My first big fishing project - Catalina bop Frankenstein kit

Tornado

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I'm about to take a 14x18 Catalina Club bass drum (luan, I guess), and combine it with a 14x14 Catalina Maple floor tom, and a 9x12 Catalina Maple mounted tom. They are all three currently different colors.

The bass drum is natural satin, the floor tom is like a transparent cherry, and the rack tom is honey amber.

My plan is to strip the existing finish with Klean Strip or something, and stain everything a transparent black. Something that will be like my USA Maple snare here.

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Any suggestions on what to do or not do? I don't have a whole lot invested in this, so worst case scenario, I'll just wrap them.

I don't have the drums in my possession, yet, but I'll post pics when I get them in this week.
 

Tornado

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Here's piece one. Pretty sure I can't make this one look worse!

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Tornado

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Got the other two drums in. I definitely think I'm going to have to go dark to get the colors to match, but I'm still concerned about how well maple will take a dark stain.

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Fat Drummer

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Hey.. very nice work indeed!! Remember, that black your looking at is most likely a dye and not a stain as it has no hint of brown under it. You may want to look into a wood dye for this project to achieve that deep rich, solid color. But a nice side benefit of a dye is all the drums should match perfectly as dyes are far less affected by the tone of the wood underneath. Good luck and keep those pics coming.
 

Tornado

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Fat Drummer said:
Hey.. very nice work indeed!! Remember, that black your looking at is most likely a dye and not a stain as it has no hint of brown under it. You may want to look into a wood dye for this project to achieve that deep rich, solid color. But a nice side benefit of a dye is all the drums should match perfectly as dyes are far less affected by the tone of the wood underneath. Good luck and keep those pics coming.
Thanks. Wood dye is something I'll need to learn about. I'm having to fill some gouges and scratches with wood filler, so I hope the dye will work on that as well.
 

Tornado

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So Klean-Strip Strip X will power through thick glossy polyurethane. Left the wood looking pretty good. I hit the floor tom with some sandpaper, 120, 220,then 320 grit to smooth out the wood filler and to take some more color out of the wood. I think this one is good to go.

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Tornado

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US_TOM_SatinEbony-lg.jpg

Better picture of what I want to achieve. I think it would look really classy.
 

AaronLatos

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I think you'll be able to do it. Worst case scenario, if you have major issues with getting even coverage, you can tint the clearcoat black to add another layer of colorant that is unaffected by absorption of the wood.
 

Tornado

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The 12" tom was finished with something quite different than the floor tom. Application after application of stripper took only small amounts of the finish off, and it turned into this sticky brown glue. I finally just sanded the rest of it off. I guess that just goes to show that even with drums from the same manufacturer in the same line, you never quite know what you're getting yourself into.
 

Tornado

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First application of dye to the maple drums wasn't so great. I think I need to go back and hit it with 120 grit to open up the grain a bit. There are some ugly streaks where the dye got in better than most of the rest of the wood. I think a courser grit is the only way to get a more uniformly dark color.
 

JazzDrumGuy

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Tornado, the strip job looks great! I use Citrustrip which works well, can be done indoors and is skin & lung-friendly. I have a 13/16/22 kit that I am stripping to refinish right now and have the 13/16 done and about half the 22. The shells are old and mismatched (13 is older than the 16/22) My plan is to get some paint and either paint the wood then wipe it off to give it a darker color without hiding the wood grain (going for a vintage color), or if I can find a dye, either dye the wood directly and/or dye the poly coat.

For black, have you thought about black shoe polish? I heard that works well. What about matte or gloss black spray paint? I don't know if you want your finished product to show grain or not, but I use gloss black on bass hoops (once they are stripped/sanded) and it works great.

Please keep posting pics......I am interested to see your progress. Will you paint the bass hoops black, too? I will be posting my project in the next week or so.

Klean Strip FYI (I hope you were/are careful!): WARNING: This product can expose you to chemicals including Methylene Chloride, which is known to the State of California to cause cancer, and Methanol, which is known to the State of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm. For more information go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov.
 

Tornado

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I bought a can of black lacquer for the hoops. I was thinking that would be a nice contrast to a satin finish on the bass, kind of like the contrast of the chrome to the satin on the other drums. I've done about all I can do on the hoops I think for filling and sanding, hopefully it will be enough to create a good finished product.

And yeah, I probably absorbed/inhaled more methylene chloride than I should have. :shock:
 

Tornado

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Not happy with the job this dye stain is doing. It's General Finishes ebony dye stain. The maple just won't absorb much.

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JazzDrumGuy

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I recently refinished a vintage Ludwig kit. The mahogany shell got nice and dark, but the maple hoops did not take stain well. I think it is because the wood is very dense.

Did you try pre-stain conditioner? (I did on the hoops - didn't help much but you never know)......

How about a black marker (Sharpie or otherwise)? Take the center ink portion out. It should be a long felt piece probably in a plastic sleeve. Remove the plastic (use rubber gloves!) and then rub it vertically around the shell. It should get black and give you good coverage.....just thinking outside the box. I will update you by Wed. on whether my plan works to dye/stain my shells worked.....
 

Tornado

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I didn't use a conditioner. Kind of liking the shoe polish idea. I think it's going to have to be something thicker that sits on top of the wood more than soaks into it. Semi-transparent paint, even.
 

Tornado

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Or maybe my next step is to try a gel stain. It would definitely be easier to work with on a surface like a drum shell.
 

JazzDrumGuy

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I tried gel stain. Very messy and didn't do anything for what I needed.

What about black shoe dye? Like the liquid type you rub on your shoe? I bet that will be perfect and less messy than wax polish.......$4 at Target! I bet that works great.....

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Tornado

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I decided to keep applying the dye stain, and I made up my own technique. Instead of wiping off the stain, I just keep brushing it and turning it until there's no more runs and it's kind of starting to dry. I don't know how that's going to turn out in the end, but it's starting to look pretty sexy if I say so myself!

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JazzDrumGuy

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Hmm...ok. I went to Beverly's last night for my project to find a yellow-ish paint to apply as stain for my shells. There, I went to the fabric dye aisle (think tie dyes) and RIT brand makes both black and yellow liquid dye. After sweet talking the cashier into giving me a piece of wood (a used paint brush), I dipped my (still black!) finger into the dye and applied it to the handle. I gotta say I was pretty surprised - it totally worked. Even application (granted, using my finger), and it was totally dark with no streaks (Pic #2). If you used a brush and saturated it, I think it would be fine. The yellow dye was too yellow. I ended up buying some acrylic paint for my drums and the color is not perfect but it's close. I will have to go back and get a better color. However, for you, Tornado, I would say that is the way to go for a total pitch black, yet grains are visible, finish. I also bought black shoe wax polish (In the round tin, not the bottle with a liquid applicator as pictured above), but did not get a chance to try it. They do make a light tan wax which may work for the color I want. Here are pics of the black brush, but it may be moot now since I see you are staining it darker.......which looks good, but isn't black. Crazy idea, but have you thought about stripping the snare and refinishing it to match the kit if you are going to this new darkish brown color?

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