Finally finished 40’s Radio King set

Talktotommy

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Put this together from single drums which was not my initial intention. I picked up the 26 inch bass drum to use in the studio as an option and absolutely fell in love with it. A 9 x 13 popped up shortly after I picked up the bass drum. It was pretty badly yellowed as well as the bass drum but ended up getting it for under $300. Just recently found the two floor toms. 16 x 16 and the other is actually kind of rare 16 x 14 depth.
All drums with the exception of the 16 x 14 floor tom I restored with the lacquer thinner treatment. I’ve never tried it before but worked pretty well on the bass drum and the Tom as the color match was very good. In the end I am happier with the color match than I ever thought I would be-it was my biggest concern. Actually ended up using almond color seem fill on a couple of the drums where there were chips and it worked out great. Can’t notice at all from a few feet away.
I was lucky as all the shells were in very good shape along with the edges. Drums sound great and are a blast to play.
Maybe my favorite kit now!
 

studrum

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Fantastic looking kit! Ready to swing. So cool that the mysterious (to me) lacquer thinner finish matching worked so well. Sure looks like it, anyway.
 

Browny

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View attachment 480695 I View attachment 480696 Put this together from single drums which was not my initial intention. I picked up the 26 inch bass drum to use in the studio as an option and absolutely fell in love with it. A 9 x 13 popped up shortly after I picked up the bass drum. It was pretty badly yellowed as well as the bass drum but ended up getting it for under $300. Just recently found the two floor toms. 16 x 16 and the other is actually kind of rare 16 x 14 depth.
All drums with the exception of the 16 x 14 floor tom I restored with the lacquer thinner treatment. I’ve never tried it before but worked pretty well on the bass drum and the Tom as the color match was very good. In the end I am happier with the color match than I ever thought I would be-it was my biggest concern. Actually ended up using almond color seem fill on a couple of the drums where there were chips and it worked out great. Can’t notice at all from a few feet away.
I was lucky as all the shells were in very good shape along with the edges. Drums sound great and are a blast to play.
Maybe my favorite kit now!
Nice! Looks pretty damn close to mine, although I don't have the 16x14".

Slipping some of those Pearl ISO feet on the straight floor legs really opened up the floor tom which was really choked/dead/lifeless initially (also got DIY 'little booty shakers' on the snare snare for the 13). Getting Classic Fit Ambassadors on both toms helped too. I've also got the DW hoop clamp spurs on the bass drum which I really like, rock steady and aside from being bright chrome finish don't look too out of place.

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You're right, they're a blast to play... wide open, thuddy and dead, or anywhere in between. Enjoy!
 

Talktotommy

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Nice! Looks pretty damn close to mine, although I don't have the 16x14".

Slipping some of those Pearl ISO feet on the straight floor legs really opened up the floor tom which was really choked/dead/lifeless initially (also got DIY 'little booty shakers' on the snare snare for the 13). Getting Classic Fit Ambassadors on both toms helped too. I've also got the DW hoop clamp spurs on the bass drum which I really like, rock steady and aside from being bright chrome finish don't look too out of place.

View attachment 480766

You're right, they're a blast to play... wide open, thuddy and dead, or anywhere in between. Enjoy!
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here’s a before and after of the 16 x 16. I had some of those iso feet for another floor tom-but didn’t like them. These sound fine without.
I am using a pair of Leedy clamp on bass spurs and then also a vintage anchor on the front.
The Leedy’s are the strongest I’ve found vintage wise. I probably wouldn’t want to take the set out every week for shows but set up in the studio haven’t had any issues at all.
Thanks for the comments. And photo of your great drums.
 

retrosonic

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TalktoTommy: You did a phenomenal job on that 40s Slingy. It looks GREAT. Ready for some Benny Goodman or Tommy Dorsey swing. Could you elaborate on the lacquer thinner method for those of us who have never done it? I have a WMP set restore coming up and I'd like to explore that.
 
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Talktotommy

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TalktoTommy: You did a phenomenal job on that 40s Slingy. It looks GREAT. Ready for some Benny Goodman or Tommy Dorsey swing. Could you elaborate on the lacquer thinner method for those of us who have never done it?
I certainly didn’t invent it. Obviously strip everything off the drum tape up the holes from the inside clean it with soap and water or simple green scrub with a nylon brush until you get all the surface dirt off that you can. I probably washed that drum Six or seven times. You certainly don’t want any removable dirt still on it when you start with the lacquer thinner. So just get some old T-shirts soak it with lacquer thinner and start rubbing the drum fairly briskly. The yellow will start coming off on some drums quicker than others but that one I think took about an hour.
As aggressive as you have to be overall you have to be very careful not to stay in one spot too long. Better to work around the drum and then come back to stubborn spots otherwise you risk getting into the layer of the drum wrap and that can start to take away The pearl effect. Also change out the rag often.
After that some people spray it with Krylon crystal clear to bring back the shine but I treated with the three step Novus plastic polish. The drum will smell like lacquer thinner for a day or two but finally goes back to normal.
 

retrosonic

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Thanks. I guess one has to make the decision, do I just clean several times , get every bit of grime off, and then polish, and then put back all the hardware, or take it a step further. In my case, I will just do a deep cleaning and polish of all shells and hardware. You did a great job on your set!
 

Browny

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here’s a before and after of the 16 x 16. I had some of those iso feet for another floor tom-but didn’t like them. These sound fine without.
I am using a pair of Leedy clamp on bass spurs and then also a vintage anchor on the front.
The Leedy’s are the strongest I’ve found vintage wise. I probably wouldn’t want to take the set out every week for shows but set up in the studio haven’t had any issues at all.
Thanks for the comments. And photo of your great drums.
Damn, that's a serious clean up job. Well done!

Why didn't you like the feet? I know they're butt-ugly and look out of place, but the difference in resonance, tone & low end was genuinely night and day. Mine was pretty lifeless before I put the feet on it.

I had one of those vintage front anchors initially; the old style clamp on spurs only really stopped the drum rocking from side to side (and mine doesn't have any cymbal arms which would add to that) so I needed that front anchor to resist forward creep. The DW ones pretty much work like you'd expect a modern pair of gullwings. The only downside is if you want to change front head (I alternate between ported and solid) then the spurs have to be removed as they clamp the drumhead aluminium hoop to the bass hoop.

I'm certainly not gigging mine on a regular basis, but they do come out occasionally. In the studio I've had to chase rattles before; last time I ended up having to put some gaffer over the floor tom brackets as somewhere in the eyebolt/wingnut/leg/bracket junction there was a noise which was being picked up by the mics. Thankfully I haven't had to remove all the lugs and add/replace material to dampen them.
 

Talktotommy

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I originally got the iso feet for a 58 radio king floor Tom that I was having trouble tuning. The feet certainly improved resonance almost too much so. I’ve always used “ambassador heads but for that set I used American vintage Aquarian.
After working with these heads for a bit and using them on this current set I realized they tuneup tighter much quicker than the Remo heads. I have to write back tomorrow for bed floor times opened up and sounded just fine. Just my experience.
All screws hardware tension rods etc. werel all removed and cleaned.The rust removed re-tapped and died as needed to clean up all the threads and make sure everything held secure. The only thing I worry about with these are the lugs cracking but so far no issues.
 


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