Tape vs Glue wrap installation

Discussion in 'The Builders Workshop' started by Salem street drums, Jan 25, 2019.

  1. Salem street drums

    Salem street drums DFO Sponsor Sponsor

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    I realize this topic has been discussed before, but I was interested in some updated view points. I just got off the phone with Jammin Sam and I think he has sold me on the idea of using tape. I’ve used contact cement in the past with good results, but it really is a messy tedious process. Anyone run into issues with the tape process?
     
  2. jccabinets

    jccabinets Very well Known Member

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    I use the tape on my slingerland drums years ago and never had any issues. The drums were gigged, not a lot but they did go out of the house. I'm using the tape for my next project simply because I feel that it's nice to be able to remove it down the road easily if I were to change my mind.
     
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  3. Fat Drummer

    Fat Drummer Very well Known Member

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    Oh man, this may be the one topic we have left on the building side of drumming that is almost divisive as politics and religion!!! I see benifits and negatives to each and as you say, they have been debated darn near to death!

    I can see a time and place for both, but when it's a drum that I know will never be changed again, I prefer to glue. Sam and I have had this same discussion several times and we share very little common ground. I hold that wrapping a shell is 100% going to change the drums tone, we all agree on that, but tapping is more deadening than fully gluing. A properly glued veneer or wrap will inhibit a shells resonance less by more resembling a thicker additional ply. Tapping has always sounded more muffled to me.

    In truth, while I can easily defend my reasoning and mechanics, it may be nothing more then my ears preference. And I'm OK with that, In the end both work, it's just which one tips the scale for your particular project at the moment.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2019
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  4. Salem street drums

    Salem street drums DFO Sponsor Sponsor

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    Yeah, I think I’m going to sick with the glue (no pun intended).
     
  5. Fat Drummer

    Fat Drummer Very well Known Member

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    LOL! I see what you did there! Share pics when your done. You don't post near as many finished projects as I wish you did, you build wonderful instruments.

    In my "trip to the woodshed" post I mentioned that you were one of the builder that I was going to have transform some of my lumber finds into a snare shell. I'll be in touch one day and were going to have fun on a project together.
     
  6. Salem street drums

    Salem street drums DFO Sponsor Sponsor

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    Thanks so much! I have a shop full of stave drums about to finish up....I’ll be posting more pics in the near future. Thanks again for the kind words.
     
  7. CaptainCrunch

    CaptainCrunch DFO Veteran

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    I've taped and glued. The tape failed. Glue/contact cement SUCKS to work with simply because when it goes wrong it goes very wrong, but that's what I'm using going forward.

    Maybe if I'm doing cheap wrap on some cheap drums I'd try tape again, but then I'd have to ask myself why I'm spending time and money on either of those things.
     
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  8. K.O.

    K.O. DFO Master

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    I always use glue. I can see the appeal of using tape to a first timer or someone who thinks they will want to change the wrap again over time but I have heard so many stories of taped on jobs going wrong, bubbling, lifting at the seam, etc. I also agree with the statement above that glued on wrap acts more like an additional ply while taped-on is a relatively loose layer floating over the shell that would be more likely to soak up vibrations. There is definitely a learning curve to doing a glued on job correctly but once you get the process down it's pretty straightforward and reasonably foolproof.

    Precision recommends gluing wrap on but I think they do sell the high bond tape if someone wants it. Sam is like a religious zealot about using tape with a multi-page white paper on his site about how gluing is the "inferior" method. More difficult? Yes. Permanent? Not necessarily, but much more so than tape (I would see this as a plus). I can see that pushing tape might benefit his business since it's a bit less scary thing to try for a newbie and there is a better chance of selling them more wrap in the future if they decide to change wraps (or the initial job fails in some way). I don't see the advantage in going out of someone's way to "slam" the glue on method though, obviously it works, has worked for nearly a century, and continues to be used on higher end wrapped drums. I think the better business model would be to let the customer decide without too much pressure. Sam will sell wrap without tape if you insist but for me it's just easier to buy from Precision or Drum Supply (drummaker.com) and avoid the debate altogether.

    I just finished a rewrap job on some Slingerlands earlier this month. They were shells that someone else had stripped but then never followed through on rewrapping them. I got them for next to nothing (the wrap from Precision cost me three times what the drums had). I glued the silver sparkle wrap of course but they came out very nice and the job was accomplished with no snags.
     
  9. Tommy D

    Tommy D Very well Known Member

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    When I've wrapped drums I go full glue. 3M 30nf. I don't find it to be messy at all, but it is nerve wracking to apply as you only get one shot. I have had to create a jig to get the wrap and the edge of the shell aligned perfectly perpendicular to each other. Even then the ends sometimes end up 1/16" off from each other. It's not a problem though as the wrap is usually 1/2" taller than the shell depth and the excess is cut off. You can't even tell there was the slightest misalignment once the edges are put on.

    The only thing I still debate is how I want to do the wrap overlap at the bearing edges. I have done full over laps and blended the hump with a hand file to smooth it all out and for my last snare I wrapped, I did the DW notch back. The notch requires more setup and time to do, but I think it comes out better in the end.

    Anyone have thoughts on that?
     
  10. sksmith-1

    sksmith-1 Well-Known Member

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    I haven't used the notch before, but would like to see how it looks.
    The last two sets that I did, always with contact cement, I under cut the wrap so that it is below the bearing edge.
    Once everything is back together, you can't see it.
    I had used the overlap, cut & file method previously, and always worried that I'd cut or file the bearing edge. Undercutting removes this fear.
    It then adds to the fear of making sure that everything is properly aligned. But if that is the case, it is easier to correct than a bearing edge.
    Steve
     
  11. Beefsurgeon

    Beefsurgeon Well-Known Member

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    It definitely doesn't reduce the "nerve wracking" factor, but butt seams give a really nice result. I used to work for one of the more established custom drum companies, and we transitioned from the DW-style notch back to butt seams with good success. Here's a breakdown of our technique.

    Tools:
    Procedure:
    1. Wrap the drum, leaving an overlap flap of about 2". Be sure that the wrap edge that you start with is completely clean and straight. Sometimes the sheet edges on Delmar wraps have a slight bow in them. It's usually only an issue on deeper drums, but check anyway.
    2. Clamp the straight edge onto the shell. It will be the guide for the cutting tool. There should be a small gap between the straight edge and the wrap edge that's glued to the shell. The size of this gap varies with the thickness of the wrap, but it should be about 1/32". The clamps should be tight enough to keep the straight edge in place, but not so hulk-tight that cause it to bow.
    3. Run the rotary tool across the seam. The overlap flap will "pop" off. The first pass may not go all the way through the wrap, but it should leave a deep enough channel that you can do another pass or two to finish the cut without the blade wandering.
    Some other general thoughts:
    • This technique works for every type of wrap out there, except for extremely brittle countertop laminates. Sparkles, glass glitters, pearls, satin flames, are all fine. As you can imagine, glass glitters chew up the blade on the rotary cutter, but it will last longer than you would think, considering that this tool is made for cutting fabric.
    • Rotary tools with larger blades have more flex in them, which it harder to use them for this technique. Stick with a small blade.
    • This technique obviously gets easier with practice. If you have any wrap scraps, you can glue them to scrap wood for a test run.
    • At the risk of stating the obvious: Don't try to do this with the shell sitting directly on your work table. Clamp a 2x4 to your table and hang the shell on it.
     
  12. rpludwig

    rpludwig Very well Known Member

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    my method - glue it, using 3M 30nf only, build a temporary 90* guide on the table, do a "dry fit" to plan out your proper overlap and termination UNDER lugs. Roll the shell onto the wrap. Tape the area beyond the wrap end termination to protect/catch any ooze out. Once wrapped, immediately clamp the seam with a 1x over the entire length of the seam. Take your time, plan ahead, do a small shell first (snare or rack tom). see http://ronleo.com/slingy

    As K.O. sez, Sam's gig is the tape method, (and I use his wrap), makes it easier for newbies and thus helps boost his sales (nothing wrong with that marketing), but glue is the way to go, for the various reasons mentioned in this thread IMO.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2019
  13. Tommy D

    Tommy D Very well Known Member

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    This is how the DW notch looks:

    [​IMG]

    It's just a butt joint for about 3/8" off the bearing edge and then an overlap after that. What is difficult about it is you have to wrap the shell, then tape off the areas you want cut off, sand the areas that are under the overlap without messing up the areas that are still exposed, cut the wrap perfectly so it has a clean butt joint at the edges (otherwise you risk having a bump in your bearing edge) and then apply the glue to the wrap over lap and the portion if the shell where the wrap goes.

    It's really time consuming to do, but it makes for clean edges, no issues with heads seating, and looks good when it's all done.
     
  14. Fat Drummer

    Fat Drummer Very well Known Member

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    That looks GREAT TD, nice work!
     
  15. Mcjnic

    Mcjnic DFO Veteran

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    Used Sam’s tape method on a few kits.
    Used glue on several.
    I did not like the results of the tape method ... other than a more simplified application.
    There was absolutely a reduction in tone and resonance and sustain via the tape method.
    That’s my observations.
     
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  16. rpludwig

    rpludwig Very well Known Member

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    understand the "notch" to keep the overlap off the bearing edge, makes perfect sense, but why not put the seam under the lugs??
     
  17. Ron_M

    Ron_M DFO Veteran

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    As opposed to the throw-off (or butt)? It looks like the throw-off would do an even better job at holding the seam (larger assembly, more screws).
     
  18. jccabinets

    jccabinets Very well Known Member

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    well my next drum is going to be glued, you guys have convinced me. I've only done one drum set with drum wrap, most of my projects have been veneered which is obviously glued.
     
  19. Beefsurgeon

    Beefsurgeon Well-Known Member

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    This makes intuitive sense, but I would not recommend it. The reason is that, over time, the pressure of the lug "digging in" can cause the overlap to bubble up right above it. This may be less of an issue with a throwoff, but my advice is to let the glue do its job. If the overlap lifts a bit without hardware holding it down (which it shouldn't*), it's pretty easy to fix. If the pressure of the hardware is causing the lift, the fix is going to be more challenging.

    *one thing to keep in mind is to be sure you area scuffing up the overlapped area with sandpaper prior to gluing. This really helps with adhesion. Our approach to this was to dry fit the wrap with clamps. While clamped, we'd cut the notches and tape off the overlap area. Then you can safely sand the overlap area.
     
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  20. Fat Drummer

    Fat Drummer Very well Known Member

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    Excellent points! I follow both the scuffing as well as not breaking my seams under a lug unless it's a cold press glued wood veneer.
     

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