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Project: Gretsch "Sunrise Burst"

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  • #16
    I wonder if these layers of polyurethane can affect the sound of an acoustic drum. I have a great sounding Taye maple acoustic set but has three mismatched colors. So I would like to give it more panache. I like this kind of clear coat.
    Questions or order at http://quartzpercussions.com/ or [email protected]


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    • bwilburn79
      bwilburn79 commented
      Editing a comment
      Logic says that any changes to an acoustic drum shell would affect the tonal or resonant properties to some degree. It's common for higher end drums to be finished with lacquer rather than a wrap. With that in mind I would imagine the sound would only be improved by replacing a wrap with a lacquer finish.

    • hairmetal-81
      hairmetal-81 commented
      Editing a comment
      I've seen many heavy discussions on that subject! Essentially, the've all boiled down to the fact that it would *maybe* be slightly noticeable in a 1-on-1 direct comparison between two identical shells (one wrapped, one lacquered).

      But ultimately, your choice of drumheads, dampening and the wood will affect your drumsound in a bigger way, than whether your shells are laquered or wrapped!

      One advantage of wrapped shells is, they are more forgiving, if you slaught it out night after night in shabby, smokey clubs - more sturdily protecting the shell from damage...


  • #17
    Gotta say - I'm with tommy. I painted my old Vespa a few years ago and did very much as he did - only time i even touched between coats was if there was a fly or bit of dust on the finish - otherwise just kept going until I had 3/4 coats of clear down, then wet sanded with 1000 grit then 2000 grit. Leaves a smooth matte finish on the clearcoat which you then buff out with compound. Its really weird when doing the 2000grit as when it is wet it looks all glossy and shiney and then dries down to a dull matte and you panic that it is forever ruined - then after an hour of compound rubbing it comes up like a mirror.
    --
    West London, UK.
    TD-11 module | DTXplorer rack | 3 x tp65 | 12" millenuim mesh head snare | cy-5, pcy65s and pcy150 cymbals | fd8 hh | krigg kick trigger w/ mapex raptor pedal.

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    • bwilburn79
      bwilburn79 commented
      Editing a comment
      Provided that I'm unable to achieve a slick final coat and want to progress into the realm of wet sanding with 1000, 1500, 2000 grit, what compounds should I consider beyond that? I want a mirror finish that looks wet all the time.

    • Cheddies
      Cheddies commented
      Editing a comment
      Hey .

      I just used some regular automotive polishing compound - this kind of thing: http://www.amazon.com/Turtle-Wax-T-2.../dp/B0009JKGJ2

      you can get more pro stuff with different levels (it comes in bars) but that stuff worked for me.

  • #18
    Curious about how much stain did you go through? I'm interested in restoring my kit and eventually paint the rest of my kits and percussion to match like one big family.
    My Sites:
    www.santinothunder.com www.subtlefeud.com http://thewelljamexperience.com

    Electronics:
    Yamaha DTXtremeIIS, Superior Drummer 2.3, Metal Foundry, DFH, Latin Percussion EZX, SPD-11.

    Acoustics:
    Tama Drums, Paiste Cymbals, LP & Toca Percussion. New addition Pearl RT (Soon to be DIY A/E)

    Comment


    • bwilburn79
      bwilburn79 commented
      Editing a comment
      I didn't use any wood stain. I used Rit brand, liquid fabric dyes. They come in 8oz. bottles for about $4 each. I've used 8oz. of Yellow, and about 6oz. each of the Red and Black. Of course I've done a few of the drums multiple times. If I'd gotten it right the first time a single bottle of each color would have been more than enough to do an entire kit (Even more than 5 pieces). It's worth mentioning that analine dyes, or wood specific dyes, would likely work better, but the cost is significantly higher. Additionally, I still haven't used the entire quart of Minwax High Gloss Polyurethane.

  • #19
    That's not bad at all. I was figuring more. I will have to look into this further now that my curiosity has been perked. I like how you did the transitions.
    My Sites:
    www.santinothunder.com www.subtlefeud.com http://thewelljamexperience.com

    Electronics:
    Yamaha DTXtremeIIS, Superior Drummer 2.3, Metal Foundry, DFH, Latin Percussion EZX, SPD-11.

    Acoustics:
    Tama Drums, Paiste Cymbals, LP & Toca Percussion. New addition Pearl RT (Soon to be DIY A/E)

    Comment


    • bwilburn79
      bwilburn79 commented
      Editing a comment
      As far as transitions, just mind your dominant colors, because a little goes a long way. Initially, I mix the dye colors with water in a 1:1 ratio. This seems to help the wood grain open up and soak in the dye. I started by saturating the center with the yellow because it's the weakest color. Then I mixed in a couple of drops of red with my yellow to get a nice orange, applying it from the outside toward the center. Ideally, you begin to run out of color as you work inward, thus creating a natural fade. You can aide this by using a clean wet rag to further thin and remove excess color as you make the transition. Once all the color is dry, I sand very gently with 400 and 600, beginning in the center and working outward. This serves to remove excess dye from the surface and better reveal the grain pattern. This seems to make the transitions even softer. In my case, I left the black to red transition more distinct.
      Last edited by bwilburn79; 01-06-14, 12:51 PM.

  • #20
    Looking good! Very nice for someone new to this. Although I think the line between the black on the edges and the color is a bit too.. how to say it.. harsh? It looks alot like a burst with black-covered edges or something like it. But hey, bursts seems to be an extremely hard thing to paint if you ask me so this is very impressive! Keep it up!

    Comment


    • #21
      I can't quite tell what your finishing rig looks like but let me add the following as this really helps keeping the dye/finish consistent. Get a couple of these:
      http://www.rockler.com/roller-with-bracket

      Mount the rollers side by side on a board and clamp the board to a workbench. Simply slide the tom over the rollers so the rollers are inside, at the top. Because there are two rollers, the tom will be nice and stable. You can easily turn it from the edge or from inside at the bottom. As far as dye is concerned, get aniline dye that's made for wood. I've used TransTint with good results.
      http://www.rockler.com/transtintreg-dyes

      You dilute it with water and apply with a sponge (make sure you wet the shell first, before applying the dye). This will allow you to make very subtle fades if you're so inclined. This rig can also be used for finish. Always remember to apply very thin coats to avoid runs. The rig will allow you to easily turn the shell during the first several minutes of drying in case you apply to much. I've used tung oil on my kit which doesn't give that super smooth high gloss look that many people like. I wanted something more furniture-like (the tung oil is hand-rubbed).


      Ooops. I didn't notice the earlier comment about aniline dyes. Yes, they are more expensive but they are made precisely for this application so...
      And for those not familiar, wood dye and stain are two entirely different animals. I would never use stain on a drum kit or similar project.

      Comment


      • bwilburn79
        bwilburn79 commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks for your links Jim. Very helpful. I used a length of 2 x 4 and (4) caster wheels I picked up locally, to create rig similar to your suggestion. This setup will suffice for this project but should I choose to do any more, I would go the roller route for sure. I originally intended to use aniline dyes but none where available locally. Being a lower end kit with a busted wrap, I figured I had nothing to lose by trying the Rit dye. Not ideal, but it certainly works for a budget minded project.

    • #22
      Just a quick update to those interested in this project: I haven't quit, just been busy with life. In the last 2 days I've sanded all 4 shells back to raw wood, reapplied the Rit dye to my satisfaction, sanded off the excess with 400 grit (just enough to remove any buildup and reveal the grain), and I'm once again ready to apply the polyurethane finish. The plan this time is to lay down a minimum of 4 coats of polyurethane, with no sanding in between coats. After that I'll attempt to sand out any imperfections before applying a final finish coat. If it takes more than minimal sanding to remove the imperfections, I plan to stop and apply a few more coats of poly as a precaution. That moment when you realize you just sanded through the finish and into the color layer, is no fun at all.
      Roland TD12 module / DIY Kit in progress, Gretsch Blackhawk A (soon to be E) kit.

      Comment


      • #23
        Whew.....this seems monotonous to me. You either have lots of patience or are extremely bored and don't mind continuous repetition. Ever thought about spraying these to get a nice fade instead of the constant re-sanding and starting over?
        8 piece DIY Acrylic, 2x2Box DrumIt5, Gen16 4xDCP, DIY Acrylic&Gen16 Conversions, Sleishman Twin-QuadSteele hybrid, Gibraltar&DrumFrame rack, DW9502LB, Midi Knights Pro Lighting
        http://www.airbrushartists.org/DreamscapeAirbrushRealm

        Comment


        • bwilburn79
          bwilburn79 commented
          Editing a comment
          Daniel, I'm sure spraying these would make the most sense for you. You have both the equipment and experience to do so, whereas I have neither. It would be a steep learning curve for me just the same. Lol. Though it is monotonous when you consider I'm redoing the same kit over and over, I choose not to look at it that way. Each time I've sanded back to raw wood, it has become a different kit in my mind. Starting from scratch, trying to improve upon previous results. Obviously, I haven't actually improved each time. Lol. In the end my stubbornness and perfectionism is going to result in one of two things: A beautiful kit.......or a large pile of sawdust. Lol.

      • #24
        Originally posted by fulrmr(Daniel) View Post
        Whew.....this seems monotonous to me. You either have lots of patience or are extremely bored and don't mind continuous repetition. Ever thought about spraying these to get a nice fade instead of the constant re-sanding and starting over?
        I agree, I would NOT have the patiance to do a project like this! Although I think that the result and the feel you get when you finish something you've made all by your own makes it more than worth it

        Comment


        • #25
          Here's some interesting information on various methods of wood finishing. It seems that all of the comments were taken from a forum and organized on this page. I wish I had stumbled upon this prior to starting this project. I'd probably be done and have achieved better results. As I read this, I tended to favor the instruction given by contributor rhjanes. He/She seemed to be knowledgeable, experienced, and thorough.
          Roland TD12 module / DIY Kit in progress, Gretsch Blackhawk A (soon to be E) kit.

          Comment


          • #26
            It's very interesting following your thread along - lots of stuff to see and learn!

            That link is an awesome find! I bookmarked it, and intend to read through it a fair bit, later.
            Kinda makes me wish we could collect our very forum's information in the same manner!



            "My best friends' name is J-SON. They used to call him 'Mr. Parse.' He has an 'Error'..!"

            http://www.vdrums.com/forum/core/cus...ar33631_4.jpeg

            Comment


            • bwilburn79
              bwilburn79 commented
              Editing a comment
              HM, you mentioned a desire to create a useful tool for beginners in your thread, maybe that website is a good template for what you wanted to do? You could compile all the V-drums knowledge into an organized webpage like that.

            • hairmetal-81
              hairmetal-81 commented
              Editing a comment
              Yes, definitively!

              But what I actually wanted to do especially *for* the beginners is a questionnaire they could fill out. It would help *them* to recognize what points there are to consider, and it well help *us* to guide them through the process of finding the right e-kit.

              It will have to wait just a bit longer though. I have some ideas and preparations done already, but it will take some time for me to translate it!

          • #27
            Sounds like a very interesting and will look beautiful when finished...but with all that sanding do you have any shells left lol ;-)

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            • #28
              Originally posted by KennyinDundee View Post
              Sounds like a very interesting and will look beautiful when finished...but with all that sanding do you have any shells left lol ;-)
              ...it will be the world's first 'Sawdust kit'






              (....finished in a nice Sunrise-Burst, of course!)


              "My best friends' name is J-SON. They used to call him 'Mr. Parse.' He has an 'Error'..!"

              http://www.vdrums.com/forum/core/cus...ar33631_4.jpeg

              Comment


              • #29
                My kids have been playing basketball for the past 8 weeks so I've been struggling to find time to work on this project. Since the last update (where I had dyed shells ready for finishing) I've done the following: I applied 6 coats of polyurethane to the drums without sanding in between. Then I started the process of leveling out the finish. I used 320, 400, and 600 grit paper to smooth out any imperfections. When I compared all the drums side by side, there were noticeable differences in the consistency of the black dyed portions. I decided to take a risk and apply black lacquer to these areas to give it the same look from drum to drum. This was black lacquer in aerosol form so I sprayed it into a disposable bowl and used a foam brush to apply it. I had mixed results from this. On 3 of the 4 drums, the lacquer laid down very smooth. On one drum it bubbled up in many places (Looked like a braille dot script all around the drum).

                Let me take a sidebar and explain why I think this happened. I did some reading on the subject of wood finishing on the Minwax website and applying lacquer over polyurethane isn't recommended. So firstly, it wasn't a good idea in general to attempt this. Apparently on the drum that gave me issues, I had partially sanded through the top layer exposing the layer underneath. I recall the finish on this drum having some glossy spots and an inconsistent sheen compared to the others. The lacquer resisted adhering to the glossy spots and bubbled up. My guess is lacquer has an issue adhering to glossy poly but works when it's sanded well.

                So I sanded and reapplied lacquer to the black portion of the problem drum until it came out smooth. Then I applied a second coat of black lacquer to all the drums and sanded the black portions with 600 grit to smooth them out. Then I applied 2 more coats of polyurethane over everything (poly had no issues over the lacquer). I had hoped to call it finished with the last coat of poly but.... I couldn't apply a final coat of polyurethane that's thick enough to cover, but thin enough that it doesn't run or slide in some way, if my life depended on it. Almost, but not quite. So I used a razor blade to trim any runs that had attempted to form and wet-sanded all the drums with 600 grit. Now I have 4 very smooth matte finished shells.

                So here I am and it's decision time. There are three avenues that I'm considering. Option 1, thin some poly 50/50 with mineral spirits and try for a run free finish coat. Option 2, buy some rattle can poly and try to spray on the final coat. Option 3, leave them matte, possibly wet-sanding with 1000 grit to get the most even sheen possible. Though they look nice with the matte finish, I really would prefer the gloss. Advice anybody?
                Roland TD12 module / DIY Kit in progress, Gretsch Blackhawk A (soon to be E) kit.

                Comment


                • #30
                  I would do the gloss using the spray on but maybe practise first on a scrap piece of wood. This would give you an idea of how the spray will present itself to the shell. Just my opinion but others will be far more experienced and knowledgable about such matters. Cant wait to see it!

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