Has anyone stripped wrap from old Ludwigs, and made them into a natural finish?

AtlantaDrumGuy

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So I have some 70s orphans with various wraps. They all sound really good, but they don’t match. Would love to wrap, but it’s too expensive and I don’t want them to look too new either.

I’m thinking about stripping the wrap and attempting to do a natural stain. Something authentic though. Has anyone tried this?
 

jptrickster

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Yes, I stripped my 71-72 blue sparkle kit a couple years after I got it new. Hair dryer soften the wrap and glue. Mine were so new the glue was still soft, a lot of work but the poly’d Mahogany was gorgeous.
I rewrapped the same kit about 18 yrs ago in Bermuda sand , they sounded tremendous at the gig last night. Have fun!
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Rich K.

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If the singles in different colors are all in good shape, why not sell them and get a matching set?
For a re-finish, black lacquer would look nice and cover up inconsistencies in the wood.
 

shuffle

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I bought a stripped kit,6 ply Ludwig,it was polyurethaned with scraped and scarred natural maple shells,i called it my vintage distressed kit.
Ive taken off wrap on vintage kits only when there wasnt much wrap left and it was a pita to get it off,even with a heat gun,never again!​
 

burgundy

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I would never do it on 3 ply shells, most were mahogany, bugger to get wrap off clean with out damage to shell, you also have wrap into joint to deal with, most have the famous Ludwig bump at seam, I did do it to the later shell, the had maple outer plys, 18" bass had wrap turned out nice, 16" floor was an eagle hidden under wrap, it turned out nice too.
 

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franke

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Honestly, once you have stripped off the wrap and sanded the shells smooth, you would be better off simply applying maple veneer. Although seventies Ludiwgs did not have the wrap embedded in the shell the way mid-sixties Ludiwgs do, the outer ply was typically mahogany, chosen for its porous grain that held glue well, and was not finish grade. When you peel off the wrap you may get considerable tear-out, depending on whether you go against or with the grain. Regardless, it is doubtful that there's maple veneer under the wrap, and even if there is, it is likely low quality. with mineral stains, and unattractive grain.

I've re-veneered three kits under circumstances similar to yours: a sixties Slingerland, an eighties Premier, and a late-fifties/early-sixties Sonor (below). While none of them were Ludwig, the Slingerland kit also had a mahogany outer ply (the Premier was birch, and the Sonor, beech).

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studrum

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Honestly, once you have stripped off the wrap and sanded the shells smooth, you would be better off simply applying maple veneer. Although seventies Ludiwgs did not have the wrap embedded in the shell the way mid-sixties Ludiwgs do, the outer ply was typically mahogany, chosen for its porous grain that held glue well, and was not finish grade. When you peel off the wrap you may get considerable tear-out, depending on whether you go against or with the grain. Regardless, it is doubtful that there's maple veneer under the wrap, and even if there is, it is likely low quality. with mineral stains, and unattractive grain.

I've re-veneered three kits under circumstances similar to yours: a sixties Slingerland, an eighties Premier, and a late-fifties/early-sixties Sonor (below). While none of them were Ludwig, the Slingerland kit also had a mahogany outer ply (the Premier was birch, and the Sonor, beech).

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I have personally witnessed the horrors Franke speaks of and so say trade away the mismatches till they're all matched.

I must say that Franke's re-veneers look stunning.
 

franke

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Also, most veneer is about one-third the cost of wrap (exotics and "rain forest" species being the exception).
I have personally witnessed the horrors Franke speaks of and so say trade away the mismatches till they're all matched.

I must say that Franke's re-veneers look stunning.
Thanks!
 

JazzDrumGuy

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I recently stripped a 6 ply (?) late 70's or early 80's Ludwig 9x13 tom wrapped in white cortex. What a pain! I was able to do it with a heat gun and a putty knife but it took some work. The wood underneath was pristine, though, and a nice light maple (inside was finished in natural). It would be totally nice as a natural finish although that's not my plan......
 

studrum

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I recently stripped a 6 ply (?) late 70's or early 80's Ludwig 9x13 tom wrapped in white cortex. What a pain! I was able to do it with a heat gun and a putty knife but it took some work. The wood underneath was pristine, though, and a nice light maple (inside was finished in natural). It would be totally nice as a natural finish although that's not my plan......
If the outer ply had been mahogany, your suffering would've increased many-fold.
 

JazzDrumGuy

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I do have a 60's Jazzette kit that someone had rewrapped in plastic Chrome. I stripped it last year and it wasn't that bad. Couple small areas were damaged on the 12" but for the most part it was intact. The hard part of that project was refinishing the mahogany to look like the vintage Roy Haynes kit. It turned out pretty close.... I prefer any type of wrap all day long over cortex though. What a pain in the rear!
 

D. B. Cooper

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Yes, I stripped my 71-72 blue sparkle kit a couple years after I got it new. Hair dryer soften the wrap and glue. Mine were so new the glue was still soft, a lot of work but the poly’d Mahogany was gorgeous.
I rewrapped the same kit about 18 yrs ago in Bermuda sand , they sounded tremendous at the gig last night. Have fun!View attachment 402174View attachment 402175View attachment 402176View attachment 402177View attachment 402178View attachment 402179
That's awesome, JP. Did you notice if the wrap had any affect on the sound after playing then naked for so long?
 

D. B. Cooper

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Everybody is correct. I've stripped a few 70's Ludwig shells, and they came out great. But you really don't know what you're going to get until you get the wrap off. I had 2 shells that had seriously beautiful mahogany underneath. I sanded them and oiled them and they're beautiful. If you go slow and use a real heat gun, it's not that bad, just takes a bit of patience. Use Citrustrip to get the remaining glue off and then assess where to go from there. I was able to get 100% of the glue off of all the shells I've ever done, including 60's drums.
 

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