Used bass drum: evidence of moisture exposure in kick. How to correct?

Dano

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Hey guys!

Any guidance how to proceed here?

I recently acquired a used bass drum and when I pulled the heads, there was evidence of moisture exposure in the bottom of the drum/under the foam dampening that was in there.

The grain still seems ok, no de-lamination/distortion, but there’s rust from the hardware and some sort of “evidence” that moisture had been present.

My initial response was that something is growing and I ought to neutralize it, but then I’d rather not introduce any moisture or chemicals to the shell.

So.... leave it alone? Spray it? Sand it? Make it a Gretsch tribute and get the fence paint out :) ?

Thanks for the insight!
 

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thin shell

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Does it have any musty smell? I would lightly wipe it down with a bleach water mixture. One part bleach to ten parts water. You want the rag just damp enough to slightly wet the surface of the wood. Wipe. Let it dry completely and wipe again if necessary. After it has completely dried I would lightly sand the surface outside of your house and wipe clean with a barely damp cloth to get all of the sanding dust out of the shell.
 

Piggpenn

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I would remove the hardware. Let the shell sit on a flat surface for a few days to air out. If you have a dehumidifier in a closed room that too would assist in removing any existing moisture. If you are satisfied with the dryness of the shell after a period of time test it to see if the wood has deteriorated and gotten soft. If everything seems solid you may be ok.

Just looking at the photos, there doesn't seem to be any real damage. The bearing edge will be the best indicator of condition of the shell overall.

This is my opinion and what I would do. Others may have better scientific ways of remedy.

YMMV.
 

JazzDrumGuy

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I got a free Slingy kit 13/14/18/24 - it was a fluke off CList - well when I got there, it was in the dark corner of a garage and was nasty. I almost didn't take it but he had trash bag and I bagged them up. The 14" was the worst. Similar to that, but the inside had some poly coat or something so it wasn't "in the wood" too badly. I did a very lightly damp scouring sponge with soapy water, foam side first then I did the green scouring side, same thing. Then I could see what I had and did the 50/50 bleach mixture to kill that crap! Although it didn't remove the stains completely (they were still faintly there), it was now barely noticeable. I did lightly sand with fine grit (220?) and did a thin few coats of poly by hand and a rag (not much). No problems. Thankfully no edges were damaged.

I'd clean yours, air it out to remove the smell if any, then sand, and then I'd do poly anyway because I don't like raw wood interiors, plus it will protect the drums and seal them. I would not be worried about it - I've seen (and not bought) much worse!
 

Drumbumcrumb

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That doesn’t look like it was in a flooded basement or anything like that.... If I had to guess, I’d bet that the foam was in there for 20 years and absorbed enough moisture to cause a little rust, a little patch of affected wood. If you’re not seeing delamination or feeling mushy wood, this would be my assumption.

Yeah, if you’re up for it take off the adjacent hardware and both heads. Park it by a dehumidifier or a fan just to be 100% sure it’s dry. But if it was just the contact of the moisture-holding foam, you’ve probably already solved it. Just make sure it’s completely dry before you put heads on it (you don’t want a rain forest terrarium vibe in there). I wouldn’t do any painting or treatment in there, but if you do, give it a good amount of time to sit open and dry out. A layer of fresh paint could trap moisture in the plies and wreak havoc.
 

Drumbumcrumb

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I'd clean yours, air it out to remove the smell if any, then sand, and then I'd do poly anyway because I don't like raw wood interiors, plus it will protect the drums and seal them. I would not be worried about it - I've seen (and not bought) much worse!
Great advice. It looks like a good candidate for a light sanding and a coat of poly or similar. You’ll have a like-new interior and it’s protected. (Just make sure it’s completely dry first. I don’t expect it’s at all wet now, but play it safe.)
 

backtodrum

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Great advice. It looks like a good candidate for a light sanding and a coat of poly or similar. You’ll have a like-new interior and it’s protected. (Just make sure it’s completely dry first. I don’t expect it’s at all wet now, but play it safe.)
All good advice but you can take some of the discoloration out with a little spray Clorox house hold spray as well, let it dry overnight and lightly sand and you will probably remove all signs off water stain. I've had good results with it, and Poly as has been suggested.
 

mesazoo

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Was the foam black, could have been die leaching from it.
 

RIDDIM

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Hey guys!

Any guidance how to proceed here?

I recently acquired a used bass drum and when I pulled the heads, there was evidence of moisture exposure in the bottom of the drum/under the foam dampening that was in there.

The grain still seems ok, no de-lamination/distortion, but there’s rust from the hardware and some sort of “evidence” that moisture had been present.

My initial response was that something is growing and I ought to neutralize it, but then I’d rather not introduce any moisture or chemicals to the shell.

So.... leave it alone? Spray it? Sand it? Make it a Gretsch tribute and get the fence paint out :) ?

Thanks for the insight!
- After you're done treating the shell, you may want to think about replacing the original nuts, bolts and washers with stainless steel ones. They'll never rust nor stain the shell, should moisture accumulation ever happen again.
 

drumtimejohn

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This story is a repeat for some:
I did a lot of research leading to a water damaged bass drum w/ mold restoration and here is my experience. I learned that the acid in vinegar permeates wood whereas bleach primarily stays on the surface. Vinegar also eats away rust but be careful. W/ PPE on, I treated with vinegar, let dry in the desert sun, sanded in a trapper course plan, and repeated. The shell interior was then lacquered a few times. As your job is less intense, I encourage expanded research to help formulate your own plan you feel comfortable with.
 

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JazzDrumGuy

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Forgot about the hardware - hot water bath with some Dawn and let them soak. Then get a metal wire toothbrush (even the dollar store sells them in a 3 pack!), and brush off all the rust, then I let them soak in WD40. May not be perfect, btu usually much better than before. As for moisture, once you get that black stuff off whatever it is, a heat gun (preferred) or even just a hair dryer works to remove moisture, too.
 

Deafmoon

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Forgot about the hardware - hot water bath with some Dawn and let them soak. Then get a metal wire toothbrush (even the dollar store sells them in a 3 pack!), and brush off all the rust, then I let them soak in WD40. May not be perfect, btu usually much better than before. As for moisture, once you get that black stuff off whatever it is, a heat gun (preferred) or even just a hair dryer works to remove moisture, too.
Yeah I’ve also used STP Gas Treatment to loosen rust off of tension rods and nuts. Then the finest steel wool I think it’s .0000 can be used to take off the loosened rust.
 

thin shell

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I used vinegar to get the rust off the bass drum lug washers on my Premier kit. Soaked for about 30 minutes followed by a small metal brush. Worked like a dream. Don't put anything die cast in vinegar. It will attack the zinc.
 

Dano

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Thanks for all the help guys!

I talked to a hockey buddy hat does water/mold treatment for a living.

He cautioned to test any chemicals to make sure they don’t change the wood color too severely, but definitely advised to “neutralize” anything that could be growing before and throwing it airborne.

I have a Tama shell to test it on first; I’ll keep you guys posted!
 


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