The beginning of an exciting project.

D. B. Cooper

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Hey everybody. This is going to be a WIP thread for my first kit build... Well assembly.

I love one-off, weird and quirky things and this set will definitely be one of those things. I also have a real love for restoration and repurposing and this project checks all those boxes for me.

I wanted to assemble a set of shells that is at least 100 years old. One of the cool things about shells that old is that a lot of them are single ply, which is cool to me. It seemed like a great way to get pre-aged single ply shells for a pretty cheap price. Plus with the way hardware was back then, a lot of the shells have few, if any mounting holes drilled, which makes them sort of a blank canvas.

I'll start by laying out for your guys what I've got:

First, I purchased a 12x24" single tension drum with a poor, after-market (which kind of takes on a new meaning, with this vintage) paint job.
IMG_20190601_123713323.jpg


I stripped the paint on the shell and have it down to bare wood, which looks ok.


Second, I bought a 12x17 George B Stone marching snare that was made some time in the 1910's.
It's finish is actually in nice shape considering its age and intended use. It's drilled for 12 single tension rod guides so it has 12 holes that are evenly spaced around the center. It has 0 extra holes for strainer and butt, which are long gone, so that's cool.
IMG_20191130_150742069.jpg


Third is the snare shell. Which is actually not anywhere near 100 years old, but is super cool. You've probably seen my posts about it elsewhere on the forum, but if you haven't, it's a NOS Slingerland brass 8x14 shell. It was drilled for 12 lugs with a 4" hole spacing but never assembled. It was not drilled for snare hardware so that is an added bonus as it will allow me to choose any new strainer and butt without having to worry about hole spacing.


Ok, so that's what I have. Here's what I want to do.

For continuity sake, I want to drill the bass drum for 12 single post, double ended lugs. I'll use the same ones on the 17". That way all 3 drums will have 12 of the same lug.
This kind of limits me in which lugs I can use because of the 4" hole spacing on my snare shell. Believe it or not, my only option there is to go custom. Which also means that all 36 lugs will be custom. That kind of sucks actually because that is going to be super expensive.
I've talked to the folks at at Champagne drum and they gave me a quote and said they're up for the task, I just need to save up some cash.
I would eventually like to have the 24" and the 17" finished in a glossy clear coat. I think it could be a cool look, if done in a certain way to have the clear coat put over top of the battle scars in the wood shells. Kind of preserve its history in a way. But I'm also open to a complete sand down and clean up. Not really sure.
I'm going to have new sharper edges put on the wood shells and have some WMP inlayed onto a new set of maple bass drum hoops.
I have no idea about what spurs to use and I have a nice set of Ludwig floor tom brackets and legs that I can use.

One of the reasons I'm doing this WIP thread is I want to know what you guys all think. I don't want miss-matched hardware and I don't want it to look just hobbled together. I want to stick to a specific aesthetic.
I really want metal hoops for my 17" and I think Angel Hoops said they could do a 12 lug set for me, but it going to be upwards of $270, which is steep. I guess another option is wood hoops that match the bass hoops with the WMP inlay, but I'm not really sure about that.

Im not really a big fan of mixing metal finishes like brass and chrome so I want to stay away from that. But the problem is Champagne lugs only come in polished stainless, which would bug me.
I think generic tube lugs would probably look kind of cheesey but I'm open to considering them if anybody has any advise on the lugs for this project.

So basically, I need to find custom matching lugs with 12 of the 36 double-posted and 4" hole spacing. The rest single post. They need to be chrome.

I may look for a rack tom at some point, maybe a junior drum or a 13" marching snare to convert, but that won't be until after this phase is complete.

Any input and opinions that you guys want to offer along the way will be much appreciated and welcomed.

Thanks and wish me luck! I hope this project takes months, not years, haha.
 

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Old Dog

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I guess it simply comes down to whether or not you want to spend what you're going to have to spend to complete it the way YOU want it. Some super cool shells, and ideas. I purchased a Champagne shell a while back. VERY well made. Greg is cool. I don't think you will be disappointed with whatever you acquire from them.

Matching the hardware. . .wow. It's going to be hard. Maybe some one-off customs, made by a metal smith of sorts?? I'll be watching! Good luck.
 

D. B. Cooper

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I'm wondering if I can use regular old laquer thinner to remove the laquer on my brass snare shell? I know somebody mentioned it before, just double-checking.
I'm thinking I'm going to take the laquer off and let it start building up a patina for a raw look.
 

Fat Drummer

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Cool project and I'm excited to follow along. Thanks for sharing the process with us, it will be fun to watch take shape.
 

Fat Drummer

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I'm wondering if I can use regular old laquer thinner to remove the laquer on my brass snare shell? I know somebody mentioned it before, just double-checking.
I'm thinking I'm going to take the laquer off and let it start building up a patina for a raw look.

Love the idea and will also be looking for the update on this project as well. Speaking for myself, once lacquer is really well cured I have always struggled with removing it using just lacquer thinner. You may need to use a stronger solvent but that is fine since your going to wash the shell afterwards anyway. Just a reminder to protect the badge!
 

D. B. Cooper

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Love the idea and will also be looking for the update on this project as well. Speaking for myself, once lacquer is really well cured I have always struggled with removing it using just lacquer thinner. You may need to use a stronger solvent but that is fine since your going to wash the shell afterwards anyway. Just a reminder to protect the badge!
I was wondering about that as well. With it being so cured and all. Lucky for me, there is no badge!
 

Fat Drummer

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In that case, I would use a nice commercial stripper and let it work for you. Good luck and show us what it looks like before so we can see it later with a nice patina!
 

D. B. Cooper

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I would really love to have some Slingerland 12 lug hoops for this snare shell. I'm thinking I'm going to have to buy a complete drum and just steal the hoops. I don't really feel good about that, though.
 

D. B. Cooper

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In that case, I would use a nice commercial stripper and let it work for you. Good luck and show us what it looks like before so we can see it later with a nice patina!
Anybody have any recommendations for a heavy duty stripping liquid? Something I'll be able to find easily?
 

JazzDrumGuy

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Try Citrustrip. At Home Depot - like $12/half gallon. Remove all hardware. Tape all holes from the inside. Put a generous glob over the entire drum - give it 24 hours. Come back and it will be a big mess but use a plastic spatula and you will have some darn clean wood........

I had a used Rogers Luxor that was beat to hell. It was yellow, black, red and blue, all on top of each other. By the time I was done, it was virgin maple!
 

D. B. Cooper

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Try Citrustrip. At Home Depot - like $12/half gallon. Remove all hardware. Tape all holes from the inside. Put a generous glob over the entire drum - give it 24 hours. Come back and it will be a big mess but use a plastic spatula and you will have some darn clean wood........

I had a used Rogers Luxor that was beat to hell. It was yellow, black, red and blue, all on top of each other. By the time I was done, it was virgin maple!
Oh yeah! Haha. I love that stuff. I've used it many times. My brain must not have gone there because of it being a metal shell.
I wonder what it would do the the underlying brass?
 

Tommy D

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I'n confused about stripping the lacquer off your snare shell. You said the snare is a NOS Slingerland brass shell. Is there some sort of lacquer clear coat on the brass to help it looking new?

If so, yeah regular lacquer thinner will work just fine to remove that, but you will have to submerge the shell for a good half hour or more. I have removed lacquer off brass hardware before and it comes off pretty easily. Sometimes it takes a second or third dip to get all the tight crevasses cleaned out, but it does work.
 

D. B. Cooper

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I'n confused about stripping the lacquer off your snare shell. You said the snare is a NOS Slingerland brass shell. Is there some sort of lacquer clear coat on the brass to help it looking new?

If so, yeah regular lacquer thinner will work just fine to remove that, but you will have to submerge the shell for a good half hour or more. I have removed lacquer off brass hardware before and it comes off pretty easily. Sometimes it takes a second or third dip to get all the tight crevasses cleaned out, but it does work.
Yeah, exactly. Has some kind of clear coat to prevent patina.
Hmmm. The submerge thing has me worried. It's a 8x14 shell. That's a lot of laquer thinner!
 

Tommy D

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Yeah, exactly. Has some kind of clear coat to prevent patina.
Hmmm. The submerge thing has me worried. It's a 8x14 shell. That's a lot of laquer thinner!
Yep. I've been thinking about doing something like this as well, but I can only come up with building some sort of donut shaped tub to drop a shell in to. This way you only need about a gallon to a gallon and a half of lacquer thinner instead of something like 5 gallons.

Another possibility is rapid temperature change to crack the lacquer off the shell. The problem I see with this method is if the shell is welded I would expect the shell to crack at the weld. So that doesn't work well. I mean, you may be able to fit the shell in the freezer, then pour boiling water over the shell and stay away from the welded area. This could cause warping of the shell through. The freeze/boil process probably works better with hardware.
 
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JazzDrumGuy

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I've used Citrustrip to clean metal parts - left overnite - no damage at all.
BUT, use at your own risk, and do before & after pics!

Tommy, what about using a 5 Qt. oil change plastic pan ($1 at the $1 store). You can then put the shell in vertically and just rotate it hourly. Probably just need a little bit.
 

Tommy D

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I've used Citrustrip to clean metal parts - left overnite - no damage at all.
BUT, use at your own risk, and do before & after pics!

Tommy, what about using a 5 Qt. oil change plastic pan ($1 at the $1 store). You can then put the shell in vertically and just rotate it hourly. Probably just need a little bit.
That could work. You could hang the shell off a broom stick suspended by 2 chairs and rotate the shell every 20-30 minutes. I have not seen any negative effects to the bare brass from lacquer thinner, ie. staining or patina, but you will want to wipe off the bubbled up lacquer with a wet paper towel to remove it. It may not all come off on the first pass, so this would be a whole day process with all the rotating. I really want to age a brass shell, but if I cant get the whole shell in the aging solution at one time, I'm not going to risk going through the process.
 

dboomer

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You want to use a stripper that does NOT contain methylene chloride (which is a PAINT stripper). Also you want to avoid anything that says to use water for washing or thinning.

Lacquer strippers work very fast and do not require sitting in it for more than about 5 minutes. They are basically lacquer thinner with a few extra added ingredients. You then rinse them off with lacquer thinner.
 

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