What is Gretsch Silver Sealer?

Drdrumdude3009

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I heard it was to seal the wood
It probably is for both sealing and to possibly cover imperfections. I have actually uncovered great plain and lightly figured tops stripping black Les Pauls over the years, so it may have just became standard practice to cover the inner shell no matter what it looks like :)
 
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Matched Gripper

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Nobody(well yeah there was one guy)gave a rats derrière about the interior finish of drums in the 50’s.
It wasn’t until clear heads and no reso heads came along that interior shells became fashionable. Rogers and Gretsch both using 3 ply Jasper in the 50’s. My 9/10ths of a cent
Ok. Which came first, clear heads or silver sealer? I think you’re making my case stronger.
 

Matched Gripper

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I heard it was to seal the wood
Gretsch implies (if not states outright), that the silver sealer is an integral part of the great gretsch sound. Don’t buy that either, personally. If it was just a sealer, why opaque silver fence paint? Why not a clear shellac or lacquer?

Do you think Ludwig’s white interior had anything to do with sealant or sound? I don’t.
 

Drdrumdude3009

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Gretsch implies (if not states outright), that the silver sealer is an integral part of the great gretsch sound. Don’t buy that either, personally. If it was just a sealer, why opaque silver fence paint? Why not a clear shellac or lacquer?

Do you think Ludwig’s white interior had anything to do with sealant or sound? I don’t.
Anytime you use an opaque color in manufacturing, you can get away with more. Not saying that they were trying to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes by doing this, but you can be a lot less selective with veneers. Production of musical instruments was likely ramping up at the time, necessitating the occasional use of structurally sound, but not quite attractive veneers. Use a distinct color, and you have a gimmick. And certainly- I would call it part of the “Great Gretsch Sound”, as it’s part of the drum ;)
 

K.O.

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Gretsch implies (if not states outright), that the silver sealer is an integral part of the great gretsch sound. Don’t buy that either, personally. If it was just a sealer, why opaque silver fence paint? Why not a clear shellac or lacquer?

Do you think Ludwig’s white interior had anything to do with sealant or sound? I don’t.

I'd guess that they settled on silver for some reason or other but I doubt it was due to any sonic considerations. Might have been the least costly option. Maybe they thought it looked "modern" or "futuristic". Maybe whomever had the final say just liked the look. Maybe silver lacquer dried quicker than other colors. Maybe it hid the grain better. Maybe Chico Hamilton wanted the insides of his single headed toms silver and the idea just took. It could have been any of a hundred oddball reasons and we'll probably never know for sure.

In Ludwig's case they were generally using mahogany inner plies at the time but they'd also use maple on occasion. Among other things the white paint insured that all the drums put together into a set would have a uniform look regardless of what woods had been used.
 

Drdrumdude3009

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I'd guess that they settled on silver for some reason or other but I doubt it was due to any sonic considerations. Might have been the least costly option. Maybe they thought it looked "modern" or "futuristic". Maybe whomever had the final say just liked the look. Maybe silver lacquer dried quicker than other colors. Maybe it hid the grain better. Maybe Chico Hamilton wanted the insides of his single headed toms silver and the idea just took. It could have been any of a hundred oddball reasons and we'll probably never know for sure.

In Ludwig's case they were generally using mahogany inner plies at the time but they'd also use maple on occasion. Among other things the white paint insured that all the drums put together into a set would have a uniform look regardless of what woods had been used.
Yes- uniform look makes people not think the drums sound different; after all- people will try to hear the difference between mahogany and maple inner plies if they can see a different color.
 

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Gretsch implies (if not states outright), that the silver sealer is an integral part of the great gretsch sound. Don’t buy that either, personally. If it was just a sealer, why opaque silver fence paint? Why not a clear shellac or lacquer?

Do you think Ludwig’s white interior had anything to do with sealant or sound? I don’t.
They probably figured they could get away with less sanding with the slight metallic finish and in the 50’s I’m sure it seemed space age and modern
 

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Slunk Calf heads were near Opaque

(double DFo word score useage of word "opaque"..
 

Pre ‘72

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Ok… After reading these 5 pages of this thread I’m still unsure what the general practice is of applying new silver sealer/fence paint.

Do folks typically brush it to alleviate spray over and mess? And does it find its level nicely if brushed? Or are there brush marks left?

Or do I get the spray paint and mask everything off??

Thanks!
 

Tubwompus

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Ok… After reading these 5 pages of this thread I’m still unsure what the general practice is of applying new silver sealer/fence paint.

Do folks typically brush it to alleviate spray over and mess? And does it find its level nicely if brushed? Or are there brush marks left?

Or do I get the spray paint and mask everything off??

Thanks!
I’ve always masked off the holes on the outside and used a small roller. Doesn’t hardly take much at all.
 

DBT

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Once I prepped the shells it took minutes to spray them . Uniform and dried n a Half hour .
 

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Pre ‘72

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And it’s either of these I would want… correct? Or could you post exactly what you used on those beautiful shells?


 

DBT

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….. or this . 100% the same thing .
 

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ThomasL

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Ok… After reading these 5 pages of this thread I’m still unsure what the general practice is of applying new silver sealer/fence paint.

Do folks typically brush it to alleviate spray over and mess? And does it find its level nicely if brushed? Or are there brush marks left?

Or do I get the spray paint and mask everything off??

Thanks!
At least in the 80s, Gretsch first cut the bearing edges, then they did the staining including the edge and finally they applied the silver sealer so that it partly and unevenly covered the edge (by brush/roller?). Not sure if the nitro lacquer was done before or after the sealer.
 

Pre ‘72

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I’m stripping wrap and cleaning shells, painting interiors, sanding/finishing exteriors and having edges cut.
In that order.

Any objections?
 
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DBT

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At least in the 80s, Gretsch first cut the bearing edges, then they did the staining including the edge and finally they applied the silver sealer so that it partly and unevenly covered the edge (by brush/roller?). Not sure if the nitro lacquer was done before or after the sealer.
Lacquer was and still is applied before . Once the drum has been drilled and fabricated all bets are off as to restoring a drum , the restoring application becomes totally different then the steps taken for a new build . . If the shell is prepped properly spraying is ALOT easier and way less messy . Flawless results . One coat , no drips . Done . Also , the factory doesn’t apply silver sealer by hand anymore . Buying a gallon of the fence paint is a waste unless your doing a hundred shells . Out of the 7 shells I’ve done 5 so far with 4 cans of spray .
 
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DBT

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I’m stripping wrap and cleaning shells, painting interiors, sanding/finishing exteriors and having edges cut.
In that order.

Any objections?
Exactly . Protect , protect , protect . The order you are doing it in would still be the same as if you were staining and not wrapping . Except for sanding , do that before you seal the insides . Have the bearing edges cut after you silver seal the insides , wrap is last .
 
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