Waxing the bearing edge?

Vipercussionist

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Just so happens I have a 9x13 WFL tom that had some issues of sounding very dead. Apparently it had some inner water damage separating not only the re-rings, but a bit of the inner plies had separated also.

A friend of mine introduced me to guy who builds wooden boats (yachts and the like, some SERIOUS woodworking) he removed the re-rings (which were JUST hanging on by very little remaining glue) and re-glued the plies that were separating. He then re-glued the re-rings back into place and smoothed and leveled the bearing edges and did what he called "hardening" the wood, and the final step was that he waxed the edges saying it will preserve the hardness of the wood as all wood exposed to air will absorb moisture to a degree and even a small amount of humidity can be absorbed into wood and eventually soften it.

It makes pretty good sense to me that for resonance sake you'd want the wood to be as hard as is natural for that type of wood and keeping out the moisture will assure that it stays that way. I'm guessing that's why MAPLE re-rings, as the wood is harder and makes and keeps a better bearing edge.

Seems like a small step and minor inconvenience to ensure that the bearing edge doesn't get mushy from aging and absorbing humidity. Especially seeing as we do gigs in all kinds of weather and there is humidity that is changing from day to day. I've never done it before, but I will be doing it now.
 

gryphon

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Vipercussionist said:
He then re-glued the re-rings back into place and smoothed and leveled the bearing edges and did what he called "hardening" the wood,
Not to hijack the thread, but that hardening is a very good idea and isn't that hard to do. The easiest way is to put a few drops of thin Super glue on the edge. It will soak in and harden. Work all the way around and when done smooth the edge with 600 grit paper. You could also use penetrating boatbuilder's epoxy by putting some on the edge and rubbing it into the wood with a rag. This is probably what your friend did.

jim
 

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gryphon said:
Vipercussionist said:
He then re-glued the re-rings back into place and smoothed and leveled the bearing edges and did what he called "hardening" the wood,
Not to hijack the thread, but that hardening is a very good idea and isn't that hard to do. The easiest way is to put a few drops of thin Super glue on the edge. It will soak in and harden. Work all the way around and when done smooth the edge with 600 grit paper. You could also use penetrating boatbuilder's epoxy by putting some on the edge and rubbing it into the wood with a rag. This is probably what your friend did.

jim
I'm not actually sure WHAT he did, but he really knows wood, and being as he builds things that are exposed to water, I can be assured he knows how to protect wood from the damages of it.

The bearing edges he redid were SOOO smooth and silky, there was NO woodgrain feel to it, it felt like smooth silky glass and the head just floated on the bearing edge really smoothly.
 

katfish

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I'm gonna have to try this next time I change the heads.
 

Bugford

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I had no idea so many drummers did that. I don't do it, but maybe it helps. I don't see how it could hurt.
 

Den

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I use white paraffin wax on all the edges for all the reasons stated above. I did an A-B of similar drums before I started doing this. I have two 13" toms (which were made in to floor toms) that had similarly rough edges. I flattened and slightly rounded the edges on one drum and used a light film of Paraffin on it. I used the same Ambassador head on each and tuned as close alike as I could.

The benefit was amazing. The drum without the modification was harder to tune and sounded dull and flat. The drum with the smoothed and waxed edges was very easy to tune. I could hear the notes clearer, and the end result was a nice even tone all over. The drum also sounded a bit brighter as well. Waxing helps to smooth out tuning and seating of a head. It's true. That's why I now pay a lot more attention to my bearing edges...have been for 8 years now.

The little effort it takes from day one will save you a ton of time trying to fine tune a less than perfect drum.
 

Patrick

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Bees wax candle stubs and a gentle buffing when changing heads. I like Benny's idea and plan to try it.

cheers,

Patrick
 

jrfrond

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Not necessary. I just seal the edges by wiping on a thin coat of shellac after a FINE sanding (not extra or super-fine) and that's it. The reality is, and this was shown to me by my friend Joe Montineri, that a slick edge is NOT needed, and can cause problems with holding tension. Mylar film is pretty slippery as it is, so a little "tooth" on the edge helps to hold tuning by gripping the film a bit.
 

1up2dn

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works for me...

i use a wadded up piece of wax paper or straight carnuba wax on a rag...
 

dead_head

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You mean I'm supposed to change the heads ? Next thing you will be telling me is I'm supposed to clean cymbals.... :lol: :lol: :lol:








Yes, I do seal the edges with plain old parrafin wax. Not a lot, just enough to feel waxy, not really for the head seating either.

My bearing edges are raw wood and it's only to keep any moisture from getting in there.
 

Vipercussionist

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dead_head said:
You mean I'm supposed to change the heads ? Next thing you will be telling me is I'm supposed to clean cymbals.... :lol: :lol: :lol:








Yes, I do seal the edges with plain old parrafin wax. Not a lot, just enough to feel waxy, not really for the head seating either.

My bearing edges are raw wood and it's only to keep any moisture from getting in there.
Isn't it odd, there are lots of drummers who prefer clean drums and dirty (patina) cymbals! HA HA!! I'm one who LIKES dirty cymbals though I don't keep my drums as clean as I would like.
 

Vipercussionist

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jrfrond said:
Not necessary. I just seal the edges by wiping on a thin coat of shellac after a FINE sanding (not extra or super-fine) and that's it. The reality is, and this was shown to me by my friend Joe Montineri, that a slick edge is NOT needed, and can cause problems with holding tension. Mylar film is pretty slippery as it is, so a little "tooth" on the edge helps to hold tuning by gripping the film a bit.
I guess the idea is to seal the wood so it doesn't absorb humidity, shellac would certainly do just that. I certainly respect anything Joe has to say as I'm a big fan of his products. Also as you also build killer drums I know you know what you're talking about also.

There's more than one way to seal the wood and as long as it's done it's a good thing.
 

tommykat1

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Parrafin, like what's used for home jarring of jams and jellies. Comes in a box of 4 or 5 at the grocery store. One bar will last more than a lifetime. I took the extras to my favorite drum shop to hand out to patrons. Sliced them into quarters.

Not recommended to use candle wax, I'm told, though I don't know why. Some added ingredient.
 

Patrick

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Not recommended to use candle wax, I'm told, though I don't know why. Some added ingredient.[/quote]

TK, Any insights into what kind of candle wax? There are at least parafin and bees wax candles.

Patrick
 

Dave H.

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I like my whole drumset CLEAN! It's a "clean machine" :D Very clean 8)

I have used bees wax with good results & also just cheap car wax I got at Big Lots for a buck or two. :idea1:

Dave Huffman :occasion5:
 

J.R.

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I have always used parfin wax with all my vintage drum kits and when I change the drum heads.It has definatiley not hurt the drums or the tuning in my case ,so I will continue to wax.
Wax On Wax Off :notworthy:
 

SteveB

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jrfrond said:
Not necessary. I just seal the edges by wiping on a thin coat of shellac after a FINE sanding (not extra or super-fine) and that's it. The reality is, and this was shown to me by my friend Joe Montineri, that a slick edge is NOT needed, and can cause problems with holding tension. Mylar film is pretty slippery as it is, so a little "tooth" on the edge helps to hold tuning by gripping the film a bit.
I'd have to agree; I've certainly done the wax thing (for years actually) and I never found any real benefit. It's all in how smooth the edge is to start with. Also wax can be gummy as hell and have the opposite effect. Plastic on wood, metal or fiberglass works for me. Some people oil every moving part on the set and some don't...a little dab 'll do ya.
 

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