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Thread: Fixing up my drums

  1. #1

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    Default Fixing up my drums

    I already posted about going StarCast, or iso-mount and die cast by another brand. StarCast is looking expensive, like two hundred dollars to do StarCast on my two toms, and another $100 if I can replace my tom mount, plus another $50 per drum if I do my floor toms.

    So I'm updating my question.

    Anyone have experience refurbishing a kit? There are a few small splits in the inner plies of some of my shells, the rims aren't all necessarily round and the chrome needs to be cleaned. probably need a new hi-hat at this point. The drums are great, but very well worn from years of gigging.

    Any suggestions? Having just gotten the SuperStars for my son, no way I get a new kit right now. But it seems like it might actually be a better idea to get a decent shell kit for like $600, than spending $300+ on my current drums.
    Jesse

    1986 Tama Crestar - Lacquered Piano White
    2016 Roland TD-25K
    2015 Tama Starclassic B/B - Indigo Blue Sparkle

  2. #2
    Larrysperf Guest

    Default Re: Fixing up my drums

    All depends on how much you like them or do you really need a new set. Sounds like you should go for a good used set in better shape than what you have.

  3. #3

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    Default Re: Fixing up my drums

    I probably couldn't find a used one in much better condition that would be worth getting over a new kit. They are older, but pretty high quality drums.

    If you check my pics you'll see them. It's more about upgrading a little, while cleaning up the little things. Looking at the pics myself, there isn't much really "wrong" with them.

    Obviously they have sentimental value as they are the drums I've been playing for 24 years and the only kit I've played professionally. How do I get rid of the drums I played at CBGB's? The problem is I can't afford to get an entirely new set, most likely, so I thought spending a few hundred to update them might be the way to go. Iso-mounts, maybe die cast hoops, some new mounts and hardware, some small repairs.

    Just trying to get some advice, thoughts, on doing that compared to getting a new Mapex or Gretsch kit for like $700-$800. I'd love to spend more, but too little money and too many other responsibilities. If I bought new, I'd probably try to sell/trade them to pay for a part of it (or all of it).
    Last edited by kaosotis; 12-29-2008 at 06:12 PM.
    Jesse

    1986 Tama Crestar - Lacquered Piano White
    2016 Roland TD-25K
    2015 Tama Starclassic B/B - Indigo Blue Sparkle

  4. #4

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    Default Re: Fixing up my drums

    I'll take a whack at it...

    I've never refurbished a drum kit, but I do have some experience finishing other wood products. It sounds like your kit needs quite a bit of work to get it back up to snuff. If you enjoy restoration projects and want to take pride in a kit that really is all your own because you brought it back to life, and you have lots of time to complete the task, and have the money for finish, sandpaper, etc. (I think you said $300?), and wont mind your kit being unplayable while you have it torn apart, then go for it. Even if you don't improve it's playability or looks, you'll gain craft experience and may decide to make this kind of thing a hobby or even a vocation.

    However, if you just want to have a better kit within some kind of budget and aren't some kind of woodworking magician, just get the shells. Personally, I wouldn't want to try to restore an instrument unless I had something to take it's place while it was torn apart. Too much stress trying to throw it all together on a tight time schedule when it's an unfamiliar job.

  5. #5

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    Default Re: Fixing up my drums

    Thanks RD, I think I'm overstating the condition towards the negative. They aren't fixer uppers by any means!

    The issue is really updating the hardware to iso-mounts, newer, more flexible tom mounts, plus some small repairs, new Hi-Hat stand. That kind of stuff. The drums still play and sound fine. I guess I'm just getting a little jealous of the SuperStar's we just got.

    I wouldn't refinish anything, the chips aren't noticeable to anyone. I could possibly get them touched up.

    That being said, I totally see your points and lean that way myself. I'm not at all handy with wood stuff (computers and electronics are a different story), so I would be wary about taking on too much.

    I was even contemplating building a kit. Precision Drum isn't that far from me, and they quoted me about $1000 for parts to build a custom 5 piece. That's without finishing, but not sure if it's without edges and holes. Definitely think it would be cool to do one summer with my son (I teach so summers are easier). Would be a huge bonding experience, and we could have us some cool drums that are ours!
    Jesse

    1986 Tama Crestar - Lacquered Piano White
    2016 Roland TD-25K
    2015 Tama Starclassic B/B - Indigo Blue Sparkle

  6. #6

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    Default Re: Fixing up my drums

    Yeah, personally I think trying to do it fast would be stressful. The father/son project would be so cool though, it you had a lot of time to complete it. Also, working on a total piece of crap kit for a first timer would relieve some stress (for me anyway). It's always nice to know you can totally suck at something when you're just trying to learn how to do it.

  7. #7

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    Default Re: Fixing up my drums

    I hadn't thought of that. I was thinking we should build a custom kit from scratch.

    But you are totally right. We should try to find a used kit that has potential (meaning decent shells) and go from there. Would be cheaper, and much less stress about messing up! That definitely gives me some ideas for the summer! Thanks RD.
    Jesse

    1986 Tama Crestar - Lacquered Piano White
    2016 Roland TD-25K
    2015 Tama Starclassic B/B - Indigo Blue Sparkle

  8. #8

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    Default Re: Fixing up my drums

    My pleasure.

  9. #9

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    Just looking around at Daddy's Junky Music (good used chain in my area) and found some Tama Swingstar's for under $200 (5 pc. shell kit). They actually don't look awful online, so that might even be a good way to go. I'd have to be careful about a real beater for like $100 or less because of the condition and quality of the shells.
    Jesse

    1986 Tama Crestar - Lacquered Piano White
    2016 Roland TD-25K
    2015 Tama Starclassic B/B - Indigo Blue Sparkle

  10. #10

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    Default Re: Fixing up my drums

    I am on the middle of a Superstar restoration. I used CA glue for the few spots where there was splitting along the grain. It worked fine.

    I am going to use Rims mounts on mine.

    Take a look here for more info on my restoration. It may inspire you.

    http://www.drumchat.com/showthread.p...72.html?t=7172
    Last edited by rmandelbaum; 12-29-2008 at 09:03 PM.
    DW Collectors
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    Roland TD-20
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  11. #11

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    Default Re: Fixing up my drums

    Well I started by taking apart my 12" tom completely. First time in 24 years that I've fully taken it apart. Polished the lugs and rims and they look fine. Turns out this shell is a little beat up. There are a few splits along what look like original seams, as well as one that runs to one of the lug holes. The actual lacquer finish has taken a beating on this one. The others aren't nearly as bad. I polished the shell with guitar polish and it looks decent, other than the damaged regions. Behind the lugs I can see the original white, and it's amazing how off the color is now.

    So now I'm left uncertain as what to do. I can put my new G2 on it, close it up and just keep using it. Do the same full clean on my other toms and BD eventually, and just keep playing.

    I'm still interested in updating them, and it seems like doing something about the finish might be in order. Wrapping seems like the likeliest route, considering how time consuming and expensive repainting would be. Do you still need to strip the paint to wrap?

    Once again I plead for guidance. I can't do what RM is doing in that I need to play them, and I don't have the time, skill, or patience.
    Jesse

    1986 Tama Crestar - Lacquered Piano White
    2016 Roland TD-25K
    2015 Tama Starclassic B/B - Indigo Blue Sparkle

  12. #12

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    Default Re: Fixing up my drums

    Quote Originally Posted by kaosotis View Post
    Well I started by taking apart my 12" tom completely. First time in 24 years that I've fully taken it apart. Polished the lugs and rims and they look fine. Turns out this shell is a little beat up. There are a few splits along what look like original seams, as well as one that runs to one of the lug holes. The actual lacquer finish has taken a beating on this one. The others aren't nearly as bad. I polished the shell with guitar polish and it looks decent, other than the damaged regions. Behind the lugs I can see the original white, and it's amazing how off the color is now.

    So now I'm left uncertain as what to do. I can put my new G2 on it, close it up and just keep using it. Do the same full clean on my other toms and BD eventually, and just keep playing.

    I'm still interested in updating them, and it seems like doing something about the finish might be in order. Wrapping seems like the likeliest route, considering how time consuming and expensive repainting would be. Do you still need to strip the paint to wrap?

    Once again I plead for guidance. I can't do what RM is doing in that I need to play them, and I don't have the time, skill, or patience.
    Again, I've never refinished a drum, but I've refinished a lot of other wood products. If you are going to refinish it (ie lacquer) you need to get your gear together and practice with it before you start in on the actual project. Finishing wood is a bit unforgiving. You make a mistake and you're back at it with the sand paper. The wrap is going to be a lot easyer than lacquer and the chances of getting a professional quality look at the end are much higher. Wrap is more road worthy as well.

  13. #13

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    Default Re: Fixing up my drums

    Just a thought. I would start by cleaning the shells with a cleaner not just a polish. I read on another thread that the person recomended using a simple cleaner like SIMPLE GREEN to clean shells. He said that it removed years of cigarette smoke and common yellowing. While you have the hardware off, touch up the cracks with ca3 type of super glue. Just a good cleaning and and a few repairs are going to make a huge difference in the looks and how you feel about your drums. Then you can start doing the upgrades as you can afford them like the r.i.m.s. and the new tom holders and new heads. John

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by john gerrard View Post
    Just a thought. I would start by cleaning the shells with a cleaner not just a polish. I read on another thread that the person recomended using a simple cleaner like SIMPLE GREEN to clean shells. He said that it removed years of cigarette smoke and common yellowing. While you have the hardware off, touch up the cracks with ca3 type of super glue. Just a good cleaning and and a few repairs are going to make a huge difference in the looks and how you feel about your drums. Then you can start doing the upgrades as you can afford them like the r.i.m.s. and the new tom holders and new heads. John
    jon, check this post out.
    http://www.drumchat.com/showpost.php...0&postcount=11

  15. #15

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    Default Re: Fixing up my drums

    So started looking at the other tom and it's looking rough too. Not as many dings, etc..., but it's got small cracks all along the finish. It's hard to explain, but I'm thinking it's from using Windex on them about 15 years ago (what did I know!!).

    So right now I'm looking into the cost of wrapping them. Here's the kicker that's giving me pause. I could do Iso-Mounts, rims, and lugs for about $200 (if I don't get die cast) and wrap them myself from jamminsam for another $200. That's $400. I get someone else to wrap them that's going to add $200 from what I've seen. That's $600.

    So $600 is silly to put into them, even though they have a lot of sentimental value, when I can just clean them up, keep them, and go out and get a shell kit (even a new Tama SuperStar Hyperdrive 5 piece) for only a little bit more $.

    So long story short, this is probably the end of the thread until I make a decision. I'm either going to wrap them and leave the hardware and be done with it, or I'm going to get a new shell kit.

    Thanks for all the input.
    Jesse

    1986 Tama Crestar - Lacquered Piano White
    2016 Roland TD-25K
    2015 Tama Starclassic B/B - Indigo Blue Sparkle

  16. #16

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    Default Re: Fixing up my drums

    There is a guy on ebay selling a think sticky back wrap in sparkles, enough to do a 5 piece is only 70 bucks. This may be quick easy way to update without a huge project.
    DW Collectors
    Vintage Superstars
    Roland TD-20
    Misc. Snares
    My Web Site

  17. #17

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    Default Re: Fixing up my drums

    If you decide to redo your old kit, show us some pics of how it turns out. Good luck.

  18. #18

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    Default Re: Fixing up my drums

    I've included some photos of the finish on the 2 rack toms. The Floor Tom looks okay as far as I can tell (although I just started cleaning it). The Bass Drum isn't here, but I know there are a lot of dings and chips in the finish.

    Please note that the photos have been color adjusted to make it easier to see the defects in the finish. They aren't that white, but the room is kind of dark.

    The first two are my 12" tom, showing some of the dings, but more specifically the long split (scratch?) in the finish.





    The third photo shows my 13" tom, showing the fine cracks in the finish. This is just a sample section, since the cracks go all around the drum.



    I'm looking into the pricing of wrapping them myself using JamminSam, or having Precision Drum do it. Just curious what people think.
    Jesse

    1986 Tama Crestar - Lacquered Piano White
    2016 Roland TD-25K
    2015 Tama Starclassic B/B - Indigo Blue Sparkle

  19. #19

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    Default Re: Fixing up my drums

    I would make sure they are still round.

    If they are then in my opinion it would be worthwhile to restore them. Try getting a top of the line pro level kit for $600.00. Pretty hard to do.
    DW Collectors
    Vintage Superstars
    Roland TD-20
    Misc. Snares
    My Web Site

  20. #20

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    Default Re: Fixing up my drums

    I have re-covered/refinished/rebuilt several drums. You have several choices if you go with coverings. Look up Drum Supply House or Precision for ideas.

    It isn't tough to do. Now there is two-sided tape you can use if you can't or don't want to use contact cement (which I prefer).

    That old finish looks like factory lacquer. It can be stripped and you can stain and lacquer if you do a good prep job, but that is really labor-intensive.

    Good luck with it.

    J

  21. #21
    Larrysperf Guest

    Default Re: Fixing up my drums

    I really like them so keep them just get some aplliance touch up it is great stuff . You can get it at lowes or Home depot. NUFF SAID

  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jdubbs View Post
    I have re-covered/refinished/rebuilt several drums. You have several choices if you go with coverings. Look up Drum Supply House or Precision for ideas.

    It isn't tough to do. Now there is two-sided tape you can use if you can't or don't want to use contact cement (which I prefer).

    That old finish looks like factory lacquer. It can be stripped and you can stain and lacquer if you do a good prep job, but that is really labor-intensive.

    Good luck with it.

    J
    That is what I was going to suggest, just put a new wrap right over the laquer on them. wont change the sound a bit and will make them lool like new. If they were mine that is what I would do!

  23. #23

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    I would be concerned that contact cement might not work over the lacquer, but that two-sided tape works very well. They would look like a new kit.

    J

  24. #24

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    Lacquer that old would be fine in my opinion. I don't think contact cement is near hot enough to lift lacquer that was put on nearly 30 years ago. you could do a test spot to see but I would seriously doubt it would have any affect.

  25. #25

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    Default Re: Fixing up my drums

    It is not lacquer, it is Polly Urethane, and it is tough as nails.
    DW Collectors
    Vintage Superstars
    Roland TD-20
    Misc. Snares
    My Web Site

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