Gretsch round badge: bearing edge and wrap repair

RogersLudwig

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THe title says it all. I remember reading about a fellow, maybe in Nashville, who is the expert in Gretsch drum rehabilitation, but I can't find a thread here with his info
14x14 edge damage.JPG
8x12 wrap damage.JPG
. I have an old set that has some edge issues and the wrap is lifting. I've had the set for almost two years now and it has really grown on me. I am still contemplating selling it down the road and buying a new Rogers Covington set when they come out, but I may not. So, I'm looking to do what I can to put these in the nicest shape possible while retaining the vintage value.

Any suggestions? I'm in New Mexico, so the closer, the better, but I'd rather pay to ship them further if it means having the best job done on them. Not inclined to use Maxwell or Drum Doctor.
 

bellbrass

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Sam Bacco is a fantastic builder and certified Gretsch restoration expert. He had a partnership with Forks Drum Closet in Nashville, called "Gretsch Central". He would restore your Gretsch kit, or obtain a kit and put whatever wrap you wanted on it and make it better than new. I'm not sure if he still does that with Forks; especially since being recently named the shop manager for Craviotto.
 

JazzDrumGuy

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I do amateur hour repairs - call me Sam Baddo, or Im-Precision, or Steve MIN-well......but those look like easy fixes with some glue and a clamp. You can't add more wrap (I suppose if you had more, you could cut a piece out and add it but it would look weird)........and I would do as little as possible to preserve those lovely tubs....

Forks Drum Closet is in Nashville - call them for real repairs.
 

GeeDeeEmm

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Hmmm . . . that honestly looks like an easy home repair to me.

Use a toothpick and work some yellow wood glue between the wood plies that have come apart (looks like impact damage), then use some wood clamps to pull them together as the glue dries. Easy. There looks like there is a little hole in there, too? A small void? Glue a toothpick in that hole and cut it off even with the bearing edge once it dries.

For the loose wrap, glue it back down with some contact cement. Insert a toothpick under the wrap, apply the contact cement to both surfaces, and once the glue is dry, remove the toothpick and lightly clamp the wrap down for a few minutes.

I wouldn't worry at all about the broken-off piece of wrap. It's not seen when the head is on, right? In fact, it may be aiding you a bit by allowing more room for the head to sit loosely on the shell and center itself.

That's what I'd do. This stuff is simply basic woodworking with no magic to it at all - just a little common sense. But, if it makes you feel better to have a professional do it, then, by all means, go in that direction. But I'll bet a professional will do the job somewhat similar to what I've recommended.

GeeDeeEmm
 

JazzDrumGuy

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If I recall, the little holes are how the Keller shells came from the "factory" and not defects....and I 2nd the toothpick fix.
 

mlucas123

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Some wood glue. a C -clamp, and 10 minutes, and you're done.
 
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GeeDeeEmm

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Not throwing anyone under the bus, but..........What a professional would likely do ( I'm setting myself up there, I know it) , because I've hung around repair guys in NYC for 30 years.

Is pull the wrap back even further and scrape some of the glue off the wrap to create a cleaner bond, and probably try to take some off the shell as well. The might not guarantee the repair, for a while they would. But repairing a wrap is not a guarantee it won't come up again, especially with the modern, albiet weaker glues.
Good point on removing the old glue, Jay. I should have mentioned that in my recommendation.

I do think, though, that the available contact cement formulations are quite good. That's been my experience, anyway. I'll interject, though, that I've never used the water-based contact cements, only the petroleum-based formulations. I've used "Weldwood Original" cement for years now, and have never experienced a failure to bond. (And, of course, surface prep is essential, thus the importance of your recommendation!)

GeeDeeEmm

1584799660824.png
 

JazzDrumGuy

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Jay, if there was glue that you could access without damaging the wrap, then definitely you could try to remove it. At a minimum scrape it off. I just use this wood glue and I've never had a problem with wrap coming back up. Plus it's way easier, cheaper ($5 at Home depot) and less messy than the 3M contact cement that "professionals" use...... I also use it for wood shell repairs quite effectively...

20200321_095007.jpg
 

RIDDIM

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THe title says it all. I remember reading about a fellow, maybe in Nashville, who is the expert in Gretsch drum rehabilitation, but I can't find a thread here with his info View attachment 431787 View attachment 431788 . I have an old set that has some edge issues and the wrap is lifting. I've had the set for almost two years now and it has really grown on me. I am still contemplating selling it down the road and buying a new Rogers Covington set when they come out, but I may not. So, I'm looking to do what I can to put these in the nicest shape possible while retaining the vintage value.

Any suggestions? I'm in New Mexico, so the closer, the better, but I'd rather pay to ship them further if it means having the best job done on them. Not inclined to use Maxwell or Drum Doctor.
- Probably Sam Bacco in Nashville. I'd look up Chris Heuer in the LA area.
 

studrum

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Yeah, I wasn;t sure about the glue/cement comment. Some of them are actually the same as people have used for decades. I'll just add this. I had Jack Lawton wrap a drum for me that turned out better, tighter along the top and bottom edge, than a lot of other work I've seen. I don't know why, or how. But I've seen wraps with the most faint gap in them, Jack's was dead on tight. You couldn't pull it up ( not that I tried ) Go figure..
I am not surprised. That's just the way with Jack, that's all! Something about 30+ years of full-time experience is my guess.
 

Tama CW

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I was a total newbie with bearing edge and re-ring repairs. Just did a Slingerland RK snare that had up to 1/8" gaps between bearing edge and re-rings. A big gap of 1-2 mm where the 1 ply maple shell joints met up. Your repair is very minor....jump right in there and get 'er done. If you have other bearing edge gaps not shown here (likely) deal with them at the same time.

I agree with the Titebond. I used the Titebond 2. Some prefer the TB 3 for more working time. To do that repair right and tight, you need to inject glue deep into it with a fine syringe. And the smallest sizes that will flow the Titebond glue are 18-23 gauge (20-23 best). Get at least a 1/2" nozzle, preferably 1". You need only 2 syringes in the 20-22 gauge. Your gap is very fine and it will take a fine needle to get in there.....a tooth pick will only place glue near the surface. And with that long needed (or equivalent) you push it down and around in the hole to try and first scrape some of the old glue away to get a better wood to wood bond between plies. The needle will work good with the wrap to minimize a mess and allow you to put the glue exactly where you want. The syringes run about $1 each. I bought a set of 11 from 12 to 30 gauge and found out the only ones that you really need are the 18-23 sizes (0.6 to 1.0 ml wide needle). The others are too small or just too big. The glue itself will fill in fine cracks/gaps near the surface and dry to a wood-like look with a nice appearance.

Two 3" C clamps from Harbor Freight ($3 each) will cover that gap you have spaced 1" or so apart. Use cardboard under the clamps so you don't scuff the shell up. Full bond in 24-36 hrs after clamping. Wipe off any excess glue with a wet paper rag after you squeeze tight. I'd be careful about peeling back the wrap to expose more. You risk shearing off another chunk and making it worse. I'd be happy with what you have right now.
 

Tama CW

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There's no zero risk. NO matter how careful one is.....even using best practices. I guess "peel" was the wrong word. Should have used "lift." Lift any amount with any tool and brittle wrap can snap. Yes, be very careful. But, there's always risks.
 

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