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Jakester

Dr*m refurb (sorry!)

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Thought I'd post this here - not quite a Build Diary, more a light tickle memoir, of summat what ain't a bass, for anyone who might be interested. 

There's a backstory to this - I picked this up quite a few years ago. It used to belong to a well-known player who sadly died too young, and some equipment was sold to raise money for his family. My family used to know his parents when he was young, so I thought the least I could do was contribute some money. 

Fast forward a few years and I have let it get into a right state. Much of this is down to where it's been stored - one of the things that attracted us to this house was the large stone outbuilding that the owners assured us was dry. 

Piled all my musical gear in there - cue finding out actually it's quite damp. This snare drum was one of the casualties. 

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Although it has a Gretsch badge and hardware on it, I don't think the shell is a Gretsch - though there are exceptions, the factory drums tended to have a lining of 'silver sealer' on the inside. Much of the hardware is correct, albeit I think the throwoff is a Yamaha. Lots of corrosion on the inside:

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So I've decided to strip it down and try and bring it back to life. The shell didn't appear to have any lacquer on it (suggesting again it's not a factory drum) and my initial thoughts were to use some Tru-oil to finish the shell inside and out with. 

However, after stripping the shell and a light sanding it's clear that the corroded fixings have left stains on the shell:

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I expect these will also show through any finishing oil, so I'm going to have a think about what to do. Perhaps I might try staining the shell.

I put the worst of the hardware in some vinegar to try and lift the rust:

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There were also a couple of  small cosmetic cracks in the shell so I've put some superglue into those which should hopefully stop them propagating. 

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Looks quite a good candidate for a wrap - or even a better, a wood veneer. Interesting project, thanks for sharing.

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Used to play drums in a previous life (Dad was a session drummer and brother played too...) and always fancied a nice wooden snare along with a brass piccolo if I ever decided to get my own kit rather than use my brother's!

Pity those stains won't go although perhaps they might be masked enough with an oil that gives the wood a slightly darker finish?

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On 29/05/2020 at 14:51, EBS_freak said:

Looks quite a good candidate for a wrap - or even a better, a wood veneer. Interesting project, thanks for sharing.

Thanks - my experience with wrapping has been, er, sub-optimal, shall we say? I think one of the things I haven't got to grips with in the past is how much to leave around the bearing edges, with the end result that once wrapped, the heads become too tight. I suppose provided I got over that, a wrap would be an easy way to cover up the stains in the wood.

My initial thoughts were simply to oil the wood to put it back to how the previous owner had it - I don't want to take too much away from how he had it (but for no practical reason, I suppose - simply [possibly misplaced] sentimentality?). 

I suppose it could be argued it's reliced...😋

17 hours ago, Trav said:

Pity those stains won't go although perhaps they might be masked enough with an oil that gives the wood a slightly darker finish?

Possibly - but I expect they'd darken as well with the oil, meaning it'd end up more prominent. 

 

I think I've come to the following potential options: 

1 - do a bit more sanding, hope I get rid of the stains, then oil the wood to a decent finish. 

2 - stain the shell a colour to cover the stains, then oil.

3 - wrap the shell; or

4 - veneer it, then optionally stain, and then finish.

 

I have to say I'm erring towards 4, because of @Andyjr1515's recent veneering masterclass. My thinking is a veneer is likely to be thinner than plastic wrap, so less likely to experience the binding heads. What I quite fancy doing is using some marquetry inlays and veneer strips, but that is probably so far outside my sphere of competence that it's pure fantasy. 

I guess if I can figure out the appropriate circumference for a veneer and then order both veneer and inlays cut to the same length, it might take some of the guesswork out....

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Posted (edited)

Watching with great interest - and whether you use veneer or not :)

As a guide, veneer is generally 0.6mm thick, so would add around 1.2mm to the diameter of the drum.

Edited by Andyjr1515
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One thing which might stymie any great plans is that there’s a socket on the shell to store the drum tuning key - this is/was a Gretsch feature but I’m think you could also buy aftermarket ones for a while.

Anyway, it’s essentially a threaded insert that is fastened down by a sort of captive nut. It’s about 25mm (but probably the imperial equivalent) so larger than any sockets I have, and using an adjustable spanner just means the whole thing turns in situ.

It can be seen in the pictures below. 

I’ve tried gripping the threaded part with molegrips and loosening the nut, but it’s not having it. I may try heating the nut, or perhaps some light percussive maintenance but if it’s not going anywhere, it sort of limits the refinish options!

 

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Is it threaded on the inside?  If so, you could screw a bolt from the inside fully home, then use two spanners in opposite directions?

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4 hours ago, Andyjr1515 said:

Is it threaded on the inside?  If so, you could screw a bolt from the inside fully home, then use two spanners in opposite directions?

if it isn't threaded you could try a piece of rubber hose that is an easy fit through the middle and then put a nut and bolt through the hose and compress it so it expands to fit the inside of the fitting, then you can grip this whilst undoing the nut. (hopefully that was clear, if not i can try and draw some kind of diagram to try and clarify)

 

Matt

 

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Sorry for radio silence - computer playing silly buggers!

On 31/05/2020 at 14:42, Andyjr1515 said:

Is it threaded on the inside?  If so, you could screw a bolt from the inside fully home, then use two spanners in opposite directions?

Sadly not! 

On 31/05/2020 at 18:59, Matt P said:

if it isn't threaded you could try a piece of rubber hose that is an easy fit through the middle and then put a nut and bolt through the hose and compress it so it expands to fit the inside of the fitting, then you can grip this whilst undoing the nut. (hopefully that was clear, if not i can try and draw some kind of diagram to try and clarify)

Hmm, yes, I see the idea, but unsure whether it would work. 

I really need to have a good sit down with it but at the moment finding the time to devote just to this is tricky. Annoying, as I'd hoped to have it all done by now! 

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Success!! 

And I have my wife to thank - I mentioned that she had quite a good problem-solving type of mind, so could she give some thought to how I might go about getting this undone. 

"Just use the massive flat-bladed screwdriver we have to stop the inner bit from turning" she said. 

Bang on, worked first time - job is a good-un. Annoyed I didn't think of that now!!! 

So, looks like a full refurb is back on! Woohoo! 

Thinking something like flamed or curly maple veneer with marquetry inlay down the middle now...

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No progress to report I'm afraid. Unfortunately I may also find fur-ther delays owing to the annexing of the shell by a certain somebody....

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Just guarding it now...

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FWIW, if wrapping you want to leave about a half cm or less from the bearing edge to allow the head to sit. Use some contact adhesive and a couple of clamps and you're good to go.

If you want a cheaper option, that fake sticky back veneer type stuff you can buy on a roll at Wilkos would also work.

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