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Other Projects Metal work, car polishing, and other jobs where we use our tools.

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Old 07-15-2009, 01:56 PM
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Default Refinishing metal (drums)...

Also applies to old tools... old furniture... etc.

Part of the drum building hobby extends to refinishing old drums... Typically I do metal drums since it's a LOT less work. I'll go ahead and pimp the most awesome metal cleaning/polishing substance ever created: AutoSol. Made in Germany (There ya go Festool folks!) it's the best there is. You can also use it to polish up your headlights if they're all ugly from aging and other other plastic/metal stuff you have laying around the house.

Example 1.
1920's Leedy and Strupe Drum

Here's the picture I found on ebay...




I have a little experience in vintage drums so I recognized it as a mid level drum that is actually brass with a nickel finish. A diamond in the rough!

When it got to me I stripped off all the hardware and took a photo of the drum shell for reference.

Before:


Grab the microfiber towels (more expensive than Bounty but considerably better for this purpose) and the Autosol!

After:


All polishing was done by hand with just a small amount of Autosol on the rag... You basically wipe it on.. and then buff it off with a clean one. These drums had a very thin coating so you have to be careful and use something that wouldn't strip it.

Completed drum:
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Old 07-15-2009, 02:01 PM
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Default Re: Refinishing metal (drums)...

This one helped pay the downpayment on my house actually...

Stumbled across this beauty on Ebay with a BIN of around 350...




Same method as described above... only this one I was a little more detailed with. The gold plating is SOOOOO thin on these that I had to be very careful. Plus knowing you're working on a $2k instrument makes you a little more detail oriented I think.

Top = cleaned... Bottom = not cleaned yet



The polished up hoop:



Completed drum:



If I got attached to vintage gear... this would have been the one to keep. Extremely rare early 20's drum with every last screw being original. But I think I'll take the house over the drum. That was one of the last photos I had to take at the apartment lol
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Old 07-15-2009, 02:28 PM
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Default Re: Refinishing metal (drums)...

There are some who say an antique is more valuable with the aged patina. The original appearance is as you've restored it. I like it clean and shiny.

But, I also think we should see pictures of the the young guy with slicked down hair when we think of the Theory of Relativity instead of the old guy with frizzy hair.
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Old 07-15-2009, 02:32 PM
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Default Re: Refinishing metal (drums)...

Hahaha... well I guess I should really have named the thread "cleaning metal" as I did little else to restore the drums other than clean them up.

In the drum world the only thing people like with patina on it is cymbals... Bronze ages nicely and the sound of a cymbal changes through the year as the patina forms. Most traditional jazz players will never clean their cymbals other than a light dusting from time to time. That beer stain = good sound!

To give you an idea of just how important that sound is... A 20" ride cymbal hand hammered in Turkey sold for 50-70 bucks in the 50-60's. Not cheap by any means... Today collectors will pay over $2,000 for that same cymbal just to get the sound of the old jazz greats.
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Old 07-15-2009, 03:28 PM
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Default Re: Refinishing metal (drums)...

Quote:
Originally Posted by mckenziedrums View Post
Hahaha... well I guess I should really have named the thread "cleaning metal" as I did little else to restore the drums other than clean them up.

In the drum world the only thing people like with patina on it is cymbals... Bronze ages nicely and the sound of a cymbal changes through the year as the patina forms. Most traditional jazz players will never clean their cymbals other than a light dusting from time to time. That beer stain = good sound!

To give you an idea of just how important that sound is... A 20" ride cymbal hand hammered in Turkey sold for 50-70 bucks in the 50-60's. Not cheap by any means... Today collectors will pay over $2,000 for that same cymbal just to get the sound of the old jazz greats.
Does the patina itself change the sound? Could it be that the case hardening of the hammered metal gradually anneals a little over time and the patina is just a visual indication of time? If annealing does occur I wonder if there is a way to speed that up (in an oven for example) to break it in to get the slightly mellower sound sooner?
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Old 07-15-2009, 06:59 PM
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Default Re: Refinishing metal (drums)...

There are ways to adjust a cymbals sound for sure... I've read up on it a bit but haven't bit the bullet yet on actually trying to hammer it. Lots of complexities ranging from the finish to the stress on the bronze, etc. With a cymbal EVERYTHING has some bearing on the sound since the whole thing is vibrating. Aging of the bronze, the hammering, the patina, etc etc etc
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Old 07-16-2009, 02:33 AM
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Default Re: Refinishing metal (drums)...

Quote:
Originally Posted by mckenziedrums View Post
There are ways to adjust a cymbals sound for sure... I've read up on it a bit but haven't bit the bullet yet on actually trying to hammer it. Lots of complexities ranging from the finish to the stress on the bronze, etc. With a cymbal EVERYTHING has some bearing on the sound since the whole thing is vibrating. Aging of the bronze, the hammering, the patina, etc etc etc
It would be interesting to attach a commercial vibratory stress relieve machine for a short period of time to see if it would improve the sound. I imagine if left on too long the cymbal could go "flat" & be ruined.
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Old 07-16-2009, 03:02 AM
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Default Re: Refinishing metal (drums)...

Actually... most people preferred a played in cymbal... fresh off the anvil ones are a bit tooooo lively sometimes and need to settle in a bit. It's common practice to play mallet rolls on new ones to help settle them in. There's also been folks that use ummm.... battery operated boyfriends... as a way to play them while not actually spending hours there playing them...
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Old 10-29-2010, 09:45 AM
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Default Re: Refinishing metal (drums)...

Refinishing metal objects is easy with spray paint, such as this fuel tank for a small outboard motor. The steps outlined in this article will work for many different types of metal items.
The key to a good paint job lies in the preparation. Sanding off all of the old paint and removing any rust is crucial to obtaining a smooth and professional looking finish. With a little time and effort, refinishing metal items with spray paint looks good, saves money and gives new life to many old items.
Instructions
Refinish metal - prepare surface
Using fine grit sandpaper, lightly sand the entire surface to remove loose paint, rust and dirt. 150 grit sandpaper worked well for this project, though a wire brush also works well to remove rust and stubborn paint.
The fuel tank for this project is faded from years spent outdoors, but the metal is sound and the tank does not leak. Gasoline is highly flammable, so be sure to empty the tank before beginning the restoration and repainting project.
Wipe the container with paper towels or a rag soaked in Naphtha or a similar solvent cleaner. The solvent removes the fine particles left by the sanding, as well as any remaining grease and dirt. Allow the solvent to evaporate thoroughly, and dispose of the solvent soaked rags properly.
Refinish Metal - masking
Mask off the fuel gauge with tape. This will protect the gauge from the spray paint.
Spray a primer coat of paint, using a quality metal primer. There are several brands of spray paint available and formulated specifically for exterior use. When using spray paint, spray in several light passes to avoid drips and runs. Complete coverage may require several light coats of paint. The spray paint dries quickly, allowing several coats in a relatively short period of time.
Refinish metal - primer coat
Paint the bottom of the fuel tank first. Allow the initial primer coat to dry before repositioning the container to paint the remaining surfaces. Paint the most visible section of the project last, in this case the top of the tank.
Allow the primer coats to dry completely, and then sand lightly (if needed). Wipe away any of the fine particles left by the sanding before moving on to the color coat.
Refinish metal - top coat
Paint the color coat, following the same sequence and process used to paint the primer coats. Again, spray several light coats rather than one or two heavy coats to minimize drips and runs. Allow the color coat to dry thoroughly - at least over night.
Refinish metal - stencil
Apply decals or stencils over the dried color coat. For this project, a simple fish stencil was printed, cut out and then taped into position along the top edge of the tank. Mask the rest of the tank with newspaper to prevent overspray, and then use a contrasting color to lightly spray paint over the stencil. Allow the paint to dry thoroughly before using the item. Depending on the spray paint manufacturer, the paint will take several days or longer to cure completely.
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