Vintage cleaning tips
After acquiring that vintage relic, usually a good cleaning ia advisable. One good reason to clean is checking out all facets of the drum you bought. By breaking the drum down you can inspect and discover many hidden aspects of condition, it can be a learning experience. Take reasonable care in dis-assembly, noting screw locations angle adjustments and part assemblies. This will make the re-assembly much easier and quicker. Label and catagorize all parts.
Most vintage metal parts can be made from a collection of pot metals such as chrome and nickle plating. Rare copper and gold plating were available. Newer 60's and 70's era chrome plated metal parts are easily cleaned with hot water and a Brillo pad. The chrome seems to not scratch as much. Older era 20's to 50's parts use a finer steel wool .000 and a mix of Bon Ami cleanser with Dawn diswashing liquid mixed to a paste. This will remove surface grime and grease and not scratch most metal. I also use a tooth brush to clean with these ingredients, this works great for small areas. Some chrome and nickle plating will scratch because of age no matter what, so use extreme care and test a small area for signs of surface scratching. Once cleaned and dried, I use a polish such as Turtle wax car polish. I have used also Simi-Chrome and other paste cleaners from jewelers with similar results. The jeweler recommended simply Windex for metal cleaning.
Most vintage metal parts contain rust. I simply soak the small parts in grocery bought generic- lemon juice ( be careful the longer you soak the more plating will dissolve from your metal , and will accutally dissolve the metal over a long period).
Pitting also occurs but unfortunately, you can only shine the surface. Depending on the degree of pitting. Unless your familiar with a electric buffer. I am not.
Plastic drumheads come clean from dust and surface dirt with a washing of soap and water. Steel wool scratches plastic. I recommend Maguires plastic cleaner and polish for this.Clear acrylic shells are cleaned and polished with similar results.
Wood shells normally are covered with a scratched , scuffed or discolored finish. Surfacely can be cleaned with soap and water, then car polish to bring lustre and shine. I have tried many things and yellowing, spotting and stains cannot be removed from vintage coverings. One time as I was removing paint from the inside of a drum shell with a paint stripper a little bit oozed on the covering. I quickly wiped it off to reveal a " whiter" surface. But the stripper actually eats away the covering material to achieve this result? If you could time the chemical effects and remove it before too much is removed, you might be able to create the appearance of a"newer" covering ?
The inside wood shell can be washed with Murphys oil soap lightly , be careful not to remove factory writing or stamping. I avoid these areas.
Most tension rods, snare strainers and butt plates need lubricating after cleaning. A light oil, such as Lithium grease, Vasoline or 3 in 1 oil work good.
Snares can be cleaned flatly as to not damage or bend the wires with a Brillo pad or a damp cloth.
My ideas are my opinion, they may or may not work for you. It is at your discretion to try these ideas. you agree and hereby waive me from any liability of injury, loss or damage to personal property associated with activities participated in this activity. I imply no expertise and do not endorse any products.
I enjoy bringing old and vintage " distressed" drums back to a " playable " condition for generations to enjoy and create more music with them. Good Luck !
Look for more to come......