???
 

uniin

Gold Member
tama oil or stain the inside of their silverstars, it makes the birch look like the red of a bubinga or padauk wood... looks freaking amazing.
 

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
A very long time ago, someone told me that drums sound better with age because the wood dries out over time?

Guess it's a preference thing then.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
A very long time ago, someone told me that drums sound better with age because the wood dries out over time?

Guess it's a preference thing then.
That's very true, but not related exactly to the subject here. It very much depends on the shell construction & the timber species, but it's the resin that lines the sap channels that takes years to harden. Once it has hardened, the resonant properties of the shell tends to improve. Most noticeable on solid shell drums, but also multiple ply to a lesser extent.

Guys, here's the real deal on finishing the inside of a shell;

Simply adding tung oil or teak oil to the shell every few years, won't change the sound of the drum unless taken to excess, but it will protect the shell against extremes of humidity to some extent. On a modern processed ply shell, it's close to irrelevant, as the plies are already sealed by glue & being compressed. If you want to do it to improve the aesthetic, then there's no downside I can think of. To oil the inside and/or outside (depending on finish) of a stave, segmented, or steam bent shell, is a good thing. As the wood retains it's original structure (especially stave & segmented), it's more readily affected by moisture extremes. With a solid hollowed out log shell, continued attention to maintenance is essential IMO, especially in challenging environments (OP, your builder will advise you on this. He knows the wood species well, and how it reacts to certain conditions. Follow his instructions to the letter).

As for the wider subject of sound changing with internal finish, it does make a difference, depending on what you use. An oil that doesn't change the surface hardness or roughness will make no difference at all. A paint or lacquer that either increases surface hardness and/or smooths out the surface finish, will usually brighten the sound of the drum. Claims of paint that increases sustain are dubious to say the least, excepting that a brighter drum with more shell reflection may offer slight increases in head sustain. Most paint style finishes evolved from the need to cover up a crappy finish or wood quality IMO.

Well the 1938 drum I just received that most of you gents have not even cared to acknowledge has not been oiled in 74 years, and it looks pretty good!
It's the weekend, & many of us have been gigging. Chill :)
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
Thank's KIS. There is a lot of misinformation about things like this in the drumming world.
Marketing people will claim many things to sell drum kits.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
Claims of paint that increases sustain are dubious to say the least

As the dubious one, I can only relate what I experienced in my floor tom.
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
Grunt, You painted the inside of your drum and you felt that it had more sustain.
Weather it did or not really doesn't matter.
What matters is that you are happy with the drum.

Painting the inside of drum shells started as a marketing scheme to sell drums.
"My drums are so well made that they are finished on the inside"
All of the manufacturers did it. They all had their own finish.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Claims of paint that increases sustain are dubious to say the least

As the dubious one, I can only relate what I experienced in my floor tom.
Interesting :) What drum, what finish, & what difference did you notice? As I pointed out, a paint finish will brighten a drum's tone, & that in turn can increase head sustain a bit. Also depends on what the original surface finish was like, construction, & the wood species. Reringed drums seem to yield a bigger affect for reasons I don't understand.
 
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