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A different kind of project

Discussion in 'Work Safe' started by John A., Oct 31, 2018.

  1. John A.

    John A. I'm "THAT" guy Staff Member Global Moderator Moderator

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    Alright folks, I'm about to take on a project that I didn't think I'd ever do.

    Again.

    Back about 20 years ago, I was playing a lot of music. Had my own recording gear and did some studio work for some folks. Had a great time doing it.

    Then a few things changed in my life and seems like things kept getting pushed farther and farther back on the burner until one day I found myself working about all the time, and I just got out of it and sold it all off.

    Recently, my wife found a small cheap 5 piece trap for sale online in the next county over and I went and got it. The young gentlemen that was selling it hadn't really treated it any rougher than what any other young teenager would do, but he obviously didn't have any guidance on how to set it up properly. As you can imagine, the original heads have some dents, and nothing was in tune. Little guy didn't even have a pillow stuffed in the bass drum.

    So, I give him his asking price without hassle because his price for it was already low and was for probably less than the zildjian crash that came with it, but they had recently moved into an apartment and couldn't play them so they had to go. I imagine that he had the money earmarked for something else he was wanting so he wasn't too upset to see them drive out of sight.

    Anyway, I mainly wanted them because my youngest son has been wanting to learn how to play and has been talking about it a while and it will make a fine kit for that. Plus, I'd be lying if I told you that I didn't miss playing sometimes too.

    I told my son that if he really took the initiative to learn how to play, I'd buy him some new heads and things as he got better and we'd fix it up together and add to it as his skills grew.

    I'll be honest, it's killing me not to add a couple more toms and at least a ride cymbal. I'm making due with the small crash using the bell for a ride, but it's killing my OCD. Either another bass drum or at least a double bass pedal may be on my Christmas list too.

    So, with him having a natural knack for playing them, I think this upcoming weekend, we'll probably take everything apart, strip the blue shell wraps off of it, and totally dismantle them and stain them a nice golden oak and clean everything up better.

    The old 9 piece Ludwig set that I used to have was a lighter natural stain, but he's wanting a darker golden oak so I'm letting him pick out whatever makes him happy. I'll be honest, I'm really glad he didn't want the vintage sunburst reds and yellow from the 70's. While I could do that with the airbrush and dyes, a simple solid color stain is easier and will still give him more experience at how everything goes together and works.

    For now, it's just a little starter set. But I hope in time he sticks with it and enjoys playing them as much as I did when I was his age.

    I'm going to take some pictures and show how the work progresses if anyone wants to follow along. I know it's not gun related, but any time that you can pass something along to the younger generation is still time well spent.

    drums 008.JPG

    drums 012.JPG
    oli700 likes this.
  2. meanstreak

    meanstreak .30-06 Supporter "Philanthropist"

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    3,235
    What a great project for the both of you. Makin memories.
  3. CaddmannQ

    CaddmannQ 12g Supporter

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    7,892
    This looks like a lot of fun John.

    I am no musician, but I moved a lot of drums. I was a roadie for a year in a country/rock band, back in the '70s.
    I probably soldered a hundred guitar and PA cables in that short time.

    (How do they break so many damn cables?)

    Anyhow it amazes me how trap sets have grown. In the 50's you'd have a snare, tom, bass, hi-hat, crash and ride and a stool. 7 or maybe 10 pieces tops.

    Then came the bands with 30 and 40-piece kits. OMG

    Our drummer never had any such, and glad I am I never had to move 'em!
    meanstreak likes this.
  4. John A.

    John A. I'm "THAT" guy Staff Member Global Moderator Moderator

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    My old set was a 9 piece set. Essentially 2 sets put together, but I hardly ever used the two smallest toms, so I think I'd be content with one more floor tom and a double bass pedal at minimum unless a bass drum fell in my lap.

    The dbl bass pedal would save a lot of room though and is cheaper and just as effective.

    As for cymbals, a 20 inch ride is going to happen (no two ways about it) and a 17 inch crash would be nice. It came with a set of hats and a 16" crash already.

    That would be all I would add to it max.

    In time, a set of evans hydraulic heads for all the toms would ideal. I saw a set of 3 for $35 with free shipping so that's not terrible. The snare head doesn't sound bad so it would probably be the last to be changed.

    I'm going to make a tom arm clamp for a cymbal probably later this evening, unless I get a lot of ghosts and ghouls trick or treating.
    meanstreak likes this.
  5. Djcala

    Djcala .30-06 Supporter

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    2,317
    Ery cool reviving old interests and psssing along to your next gen
    Im not music inclined myself but our Marine was a drummer thru middle and high school, marching band etc... Il say I miss it absolutely 0% lol. He had a drum set friends would visit they we're loud. I will follow interested in all types of refurb projects.
    meanstreak likes this.
  6. John A.

    John A. I'm "THAT" guy Staff Member Global Moderator Moderator

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    14,838
    I got my first set when I was 14. I've had four or five sets now I guess.

    The first set lived in my bedroom for about 3 days before they got evicted out to the storage building, where we could play until our hearts content--outside of the house.

    My buddy Fred had a chance to go to Nashville right after High School, and out of everyone that I know, he had the best chance of going big time. I'm serious, he's the most talented guitar player that I have ever known of.

    But his girlfriend (now wife) didn't want him to go, so he's still in the same town as me where we grew up. I don't pretend to have ever been good enough at anything to even think about it. But we had a great time doing it.

    I think we've decided on the colors of everything. We may get started tomorrow or Friday taking everything down to bare wood.

    golden oak stain, gloss polyurethane. Burnt bronze hardware. Natural (antique) calf skin color bottom heads. It's going to have a lot going on for sure.
    meanstreak and Djcala like this.
  7. MikeD

    MikeD I'm Your Huckleberry Staff Member Global Moderator "Philanthropist"

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    11,908
    Very nice. Something I've always wanted to try.
    meanstreak likes this.
  8. John A.

    John A. I'm "THAT" guy Staff Member Global Moderator Moderator

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    14,838
    Looking at a few of the finish options that are out there, I think we've narrowed it down to a few.

    This one would be pretty simple with the addition of some automotive pin striping instead of paint. And instead of a solid pin stripe, could even use a barb wire decorative pinstripe instead. (like this: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Sharpline-...e-Pinstripe-1-2-x-36ft-SHPR65153/153240084502

    It will be a little darker stain too. I'm not really a fan of the natural. Seems like the easy way out.

    [​IMG]



    While the bum wrap shell design below isn't a stain, it would be fairly simple to do by hand with stain. Or a different placement of the stripe (like a 2/3 off center racing stripe) wouldn't be too hard either instead of having the stripe centered like it is in the picture. Could even reverse the colors and have most of the body a lighter color with a darker color stripe.

    Or even just a few shades different from each other is possible too. Doesn't necessarily have to be such stark contrast.

    So many really nice choices when you start digging into a lot of the old hand made custom stuff.

    drum stain.JPG
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  9. John A.

    John A. I'm "THAT" guy Staff Member Global Moderator Moderator

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    14,838
    I got the floor tom apart, sanded, and stained. It'll cure until I get the rest of them done, which may be a while, before I do about 3 coats of polyurethane on everything in a nice gloss finish.

    This has some really unusual grain/patterns. Probably due to being laminate.

    drum shell stain 001.JPG

    drum shell stain 009.JPG

    While the bass drum hoop looks black in the picture below, it's actually a burnt oil bronze metallic, which is a dark metallic brown, which I think will look good on the drum set once everything is done and humpty dumpty is back together again.

    drum shell stain 004.JPG

    drum shell stain 005.JPG
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  10. John A.

    John A. I'm "THAT" guy Staff Member Global Moderator Moderator

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    14,838
    After it has dried for a few hours, I decided that it's a little darker than I was wanting, so I went over it with some 120 grit sand paper about 3x, which lightened it up some, and also gave it a somewhat distressed look to it, which I think will look good on it.

    I intentionally didn't sand below all the stain, but it did give it a slightly more interesting look.

    Ordinarily, I would've went over it with maybe a 400 grit paper if it was a little dark, but I wanted to give it a little more aggressive look to it, so I used a rougher grit paper.

    I'll show you guys more after they're all done, which may be this weekend with any luck because I hate having big projects hanging over my head and taking up space in my shop.
    meanstreak likes this.
  11. John A.

    John A. I'm "THAT" guy Staff Member Global Moderator Moderator

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    After seeing how these are starting to turn out, the direction has changed a little. They went from what we had in mind to one of the few things that KY is famous for. Not our Bluegrass, fast horses and beautiful women, but our whiskey.

    A lot of people don't really know it, but oak whiskey barrels are scorched on the inside. This makes the wood stronger, and helps make sour mash taste the way a good whiskey does. So, let's see where this goes now.

    Not only am I distressing the stain, but now I'm hitting it lightly with a torch before staining it. If nothing else, will darken the grain down a little.

    Maybe not exactly the look I was going for, but let's see where this goes.

    [​IMG]
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  12. Djcala

    Djcala .30-06 Supporter

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    John i like were yall are headed i hope it turns out as good as it sounds. Love the progression of ideas so far.
    meanstreak likes this.
  13. John A.

    John A. I'm "THAT" guy Staff Member Global Moderator Moderator

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    Actually, the shells are doing more to determine the direction they are going more than I am.

    I could apply a mirror smooth even finish over all of them. But that's now how they want to go apparently. The shells have fought that mirror smooth, even finish every step of the way. So, it's going to get some grunge. Something I am NOT used to doing.
    meanstreak likes this.
  14. meanstreak

    meanstreak .30-06 Supporter "Philanthropist"

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    Not much of a horse person. But, bluegrass, beautiful women, and good whiskey, what's not to like about that ?
    Djcala likes this.
  15. John A.

    John A. I'm "THAT" guy Staff Member Global Moderator Moderator

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    Still not done yet, but it's going to look good when we get done. Still have 1 or 2 more coats of polyurethane to go, but so far, so good.

    I've incorporated some nice dull aged copper look to it to, since that pays homage to my moonshining ancestors and everyone knows those old stills were made of copper, so it's going to really be unique and one of a kind when it's finished.
    Djcala and meanstreak like this.
  16. John A.

    John A. I'm "THAT" guy Staff Member Global Moderator Moderator

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    The torch scorch gave it some much needed added contrast. I was talking to my son, and told him if the copper didn't look to suit me, that I'd buy some galvanized pipe and use it for the tom arms LOL

    Tell me that wouldn't be one of a kind

    [​IMG]

    Anyway, it's windy today which makes painting more fun that it should be, but it's getting there.

    drumset 012.JPG

    Still need to use the steel wool and rough it up and give it another coat. There's also going to be an little added surprise to the bass drum and floor tom once I get it finished.

    drumset 010.JPG
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  17. meanstreak

    meanstreak .30-06 Supporter "Philanthropist"

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    John, your mind is working in mysterious ways.LOL.
  18. John A.

    John A. I'm "THAT" guy Staff Member Global Moderator Moderator

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    LOL

    I thought about getting ten feet of 3/8 copper tubing and making a worm come out of the bass drum and wrap around one of the toms. Yes, I know that wouldn't be exactly proper because the worm would actually go inside of the condenser barrel if it were a working still, but you'd never see that if I made them that way. The worm would need to be external.

    After we're finished, we might could even sell them to Dollywood. They buy odd and quirky stuff for their amusement park all the time and invest that into a better set. :)
    cmcdonald, meanstreak and Djcala like this.
  19. CaddmannQ

    CaddmannQ 12g Supporter

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    Somehow I was expecting you to paint these drums in Mossy Oak camouflage.
    meanstreak likes this.
  20. John A.

    John A. I'm "THAT" guy Staff Member Global Moderator Moderator

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    That would be do-able. But I dont' have a tank big enough to dip the bass and floor tom.

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