Do vintage drums have lead paint?

JDA

DFO Star
Joined
Aug 7, 2005
Messages
14,718
Reaction score
3,691
Location
Jeannette, Pa.
It's evaporated by now.
I'm thinking of the lacquer 70s early80s G finishes (all faded...
 
Last edited:

thin shell

DFO Master
Joined
Sep 15, 2010
Messages
3,430
Reaction score
601
It's evaporated by now.
I'm thinking of the lacquer 70s early80s G finishes (all faded...
I think this is meant tongue and cheek because it is not accurate.
 
  • Like
Reactions: JDA

drumtimejohn

Very well Known Member
Joined
Feb 12, 2016
Messages
1,499
Reaction score
309
The humor does bring me a smile but because it’s a safety issue let me confirm, do vintage drums have lead paint? I sure wouldn’t want to sand, drill, recut edges, etc. without proper protection.
Cleaning any dust with a shopvac is also a big no no. I can just use a hardware lead test kit to confirm as well.
 
Last edited:

JDA

DFO Star
Joined
Aug 7, 2005
Messages
14,718
Reaction score
3,691
Location
Jeannette, Pa.
was thinking of the paint change from something-based to water based down at Gretsch
 

ThomFloor

Very well Known Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2017
Messages
570
Reaction score
277
Actually most vintage drums are either clear (wood finish) or wrapped right? Its the glue in these materials that you are kicking up the dust when sanding. I can't think of much paints...maybe inside shells or duco finishes? Some people also say its the old wood and nasty glues that give them their mojo.
 
Last edited:

CaptainCrunch

DFO Veteran
Joined
Aug 7, 2005
Messages
2,517
Reaction score
605
Location
Where Black is the color, where None is the number
Gretsch, Fender Custom Shop, and Gibson still use Nitrocellulose lacquer - it’s nasty stuff, and will cause liver damage. Which is of course why it fell out of widespread use.

I’ve read multiple sources saying the flat grey Rogers interior paint was lead-based.

Also, I’ve read repeatedly that the glue Ludwig used was nasty stuff, and they struggled to find a suitable replacement in the 70’s.
 

Fullerton 9/72

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2013
Messages
329
Reaction score
120
Location
Florida USA
"I’ve read multiple sources saying the flat grey Rogers interior paint was lead-based."

So then automotive trunk paint of the period was lead-based too?
 

thin shell

DFO Master
Joined
Sep 15, 2010
Messages
3,430
Reaction score
601
"I’ve read multiple sources saying the flat grey Rogers interior paint was lead-based."

So then automotive trunk paint of the period was lead-based too?
Very possible. Lead was widely used in paint so the only way to know for sure is to have it tested.
 

CaptainCrunch

DFO Veteran
Joined
Aug 7, 2005
Messages
2,517
Reaction score
605
Location
Where Black is the color, where None is the number
"I’ve read multiple sources saying the flat grey Rogers interior paint was lead-based."

So then automotive trunk paint of the period was lead-based too?
I’m not sure. Lead was used in house paint because it helped it go on smooth, gave better coverage with less coats, and made it more durable.

Auto paint used to be nitrocellulose-lacquer-based, which is nasty stuff in it’s own right. If the “trunk paint” they used was actual paint for car trunks (and no reason to believe it wasn’t) it would be more likely an industrial enamel. That’s what the modern stuff smells like, anyway.

House paint isn’t made for extreme temperature cycles, and a drum manufacturer wouldn't use something specially formulated when off-the-shelf would work.
 

el_37

Very well Known Member
Joined
May 25, 2009
Messages
1,268
Reaction score
113
Location
NYC
I think you are overthinking this. If you have ever done any kind of home improvement work in a pre 1978 house you have already exposed yourself to way more lead dust than drilling 2000 holes in 1960's drum shells would ever expose you to.

If you were alive before the leaded gasoline ban, you have also inhaled way more lead then drilling a few shells will ever begin to expose you to.

Drill outside, wear a real respirator if you are concerned and you will be fine. If you still have concerns- maybe its best to farm out the work.
 

Ron_M

DFO Veteran
Joined
Oct 17, 2011
Messages
1,896
Reaction score
98
Location
Burlington, VT
I've tested various 60s era Slingerlands w/duco finishes, and none of them tested positive for lead. I used the 3M LeadTest Kits (recognized to be effective by the EPA).
 


Top