Rogers Powertone Mardi Gras tribute snare project is done!

Discussion in 'Vintage Venue' started by JazzDrumGuy, Mar 11, 2019.

  1. JazzDrumGuy

    JazzDrumGuy DFO Master

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    I did my first full drum restoration about a year ago on a Ludwig "Jazzette" kit that I think turned out great. It went from silver plastic rewrap to a hand applied satin mahogany finish. I really learned a lot about wood, stain, finishing, etc. and of course looked for another project. I picked up a Gretsch kit in the fall but I am way behind on it due to lack of time, busy, life, blah blah.

    Also, I really wanted a Rogers kit (my first) and a silver kit (also a 1st)......so about November, I cobbled together a 12" Dayton tom and a 20" Fullerton bass. I changed directions and put the Gretsch project on hold. I ended up getting a 16" FT that was also a Fullerton, but was badly rewrapped in BDP....like real badly! But it was cheap and good condition. So the plan was to get silver sparkle vinyl wrap (6" roll x 25' for $7) and "rewrap" the 16" by doing a few layers - yes this is WAY cheesy but I did not want to spend $200+ for Precision to do silver glass glitter to match the two original drums, nor did I want to spend hundreds more to get the real deal 16" in original finish. About this time, I scored a bare Rogers Luxor (6 lug) shell in decent shape (Cleveland). I figured I'd also "rewrap" that in silver to match the kit. However, when I got the silver vinyl, it was more of a sparkle look and of course very shiny, so it didn't really look so hot next to the original wrap.

    About this same time, I found another Luxor snare with original COB hoops, mini throw & butt plate for dirt cheap. It looked beaten but I got it from MGR. When I got it, it was in horrible shape. It had 4 broken B&B lugs, a Gretsch and a mystery lug, and some holes had been widened. Just a disaster. Oh, the yellow was pained over black, red and I think gold??? Also, they sprayed yellow on the inside and it got all over the label, too. At least the badge was salvageable.

    I called MGR and complained that this was a trainwreck and not a vintage drum, but a cobbled together heap of junk that was not described correctly with all its issues. They said they would rather not take it back (and that they never should have taken it in!) and gave me 50% off - okay. I figured I have some parts for the other shell, and I will test my hole filling skills on this shell. I stripped the shell and it was literally disgusting! Tons of paint came off the shell and I was able to sand it down (although it was pretty smooth) and got to a nice bare 3 ply shell.

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    I had cut a strip of the silver and put it on the Luxor snare and compare it to the tom - no match. I figured I'd wrap it anyway. This vinyl tape is awesome, has adhesive built in, and comes in various widths. I've used 1/2" silver sparkle as "inlay" on kits and it looks killer, champagne sparkle as "inlay" for my Slingy champagne kit, and red sparkle for my Gretsch RB bass hoops, and they all look great. One of the issues, though, is if you try and remove the tape, a ton of little sparkles remain and the residue is nasty to deal with - a small area may clean with Goo Gone, but would come off better with paint stripper....

    I filled all the holes with putty, sanded them from both inside & out and kept filling & sanding with 400 until the shell actually looked great. I then used hoops as a template and drilled all the holes - I had never drilled a "bare" shell before for all lugs/throw/butt.....this was a big issue for me and again, this was a test drum. Lot of measuring, remeasuring, pencil marks and I finally drilled the holes. So I tried to measure the silver wrap and trace the shell and cut it out, but it did not look right. Stupidly, I decided to apply the vinyl "wrap" anyway and although it was crooked, it did look nice. My problem was cutting for the bearing edges. I hacked it up on both ends, especially them snare beds. Also, since the vinyl tape is thin, you could see the wood grain thru the wrap. So I decided to scrap the idea and pull off the sparkle. It left a ton of little sparkle dots all over the shell. I had to use paint stripper (Citrustrip) and get it all off but got to the bare shell finally. I decided to them just do black, but had no paint. I tried matte black spray paint but it looked awful. I tried gloss and it was horrible, too. You could see the hole patch jobs, too. I stripped it and got to the bare shell again.

    I wondered what to do for a while and was at Bentley's looking around at some stuff and chatted with Dana. I saw some of his vault stuff and saw a drum and a crazy idea hit me. It would be a tough crazy project but I figured what the heck. I went to Beverly's (like a Michaels) near my work to look for paint. I came across latex craft paint and I ended up finding a black as well as a nice gray color for the interior. I painted the shell black using a foam brush and after a few coats, it looked good. I then took the silver vinyl wrap and cut a strip and wrapped the drum. I made sure to rub the vinyl and then purposely pulled it off.....and what I thought would happen did.....a ton of silver sparkles were left on the black shell making it look like an anniversary sparkle look......very cool! However, that wasn't the final design. I needed colored confetti. Beverly's had none nor did Michaels. Party City had stars which weren't ideal but they were the right size. I bought 2 packets for $1 each and ultimately, I had to snip each star 3 times to make a 1/8" square.

    The plan was to use the Minwax satin poly left over from the Ludwig remodel on this snare. However, it was old and had gelled. I put a first coat by hand/rag over the black & silver sparkle shell and it was okay. However, I did not want to push hard to remove the sparkle. I tried a 2nd coat and was going to use it as adhesive for the confetti, but it was just not usable. I went to Home Depot and was annoyed they no longer carry Minwax (??) and their only in-store brand was another brand. I picked up a can last Friday and decided to go full gloss. Surprisingly, it was quite easy to apply and mixed well and dried well, too. On the Ludwig kit, I did 3 coats of satin by hand, then sanded at 400, then 3 more coats. Here, my concern was sanding could take off the triple finish - paint, sparkle & confetti. I decided against sanding the final product as the gloss stain actually dried quite smooth to the touch.

    I did a first coat Friday, and added the confetti randomly. I did a 2nd coat Saturday, and then a 3rd coat last night. Since it was raining, I could not get the 3rd coat to adhere well and it was a BIG mistake to apply it last night. It was warmer today and I should have waited. The finish had runs and I had to make fixes on the fly before it dried. I am not happy at all with the way it turned out. I was tempted to strip it but again, there was no way I could do so unless I went back to the bare wood and I figured forget it.

    I ended up drilling installing a new Clock throw, new butt, 8 new beaver lugs (all reissues), the original Rogers badge, a muffler off a 60's COB Dyna, and the hoops are generic triple flanged.
    I used random tension rods laying around and at least one is too long so I can't get it too tight.
    Lightly used coated Ambassador, Amb snare side & Puresound wires.....

    I think it looks fantastic. It sounds wonderful, too, at a medium tuning, although I'd like to crank it up a little once I find a replacement t-rod! Although it was a lot of work, I totally would do this finish again if I can find some bare shells - I may do the other Luxor shell as a little brother to this one in the same finish. The trick with the silver sparkles is awesome and I can get the vinyl in numerous colors, so I can do various colors underneath with the paint and add sparkle, then poly over it almost like a lacquer finish - that will be a future project.

    I drilled the muffler right about center versus Rogers does it slightly below the centerline. I think the throw is slightly off but I am not sure. I am having some issues adjusting it so once I figure that out, I hope it's better. I also have a new set of stick chopper rims and although I got them for a few vintage Gretsch snares I am doing, they may look cool on this snare. The grommet fit just fine without flaring it and I should have kept it like that. I had created a flaring tool, though, and used it, but the grommet split in the back (luckily not visible in front). I left the original tag intact and did a light coat of poly on it. I painted the entire inside grey and up to the reinforcement hoops and just the 3 plies show - it's not as clean as I'd like, but it's pretty good. I have also drawn up a new paper tag and will install it tomorrow.....so it will retain the original tag and this new one........

    Here are pics of the process and the final drum. I am more than happy to answer any questions and I'd like to give a big thanks to the DFO community for their insight, comments, tips, knowledge and inspiration!!!

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    Last edited: Mar 11, 2019
  2. rondrums51

    rondrums51 rondrums51

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    Nice job!
     
  3. tommykat1

    tommykat1 DFO Master

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    Now that's pretty cool! A "Luxortone." Or "Powerlux" maybe? I like it! :)
     
  4. Rockin' Billy

    Rockin' Billy DFO Veteran

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    How hip is that!? Nice work!
     
  5. drummertom

    drummertom DFO Veteran

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    Nicely done. Looks great!
     
  6. steambent

    steambent DFO Master

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    WOW!!!!!
     
  7. El Larry

    El Larry Very well Known Member

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    Well done, that looks really cool!
     
  8. jptrickster

    jptrickster DFO Master

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    Party Gras!
     
  9. Osahead2

    Osahead2 DFO Master

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    Wow, you do great work...
     
  10. JazzDrumGuy

    JazzDrumGuy DFO Master

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    Osa, great to see you!.....thanks, buddy......

    The next projects are in the works.......should be back-to-back-to-back!
     
  11. Fat Drummer

    Fat Drummer Very well Known Member

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    SWEEEEET! And thank you for your excellent write ups as well. While you get to enjoy creating new instruments for yourself, others get to see the ups and downs of the process and learn new ides and encouragement for their own projects.
     

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