Wrap restoration techniques - sanding & lacquer!? (Rdavidr techniques..)

Sesh

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Hi!

I'm in the middle of refurbishing a Sonor Swinger. I quite like the original "Charcoal Silver" - it has a wonderfully psychedelic look - so I want to restore the wrap to it's former lustre as much as possible.
Right now it's dirty and crusty as hell which is especially noticeable when looking at the bare sports where the lugs sit and comparing it to the rest of the wrap.
There are also flaking on one spot plus various scuffs, scratches and dings. See attached pics.

Looking for restoration tips I stumbled upon the drum-YouTuber, Rdavidr, who does tons of drum-related content (super entertaining, btw), including restoration tips.
I'm specifically interested in the two videos where he stores two different toms.

He shows two different techniques in these videos:
1. (Video 1) He sands the wrap of a white vintage tom with ultra high grit sandpaper removing the dirt and bringing back the old color.
2. (Video 2) He uses polyurethane lacquer to fill scratches in the wrap of an old Majestic Deluxe tom.

Now, my question is... Has anyone tried these techniques with success? The white tom (video 1) has a monochrome finish, mine is textured, so I'm afraid that because of that, it will ruin the wrap on mine.
With regards to the lacquer-technique, he does say in the video some drummers out there would scoff / be horrified at his restoration technique, but it does look good on the video. He does also mention that he usually uses car polish, though, so have considered getting some Turtle Wax Car Polish for it instead.

And another question The drum wrap flaking.. should I just glue that together again? If so, with what type of glue?
 

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JazzDrumGuy

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Haven't done either of RDR's techniques.

Nice satin flame finish, or that's what Slingerland called it. I think Camco called it moire. There may be other names. I have a blue Slingy and it definitely has that 60's vibe so cool there!

There was a recent post about how to clean satin flame and Scrubbing Bubbles came up as the clear choice. The thread referred to this older thread:

I haven't used S.B. I've only used a sponge light dampened with warm water. I am pretty sure it will only clean and will not restore shine, but there is a yellow satin flame drum before/after that's pretty impressive. I am not sure if Turtle wax will bring it back, either - maybe try a small area first and see.

As for gluing, I have used Tite Bond wood glue (red label) from Home Depot to glue wrap onto drums with great success. Much easier, cheaper and less toxic than the "real" glue - 3M 30NF adhesive. Also, you can wipe off the excess. You may have some exposed wood if the wrap has shrunk. In that case, I'd suggest some acrylic paint from Michaels. You can probably find a very close color, or add a pearlescent finish and if you use a small brush, you should be able to limit the paint to just the wrapless wood crack areas.
 

Sesh

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Thanks! Didn't know it was called satin flame, actually. But then again I haven't looked much into it. Will be good to know if I need to replace it/match it (if you can even find modern drum wrap companies that make it). It doesn't seem as popular as pearl, oyster or sparkle.

I've already cleaned it (I hadn't on the pictures, though). Warm water and a drop of dish wash soap. It helped a lot to even out the color between the non-exposed spots where the lugs sit and the rest of the wrap. It wasn't as crusty as I thought.

Also thanks for the wrap tips. Actually, I think I'm gonna cut that loose flaked piece of as it's crumbled/wrinkled and I can't stretch it back in shape. Then I'm gonna use your paint tip and see if I can match the color.

Now my issue are the scratches. It's VERY scuffed - why I got 'em so cheaply. I've looked into it since writing this post, so I'm gonna write my thoughts here to maybe help others in the future.

Anyway, I'm not gonna use the lacquer as the wrap should have a layer of some sort of laquer/clear coat already, however thin it might be. I can actually tell with the scratches that it does.

But for the polishing... It can help with the scratches, so I'm gonna experiment. Based on reading lots of posts about various way of polishing drums with varying degrees of abrasiveness (wet sanding, rubbing compound, novus plastic polishes etc.), it seem you can look at it the same way as auto detailing/polishing. VERY nice and informative video here:

Polishing with wax, as I understand it, barely removes scratches - it's more designed to make the surface shine. Rubbing compound/scratch remover is for scratches that are somewhat superficial, while wet sanding are for the deeper ones. Rubbing compound furthermore requires that you polish afterwards to remove residue, while wet sanding requires that you both you use rubbing compound to remove residue - and then polish afterwards to remove residue from the rubbing compound.

The wet sanding is obviously also the most risky as you can sand too deep and hit the layer beneath the top coat/clearcoat/lacquer, i.e. the color/texture. It makes sense on drum wraps that have a thick layer of grime like the white tom, Rdavidr restores, but mine is nowhere near as miscolored.

So I think I'm gonna start out with rubbing compound on a small spot and see where that gets me. If it's too much, I'm gonna leave it at that and just polish it, learn to live with the wear and tear! If it works, I'll have a drum that looks much better. Gonna post back with the results.
 

JazzDrumGuy

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There's a company I believe in New York or somewhere on the East Coast that deals with plastics and they have satin flame wrap for prices that are much more reasonable than Drum store shops. However I think you have to buy by the yard and the rolls are 3 ft wide..........
 

KevinD

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In NYC Canal Plastics, at 345 Canal St used to carry a wide assortment of wraps, (they call them "decorative films") including those satin finishes. With a lot of them, you had the option of getting it with a white backing or with no backing (it was kind of thin/transparent without the backing. I am not sure what the original drum co.s did.)

This is a cool one (by the yard and a 12" x 12" sheet)

T&T Plastics Land at 315 Church ( a couple hundred feet away from Canal Plastics) also had some of those same wraps.

I used to work in that 'hood so I spent some time there, lots of interesting stuff that one could find in those places (and Canal Rubber as well, which is right there on the same block)
 


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