Dent in my Supra

feelyat

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I have a supra 400 that's almost 40 years old, and it has lived its share of life. Like many drums of a certain age, it probably got dropped, at least once, on the strainer, which gave it a nice dent in the shell. it's difficult to see from the photos, but the spot where the bottom part of the P85 sits has left an almost perfect outline of the strainer in the shell, and is about 1/8" deep.

I'd blame the previous owner, but there isn't one. I got this drum new when I was 12.

Photo May 14, 6 01 52 PM.jpg
Photo May 14, 6 02 25 PM.jpg


The question is, what's the best way to deal with dents in aluminum shells? It doesn't affect the sound, and I never notice it unless I'm looking for it. Is it worth trying to pound it out? The drum is not pristine by any means. It has noticeable acne and spiderweb cracks in the chrome. I have no intention to sell it, mainly because I really like the way this drum sounds. Is there any risk to pounding it out? Any tips?
 

Talktotommy

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I have a supra 400 that's almost 40 years old, and it has lived its share of life. Like many drums of a certain age, it probably got dropped, at least once, on the strainer, which gave it a nice dent in the shell. it's difficult to see from the photos, but the spot where the bottom part of the P85 sits has left an almost perfect outline of the strainer in the shell, and is about 1/8" deep.

I'd blame the previous owner, but there isn't one. I got this drum new when I was 12.

View attachment 499966 View attachment 499967

The question is, what's the best way to deal with dents in aluminum shells? It doesn't affect the sound, and I never notice it unless I'm looking for it. Is it worth trying to pound it out? The drum is not pristine by any means. It has noticeable acne and spiderweb cracks in the chrome. I have no intention to sell it, mainly because I really like the way this drum sounds. Is there any risk to pounding it out? Any tips?
I had decent success with a similar issue on a Slingerland sound king chrome over brass. I took the hardware off in the area of the dent, lay the drum on the rug and used a piece of slightly rounded wood to hammer gently back in shape. Not perfect by any means but you have to look real close to see it now. I’m sure the aluminum would be much softer And would probably require more care. I would guess the aluminum would tend to mushroom easier than the brass but maybe someone who has fixed an aluminum shell can chime in for you.
 

Hop

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You know there are some guys that actually pay a premium to have a brand new guitar relic'ed... on purpose!!!
As you said it's not pristine, so I'd consider this just some of the individual mojo that makes that snare, "that" snare.

Sorry I don't have any tips other than check with one of those dent removal dudes. If you're going to strike it I would say to use some dolly that has a shape that is similar to the roundness of the shell (like a hockey puck or something).
 

Tilter

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Over the years, and in many regards, I've learned the hard way that trying to bring the imperfect closer to perfect, makes the imperfect doubly so.

I'd let it ride, and on those occasions when you do take notice of the dent, it will yet again remind you of the history you share with the instrument.
 

Drm1979

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Rdavidr did a similar repair to a ludwig acrolite. He didnt get the dent all the way out but it looked way better when he finished it. Maybe look that up on youtube. It looks like he used the same kind of hammer youd use to drive tent stakes into the ground.
 

gwbasley

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Sometimes you can make a tiny flaw, like this one, worse by trying to "fix" it.

It sounds good, the strainer works fine, and the finish shows it's age...if it were my drum, I would leave it alone.

By the way, this is not an uncommon thing, in fact most of the dents from strainer drops are much worse than what you have on yours.
 

Matched Gripper

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I have a supra 400 that's almost 40 years old, and it has lived its share of life. Like many drums of a certain age, it probably got dropped, at least once, on the strainer, which gave it a nice dent in the shell. it's difficult to see from the photos, but the spot where the bottom part of the P85 sits has left an almost perfect outline of the strainer in the shell, and is about 1/8" deep.

I'd blame the previous owner, but there isn't one. I got this drum new when I was 12.

View attachment 499966 View attachment 499967

The question is, what's the best way to deal with dents in aluminum shells? It doesn't affect the sound, and I never notice it unless I'm looking for it. Is it worth trying to pound it out? The drum is not pristine by any means. It has noticeable acne and spiderweb cracks in the chrome. I have no intention to sell it, mainly because I really like the way this drum sounds. Is there any risk to pounding it out? Any tips?
It helps you have some experience with sheet metal. You can tap out the dent with a rubber or rawhide mallet. Most importantly, is to back up the metal shell with some kind of bucking tool, preferably made out of wood that has the same curve as the drum shell, so that you don’t over hammer and invert the dent. You can also use a piece of leather to protect the shell from the bucking tool.

Patience is the key. A little at a time.
 

feelyat

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Rdavidr did a similar repair to a ludwig acrolite. He didnt get the dent all the way out but it looked way better when he finished it. Maybe look that up on youtube. It looks like he used the same kind of hammer youd use to drive tent stakes into the ground.
Hmm, interesting. I think he's using a small dead blow hammer with the shell flat on the edge of a table (to protect the bead).
 

feelyat

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Sometimes you can make a tiny flaw, like this one, worse by trying to "fix" it.

It sounds good, the strainer works fine, and the finish shows it's age...if it were my drum, I would leave it alone.
I think that's probably my default approach. Maybe discretion is the better part of valor, in this case.
 

repete

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"It doesn't affect the sound, and I never notice it unless I'm looking for it"

I think you answered your own question. Play it. Enjoy it.
 

lossforgain

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Is there any risk to pounding it out? Any tips?
Hey man, I feel your pain. I’ve been there with more than one Ludwig snare. I have successfully repaired a dent in one or two aluminum Supras but it has been several years. What I did most recently, just about a month ago, was hammer out some significant denting in a bronze phonic shell. It had been dropped heavily on the butt end, and must have taken a lighter shot to the throw off as well. The tools I found most helpful were my rubber mallet, a 3M sanding block (curved) made of rubber as well, and an old Tama (I think) bass drum beater.

I set up my hammering station against the wall on top of a table surface, then put a scrap of 2x4 on top of that and covered it with a towel. This was my surface to hammer against and it allowed the shell bead to sit off the back edge of the block and not impact on the table surface. I did some initial hammering with the mallet to try to bring the shell back nearer to in-round. Then I used the sanding block as a curved surface against the inside of the shell and did a lot of hammering to help restore the curve (you may not need to do this since your dent isn’t as wide as mine). I was hammering the flat side of the block and the impact against the shell was coming from the curved side. This effort was interspersed with the need to work out the most creased areas, for which I used the back (plastic side) of the bass drum beater. The plastic has a natural curve, although not as curved as the shell, which also isn’t as soft as the rubber and allowed me to target the creases directly using my mallet to strike the felt side of the beater and the plastic sitting on the shell. I’ll include a couple of pictures of the finished work. It’s not perfect but it’s pretty good considering how far out of shape it was to start.
 

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6topher

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It's easy if you want to do it.

Remove the throw off. If you have a vice with a little flat anvil section, lay a towel across it (I'd you don't have that you may have to take off the lugs on each side & find a hard service).

2 or 3 careful whacks from the inside with a deadhead should do it. Anymore than that & you run the risk of knocking it out of round

I do it a ton where I work, 5 minute job. Then I show drummers how to put their drum in the bag. If the top handle is 12 o'clock - put your throw off at 10 & your butt at 4. That way any helpful bass players who toss or drop your snare unceremoniously on load in don't dent it
 
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cruddola

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I have a supra 400 that's almost 40 years old, and it has lived its share of life. Like many drums of a certain age, it probably got dropped, at least once, on the strainer, which gave it a nice dent in the shell. it's difficult to see from the photos, but the spot where the bottom part of the P85 sits has left an almost perfect outline of the strainer in the shell, and is about 1/8" deep.

I'd blame the previous owner, but there isn't one. I got this drum new when I was 12.

View attachment 499966 View attachment 499967

The question is, what's the best way to deal with dents in aluminum shells? It doesn't affect the sound, and I never notice it unless I'm looking for it. Is it worth trying to pound it out? The drum is not pristine by any means. It has noticeable acne and spiderweb cracks in the chrome. I have no intention to sell it, mainly because I really like the way this drum sounds. Is there any risk to pounding it out? Any tips?
Leave it alone. That's a small zit compared to the tumors I've pulled and hammered (took Body & Fender in high school) out on some of my Acros.
 

DanRH

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I’d let it ride as well. If you like the sound of the snare, there you go.
 

JazzDrumGuy

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Take the butt plate off and a lug on either side. Make sure you put only the damaged part (the part with the butt plate holes on a flat surface and do not put the bead there so it doesn't get damaged. A rubber mallet will work just fine. Put a piece of cardboard underneath it to protect the finish (and table, work bench, etc.). I have also used a regular hammer and just tap it LIGHTLY......you can hit a bit harder with a rubber mallet, but just tap with a real hammer....it will be very effective either way.......very easy. Had this with copper and brass shells that are soft metal.......
 

itsjjp

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My tips are: 1. I'd leave it be since it's not a pristine example, and 2. Leave the work to a pro if you want to have it straightened. Any reputable band instrument store which takes dents out of horns can fix it properly and not mess anything up. A paintless dent removal shop (vehicles) might be another option.
 


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