Interior "treatment" on shells...

Imposing Will

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I've tried many different finishes on shell interiors-tung oil, linseed oil, poly, lacquer, enamel, auto trunk paint, oil-based stain, etc. My favorite for thicker shells (8 to 10 ply) has traditionally been tung oil-4 to 6 coats with a steel wool rubdown between each. Also pretty fond of linseed oil, same procedures as tung. I've had some success getting more projection out of thinner shells (5 to 6 ply) using spray lacquer or enamel on the interiors.
Anybody have any unusual interior finishes that enhance or add character to your tone?
 

Crazy 8s Drums

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The differences in sound between finished insides and unfinished insides are nearly imperceptible. The reason why you want to finish the insides is to protect the shell from moisture.

All synthetic finishes (spraypaint, polyurethane, polyacrylic etc...) emit toxic vapors over time and those vapors usually stay inside your drum until you take the heads off and breathe them in, I don't recommend using them on the inside of your drum.

I like plain or scented beeswax. You can always add more later and it is much friendlier on your body. Shellac is a good choice too.
 

Imposing Will

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The differences in sound between finished insides and unfinished insides are nearly imperceptible. The reason why you want to finish the insides is to protect the shell from moisture.

All synthetic finishes (spraypaint, polyurethane, polyacrylic etc...) emit toxic vapors over time and those vapors usually stay inside your drum until you take the heads off and breathe them in, I don't recommend using them on the inside of your drum.

I like plain or scented beeswax. You can always add more later and it is much friendlier on your body. Shellac is a good choice too.
While I appreciate your point of view, I disagree about interior finishes being imperceptible. I have 2 5ply Keller kits-one has a linseed oil interior finish, the other has a sprayed white acrylic finish (my wanna-be 60's Ludwig nod). The sprayed interiors are much brighter, and project slightly better...but the tone of the oiled shells is much warmer/better. I only record with the oiled interior kit now, and gig the other occasionally.
I also sealed the unfinished interiors on a Gretsch Catalina Rock kit I had briefly-and the results were pretty impressive tonally. It woke them up, so to speak.
I'm really just looking for alternatives I may not have thought of, that have some positive effect on tone.

You're absolutely right about the stink from painting the interiors, though. Brutal. It has finally mellowed out, but it took 3 years.
 

Kevin_S

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I also believe that the interior finish can make a big difference. I built two maple stave snares of the same size; one with linseed oil and the other with shellac on the inside. The overtone (ring) was more pronounced with the shellaced drum while the linseed oil was warmer.

The smell of linseed oil can be a bit of an issue if you have completed a whole kit and the shells didn't have time to cure well. With one drum, it's not too bad. Most linseed oil is usually boiled linseed oil or BLO. This variety has "driers" in it to speed up the drying process, but it still takes a LONG time to cure. Do not use pure linseed oil as it will take FOREVER to dry.
 

homeby5

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If you have a porous interior (ex. Luan) then a hardening finish will alter the tone quite a bit. Will make it much brighter and project more. A porous wood does not have as much reflection of sound waves. If you have a non porous (maple) interior, then it wont brighten it as much, but might help a little. The sound already reflects good off the natural hard surface.
 

supershifter2

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the only time i heard a difference was when i had some 1980's tama imperial stars and sprayed the inside with plasticoat clear polyurathne engine enamel. i painted the inside of my 2 superstar play out kits with plasticoat gray engine primer to make the evens transparent red heads show better. the inside was black laquer. i did one tom and checked the sound and could'nt hear any difference. the imperialstars are mohagany and the superstars are all birch<1980's superstars that is.
 

homeby5

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the only time i heard a difference was when i had some 1980's tama imperial stars and sprayed the inside with plasticoat clear polyurathne engine enamel. i painted the inside of my 2 superstar play out kits with plasticoat gray engine primer to make the evens transparent red heads show better. the inside was black laquer. i did one tom and checked the sound and could'nt hear any difference. the imperialstars are mohagany and the superstars are all birch<1980's superstars that is.
Was the mohagany the cheap Luan, or the good Hondorous or US stuff. I wouldn't think you would hear much difference with the good stuff. Sorry but I just don't know much about Tama kits :oops:
 

supershifter2

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the only time i heard a difference was when i had some 1980's tama imperial stars and sprayed the inside with plasticoat clear polyurathne engine enamel. i painted the inside of my 2 superstar play out kits with plasticoat gray engine primer to make the evens transparent red heads show better. the inside was black laquer. i did one tom and checked the sound and could'nt hear any difference. the imperialstars are mohagany and the superstars are all birch<1980's superstars that is.
Was the mohagany the cheap Luan, or the good Hondorous or US stuff. I wouldn't think you would hear much difference with the good stuff. Sorry but I just don't know much about Tama kits :oops:
i dont know where the wood came from. the swingstar shells were the same with different lugs. some big name drummers like Dave Holland played the imperialstars.
 

Imposing Will

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the only time i heard a difference was when i had some 1980's tama imperial stars and sprayed the inside with plasticoat clear polyurathne engine enamel. i painted the inside of my 2 superstar play out kits with plasticoat gray engine primer to make the evens transparent red heads show better. the inside was black laquer. i did one tom and checked the sound and could'nt hear any difference. the imperialstars are mohagany and the superstars are all birch<1980's superstars that is.
Was the mohagany the cheap Luan, or the good Hondorous or US stuff. I wouldn't think you would hear much difference with the good stuff. Sorry but I just don't know much about Tama kits :oops:
i dont know where the wood came from. the swingstar shells were the same with different lugs. some big name drummers like Dave Holland played the imperialstars.
Imperialstars are luan, with Zolacoat sprayed on. I have a "bastard" kit made with reworked Imperialstar shells, and they're one of my favorite sets I own.
Stewart Copeland played Imperialstars, as well.
 

mckenziedrums

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I coat the interior of my carbon fiber shells with water if that counts :) Cleans up the itchy dust! Though I do sometimes put waterlox or a finishing wax on the interior of wood drums. That's usually for practical purposes (sealing a solid wood shell) or for looks. I'm of the opinion the interior isn't going to make a drastic difference that can't be adjusted in other ways.
 

atomicdave

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back when the DrumCenter (i think the name) of Fort Wayne, Indiana was operating they sprayed a thin layer of fiberglass on interiors..called if Vibrafibed, I think. Neil Peart got his Ludwigs after the red Tamas from them and tried a few kits before deciding Ludwig, and then compared untreated and Vibrafibed and chose to have the coating in his new Ludwigs.
 

torydrum

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I've had great results with "Good Stuff".

http://www.mapleblock.com/detail/butcher-block-finishes-39/
 

RyanR

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Mind if I revive this thread?

Any major difference between shellac and lacquer?

I'm thinking I've gotta do *something* with the Element SE's (cherry/gumwood). They're just too muddy. Even with Ambassadors on them.

Thanks!

-Ryan
 

Imposing Will

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Mind if I revive this thread?

Any major difference between shellac and lacquer?

I'm thinking I've gotta do *something* with the Element SE's (cherry/gumwood). They're just too muddy. Even with Ambassadors on them.

Thanks!

-Ryan
I've had good results with tung oil-do a coat, polish with steel wool after it dries, another coat, another polish...usually four to six coats total. The polishing closes the pores of the wood, and makes it more reflective (brighter) to my ears.
 

EvEnStEvEn

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I did 4 or 5 coats of tung oil inside my Catalina birch set, too.
You can kinda see it in this pic.

View attachment 117326


I've also done polyurethane and spar varnish interior coating on lots of shells.
I've never really noticed a signifigant sonic difference - perhaps some increased brightness & attack, but I think sealing unfinished interiors is a worthwhile endevour, regardless.
 

RyanR

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Thanks guys. I recall reading that tung oil takes ages to dry.... any truth there?

Thanks!
-Ryan
 

esooy

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Thanks guys. I recall reading that tung oil takes ages to dry.... any truth there?

Thanks!
-Ryan
It stinks to hell.

Stinkless: Zinsser seal coat, sand, apply johnson's paste wax.
 


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