What Would You Do

JDA

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yeah I think nitrocellulose you only "do" once... if you want to fix up some of the holes (with straight lacquer) touch up to straighten them up - yeah. But a Total Repaint I think (...debatable) is outtathe question.
It will be lacquer not nitro or wrap em Yellow. (not worth it imo) Keep em and buy a newer set

I think you already knew this answer.
 

RIDDIM

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money not an issue ? Plugging holes and painting is never the economical choice but yeah..

Try Chris Heuer. Just do a search, he's easy to find
Look up Adrian Green on Facebook. He's near Baltimore. Does impeccable work.
 

A J

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If it were me, I'd sell them or give them away to a close friend or family member. I would then buy a new or gently used pro level kit (Pearl Masters or equivalent). However... Since you have a sentimental attachment to these drums, you should get them overhauled by an expert and make them new again.
 

CherryClassic

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My late 80's Ludwig's have holes for the same reason since 1994. They are a darker Cherry finish, not bright like yours but I hardly notice them anymore and neither does anyone else when I use some of them at gigs. I think I would remove those shinny bolts and let those babies sing to their max.

Do you play gigs? If so and money is no problem, set them up at home for practice and get a new set for gigs like I did. However I do understand the sentimental factor, I have other instruments as well and will not sell them for any price. It certainly wouldn't heart to at least call someone like Adrian Green and let them explain all the details as to what can and can not be done.

Good luck on your decision making process and let us know what you decide.
sherm
 

hsosdrum

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California Environmental Restriction on TWY lacquer. Glad to hear that Cali cares about “the environment”.
I'd be glad to inform you of the truth about the improvements California air quality (having lived in So. Cal. between 1952 and 1972, and again from 1978 through now), but that would veer this discussion into the realm of politics. Suffice it to say that in the early 1970s Californians got tired of breathing poison and did something about it.
 

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yeah I think nitrocellulose you only "do" once... if you want to fix up some of the holes (with straight lacquer) touch up to straighten them up - yeah. But a Total Repaint I think (...debatable) is outtathe question.
It will be lacquer not nitro or wrap em Yellow. (not worth it imo) Keep em and buy a newer set

I think you already knew this answer.
I have the exact part # from SW. It is custom but Gretsch gave me the paint code. It will be nitrocellulose not lacquer. Why buy another set. I can only play one at a time and this one is special
 

backtodrum

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If it was me, the cheapest way to do this would be to plug the holes myself and sand and prep the shells for paint as much as possible. If I were you I would look for you tube videos on automotive paint prep etc. then take them to a body shop you trust and pay them to paint them for you. I think by the time you shipped them somewhere and paid to have the holes filled sanded prepped, painted and shipped back it would be fairly cost prohibitive I would think. Plugging the holes is really a fairly easy process.
 

Dumpy

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I have the exact part # from SW. It is custom but Gretsch gave me the paint code. It will be nitrocellulose not lacquer. Why buy another set. I can only play one at a time and this one is special
Nitrocellulose is a lacquer, made from fibres from the pulp in from plants. I think it’s mainly a by product of cotton production. It’s Gibson’s preferred method of finishing. It’s great because the wood can breathe, but it also weather checks quite easily. I don’t know how easy it will be to get that color, but someone has it.

To ensure authenticity, make certain they are using Nitrocellulose lacquer. It will be an expensive process, but it sounds like you love these drums. That is all that counts!
 

NobleCooleyNut

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Seppo Salminen of TRS Custom drums does beautiful lacquer finish work and uses Nitrocellulose, Acrylic and apply lacquer finishes . He can duplicate any finish . He also does excellent refurbishing work ( edges, hole plugging ) and is an authorized Gretsch repair shop .
 

rikkrebs

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Personally I prefer drums that have bumps, bruises, scratches, etc...... It's just my personal taste. I want to see the history and I try to clean them up and preserve them the best I can. However, with these I think I would plug the holes and have them refinished. If you do refinish them I would place a sticker inside each shell stating when they were refinished and who did it. This adds to the drum's story.
 

kenshireen1

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If it was me, the cheapest way to do this would be to plug the holes myself and sand and prep the shells for paint as much as possible. If I were you I would look for you tube videos on automotive paint prep etc. then take them to a body shop you trust and pay them to paint them for you. I think by the time you shipped them somewhere and paid to have the holes filled sanded prepped, painted and shipped back it would be fairly cost prohibitive I would think. Plugging the holes is really a fairly easy process.
I'll give the hole plugging a shot if you can tell me how to do it. I know I need dowels but how do I cut to the exact width
 

JDA

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Why buy another set.
A lot of reasons.
you asked what would you do
keep this set don't put a dime in it
add a newer Gretsch set..
having one older Gretsch set and one newer USA Gretsch set is pretty common.
the money you'll put into the old one could go towards a new or newer USA Gretsch set.
different sizes different finish different color less miles etc.
 
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Dumpy

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Personally I prefer drums that have bumps, bruises, scratches, etc...... It's just my personal taste. I want to see the history and I try to clean them up and preserve them the best I can. However, with these I think I would plug the holes and have them refinished. If you do refinish them I would place a sticker inside each shell stating when they were refinished and who did it. This adds to the drum's story.
I knew one guy that would initial and date every repair in sharpie and wouldn’t refinish anything on the interior.
 

bellbrass

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So, you have a bunch of feedback here, and it all seems to fall into one camp or the other - the vintage heads want you to keep them as is, don't touch a thing, change the way you feel about them and be happy with them, whereas other opinions fall into the "get them repaired and re-finished" camp, which makes the purists shudder.
My two cents: getting the drums re-finished will cost an arm and a leg, and will be iffy at best. Good luck getting a response from Chris Heuer, I never did. Other re-finishers may or may not do great work, but you're taking a big gamble that they will do a true Tony Williams yellow. And I think they should only be done in nitrocellulose lacquer, since that's what you have now.
My vote is that you sell that kit as is to the purists, and have the experts at Gretsch make you a new kit. They have the best experience at doing that finish, and the best experience in doing a nitro lacquer on a drum kit.
 

rikkrebs

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I knew one guy that would initial and date every repair in sharpie and wouldn’t refinish anything on the interior.
I once bought a late 30's Leedy floor tom that had been refinished in 1954. I knew this because the guy who refinished it dated, signed and wrote refinished on the inside of the shell.
 

Dumpy

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I once bought a late 30's Leedy floor tom that had been refinished in 1954. I knew this because the guy who refinished it dated, signed and wrote refinished on the inside of the shell.
That’s the ONLY way to do that.

I used to refinish new pick guards and even knobs, but only after I sign them. These things happened when I would buy a guitar with missing or wrong parts that I couldn’t replace with a period-correct piece.
 

Dumpy

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So, you have a bunch of feedback here, and it all seems to fall into one camp or the other - the vintage heads want you to keep them as is, don't touch a thing, change the way you feel about them and be happy with them, whereas other opinions fall into the "get them repaired and re-finished" camp, which makes the purists shudder.
My two cents: getting the drums re-finished will cost an arm and a leg, and will be iffy at best. Good luck getting a response from Chris Heuer, I never did. Other re-finishers may or may not do great work, but you're taking a big gamble that they will do a true Tony Williams yellow. And I think they should only be done in nitrocellulose lacquer, since that's what you have now.
My vote is that you sell that kit as is to the purists, and have the experts at Gretsch make you a new kit. They have the best experience at doing that finish, and the best experience in doing a nitro lacquer on a drum kit.
I was under the impression that Gretsch retired Tony Williams Yellow.

But you do bring up valid points. Refinishing it correctly will cost an arm, a leg, and a few toes.
 

bellbrass

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I was under the impression that Gretsch retired Tony Williams Yellow.

But you do bring up valid points. Refinishing it correctly will cost an arm, a leg, and a few toes.
I think the Gretsch shop can do color-matching. I also think they have done TWY color-matching before....but, they don't do repair jobs on old drums. I'd bet they could do a period-accurate TWY kit for you. By the time you sell your kit, you might not have to come up with that much extra money, and you'd have a new kit, done the right way by the right company, versus "I hope this guy that has my beloved kit for refinishing replies to my email this time" kind of stuff.
 

Dumpy

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I think the Gretsch shop can do color-matching. I also think they have done TWY color-matching before....but, they don't do repair jobs on old drums. I'd bet they could do a period-accurate TWY kit for you. By the time you sell your kit, you might not have to come up with that much extra money, and you'd have a new kit, done the right way by the right company, versus "I hope this guy that has my beloved kit for refinishing replies to my email this time" kind of stuff.
Again- you bring up valid points.

I know who would be doing my drums. I really can’t say who it would be (as he can’t publicly do this), and it would cost more than the kit is worth, but the paint job would actually make the kit worth more money. He would probably have my kit for a year and a half. It would be well worth the money and wait time.

It would have to be something VERY special to do this to.
 


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