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Old 07-05-2006, 11:23 PM
Sarif_One Sarif_One is offline
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Default Restoring Finish on a 1960's Ludwig Kit?

Heya folks. New to drum restoration though I've done a good bit of work on vintage guitars.

My drummer has recruited me and my band to aid in restoring his vintage Ludwig kit. Here are the kit details:

66 Kit dated from serial numbers
Gold Sparkle Finish
All Original Hardware and Lugs

Anyway! We're currently working on restoring the bass drum. All of the lugs and hardware have been removed and cleaned (the rust was removed and the metal was polished).

Underneath the hardware we found that the finish was a great deal more lustrous than on the rest of the shell. Add onto this the fact that in one spot there is a small crack and there are a few scratches on the shell. We'd like to restore and correct all of this if possible but we're not positive how to start.

Any way to restore that lustrous shine to the shell for starters?
Anything to be done about the crack?
Any good way to remove the scratches?

Thanks for the warm welcome. Please help out if possible!
~ Robare ~
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Old 07-05-2006, 11:31 PM
Sarif_One Sarif_One is offline
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Default Re: Restoring Finish on a 1960's Ludwig Kit?

(Quick update - the inside of these drums are slightly dirty. Is it worthwhile and/or appropriate to repaint them? If not, should the insides be cleaned more thoroughly and with what? Again, thanks.)
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Old 07-06-2006, 01:54 AM
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Default Re: Restoring Finish on a 1960's Ludwig Kit?

The kit has some character and most of the finer details will never be noticed by most people.

Firstly, leave the inside of the shells and do not paint them. Look for the date stamp, if it has not been removed already and make sure no cleaner gets on it. You can clean the interior of the shells with general cleaners, just do not remove the stamp.

Since you know guitars some guys use guitar polish on the finish for drums and others use car wax. There are also some Novus cleaners that work really well. The fade (if any) is normal and there is not much you can do. Polish them, re-install the hardware and enjoy the set. It will shine really nice after being polished

Most collectors would rather see less alterations and changes to drums and what you have done and are doing is the way to go.

Here is an article on the main web site with some more information

Click Here

In regards to the scratches it depends on how deep they are and for the most part on that finish unless they are really bad you really do not see them. There are different levels of Novus and some are designed to remove scratches, but not if they are deep and into the finish.

In regards to the crack, how long is it and where exactly on the drum is it?

Hope that helps so far and ask any more questions

David
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Old 07-06-2006, 11:07 AM
Sarif_One Sarif_One is offline
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Default Re: Restoring Finish on a 1960's Ludwig Kit?

Thanks for the great reply!

The date stamp on the inside of the shell is already gone, or at least I can't see a trace of it so I assume at some point someone washed it off. We dated the drums based on serial number for lack of date stamps.

Anyway! The crack is only through the finish (luckily). It's about 3 inches long or so and runs a little beyond the far rim of the drum. Our drummer's been playing on the set (unrestored) for quite a while and never noticed it until we took all the hardware off. It'd be nice to repair it but I'm not sure it's possible.


- I'm going to assume you don't recommend the wet sanding technique I've read about around here?

That being said, a couple of the scratches are very superficial. One is a stained scratch (a dark spot) that doesn't come off with guitar polish and elbow grease but is definately not normal fading. There is another scratch or two that goes a little deeper, as if something knocked into the drum at some point in its history.

Again, thanks for any advice. I'll try and take some pictures today.
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Old 07-06-2006, 11:54 AM
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Default Re: Restoring Finish on a 1960's Ludwig Kit?

Nope on the wet sanding, unless the finish is really damaged or stained and I have never seen it done on a sparkle finish, usually White Marine Pearl or similar finish. With the imbedded sparkle in the finish, I would not recommend it.

In regards to the split you can carefully fill the gap with a clear drying glue, but the split is not a fixable item on drum wrap without some major work and professional restoration. At least I have not heard of a method. Maybe others can shed more light on that.

Also the deeper scratches are just the way it is so you will probably have to live with some of that stuff mentioned. You took the correct course and the drums will look great with the hardware back on and set up.

Maybe other forum members can shed more light on these topics, but I think overall you did the best thing by asking first. Some times it is to late and the finish is removed and the interiors have already been re-painted.

With some hobbies doing those things might improve value, but in drums it lowers the value of the drum.

David
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Old 07-06-2006, 12:38 PM
O-Lugs O-Lugs is offline
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Default Re: Restoring Finish on a 1960's Ludwig Kit?

Sarif One,

Sounds like the damage is mostly superficial so I wouldn't worry too much about the finish aspects. I have several old sparkle Ludwig drums and the sanding technique is a no-no because of the fact that the sparkle wraps are like sandwiches of: A. -a colored substrate...-B. the sparkles...and -C. the clear overlay. If you sand that type of finish, you will expose the inner stuff and probably make the situation even worse. Therefore, I recommend just leaving it alone. If you want a real "perfect" vintage finish, you really need to just wait until you find them intact on Ebay or somewhere.

I fix very minor scratches with McGuire's scratch and swirl remover, a soft cotton cloth and plenty of elbow grease!

Re-wrapping an older Ludwig shell is a pain in the --- because the wrap is actually a part of the shell's seam. Consider the amount of time that's involved and weigh it against the value of the drum(s) and determine if the time spent and parts needed to repair them is worth the return. Sometimes, for personal/sentimental reasons, the work can be justified, but usually it's easier to spend that money on better examples of a given drum/finish. -my 2 cents
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Old 07-06-2006, 01:00 PM
Sarif_One Sarif_One is offline
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Default Re: Restoring Finish on a 1960's Ludwig Kit?

Thanks again for all the help!

I'll take pictures of the restored kick drum today for you folks. We're going to use a little novus to try and polish the very superficial scratches a tad and then remount the hardware, so all should be well!
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