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D-Rum 02-11-2020 11:58 AM

Questions on Staining 70s Ludwigs
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Hello again!

Iíve recently completely stripped some 1970 Ludwig drums that I had previously planned on wrapping, but Iím starting to think I may stain them up first and see how they look. It will be a lot cheaper and may look great!

SO, Iíve filled up 4 small drill holes in the rack Tom with some wood putty that is quite a bit lighter than the shell. I didnít care as before I was going to wrap them. I can just drill the putty back out and start over, but what is the best way to fill these holes if Iím going for a stain? The stain is going to be a dark walnut. I know using dowels is an option, but what does that process look like? Or, should I just get a putty that will match the shell a little better?

See pics below. One is a test patch of stain over a small area I had to use putty on. This area will be mostly covered with a lug, so Iím not worried. The other is the picture of holes I filled in the rack Tom that Iíll probably re-do. Give me your suggestions and share some pictures of your staining jobs!

Thank you!!

jmcohen 02-11-2020 02:13 PM

Re: Questions on Staining 70s Ludwigs
Jeff from JCCabinets will probably have more detail than I will, but the fact is, stain will highlight any plug or patch. The fact that fillers say that they are "stainable" doesn't mean that they will stain the same as the surrounding wood - They won't. If you were to make plugs that perfectly matched the holes (and the plugs were made showing the side of the grain, not end grain like on dowels), you will still likely see little circles where the glue line is.

This is why most people don't stain the wood of unwrapped, refinished drums. They simply put on a topcoat of polyurethane or lacquer so they don't highlight imperfections with stain. and a low-sheen or matte finish will help to further mask the imperfections.

One other option is to stain it very very dark. This would help hide repairs and such.

I hope this helps.


D-Rum 02-11-2020 03:06 PM

Re: Questions on Staining 70s Ludwigs
Thanks man! I’m not super worried about a few imperfect spots here and there. Still mulling it over too. I’m still leaning toward wrapping. I’ll see how it looks after it drys. The small spot I did stain that has putty in it isnt too terribly obvious.

jmcohen 02-11-2020 11:19 PM

Re: Questions on Staining 70s Ludwigs
If you are happy with the results, that’s all that matters. Sorry if I put a negative spin on my reply. They are your drums. Do what makes you happy!

JimmySticks 02-12-2020 01:17 PM

Re: Questions on Staining 70s Ludwigs
You know, since there only a few small holes to worry about, you could get those magic markers for wood touch-ups. They really work pretty well for small things like holes. Find the color that matches the stain, color the putty before you stain, then if needed go over them after the staining.

Sounds like a cheesy fix, but it works!

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