Years of smoke…

…filled gigs have made these drums yellow. I remember at a lot of these smoke filled pubs and clubs, I sometimes struggled to get a breath whilst playing and my eyes would sting and stream from the toxins. It must seem incredulous to the young uns that smoking was once allowed indoors in pubs and clubs. On the occasions that we played open air gigs, I could tell the difference. Surely my lungs have healed by now?

This is the drum as it came out of its case after 25 years in storage…

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All the chrome work has a dullness and a roughness to it. You can tell by the density of the stick impact marks that the Remo Pinstripe skin has been well used. I last played this kit in the summer of 1990 whilst rehearsing with a band called “Auldenbald” (I got kicked out for wanting to go on a flying course just as they wanted to start gigging) and I think this skin was new sometime before 1988. So this skin is old – at least 27 years – obsolete, worn out and has been under tension for all this time.

So I made the decision to replace all the skins on all the drums. Start afresh. This drum was, at the time and probably still is, the best money could buy. It deserves top quality new skins.

Anyway, if I’m going to take the hoops off to replace the skins, I might as well clean the drum. If I’m going to clean the drum, I might as well take it apart to do a thorough job. Also, the wood needs time to get used to its new centrally heated environment.

Woohoo! Refurbishment Time!!

I need help…

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…so I turned to a hand cranked drill because I can’t find any of my drum keys. I’ve just ordered one off ebay. By the way, that’s the workshop in it’s tidy state. Workshops are never big enough, are they? Once the hoops are off, I can unscrew the lugs…

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…and the mounting bracket…

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Within each lug there is a splurge of anti rattle foam…

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This had deteriorated. If one squeezed it, it stayed compressed. So useless. When I cleaned the outer shell – using sugar soap – I cleaned them all off. I’ll replace them all during reassembly. The completely stripped and cleaned shell…

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I expected using a strong cleaner would remove the yellow – but it didn’t. Perhaps the discolouration has nothing to do with smoke at all? Maybe just a consequence of age? Or UV light? Ah, who cares.

All the metal parts except the lugs were given the GUNK treatment. The lugs were individually polished using chrome polish. This took a while, but was actually therapeutic. Talked on the phone the whole time. This picture attempts to show a before and after; the before – dull and rough feeling – lug is on the right…

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All the cleaned metalwork ready for reassembly…

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The only other tom I’ve got is a 16″ by 18″ floor standing one. I used the same method to clean that one. Both drums are now in the spare room in which they’ll live and be played, to acclimatise for a couple of weeks…

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The floor toms leg’s can be seen stacked against the wall. Just visible between the drums and the hoops is the boxes containing each drum’s metalwork.

Next…

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