On February 7, 2014 me and my drummer friend Jimmy Pemberton visited Al Drew’s Music Center in Rhode Island. Al Drew’s was having a liquidation sale on old drum shells. When we arrived we discovered a pile of orphaned shells ranging from small toms to large marching drums of various makes and sizes. After a while of sifting through the debris, I found a 1961 Ludwig 28×10″ marching drum shell in a gold and blue sparkle striped wrap. The shell and hoops were in decent shape considering its age but missing a lug and heads. I have no need for a marching drum but my vision was to not join a parade or drum corp. The plan was to give this drum a new lease on life in the form of a kick drum.
Soon after I took possession of this drum for $80, I ordered a new Ludwig lug to replace the one that was missing and ordered Gibraltar bass drum spurs. I chose spurs that required drilling the shell because I wanted this drum to be as stable as possible because the plan was (and still is) to gig with it.
This summer I decided a new wrap was in order and called Precision Drum Company for their antique white pearl finish. I chose this finish because I like the timeless quality it gives any drum and it also comes very close to matching the finish of my new Ludwig Classic Maples. I stripped the shell of it’s blue and green stripes, filled unnecessary holes that were originally drilled to hold the brackets for a shoulder harness and sanded off the old glue. I was able to retain the original badge by safely removing it using a rat tail file. By carefully filing the inner grommet edge I was able to slide the badge off without bending it. A replacement grommet and tool was purchased from Precision Drum Company.
With the shell clean, I applied contact cement to the shell and wrap and began the facelift process. With the 2-piece wrap applied, clamps were placed at the overlapping areas and I let it rest overnight. At this point I discovered the reinforcement rings were separating in a couple of places so I re-glued them and left them clamped overnight also.
Once the cement and glue was dry, I filed and sanded the wrap at the bearing edges. This blends the wrap to the shell and allows for the drum heads to stretch easily over the edges without resistance.
The hoops were sanded and the inlays re-cut. I masked off the inlays with painter’s tape and sprayed the hoops with 3 coats black satin paint. Once dry, I removed the painter’s tape from the inlay area and masked off the painted areas. I applied contact cement to the inlay area and the inlay strips and once the cement was dry, the inlays were applied.
Once fully assembled, the drum has a vintage appeal with modern features allowing it to be played professionally. The sound simply has to be experienced.