80's Supraphonic Resto - help needed

worldsbiggestjosh

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I've seen some older posts on this topic, but would like some fresh perspective. I have acquired an 80's Supra that has some what I'd call moderate pitting and flaking issues. I've seen suggestions for blasting/painting and blasting/polishing the aluminum. What about just trying to shine it up as is? am I going to wind up pulling even more chrome away? I assume a buffing wheel will be required to get a really good shine? What types of cleaners and polishers are people using today? Any and all suggestions welcome, as I am not too concerned with originality in this particular specimen due to its age and current condition. I just want a decent looking/nice sounding drum.

Some photos:
 

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K.O.

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That's a cool one, 1984 was the only year for that badge. One of the last of the Chicago made Supras. Once they start flaking it gets hard to do much. You kind of have to either put up with the way it looks (which doesn't effect the sound) or do something fairly drastic (get the chrome off). Obviously you can polish the good areas but you may just make the pitting worse if you get too aggressive. Once oxygen gets under the plating it causes the aluminum to oxidize and that slight expansion pushes the chrome off the aluminum in that spot. That's why it's not really smart to plate aluminum in the first place (way to go Ludwig) but some old Supras don't pit at all and others make yours look like "showroom" condition by comparison.

If you remove the chrome then polish out the aluminum it can look quite nice.
 

JazzDrumGuy

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KO is right, again! That's pretty bad, especially for the 80's! I am very annoyed that Ludwig had such crappy chroming QC........

I have a '69 Supra that's just as bad. I don't have a buffing wheel or anything. I have tried to use a wood chisel and chip off the chrome but it's tediously slow and I gave up. My next step will be to use my trusted Dremel and some of the bits I have to chip away at the bad finish. I want it down to the aluminum and then I can have fun with it.

You can try NON-abrasive sponges (yellow on one side, green on the other) and either paint thinner or WD40, and see if that will remove some rust gunk (eg: throw off).....I don't think you will have any significant improvement, though. I am on the same boat man......I just have too many other drum projects at this time to attack the Supra and finish it. I am interested in your progress, though.

My '65 COA Supra looks new.....go figure!
 

funkypoodle

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KO is right, again! That's pretty bad, especially for the 80's! I am very annoyed that Ludwig had such crappy chroming QC........

I have a '69 Supra that's just as bad. I don't have a buffing wheel or anything. I have tried to use a wood chisel and chip off the chrome but it's tediously slow and I gave up. My next step will be to use my trusted Dremel and some of the bits I have to chip away at the bad finish. I want it down to the aluminum and then I can have fun with it.

You can try NON-abrasive sponges (yellow on one side, green on the other) and either paint thinner or WD40, and see if that will remove some rust gunk (eg: throw off).....I don't think you will have any significant improvement, though. I am on the same boat man......I just have too many other drum projects at this time to attack the Supra and finish it. I am interested in your progress, though.

My '65 COA Supra looks new.....go figure!
I don't think it is an issue of crappy chroming QC, more a simple design flaw. Aluminum will not simply not properly hold enough charge for electro-plating. I'm assuming that even todays Supras will be flaky sometime in the future, whereas the anodized Acros will still look good.
 

drumtimejohn

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Don’t be a hero! The only difference between that used drum and one w/o any blistering is $100. And that’s internet pricing w/o getting lucky. Not all Supras are destined to flake if the zinc (I believe) layer is good. I have a ‘65 w/o blisters and have come across many more.
 
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Rotarded

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Just finishing this project. Had the chrome stripped (chrome shop) off of a 60's pitted Supra. Sanded, then polished. About 10 hours with several grits of sandpaper, and 2 buffing compounds on a bench buffer.
 

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Jason Pruden

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If you’re ok with the mess, cleaning and polishing will get you the result you’re looking for, but it will definitely add to the flaking. I bought a ‘67 off ebay and it was FILTHY. I wanted the drum, the sound, and didn’t care about the rest - it was also much cheaper because of it’s look! Here are two photos before, from the posting, and three of after. I did a full parts strip down, cleaned with Windex, then did some light Chrome polishing all with old cotton T-shirts. There were chrome bits everywhere on the shirts when it was done, but I was so grossed out by the crud!
 

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worldsbiggestjosh

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Just finishing this project. Had the chrome stripped (chrome shop) off of a 60's pitted Supra. Sanded, then polished. About 10 hours with several grits of sandpaper, and 2 buffing compounds on a bench buffer.
This is the direction I think I'm going to go. I found someone pretty close that deals with chrome plating. Are there any specific instructions I should be giving? Do I need to do anything to the drum besides removing lugs, hoops, and badge before dropping off? How do I remove this badge without damaging it?
 

JazzDrumGuy

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I don't have a chrome place nearby. I've always wondered how to remove the badge off a metal Ludwig - and how the grommet is affixed? Also, I don't want to lose the date stamp........how do you protect that?

I am going to resort back to using a chisel and hand removing the chrome flakes.
And yes, those suckers are sharp!
 

thejohnlec

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Not sure about badge and grommet - maybe they can work around it? However, the ink on the date stamps usually never really dry completely, and it will be very easy for those to smudge or rub off if anything touches it. You'll probably have to give them specific instructions to avoid the date stamp in every way possible.
 

JazzDrumGuy

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I've used hair spray on dates to preserve them, but I don't know if that would survive a chrome-stripping dip, though, or a sand blasting. I assume they can only just blast the outside? Not sure about the whole process.......
 

K.O.

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Pretty much no way a chrome shop is going to be able to preserve a date stamp. They dip the shell in a plating vat but the polarity is reversed so the chrome is pulled off the shell and into the solution in a reverse of the original plating process. Good chance the badge will dissolve in that process as well. Best way to remove the badge is to take a rat tail file and file away the inside lip of the grommet until the crimped over inner lip falls off. You will need a new grommet to put the badge back on.
 

JazzDrumGuy

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Thanks, KO. I was going to try my Dremel first, which is an awesome tool! Definitely remove the badge and reattach with a new grommet......
 


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