Anyone seen anything like this before?

Murat

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HI Guys,
A drum set showed up in my shop today and I am a bit puzzled about the markings on the finish. I have never seen this before myself. These marks you see on the drums are on all the drums except one tom , including the hoop of the bass drum. One can NOT feel them with the fingers. They seem to be between the paint and the lacquer, if that makes any sense.
Any ideas or experience with something like this? The drums are built in 2009.49270385_10161758562625497_2204081537320747008_o.jpg
Cheers and thank you !
 

cutaway79

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Kind of looks like the "crazing" you see on old porcelain/pottery.
 

Fat Drummer

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WOW, that's really interesting checking in that top coat. This is pretty common in older nitrocellulose finishes (think 1940's through early 80's) but that is not commonly used any longer for instruments for this very reason. For the past 20 years, almost all instruments (outside of pianos) has used some form of a urethane or conversion varnish based finish as catalyzed finishes engineer this issuer out by removing the cellulose from the formula.

I have no idea what type of finish N/C uses but in this case it really checked bad. We of course know that drums are worse than even guitars about contracting and expanding from climate changes due to the thin wood structure and how we drag them in and out of radical temperature changes (cold car to hot stage lights in a 30 min period) but it's rare to see a newer drum check this fast. My guess, and of course it's only a guess as I really have no idea what they use for a finish is that it's A) Nitro based and they went too thick (the thicker nitro it is applied, the less it resist contracting and expanding and will spider from the movment). Or B ) that its a newer based finish but it was over-catalyzed resulting in too hard a top coat and it lost it's ability to move with the changing shell leaving the stress cracks in the finish.

You see this all the time it the old Slingerland / Ludwig finishes of the 50's through 70's, and even a lot of Gretsch drums into the 80's but I have never seen a new drum do this, at least not this complete! I think the deep blue dye underneath really accentuates it as well. Is it the whole kit and whats your plan with it? It cannot be repaired, only stripped and refinished or covered. OR... call it unique and play it just like it is... heck it's still a N/C set for goodness sakes!
 
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lossforgain

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I agree with FD, the finish is checked through temperature and environmental changes. I would bet the one tom that doesn’t look this way wasn’t stored the same (or maybe didn’t go out on the same gigs) as the rest of the set.
 

Murat

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WOW, that's really interesting checking in that top coat. This is pretty common in older nitrocellulose finishes (think 1940's through early 80's) but that is not commonly used any longer for instruments for this very reason. For the past 20 years, almost all instruments (outside of pianos) has used some form of a urethane or conversion varnish based finish as catalyzed finishes engineer this issuer out by removing the cellulose from the formula.

I have no idea what type of finish N/C uses but in this case it really checked bad. We of course know that drums are worse than even guitars about contracting and expanding from climate changes due to the thin wood structure and how we drag them in and out of radical temperature changes (cold car to hot stage lights in a 30 min period) but it's rare to see a newer drum check this fast. My guess, and of course it's only a guess as I really have no idea what they use for a finish is that it's A) Nitro based and they went too think (the thicker nitro it is the more it resist contracting and expanding). Or B ) that its a newer based finish but it was over-catalyzed resulting in too hard a top coat and it lost it's ability to move with the changing shell leaving the stress cracks in the finish.

You see this all the time it the old Slingerland / Ludwig finishes of the 50's through 70's, and even a lot of Gretsch drums into the 80's but I have never seen a new drum do this, at least not this complete! I think the deep blue dye underneath really accentuates it as well. Is it the whole kit and whats your plan with it? It cannot be repaired, only stripped and refinished or covered. OR... call it unique and play it just like it is... heck it's still a N/C set for goodness sakes!
Thank you Sir. What really stumped me is that you cannot feel any of these checkings. It as smooth as anything to the touch. The question is, will that change? Will it finally crack through. A customer brought this in to sell in my shop on consignment and I am just not comfortable selling it to someone and a year later they come back with shells cracked all over. The set sounds superb by the way ! :)
 

JazzDrumGuy

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Since you are a store, maybe you can contact Noble and Cooley and get the answer from them? You have valid concerns about someone coming back later and blaming you. I don't know what the laws are up in Canada even if you sell it as is where is with no warranty whatsoever. You may want to consider backing away from the deal if you don't feel comfortable and let the guy sells own drums.
 

jccabinets

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It might be that the finish was applied too heavy, improper dry mil thickness. T least that is what I have been told by my rep, too much finish can eventually crack.
 
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