Removing a Ludwig cortex finish

XVIII Airborne

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Has anyone successfully removed a Ludwig cortex finish? I bought an old Ludwig marching drum that has a red cortex wrap that is badly chipped off in places, likely from someone trying to remove it. I know they are virtually impossible to remove but does anyone have any tips or should I just leave it as is?
 

grumpy409

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Greetings Everyone, Cortex is the worst wrap to remove. Even with a heat gun the wrap wants to break off in small pieces. It is a tedious task requiring much patience.
 

bonzoleum

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grumpy409 said:
Greetings Everyone, Cortex is the worst wrap to remove. Even with a heat gun the wrap wants to break off in small pieces. It is a tedious task requiring much patience.
Yes-it's impossible to get off without damaging the exterior ply.
 

XVIII Airborne

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Thanks for the responses so far. This might sound crazy, I've never done it, but can you wrap over a cortex finish, will the heads still fit? The drum isn't horrible but I would like it to be more cosmetically appealling, if not I'll just leave as is and play it (and love it) anyway.
 

rondrums51

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XVIII Airborne said:
Thanks for the responses so far. This might sound crazy, I've never done it, but can you wrap over a cortex finish, will the heads still fit? The drum isn't horrible but I would like it to be more cosmetically appealling, if not I'll just leave as is and play it (and love it) anyway.
I doubt it. Cortex is actually vertical grade Formica, and it's pretty thick.
 

indedrum

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XVIII Airborne said:
Thanks for the responses so far. This might sound crazy, I've never done it, but can you wrap over a cortex finish, will the heads still fit? The drum isn't horrible but I would like it to be more cosmetically appealling, if not I'll just leave as is and play it (and love it) anyway.
That depends- usually the cortex is molded into the shell, just like an extra ply. In that case the outside diameter is the same as an unfinished shell. Not always the case throughout Ludwig's history, but it is likely. You should be able to tell by looking at the seam- if there is no overlap, it may work. Your best option is to measure and see if there is clearance between the head collar and shell. Typical Delmar wrap is around .030-.040", (glass glitter is thicker).
 

CaptainCrunch

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FWIW, I've got about a dozen Cortex shells in my basement, and they're all the non-molded-in construction. They're clear or Granitone 70's stuff, though, so it's the same as the regular wraps of the time. Only difference being that they didn't need to use more than one piece of wrap for the big drums.

I don't know anything about white-interior Cortex and how they did it at that time.
 

K.O.

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Heat gun, wear gloves!, and use a plastic scraper. Slow and steady gets the job done.
+1. I've done it. Not a lot of fun as it comes off in small sharp pieces but I got it off. The 3ply shell remained intact and ready to rewrap.
 

green glass drum

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Yes..........gloves.
I got some painful cuts stripping a thick yellow wrap off of a Blaemire 18 FT.
The putty knife moves forward when the piece finally lifts, and your fingers go right into the next jagged piece to remove.
Oh and one more thing.......(Columbo)....thick gloves.
 

tnsquint

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Plus, the pieces in question will probably be pretty darn hot as well. Gloves are a great idea.
 

K.O.

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On the plus side you can get cortex really hot to seriously soften the glue without worrying about it bursting into flame the way pearl and sparkle wraps will. I never use anything more powerful than a hair dryer on those regular wraps but you can safely use a heat gun on cortex. Another reason that gloves are a must though...sharp shards at high temperatures.
 

FloydZKing

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The key cautions have been noted - hot shards sums it up well.

BUT, it's not difficult. Just more dangerous. Be careful, yes, but as is often the case, my message is, "you've got this."
 

CharlieTooth

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I just finished a 24" bass drum cortex removal. Everyone here is correct. I did a little bit every other night after work . I started with a hair dryer, then went to a heat gun . I did go outside when using the heat gun , one for fumes . And second for safety . Be aware that you will be left with the contact cement still on the shell after cortex is off. I used a hair dryer and rubbed it off by hand which took extremely long . From what I have been told The only other way to get the cement off is with a solvent . I opted to be very patient . Took me weeks to strip
 

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