Cleaning old drums

Posted: July 10, 2010 06:14 PM

darkcrash17

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Hey all.

Looking for suggestions.  Have a ‘66 Slingerland kit that needs new heads & a cleaning.  Tension lugs are gunky from ages-old oil, maybe even Vaseline.  What’s the best way to clean these out?  Remove them, and use ___________ on the end of a q-tip?  What have you tried, what do you use?

Second, what’s the best kind of oil to use after they’ve been cleaned?

Finally, when I put the tension lugs back on (assuming I might need to remove them to avoid getting any kind of cleaning agent on the black diamond pearl) I am considering using nylon washers in between the metal washers and the shell.  Assuming that the screws will be long enough to accept this add’l thickness.  Has anyone ever done this?

Thanks for reading and thanks in advance for any thoughts you want to share.

     
Posted: July 11, 2010 10:24 AM

Andy Doerschuk_1

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I’m going to contact a couple drum collectors I know and see if they have some tips for you. I’ll let you know as soon as I have talked to them.

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Posted: July 12, 2010 10:09 AM

Dave Heim

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I’ve cleaned old metal parts with WD40, then regreased the moving parts with white lithium grease instead of Vaseline.  I can’t imagine the nylon washers would be a problem unless you’re going for keeping things 100% real, in which case you might want to stick with the metal ones.

Check out plastic cleaning & polishing products from McGuire for the shell wrap.  I’ve used their stuff successfully to clean up an old WMP Ludwig snare and an old Vistalite set.  It’s usually available at car parts places, and Googling will turn up sources as well.

Posted: July 12, 2010 05:36 PM

Andy Doerschuk_1

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I wrote to the renowned vintage drum collector Mike Curotto and asked what he would advise. Here’s what he had to say:

1. I soak the tension rods in Simple Green to get all of the gunk and schmutz off….then I use Cape Cod Polishing cloths (Ace Hardware) with a drill/tension rod drill bit then a clean cloth to finish it off.

2. I use a little 3-in1oil but Al Schneider (Drum Care column in Drum Mag) recommends parafin wax.

3. You can use nylon if you really want to and that satisfies any concern of gouging the inside of the shell but I would think that you would want a sold contact between the metal washer and the wood. 

I agree re: the “100% real”....Maguire’s #17 Plastic Cleaner and #10 plastic polish but I start with Goo Gone first to get rid of any stickyness etc…

Mike told me you could call him if you had more questions. Shoot me an email if you’re interested.

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Andy Doerschuk
Editorial director, drummagazine.com

Posted: July 13, 2010 08:46 PM

darkcrash17

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Thanks folks for all of the good advice…I will check out these methods.  Part of my motivation for the nylon is to protect the wood from overzealous tightening of the screws inside the shell. I noticed one screw that’s in a little tight…from tightening it with younger, more clueless vigor, a long time ago. But maybe it’s not necessary now. 

Pardon, if this is a dumb question, but I need clarification—do the Cape Cod polishing cloths fit around the drill bit and go inside the tension lug to get the junk inside? 

Thanks again!

Posted: August 29, 2010 07:59 PM

dreeddrums

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iv heard almond oil for those scratches and dings. when i used it, it worked great its not goin to take them away but blend them in allot better. iv got a couple questions the first being i have a window in my room that is beaming sunlight onto my one floor tom creating a dry spot in my wood. i bought that trick drum polish but there’s debate about if that stuff even works. im waiting to hear back from the main drum shop guy when he gets a chance but the other guys in there said they heard regular wood polish or protector would work. if you know anything please let me know im really tired of rotating my drums around and i cant close my window or i can see my drums. also i have a set of ludwig accent that got water damage on the inside, just in the bass drum and just only right by the tom mounts is there anyway to fix it. should i sand it out, i know that’ll change my pitch so would i have to fill it again. or if there scrap is there anything just cool i can do with them to make a different sound out of them or should i just use them a decoration now.

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I consider every drummer that’s Played before me an influence, in every way- buddie rich

Posted: September 01, 2010 09:40 AM

dreeddrums

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bashboomcrash - 30 August 2010 09:19 AM

Easiest thing to do would be to cover your kit with a sheet (I got a black king sized sheet for abut $10) and it’s plenty big enough to cover the kit and cymbals. I cut a couple small slits that fit over the cymbal wing nuts to keep it from sliding off. Works great for keeping the sun, dust, etc off the drums.

aww i hate coverin them up, but thats a great idea thanks i already went and got a sheet for them.

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I consider every drummer that’s Played before me an influence, in every way- buddie rich