Advice needed - First time wrapping a kit...

Discussion in 'The Builders Workshop' started by Buffalo_drummer, Sep 12, 2018.

  1. Buffalo_drummer

    Buffalo_drummer Well-Known Member

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    Looking to wrap a kit I put together so that all the finishes match. I have 13, 16, 18 toms from the 70's and a 24x14 BD from the 80's. In researching on here I see that stripping the shells may be the biggest challenge in the job. Looking past that, it looks like people are pretty happy with Precision and Jammin' Sam wraps.

    1. As a first timer should I rule out using the contact cement route? Looks like a ton of prep work and no room for error.
    2. If I use the tape method, does the wrap stretch or loosen over time?
    3. Do I look to put the seams under the lugs? Does it cause splay if I do that?
     
  2. JazzDrumGuy

    JazzDrumGuy Platinum

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    I've wrapped a few single drums. Never used contact cement. I have done the tape edge and once I did a Gretsch RB snare using Tite Bond glue (red label) from Home Depot and some clamps - it turned out just fine. I've heard stories about the cement and how hard it is (at least sounds like it), and I have had drums wrapped by Precision which are pricey but the jobs have always been top notch, factory quality.

    Part of it, besides the old wrap removal and some necessary prep work to make sure the shell is flat, is to determine how wide your wrap will be. Up to the edge (may require the wrap to be filed inwards depending on whether the shells will take heads - eg: Gretsch RB's run big so thick wrap is a pain) or you can do a cut back, which looks weird but solves the head seating issue. Also, glass glitter wrap is thicker than sparkle/other wrap and also much more fragile, too. I don't like to cut wrap so I get it pre-cut and I go 1/4" cutback per edge (drum height less 1/2" total). Usually, the overlap is 1-2".

    As for tape, I have not experienced tape coming apart or stretching if you use the 3M double sided red tape. The lugs will hold it in place and the only issue will be the edge. I like to bury the edge under a lug and usually do so the overlapping edge faces inward so as to not be visible. I like the edge to be fully under the lug and not just ending in the middle of the lug (but it depends on the lug, though). Also, you can use a sharpie to color the edge (a color to match your wrap as the edge is usually white or grey) before you affix it to minimize the appearance of the edge. Lining up the wrap is tricky, too, so that it overlaps exactly right.

    What color do you plan on doing?
     
  3. K.O.

    K.O. Well-Known Member

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    It's not rocket science but does require care. I always use 3M 30NF glue so I can't comment on using tape. I don't think that using glue is that hard but you do have to always be aware that once the two pieces touch they are stuck together for good so you have to get it right the first time. Assuming you accomplish that it's generally on there to stay, which can't always be said of taped on wrap. Both attaching methods have their proponents I guess. Both Precision and Sam sell wrap from the same source (Delmar) but have different opinions on how to attach it, with Sam promoting the tape method in a big way and Precision favoring glued on.

    Seam placement varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. Ludwig seemed to go out of their way to put their wrap seams under lugs, Gretsch didn't appear to care where it ended up. I prefer to put it under a set of lugs if possible and have never noticed any problems such as splay as a result.
     
  4. Buffalo_drummer

    Buffalo_drummer Well-Known Member

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    I'm thinking of a vintage sparkle [not Glass Glitter], going the high bond tape route from Sam's. My main concern wasn't the tape giving out but the actual wrap stretching and becoming loose on the shell between the lugs holding it down. I like your idea about the sharpie, will remember that.
     
  5. Buffalo_drummer

    Buffalo_drummer Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your input, I am nervous about getting it right with glue since there's no going back once you stick it.
     
  6. JazzDrumGuy

    JazzDrumGuy Platinum

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    With those sizes, you will need 3 sheets (unless you buy precut) - that's a lot of money, so I hope it's worth it. The glue runs like $30-40 for the gallon. I prefer glued but have never done it myself. The few times I had Precision do it was for vintage Gretsch drums. The one vintage Gretsch snare I did was a total whim but worked out; generally, if a nice kit, I want it done right. Never had a splay issue, either.
     
  7. K.O.

    K.O. Well-Known Member

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    3M 30NF is $40 a quart! I just bought some for a rewrap project I'm about to start.


    I don't think the wrap stretching is an issue, some wraps will shrink a bit. Some folks have had problems with taped wraps bubbling up off the shell, particularly darker colors that get exposed to direct bright sun or extreme heat (like sitting in a car on a summer day or being stored in an attic or hot garage)
     
  8. JazzDrumGuy

    JazzDrumGuy Platinum

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    Wow - no wonder I don't use the glue! I think newer wrap doesn't shrink (or fade supposedly) unless you leave them in undesirable conditions (hot car, cold basement, hot & cold back and forth, etc.)
     
  9. K.O.

    K.O. Well-Known Member

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    A quart of glue goes a long way. I did a lot of drums with a one quart container and still haven't used all of it but it is now several years old and I figured I'd be wise to get a new batch for this next project.

    Taped wrap is what potentially bubbles in heat situations, glued on literally can't lift off the shell to do so.

    Most wraps are dimensionally stable these days but the exceptions are the old school type wraps like vintage Oyster Black Pearl.
     
  10. Buffalo_drummer

    Buffalo_drummer Well-Known Member

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    I was looking to get pre-cut sheets, I think Sam's actually quoted me around $225 in the vintage sparkle [clearance pricing]. Not a bad price.
     
  11. CAMDRUMS

    CAMDRUMS Gold

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    Tape wrapped a floor tom for the first time 3 years ago - no issues with bubbling
     
  12. Fat Drummer

    Fat Drummer Well-Known Member

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    Everyone has their own preferences for wrap, but for me it's oversized wrap applied with spray contact adhesive (sprayed both sides) and trimmed back to the bearing edge. I've tried them all over the years, but this has been my go to choice the past 25 years.

    On the plus side, solid glue bonds the covering and shell more as a single componiant, almost as a new ply and seems to my ear to have the least impact on the sound. Yet the down side being you have to be perfect. You do NOT GET a second chance at the placement. Where you place it the first time is where it will be!
     
  13. JazzDrumGuy

    JazzDrumGuy Platinum

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    Fat, interesting approach. On wrapped drums, I like them cut back 1/4" on each side. It is a major pain to then line it up right so they meet perfectly. I don't have the tools or steady hand to oversize then cut back! How do you do that? How much do you cut back? And do you blend the wrap edge into the edge (if no cut back)?
     
  14. Fat Drummer

    Fat Drummer Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, I may not have worded that as clearly as it was in my head! I meant I oversize the wrap about 1" each side, then cut back to the shell in the old vintage style. Last I just sand and blend in the wrap to the edge and make sure everything stays true. All it takes is a razor knife, sanding block (for me a piece of wooden 2X2) and various grit sand paper. After I am done polishing it out and before I peel off the protective clear film, I poly the edge back out where I have sanded it to seal everything nice a clean.

    20180304_064545.jpg 20180317_143756.jpg

    I have no issues with tapping a wrap, or the DW style undersized width wraps, they are all just different tools to accomplish the same task in different ways. I just prefer this old school method for myself. you can see that I also employee the same method for my wood veneered drums as well. For me it's about making the additional veneer as integral to the shell as possible. It does not have to be done by hand, I can do on the router table but this is just the habit with which I have always done it.

    20170412_062828 copy.jpg 20180903_151826.jpg

    The negative to some is this method will create a cutback on your bearing edge's contact point. If you want it at the true outside ply, it needs to all be done on the table and not by hand.
     
  15. JazzDrumGuy

    JazzDrumGuy Platinum

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    Thanks for explaining it....I don't have the tools or the steady hand or artistic/creative ability!
     
  16. dharma bum

    dharma bum Platinum

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    I've wrapped two kits with the tape method and have had absolutely no problems over many gigs. I'm not a great craftsman, so I needed something easier and I have had no shrinking, stretching, bubbling, or any other problems, even leaving the kits in the car in summer and winter.
     

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  17. sptucker

    sptucker Well-Known Member

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    FWIW, I used Precision pre-cut sparkle wrap and 3M 30NF on my first rewrap job and it came out perfect.

    Applying the wrap, even with glue, is the easy part. You just have to take your time, as there is no rush. Removing old wrap and prepping is the hard part, as others have mentioned. I spent a couple hours a night for about a week on the prep. I did catch the old wrap on fire using a heat gun even after being warned about how flammable the old stuff is. So there was a bit of sphincter clinching for a few moments. It all turned out great in the end, though.
     
  18. JazzDrumGuy

    JazzDrumGuy Platinum

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    SP, nice! Prep is tough, I agree. I have 3 bare shells now that I have started staining but part of me is still thinking a wrap. How did you drill out the lug/throw holes?
     

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