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My finished drum.

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Signal

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WOW!!!!

That looks superb, glad you got there in the end.

Signal
 

Adam

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That looks superb. Well done. I search back and found your "mistakes" thread. That is interesting reading. Any chance you could post it here also, I'm sure people would be interested?

Adam.
 
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Anonymous

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asleitch":1ppgsrom said:
That looks superb. Well done. I search back and found your "mistakes" thread. That is interesting reading. Any chance you could post it here also, I'm sure people would be interested?

Adam.
Certainly, but the link to the post is there in my original post in this thread. I'll copy and paste the lot - if there are any particularly "drummy" terms you're not familiar with, let me know and I'll explain. Here ya go :

"This is going to be a really, REALLY long post, and it's littered with all my newbie mistakes, but hopefully, others will learn from my mistakes. Here goes...

My plan was to build a 14 X 6.5 snare, Keller Maple shell, 10-lug, dyed either dark blue or purple, and hi-gloss lacquered and polished. (BTW - my digital camera was in for repair just as I started the project, so I've no pics of the various stages, but I've got the camera back now and I'll post pics of the finished drum soon).

The shell was bought from our good friend GHeeley, pre-drilled, double 45 bearing edges, and snare beds cut. I blocked the holes with dowel and rag to prevent dye seeping through to the interior, and masked the shell interior completely.

So, phase one. Sand the shell. I started at 400 grit, as I just felt the 240 was too coarse. I got the shell nice and smooth, rubbed it down a little further with one of those green kitchen pads, as suggested by Big Fred on his snare drum 101 site. Then I tack-clothed it to remove any fine dust particles.

THIS, I BELIEVE, WAS MISTAKE NO. 1.

The tack cloth left a waxy residue on the shell. Not much, but certainly apparent when the shell was rubbed by my hand. Next time, I'll wipe the shell with a lint-free cloth, then vacuum all round, inside and out, to remove any little dust particles. Maybe the tack cloth was poor quality, I don't know, I just bought it in a local DIY store.

Next - the dye. I wasn't sure whether to go for dark blue or purple, but picked the purple, simply because I'd been in a drum store that afternoon, saw loads of blue kits, but no purple ones, and I thought I'd try something different. I applied the dye, using a foam brush, but left it on too long before I wiped off the excess.

THIS WAS MISTAKE NO. 2.

Result? Well, the dye dried patchy. I really think the residue left by the tack cloth had something to do with it, as well as me leaving it on the shell for too long before wiping. So, what to do?

I rummaged about the various drum builder forums seeking advice, and also went to a wood-finishing forum. Various theories were expounded as to why the dye didn't take right - uneven sanding, dirt or grease on the shell etc - and suggestions were made as to how to get round the problem. I elected to go with the suggestion of fine sanding the parts of the shell where the dye had taken heaviest, then re-dye it.

THIS, IMHO, WAS MISTAKE NO. 3.

When I fine-sanded the heavily-dyed parts and re-dyed it (after tack-clothing it again - at this stage I hadn't yet made the connection between the tack cloth and the poor dyeing) it was worse than before. What I SHOULD have done, I think, was take a charge at the shell with a damp cloth, spent as long as it took wiping as much of the dye off as possible, re-sanded it, wiped it down, vacuumed the shell, and started again.

Have I mentioned the shell interior? Yes, briefly. Therein lies another tale, but we'll come back to that.

At this stage, I'm beginning to panic. The shell looked a mess, I'd got dye all over the bearing edges...what next? And this is where it gets a little crazy.

It was actually my young son who put things into perspective for me. He could see I was annoyed, and he asked what the shell was made of. "Maple wood", I told him. "Oh, it's just wood, then", he said, and went off.

Exactly. It's just wood. And shells aren't that expensive. So what the hell, let's try something. If it doesn't work, I can put it down to experience and stick a wrap on it.

Bleach. I see you all recoiling in horror already!

I read up a little about bleaching dye out of wood. Chlorine-based bleach, then a bicarb soda wash to neutralise the bleach. To the bathroom! The bleach in the bathroom was sodium hypochloride based. I had some bicarb. TO THE LABORATORY, IGOR!!

It worked. Dilute solution of bleach, leave for a few minutes, wash with a bicarb solution, do it several times...I ended up with the shell almost like new. Slightly darker, a little dull-looking, but no dye patches. A born-again near-virgin.

Almost.

Let's go back a little. Remember the interior? You know, the bit on the inside? All masked and plugged? Not quite as well-sealed as I'd thought. Some dye had got through, and some bleach too, but I thought, let's not worry about the interior just yet.

I let the shell dry off (it wasn't sodden or anything like that, but I left it for 24 hours anyway).

I'd gone off purple by this stage.

I decided, in my infinite wisdom, to rethink the finish, and go for the blue dye. A close inspection of the shell, after its abuse with the bleach, showed that in one or two places, the grain seemed to have "opened up" slightly. No problem, thought I - a little grain filler, a little sanding, and we're good to go.

NO-NO-NO-NO-NO!!!!!!!!!!!!

MISTAKE NO. 4 COMING UP!!

Take careful note, here, all ye newbie builders - WOOD FILLER IS NOT THE SAME AS GRAIN FILLER!!!!!! This I now know. The wood filler I bought was much, much too coarse for what was required. On reflection, I didn't really need to fill the grain at all.

Anyway, I put the filler on the relevant places, let it dry, then spent about three hours sanding the excess off. Man, that stuff dries HARD!

Right, filler's off, shell's sanded and nearly-new looking, let's go with the blue dye. I had, by this stage, decided that the tack cloth wasn't a good idea. So, I wiped the shell down, vacuumed it, and started to apply the dye carefully, wiping the excess off in plenty of time....it's actually looking just how I imagined it should....but wait......OH GOD NO!!!!! <buries head in hands>...

Where I'd applied the wood filler, the dye had taken terribly. Big white blotchy patches all over the drum. All that sanding for nothing.

Now I'm getting pineappled off.

I couldn't go through the whole bleach thing again - it wouldn't take off the wood filler. I'd need to sand off damn near a whole ply to get rid of the rubbish.

Desperate times call for desperate rethinks.

"DYE?" YOU WON'T DYE?? YOU'RE SITTING THERE, ALL ROUND AND BLUE-ISH, AND YOU SPIT THE DYE OFF OF YOU??" I screamed at the shell. "I'LL F*&KING DYE YA, YA B£$%ARD!!!!"

Well, not really, but I was a tad peeved, by this stage.

There was only one thing to do. Forget about seeing the grain, and throw the dye on, burying the white patches completely. And so I did. I piled the dye on to that sucker. I could probably have just painted it!

I got it almost perfect - a dark blue shell. I say almost - no matter how much I tried, I couldn't COMPLETELY bury the white patches, but it was very passable, and it would look first class, except under close inspection.

Ah yes, the interior. Let's go back there, now.

So, dye, bleach, bicarb, probably some soap, too, had seeped through to the interior. Only one thing to do - dye the inside as well, so that's what I did. But we're not finished with the interior yet. No-siree-bob, we'll come back to that.

Now, where did I put that lacquer? Time to get started.

Foam brush, careful application...I put about five or six coats on, and then sanded it down a little. All going well so far, but....one whitish patch in particular was looking a little obvious. Nothing I could do about it at this stage.

More lacquer, and we now approach :

MISTAKE NO 5!

Dammit, folks, let one coat of lacquer dry before putting another one on! I put too much on too quickly, and it dried with some hazy white lines the whole way through.

Nothing I could do about it now. I slowed down with my lacquering, and got it all finished after a couple of days. I let it dry well, then started the sanding.

Now, let me say, there are NO MORE big mistakes in this epic tale. I started sanding at 800 grit, worked up to 1500 (I couldn't get any 2000 grit here). Wet sanding, of course, with a little bit of washing up liquid in the water.

The water. The soap. The holes. THE INTERIOR!!!

Of course, some water/soap penetrated through the drilled holes into the shell interior, streaking the dye. A hi-tech solution was required. I wiped it with kitchen roll.

It (the interior) has ended up a sort of washed-out, sea-greeny-blue. To my jaundiced eye, it actually looks well.

Buffing compound (or rubbing compound, whatever you care to call it) was next, and, incredibly, the drum came up a treat! Perfectly glass-smooth, the white lines in the lacquer were almost invisible, even on close inspection, the white patches where the dye hadn't "taken" on the wood filler had all but disappeared.

I just need to use a little swirl remover to put a final shine to the drum, then fit the lugs etc as soon as they arrive (I'm expecting them any day). Then a little touch of wax on the bearing edges and that should be it.

So there you have it.

I shall name this drum.....
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...........LAZARUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! "

Stephen
 

Alf

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Stephen,

What a beautiful result. 8) Worth the heartache (not sure whether to use a query there or not... :lol: ) Great write-up of the trials and tribulations. (Folks, we need more reporting of when things don't go quite according to plan; I dunno about you but it makes me feel a whole lot better :wink: )

Cheers, Alf
 
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Alf":3e5545i4 said:
Stephen,

What a beautiful result. 8) Worth the heartache (not sure whether to use a query there or not... :lol: ) Cheers, Alf
Oh, it was COMPLETELY worth the hassle. The ultimate result in building any musical instrument isn't really the finish, or the nice gold fittings or whatever, but the sound of the completed instrument. And the drum does sound incredible. It's all in the wood used for the shell. Different woods, as I'm sure many of you are aware, have different sonic properties. Maple and birch are woods popularly used for QUALITY drum shells.

BTW - there was a fair bit of "tongue-in-cheek" in that trials and tribulations story, although it was all true.

Stephen
 

tx2man

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Hi Mully,
Great job with the snare, how much did it cost complete,
compared say, to a Slingerland?

PS (1) I didn't know 'drummers' had any talent :lol:

(2) There aren't any 'drummy' terms other than;
Loud, Hard, Crash, Bang, Wallop :shock: :lol:


TX (Bassist, the more refined half of the rhythm section)
 
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Anonymous

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tx2man":2kcpkqhl said:
Hi Mully,
Great job with the snare, how much did it cost complete,
compared say, to a Slingerland?
Total cost was about £190.And who plays Slingerlands now? :) Bloody know-nothing bass players...four strings inded. Call that a guitar? :)

PS (1) I didn't know 'drummers' had any talent :lol:
I take it you know the difference between a drummer and a taxi driver? No? A taxi driver only has to carry three people at a time.

The terms

(2) There aren't any 'drummy' terms other than;
Loud, Hard, Crash, Bang, Wallop :shock: :lol:
Right, I expect a full discourse on the properties of African bubinga vs. Australian ironwood, along with your full research on bearing edges - 45, 60, rounded and single, AND an in-depth analysis of The Black Page, with particular reference to bar 29 and its correlation to the discovery of penicillin, on my desk first thing Monday morning. Or it's detention for you, my lad.

TX (Bassist, the more refined half of the rhythm section)
Refined, to a bass player, means not drinking his Guinness directly from the tap.
:)

Stephen
 

Alf

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ROTFL :lol: :lol: :lol:

I suppose we should be thankful they haven't got onto pins first v. tails... :roll:

Cheers, Alf
 

Aragorn

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mully":18finjfs said:
Bloody know-nothing bass players...four strings indeed. Call that a guitar? :)
Oh dear... Wonder where that puts me then??
I made this one 12 years ago from maple and rosewood and it's the bass I use most of the time.
Most of my other basses only have four strings though... :wink:

 

DaveL

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Aragorn,

Very nice, I hope it plays and sounds as good as it looks. :D

What tuning do you use? I never progressed passed 4 strings and now drive the mixing desk instead of standing up at the front. :roll:
 

tx2man

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Very Nice Aragorn 8),
It's good to see some originality on the horn front, i've
often thought that 'old Leo's' design was so perfect ,it made difficult
to imagine anything else. IMHO it's not my cup of tea,
although i admire the design,effort and craftsmanship,( BTW,
is that a one piece neck?,Rosewood, Maple, fretted by yourself?)
It's just that i'm more Dr.Feelgood/traditional rhythm'n' blues
minded.
Anyway, i couldn't have created one as good looking :cry:
so 11/10

TX
 

Aragorn

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Dave - tuning is same as yours with addition of low B, high C
Could be tuned differently I suppose, even like a guitar!
I find the low B useful for when a song is in Eb for example. High C allows for more soloist playing. Basses sound fantastic in their highest range.

Tx - thanks YARR!. Not sure if I'd have come up with that design if I was doing it today mind :wink:
By "one piece" neck, do you mean a thru-neck? If so, then no, it's just been made to look that way. The neck bolts on. It's rock maple with a rosewood fingerboard (maple fret markers) with a single truss rod. I let an professional guitar maker do the fretting. I was just 18 at the time and didn't fancy cocking that bit up!

____________
Cheers!
Aragorn

Edited for pitiless piratism attempt, yarr.
 
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Anonymous

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Aragorn":1z2dltc5 said:
mully":1z2dltc5 said:
Bloody know-nothing bass players...four strings indeed. Call that a guitar? :)
Oh dear... Wonder where that puts me then??

<snipped>

Lovely guitar. Our sometime bass player occasionally uses his 6-string bass. He's the only bloke I've known who can acually play a 6-string bass well. Very broad neck. The guitar, not the player. Although come to think of it...

Anyway, sorry, regulars, didn't mean to hijack this and turn it into a muso's thread.

:wink:

Stephen
 
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