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Mesh-head kick drum bulletproofing suggestion

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  • Mesh-head kick drum bulletproofing suggestion

    I've been playing Hart mesh-head EDrums for a couple of years now, and I've finally found a solution to a problem that haunts a lot of us mesh-head users. This seems to apply whether the kit is Roland, Hart, Pintech, or some other type.

    The problem is that heavy-handed drummers like me tend to abrade through the mesh kick dum head with the pedal beater. It contacts the head in the same area every time, and there's always a little sliding motion involved. This leads to the mesh grinding away and eventually failing- just like a regular Mylar head will fail.

    The normal answer for acoustic drums is to stick a leather or even Kevlar beater patch on the head. This works great on Mylar heads, but none of the commercial products will really stick to the polypropylene mesh heads in heavy use: not enough contact area on the rough mesh, and too much stretch when it is tensioned. They peel from the edges and fall off witin an hour.

    It took a couple of years, but I finally found an adhesive that will penetrate the mesh without damaging it, remain decently flexible, and stick a beater pad to it so that it will stay for a decent amount of time. I tried Shoe Goo, and several of the other silicone and urethane adhesives with no luck. They'd either get hard, crack, and peel, or they'd never stick at all, or their solvents would attack the mesh and cause it to fail prematurely.

    I finally tried Valco-Cincinatti HV-350, which is a $2/tube automotive sealant and weatherstrip adhesive, and hit paydirt. It never cures down hard, and is flexible enough to "give" as the head is tensioned without allowing the pad to start to peel at the edges.

    To use it, I took the adhesive and worked it through the head from the back side, to assure that the mesh was completely saturated with the glue front-to-back. I then backed it up with some saran wrap as a release layer, and flipped it over and stuck the beater pad on from the front. I then weighted the head/glue/pad stack to make sure that the pad stayed in intimate contact with the head and adhesive as everything cured.

    I've put about 50 hours on the head/pad now, and that's where the old unprotected heads used to blow through. This one is still going strong. You can find this goop at most major auto parts stores... If you punch out your mesh kick heads too quickly, give this a try! Other weatherstrip adhesives might work as well, but try them on a junk head first: the ones that use MEK as the primary solvent will just dissolve the head mesh. This one is the first I've found that sticks to the mesh without partially dissolving it.

  • #2
    excellent post.



    • #3
      Yeah great post! I have a Hart mesh bass pad. I have had it for about 3 weeks. I put the Evans cordura patch on it, works well and hasn't come off yet. Although, I had wondered about it comming off eventually. I thought of contact cement since it doesn't dry hard and brittle. Have you tried that? Well I don't know if I will either now that we have a proven method.


      • #4
        Yes, I did try some of the contact cements- I posted on this some time back. Most of them have very aggressive and volatile solvent mixtures, and damaged the mesh so much that it would tear along the outside of the beater patch when tensioned (especially on the portions nearest the hoop). The Valco stuff has a very mild solvent, and takes about a day to cure as a result. But it doesn't appear to damage the mesh at all.

        The hard part was finding an adhesive that had a fairly mellow solvent package... Still, I didn't try that many of the contact cements that were out there. There are a million of them. Feel free to keep looking, of course! I just strongly recommend trying any new adhesives on old, trashed heads _first_. When the adhesive and the mesh don't get along well, the head definitely suffers!


        • #5
          Although using an adhesive is an elegant solution, would maybe taking the head off and sewing the patch to the head provide a more permanent solution that wouldn't leave glue residue on the mesh head in the end? I think if one were careful to not break any of the threads in the mesh material with the needle, and if they made sure to sew the patch on loose, so that it doesn't get stretched when the head is replaced, I think that would pretty much insure that you'd never have to revisit that problem again.



          [This message has been edited by HolShot (edited October 04, 2001).]


          • #6
            Thats an interesting idea. However, if you make the mesh head too loose it might damage the trigger mech. You are right though, if you make it too tight it will tear the patch and/or the head. There is probably a fine line between having it too toght and too loose, without damaging the patch, head or trigger.


            • #7
              Sewing on the patch might be a good thing to try.

              Seems like the hard thing would be to acommodate the head stretch when it is tightened down to playing tension: those mesh heads stretch quite a lot, which was the real problem with doing an adhesive reinforcement. You'd have to leave quite a bit of slack in the stitches.

              I wanted to make sure that there was no chance of the patch "flapping" and creating a possible double-trigger problem, since I noticed that with some of my early adhesive-patch efforts- that's how I could tell when the patch was peeling. I'm not patient enough to make that works, I suspect... But with careful stitching you could probably make that work very well. Give it a shot, and see how it comes out!


              • #8
                Maybe you could draw an outline of the patch on the head while the it is still stretched tight on the drum. Then, when you take it off to sew it on you know where the outside edge of the patch needs to go. I'm sure it will still be hard to sew it on the head, but at least you'd have an something to go by.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by snared:
                  Maybe you could draw an outline of the patch on the head while the it is still stretched tight on the drum. Then, when you take it off to sew it on you know where the outside edge of the patch needs to go. I'm sure it will still be hard to sew it on the head, but at least you'd have an something to go by.

                  Excellent idea! You could also try tacking it in the center as well so that it doesn't flap and cause double triggering.


                  • #10
                    Well, I have had my Hart Giga Pro for about 3 moths now. I have had am Evans double patch (I can't remember which one, though. It looks like black nylon or something) on my bass pad the whole time. It seems to be glued on more tight now than it was when I first put it on. We will see how it holds up past the 3 month mark, though.


                    • #11
                      I wonder if the types of beaters you use might be a problem for you guys?
                      I use spherical wooden beaters for my KD-120 and I haven't had any problems with the mesh deteriorating. At first when I used the original DW beaters that came with my double pedal, I would notice some movement, so I went out and got these wooden ones and they seem to be great.
                      VPRO set, DW5000 double pedal, Tama Iron Cobra, KD-120 & KD-7, KC-500 monitor.


                      • #12
                        FWIW, I have been using heavy plastic beaters on my kd-120 and see very little if no deterioration.
                        -Drumlogic, V-session, Visulite/roland cymbals, (2)Mackie srm-450's, bbe 482 sonic maximizer,


                        • #13
                          Well, I have Tama Iron Cobra pedals with the felt beaters. They are the kind that adjust to be parallel with the head as it hits. The only thing I have noticed deteriorate is the felt from the beaters. The head seems fine and the head patch is stuck on there good.


                          • #14
                            Holy #@$%!! You guys must really be flogging the snot out of your pads if you need patches on your heads. I use a felt beater on my Pintech Silentech, with no problems other than deterioration of the felt a little bit...
                            "I'm not a guitarist, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night!"


                            • #15
                              I've not seen any indications of wear with my Axis beaters. However, the right patch can really help with the proper "thwap" feel that you may be missing with mesh heads.