Restoring “Ludwig” Kit Bought for $50

KevNoon

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Hey guys. I’m new to the forum. I bought an incomplete “Ludwig” drum kit off Facebook last week in the hopes of restoring it and having it be playable. I intend to use the kit to record some tracks eventually.

I’ve attached photos of the kit in its original condition with cracked black wraps, beat up heads, and hardware that needs some love.

In stripping the hardware and the wraps off the shells, I noticed there is some splitting and damage to the outside of the shells.

I am hoping to restore these drums and either stain and seal them, or if they’re unsalvageable, buy new wraps.

Looking for help:
Identifying if these are real Ludwigs
What material the shells are made of
How I should approach the project/how to repair the plywood (pictures attached)

I have never done a project like this before

The last few photos are my inspiration. I like the natural wood look with a clear coat on it.
 

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carter

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It's a budget kit. Can't say if it's Ludwig from these photos, but if it is, it's a cheap asian made student kit. Perfect for a restoration experiment. You will have a lot of fun.
The exterior ply is low quality wood and is never going to look nice. If it were me, I'd use wood filler on the exteriors and paint them a cool color. Or if you want to learn how to wrap drums, go that route.
 

deegeebee

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A very cheap and easy option that will get a budget kit looking great quick is to cover them in animal print cloth from a fabric store. Horrible idea if you are thinking about sound quality of a decent kit, but for sprucing up a budget kit without blowing too much time or money on it, it can't be beat. As a teenager I did this to 3 kits and they always sold quick and easy. Good option if you ever decide to move up to a higher end kit.
 

ARGuy

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Since you like the natural maple look, another possibility would be to apply a nice veneer. Something like this:


I haven't tried this, but it's not a huge investment.
 

KevNoon

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Thanks for all the input so far!

It seems clear to me that this is not a Ludwig kit... bummer. But for $50 I can’t complain. I think at this point I’d like to restore the kit and flip it (sell it).
What do you guys think would be the best way to restore this cheaply while maximizing what I can make in selling it? I have $50 in so far, and it needs new heads.

Any cheap heads you’d recommend? Ways of cleaning the chrome hardware? Should I use the wood filler/putty, stain it? Paint it?

drum wraps and the veneer idea are far too expensive ($100+). hoping to complete this project as cheaply as possible, but maximize resale value.

thanks!
 

ThomFloor

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What size is the Pork Pie snare? That alone was worth the $50. Great build.
The rest is another matter. If concerned of profit, flipping and minimal labor, I'd follow the suggestion to paint it black and hope to sell for .....$50...and your effort and profit is simply the Pork Pie. If you put new heads on it, that will be the biggest expense of all and you are losing money.
( There were times where I bought somebody's junk beater kit simply because they had nice newish heads on them for a cheap price.... I took all the heads off and gave away the shells for free.)
 

JazzDrumGuy

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For a $50 kit, I'd go to Home depot and buy some Con-tact paper. They have many colors including natural, cherry, oak and walnut. They also have synthetic leather which is a spot on copy of Ludwig black panther. I "rewrapped" my DW 12/14/18 kit in that and it looks awesome! I basically put it right over the finish and it will even peel off later if I want to do so.....

CAM07890.jpg
 
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ARGuy

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When it comes to kits like the one you have and fixing them up, it really only makes sense if it's something you want to use yourself or donate, in my experience. Any parts, materials and labor you need to put into it to make it saleable are going to eat up any profit you might make. If you want to fix it up for fun and for the experience and get a few bucks back (maybe), it makes sense. If it were mine I'd spend a little time doing some light cleaning and put it up for sale again as-is.
 

deegeebee

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For a $50 kit, I'd go to Home depot and buy some Con-tact paper. They have many colors including natural, cherry, oak and walnut. They also have synthetic leather which is a spot on copy of Ludwig black panther. I "rewrapped" my DW 12/14/18 kit in that and it looks awesome! I basically put it right over the finish and it will even peel off later if I want to do so.....

View attachment 444385
That looks great! Way better idea than my leopard print fabric idea. I would say if you are going to play them then do this and pick up some decent lightly used heads on cragslist.

How much did it cost to do a 3-piece? How did you deal woth the seams?
 

shuffle

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The Pork Pie is your real score.
Personally, id take the lugs and hardware off the drums,ditch the shells,save enough bucks to reshell with some Kellers or decent shells.
Just my take on it.
 

JazzDrumGuy

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That looks great! Way better idea than my leopard print fabric idea. I would say if you are going to play them then do this and pick up some decent lightly used heads on cragslist.

How much did it cost to do a 3-piece? How did you deal woth the seams?
Thanks! The roll was like $11. It covered an 8x12, 12x14, 14x18 and a 5x14 DW Craviotto snare w/gold hardware (someone sadly had badly neglected it and I didn't want to refinish the orignal natural maple so I just wrapped it to match the kit). I also recovered a 3x13 piccolo later, too. I think I still have a little left!

As for seams, I just overlapped about 2" and the seams goes under the lugs. (I think on the snare, under the butt). It's not cut perfect perpindicular, but it's pretty close. You can cut excess off the edges with a utility knife on its side and spinning the shell (see vid. below at 4:42). It looks 98% perfect and more importantly, with heads on, you'd never know (unlike some of the wood patterns which look like fake grain up close). The only downside is any gouge will tear it. I gigged that kit maybe 5-8X and had no damage, though......

 

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