Vintage Snare Restoration

BacteriumFendYoke

Platinum Member
I've decided not to re-plate it. I can't afford it! Looking at the way the shell is turning out, the variation between the brass and nickel layers is quite attractive and I can always choose to do the work at a later date.

Add in the fact that I don't have a drill (I know, sacrilege!) and the fact that I've used the chemical stripper many times before (I restored an early 60s bass drum last year that was covered in glue) and I'm just more comfortable doing it this way.

The screws are probably going to get a clean and a coat of paint. They're rusted. The tension rods are going to be tough to replace so it might have to be similar treatment. I'll think about it when the time comes.

EDIT: Here's a picture with the chemical stripper applied. The light is appalling but you can see that most of the white paint is off. The inside of the shell is still a mess but it's mostly black paint so it will be easy to remove. The bearing edges need work. They're covered in the bloody paint.

Yes, this is my bathroom. No, I'm not currently under any statutory mental health teams...
 

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BacteriumFendYoke

Platinum Member
That's all the stripper.

The nickel isn't as good as I'd initially hoped but it's ok. I'll just have to polish it to high Hell and back.

I'm just doing the bearing edges and the inside now. Getting there...
 

BacteriumFendYoke

Platinum Member
Right.

Shell stripped, insides stripped. Nostrils stripped I'm sure. Hands blackened by polishing and this is what I get. The nickel really isn't in good condition and the results are patchy but I quite like the 'weathered' look and the shell is sound.

If you compare the original pictures, you'll see how much effort this has been!

EDIT: This drum is almost certainly an 'Ajax Senior No. 1' from the early 30s. Apparently, that's a good thing.

The only issue now is that I have to start thinking about heads. Oli included a fitting resonant head (that is in bad shape) which I've used for measuring purposes. I've found somewhere that sells that size but I'm going to measure it 1,000 times before I take the plunge. I could get single-flange 14" sized hoops (this is a pre-international drum) and add small gaskets under the tube lugs to prevent any lug splay. Of the two options, ordering a pair of heads the right size is much cheaper but in the long-term, the bigger inconvenience.

Ideas? Suggestions? I'm fairly sure I'll be getting the pre-international heads (after payday, a couple of weeks away!) but my other option is going fully native and making my own calfskins for this drum. I'd like to try all three in an ideal world!
 

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