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Thread: 1994 Tama refinishing

  1. #1

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    Default 1994 Tama refinishing

    Here is the Tama Artstar Esprit that I bought back in 1994. Made in Japan. I believe the shells were birch and basswood, but I'm not 100% sure. If anyone knows for sure, please chime in. The wrap is a little dated, and was starting to fade from uv light. And the power tom depths aren't exactly easy to get the low setup that I prefer now, but I made it work with a one up, two down configuration.



    So I decided to pull off the dated wrap, and there was some pretty nice looking wood under there.


    Next, it was time to pick a stain. I went with a golden mahogany.

    Last edited by -bongos-; 03-16-2016 at 10:19 PM.

  2. #2

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    Default Re: 1994 Tama refinishing

    Now time to lacquer.



    This is it after four coats.

    And here it is after the rest of the quart.


    The floor tom has some really nice figuring in the wood.

    I will be putting the hardware back on tonight. More pictures to follow when it's all put together.

  3. #3

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    Default Re: 1994 Tama refinishing

    Very nice! Actually, that looks like Luan. It would make sense for the outer ply to be Luan, since they were originally wrapped....pretty common practice, even on high end drums.
    Last edited by N2Bluz; 03-16-2016 at 10:37 PM.
    -Brian

    "Too many crappy used drum stuff to list"

    Play the SONG......not the DRUMS!!!

    "I think that feeling is a lot more important than technique. It's all very well doing a triple paradiddle - but who's going to know you've done it? If you play technically you sound like everybody else. It's being original that counts." ~ John Bonham

  4. #4

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    Default Re: 1994 Tama refinishing

    I'm debating weather or not I should wet sand and wax the finish. I am very satisfied with how the lacquer finish came out. I don't know if it would be worth the extra time and steps.

    Thanks Blues for adding some insight to the shell material.

  5. #5

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    Default Re: 1994 Tama refinishing

    Beautiful!
    Aut Viam Inveniam Aut Faciam
    "I shall either find a way or make one"

  6. #6

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    Default Re: 1994 Tama refinishing

    Well, stayed up past my bedtime and finished putting everything together.




    Now I need to get a set of nice hoops for the bass drum.

  7. #7

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    Default Re: 1994 Tama refinishing

    Wow!! Fine job!
    Aut Viam Inveniam Aut Faciam
    "I shall either find a way or make one"

  8. #8

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    Default Re: 1994 Tama refinishing

    While I appreciate the time and effort and sweat that went into doing it; I don't like it.

    The grain in the wood is huge and not a nice finish, (to my eyes anyway). I'd re-wrap them.

    Solid effort but. Well done.

    Acoustic & Electronic:
    Pearl Prestige World Series WLX 1988-89
    Tama Swingstar 1983
    Tama Superstar Hyper-Drive (Birch) 2007
    Premier Artist Maple (with Birch Snare) - yellow/fusion 2005-06
    Ludwig Acrolite Snare 1976
    Pearl Sensitone Elite Aluminum 5.5" and 6.5" Snare
    Pearl COB Custom Deluxe [Gladstone] (75-76) Snare
    Love Drum Co. Hammered Steel 5.5" Snare
    Roland TD-1KV

    Paiste
    Accent 8"

    Paiste Signature:
    6", 10" Splash
    14" Dark Crisp Hi-Hats
    14" Sound Edge Hi-Hats
    16", 17", 18",19", 20" Full Crash

    Paiste Formula 602:
    22" Formula 602 Modern Essentials Ride

    Paiste 2oo2:
    22" Ride
    16" Crash
    8",10" Splash

    Paiste Sound Formula:
    20" Full Ride (Frankenstein)

    Paiste Twenty:
    16" China

    Paiste Alpha (original Swiss made):
    10" Splash

    Paiste PST7:
    Medium
    16", 18" Crash
    20" Ride
    14" Hi-Hats

    Sabian:
    XS20 18" China
    AA 14" Fusion Hi-Hats


  9. #9

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    Default Re: 1994 Tama refinishing

    I like them a lot.

    The natural finish looks great

  10. #10

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    Default Re: 1994 Tama refinishing

    That's a very hard wood to get a smooth finish, due to the open grain. You need to use a grain filler to get it really smooth, but that's a TON of work. The best you can do is multiple coats of clear and a lot of progressivly finer grit sanding, followed by rubbing compound and waxing. Even then, it will still have a pronounced texture. It really just depends on how far you want to take it.
    -Brian

    "Too many crappy used drum stuff to list"

    Play the SONG......not the DRUMS!!!

    "I think that feeling is a lot more important than technique. It's all very well doing a triple paradiddle - but who's going to know you've done it? If you play technically you sound like everybody else. It's being original that counts." ~ John Bonham

  11. #11

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    Default Re: 1994 Tama refinishing

    Very good work...............you should be happy with the results.

    I have an old Gretsch kit that was set up like yours earlier.
    Like you, I put the 13" (virgin) rack tom in a snare basket and clamped a 15" tom to a cymbal stand to create a small FT that sits next to the 18" FT.
    The one-up. two-down configuration is so much better !

    BUT....................now that the bass drum is virgin, I would have left the tom-mount-hardware off and sealed/plated the shell.
    A minor difference.
    Gretsch USA & Zildjian
    (What Else Would I Ever Need ?)


  12. #12

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    Default Re: 1994 Tama refinishing

    Thanks for all the feedback and comments. I originally thought about re-wrapping the shells, I even considered doing some sort of exotic veneer. But I couldn't justify the added cost of materials. (This wasn't a very expensive kit) If I were to do it again, I would have taken grain filler to the shells to smooth it out even more. After it was all done, I only have about $30 worth of materials into the project, and the elbow grease from 2 days off. I'm happy that I gave the old girl a facelift. It still isn't a pretty as my Masters set, but it's not a faded aqua blue wrap anymore.

  13. #13

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    Default Re: 1994 Tama refinishing

    Quote Originally Posted by -bongos- View Post
    Thanks for all the feedback and comments. I originally thought about re-wrapping the shells, I even considered doing some sort of exotic veneer. But I couldn't justify the added cost of materials. (This wasn't a very expensive kit) If I were to do it again, I would have taken grain filler to the shells to smooth it out even more. After it was all done, I only have about $30 worth of materials into the project, and the elbow grease from 2 days off. I'm happy that I gave the old girl a facelift. It still isn't a pretty as my Masters set, but it's not a faded aqua blue wrap anymore.
    You did a great job mate, don't take my comment as anything against your work. You did a stella job on that. When comparing it to how badly you describe the faded blue wrap then I agree, it's much better.

    Acoustic & Electronic:
    Pearl Prestige World Series WLX 1988-89
    Tama Swingstar 1983
    Tama Superstar Hyper-Drive (Birch) 2007
    Premier Artist Maple (with Birch Snare) - yellow/fusion 2005-06
    Ludwig Acrolite Snare 1976
    Pearl Sensitone Elite Aluminum 5.5" and 6.5" Snare
    Pearl COB Custom Deluxe [Gladstone] (75-76) Snare
    Love Drum Co. Hammered Steel 5.5" Snare
    Roland TD-1KV

    Paiste
    Accent 8"

    Paiste Signature:
    6", 10" Splash
    14" Dark Crisp Hi-Hats
    14" Sound Edge Hi-Hats
    16", 17", 18",19", 20" Full Crash

    Paiste Formula 602:
    22" Formula 602 Modern Essentials Ride

    Paiste 2oo2:
    22" Ride
    16" Crash
    8",10" Splash

    Paiste Sound Formula:
    20" Full Ride (Frankenstein)

    Paiste Twenty:
    16" China

    Paiste Alpha (original Swiss made):
    10" Splash

    Paiste PST7:
    Medium
    16", 18" Crash
    20" Ride
    14" Hi-Hats

    Sabian:
    XS20 18" China
    AA 14" Fusion Hi-Hats


  14. #14

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    Default Re: 1994 Tama refinishing

    Hahahaha. No hard feelings.

  15. #15

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    Default Re: 1994 Tama refinishing

    Nicely done bongos! Any tonal changes since going without the wrap? Thanks!

  16. #16

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    Very nicely done.........




    Jim
    Premier XPK Drums
    10, 12, 13, 14, 16 Suspended toms
    22 bass drum
    5 x 14 snare
    Premier Hardware
    Offset Double Pedal
    Sabian, Meniel cymbals
    Tama Metalworks 6.5 x 14" Black Nickel snare
    Ahead Drum Cases

  17. #17

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    Default Re: 1994 Tama refinishing

    Looks pretty nice. I think you'll get lots of compliments if you decide to take it out.

  18. #18

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    Default Re: 1994 Tama refinishing

    Outstanding work!

  19. #19

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    The only thing I would do different would be a satin finish instead of the gloss or semi gloss it looks like you used.

  20. #20

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    Default Re: 1994 Tama refinishing

    They really look good with the hardware all in place.

  21. #21

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    Default Re: 1994 Tama refinishing

    Beautiful finish! Looks like you did a great job.
    Quote Originally Posted by rickthedrummer View Post
    There is intelligent life out there. The problem is that there isn't any here.

    -Mike

  22. #22

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    Default Re: 1994 Tama refinishing

    Quote Originally Posted by late8 View Post
    Nicely done bongos! Any tonal changes since going without the wrap? Thanks!
    I wasn't able to tell any sonic difference before and after the wrap. In the couple of years that a worked in a music shop in a past life, I was able to A-B test a couple of collectors kits, having the only difference being a wrap vs lacquer finish. Same heads, same shells, same sizes, even went as far as using a drum dial to tune both the kits. And to my ears, I couldn't hear a difference. Not saying that there couldn't be one, but from behind the kits, they sounded the same to me.

  23. #23

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    Default Re: 1994 Tama refinishing

    My resurrection kit went through similar phases. I could not get the varnish/lacquer finish to look good to my eyes and that ultimately led me to a rewrap. The wrap was more expensive than the kit will ever be worth but it was my first attempt at a wrap and the final product was better looking and a good learning experience.

    I don't expect to ever break even but I now have a decent kit for leaving at a rehearsal location of I have to take "something" out of the house.

    Good job on your project.
    Signature here

  24. #24

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    Default Re: 1994 Tama refinishing

    not bad at all
    14pc Yamaha Maple Custom Vintage (24pc in total) | 12pc PDP X7 | 9pc Ludwig Jr. | 9pc Pork Pie ZebraWood | 7pc PDP Classic Concept Maple | 4pc PDP Classic Concept Maple BOP | 5pc Sonor International | 5pc Ddrum Dominion | 5pc Orbitone | 4pc Sonor Martini | 70 Snare drums and growing!

  25. #25

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    Default Re: 1994 Tama refinishing

    I really enjoyed refinishing drums. I got this old Premier Olympic kit for $80. I probably put the same amount into it in refinishing, and sold it for $250. Not a huge profit, but it was a fun project.

    Aut Viam Inveniam Aut Faciam
    "I shall either find a way or make one"

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