LOL....Gretsch RB Floor Tom Restoration Surprise!

retrosonic

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Yup, a Surprise, and not a good one!

I had purchased this 1950s Gretsch FT a couple of years ago at a rock bottom price, then put it in storage until I was ready to begin the resto on my RB BDP set, which I am finally doing this week. Bass drum and mounted tom are done. Floor tom and snare in progress.

So.....I get the floor tom out of storage and clean it up. I find a surprise.....at some point , the original owner cut out a whole 3 inch wide section of wrap, likely due to cracking and chunks missing. It was all patched with a nicely cut piece of BDP wrap, altho just a shade darker (as it didnt fade as much as the wrap on the drum). But the patch wasnt applied well at all and was coming off.

My first thought was to rewrap with a full piece from Jammin Sam (who has this exact wrap in stock). But then I felt I should try to fix this one, and do what drummers in 1959 would have done. If it didnt work out, then I could always call Jammin Sam.

So.......I've cleaned it all up as well as its going to be. I need to cement down the edges, then cement the wrap patch on top.

Luckily, the patch piece is in excellent shape with no cracks or tears. Its now clean as a whistle and should make a tight bond to the existing wrap. As i said, its just a shade darker than the faded BDP wrap on the tom itself, but it wont be very noticeable. I wish I had a nice piece that was faded the same, but I dont. I do think it will look OK when all done tho, with the shiny hardware.

here tis:

Please tell me if you think the patch piece is a good match.....OR, if you think I should just rewap.

Thanks,
retro
 

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LarryJ

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Without laying the wrap side by side, I can't really judge the match, but it must be close if you didn't notice it before now.

If it was mine, I would put the patch back in place. That's part of the history of the drum, which is important to me on a player. You can always hide the patch behind the bass drum.

If you don't like it, you can rewrap later. If you rewrap now, you'll never know if you would have liked it.
 

retrosonic

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Thanks for your thoughts Larry. Yes, the patch is the exact right pattern, its just not as faded so it looks a bit darker. From a couple feet away you dont notice it. I hear you about the history of the drum, thats a great point, and thats what I followed with the bass drum, which cost me alot more $$ but I'm still glad I did it. As you say, I can always rewrap the FT at a later date if it doesnt work out, but I really think it will.
 
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JDA

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Yes- Close enough for jazz- yes

for a second there, I thought you had found a $100 bill inside...
 

retrosonic

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JDA.....If I had found a $100 bill inside, I would have called it an omen used it to buy a new piece of BDP wrap!! LOL/

Thanks for your thoughts. Yes, the patch is very close.
 
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JDA

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I pulled an ashtray out a car at the lot once to clean and found 4 $20s under there. That was a good moment
 

retrosonic

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LOL...that IS a good moment. I had one too. I pulled out an LP of a group that I liked alot, but it was scratched.
I pulled out the record and there was a $20 bill. I took the $20, went to my local record store and replaced that LP AND got their second LP. That was a good day!
 
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JazzDrumGuy

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I have a similar situation with my RB 14x14 BDP FT. A big hole on the side but otherwise very nice condition. I bought a few pieces of vintage Gretsch BDP wrap (I think off a few different 8x12's) and haven't gotten around to patching yet. It's possible one of my pieces would match yours and vice versa though.......let me know if you want pics. My wrap hole is about 5" x 5" though.......
 

retrosonic

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Hi Jazz. Thanks, but my patch piece is perfectly straight cut (which I can never do) at about 4 inches wide by 16 inches long so I'm going to re-use it.

For holes like yours, I have found that a diamond shape patch seems to look OK. Would a Gretsch Tom Tom diamond plate cover your hole?
 
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ConvertedLudwigPlayer

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I would use the patch piece and just turn the drum so the patched area is away from the audience, or if you if it bothers you. I suspect a new piece would be more noticeable overall with the rest of the drum versus a 3" wide section that you could hide on just one dru,. Just my opinion, of course.
 

retrosonic

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Converted: Thanks for your thoughts! Yes, I will use the patch piece, and really, as long as the edges and seams are a tight bond, its really not going to bother me at all. As you say, a rewrap would be more noticible for sure. The rest of the set is somewhat faded 50s/60s Gretsch BDP. The patch piece is really just one shade darker than the wrap on the FT. Not a big deal. If I want to, in the future, I could remove it all and rewrap. I doubt I'll ever do that tho. I like authenticity. Whenever something is broken or has to be fixed on a vintage drum that I own, I always ask myself "What would the drummer in 1959 have done about this", and thats what I usually do. And in this case, the drummer in 1959 would have gone to the hardware store, got a bottle of glue, sourced a scrap piece of wrap from a music store or friend, and glued it right on, then gigged that night!
 
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JazzDrumGuy

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Hi Jazz. Thanks, but my patch piece is perfectly straight cut (which I can never do) at about 4 inches wide by 16 inches long so I'm going to re-use it.

For holes like yours, I have found that a diamond shape patch seems to look OK. Would a Gretsch Tom Tom diamond plate cover your hole?
No, it's more of a burst (think asterisk) - not sure what happened - either it got torn, or burned/melted. It's sad because it otherwise is in great shape and of course has THAT sound! Perfect for my Elvin tribute kit.......at leasts it's not on the badge panel.
 

retrosonic

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Ahhh..I see..sorry to hear about that. I would say a diamond shaped piece of wrap over the affected area would do the trick. I had something similar once.
 

retrosonic

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Whew!!! Lots of work completed. The patch has been applied and the seams are nice and tight as I wanted.
I went over the wrap with goo gone to get some minor residue off, then polished the whole thing with novus, then a final clean with Dawn and water. It Gleams now!


Its ready for reassembly (as soon as I decide what in stock heads to use on this). But i think I'm going to build the snare first because I'm excited that the Gibralter 3 point strainer actually fit.

Please tell me how you think the old Floor Tom looks now....and you can be honest.:) But the difference between now and when I unpacked it is tremendous.
 

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retrosonic

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Thank you! its actually much less noticeable now that the edges and seams are tight and flush with the original wrap.
 
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the_dude

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To me the patch looks darker on the bottom of it but I think it looks great as is and I'm a picky SOB.
 

JazzDrumGuy

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It looks fantastic - great job! Get it headed and let it ride....... (coated ambs for me, btw)......
 

retrosonic

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Guys, thank you so much for the kind words, much appreciated, as I've done alot of work on this ol' tom.

Dude: It must be the lighting as the patch is pretty consisting in shade top to bottom. its a full shade darker than the old wrap, but really not bad at all.

Jazz: thanks much!! Coated Ambs are in the running....I just use what I have in stock and I found 4 or 5 different heads in my stock...I found a simulated calf head that I may try as well.

Now, I'm having a bizzare issue with one of the leg mounts: I bought a replica mount and it came with no screws......and I can NOT find screws that work! Not sure whats going on other than the replica might be metric.
If I have to, I'll use a pitted 50s Gretsch leg mount that I already have, but its annoying me I cant make the replica mount work, as I have two other really nice ones.
 


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