Sanding and re-lauquering

ReGaL Music

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If I can piggy back onto this thread...

I have a 5 piece late 60s set of Slingerlands with a 14" floor. The shells are what I believe to be a Walnut stain lacquer...although I've read that Slingerland did not use Walnut in the 60s...but I'm almost certain that's what I have.

I've always wanted a second 16" floor with this set. I am just finishing work on a set of early 50s Radio Kings. I am restoring an incomplete 6 piece set into a complete 4 piece set. I have a 9x13 and a 16x16 shell left over.

I am thinking of trying to use the 16" to go with the the Walnut set. Here are my questions:
1) Will it be possible to get the 16" shell to match the other 5 drums?
2) Would a "professional" wood worker stand a much better chance of achieving that match or is it some I could DIY?
3) I believe the shells from the 60s set and the 50s 16" are mahogany, but I don't know if it's the same type of mahogany. Would that make a difference in the staining/lacquering?
4) Here's a picture of the 16" after sanding one section. Notice the one spot on the shell where the wood is a lighter color. Would that show through the stain? Did Slingerland put a stain or lacquer on their shells before applying glue/wrap? It appears to me that they did on this shell.

Thanks for any suggestions. There's certainly a lot of info on this thread, but I'd like some thoughts on what direction I should go based on the info I've provided.
 

gryphon

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I'm no Slingerland expert by any measure, but I have heard that they had some shells for wrap and others for duco and clear finish. I stripped the wrap off a Slingerland tom and found that the veneer was damaged and repaired with chunks of veneer badly glued into the damaged area. Obviously this shell could never be finished in a clear mahogany. Hence, it was wrapped.

As far as your 16", that light area looks like a repair. Does it have grain or is it some sort of filler? If it's filler you'll never get it to match with a stain.

There are two products that are made to color wood, stain and glaze. Stain is made of pigments in solvent that soaks the pigments into the wood. The solvent evaporates leaving the pigments behind in the cells of the wood. The color has been put INTO the wood.

Glaze is made by putting the pigments into a carrier that sits on top of the wood. This is how most furniture is made these days. The color is ON TOP of the wood. Basically it's a colored clear coat that you can see some of the woodgrain through. Manufacturers like it because they can use almost any crap wood in a piece of furniture, and the color will match their catalog specs.

If you want to match a color, you might want to use a glaze, especially if there are repairs in the shell. I would take the 16 and one of the drums you want to match to a paint store that sells to professionals and decorators. They should be able to set you up with the right stuff for the job. Another choice would be a furniture repair shop. These guys are very good at matching and blending wood finishes. See if they will only color the wood so you can apply the final finish. That should save you some money.

Personally, I would sand down the shell and put a couple coats of amber shellac followed by three or four coats of spar varnish. It probably won't match the other drums, but the wood will show it's natural beauty to it's best effect, and you won't be changing the basic color of the drum.

The color shouldn't make that much of a difference anyway, that 16 will be way in the back of the set.

jim
 

gryphon

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One other alternative is some stuff called Watco Oil Finish. It is available in woodworking shops in pigmented colors that you brush onto the wood. It's not a glaze, because the first coat does soak into the wood, but it can be easy to control the darkness of the finish color by how many coats you apply. Once you get the color like you want it, you can put a couple coats of spar varnish over it.

jim
 

ReGaL Music

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Thanks for your suggestions Jim. I need another project so I think I'll start by taking your advice on taking it to a wood shop just to see what they think can be done in terms of matching the other drums. I think you are probably correct about this being a shell that wasdesignated for a wrap. When I bought the drums 35 years ago they had already been recovered with a solid black wrap. After removing that wrap and starting to sand the shell I found traces of a blue sparkle at the shells seam.

Other than the spot you see on the picture there is a very nice wood grain that I would hope could be seen through whatever I put on it. You may be right about the spot being a repair because it sure doesn't match the rest of the wood. I will say whoever did it sure did a nice job because it sure feels like it's part of the shell.

I guess which direction I go with it will also depend on what I find when I sand and clean the other 7 sections. I do know that I'm going to probably need to plug the wholes where the leg mounts went. I want to put on leg mounts the match the set it will go with and these holes were drilled to close to the lugs...which Slingerland seemed to do on some of the RK sets for some reason. I don't know why they centered the leg mounts between lugs on some floor toms and didn't on others?

Thanks again.
 

pedro navahas

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I think you may have a mahogany shell there, not maple. I have heard that Slingerland used mahogany for wraps and maple for woodgrains. Two very different materials in looks and grains.
 

ReGaL Music

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Yes, I'm pretty sure it's mahogany. The saw dust from the sanding is more red than maple would be. I think almost all of Slingerland's shells in the 50s had an outer layer of mahogany.
 

pedro navahas

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ReGaL Music said:
Yes, I'm pretty sure it's mahogany. The saw dust from the sanding is more red than maple would be. I think almost all of Slingerland's shells in the 50s had an outer layer of mahogany.


Does it have a mahogany interior? I am looking for one. I might have a maple 16x16, I'll have to pull the wrap back a little and check. Would you be interested in a trade?
 

Eric_Aerolis

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It's not too difficult to do yourself....Disclaimer: I'm only a hobbyist at this!

Start by hand sanding with 100 grit, once you've gone completely around the shell then progressively switch to finer grit sandpaper with each hand-sanding session. Wiping off the dust after each pass with mineral spirits or thinner on a clean lint-free rag.

Once you've sanded the shell smooth like a babies behind, wipe the shell clean with thinner and slightly dilute some Minwax polyurethane with mineral spirits and begin brushing on a thin, even coat.
Always use a good clean brush with each coat.
Avoid putting too much poly on at once or you'll have drips.
Work in a well lit area so you can spot any grain areas you've missed.

After your first initial coat, let dry for 12 hours, sand lightly, then do another thin coat.

Repeat these steps until you're satisfied with the depth and coverage of the polycoats.
Sand lightly after each coat has dried. Then apply another coat.
I usually do about 5 initial coats and then a sixth final coat without sanding first.
But you can apply as many coats as you like (if you want a bartop gloss)

Some like to spray on the topcoats, I prefer using a brush.
Gloss or satin finish polyurethane, whichever you prefer.
Then some prefer to use tung oil and buff.
There are plenty of wood refinishing choices for mahogany.
[attachment=1]Slingy Concert.jpg[/attachment] View attachment 15833

Any DIY furniture refinishing website will give you plenty of tips, I'm simply relating how I've done my drums.
BTW - Who did your bearing edge work?
This is super helpful. I do have a dumb question though, Grit recommendations for the light sanding after each coat of poly? Would i escalate grit fine-...ness? each time i sand or just use one grit? Do i use a finer and finer grit for each coat? For some reason i cant attach an image of the project
 

EvEnStEvEn

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This is super helpful. I do have a dumb question though, Grit recommendations for the light sanding after each coat of poly? Would i escalate grit fine-...ness? each time i sand or just use one grit? Do i use a finer and finer grit for each coat? For some reason i cant attach an image of the project
Yes, use of finer grit paper for each successive coat would be the best way probably
 

JazzDrumGuy

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Done it many times. I use Citrus Strip first. Tape all holes from the inside with blue painters tape. Use a generous amount of CS. Let sit overnight. Scrape off with a plastic scraper. Clean it off and let it dry thoroughly overnight. Then sand as noted above. I use 100 or 150, then 220 then 320.

I like to use Minwax stain applied by hand as well as satin poly. Usually 3 coats of stain, then 3 coats of poly (drying in between) them light sanding with 400 or 600 if needed, then 3 more coats.
 


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