Pictures of the 1964 Slingerland kit I picked up

The two '64 mahogany drum shells I bought from Terry had a pearl shimmer vinyl drum wrap that somebody had spray painted black. He had also given me an old Leedy 14"x10" snare shell from 1959 that had a natural finish showing the outer mahogany. My goal is to strip away the black drum wrap and refinish to show the natural wood tone. Despite being over 50 years old these drums were in pretty good condition. I found that a heat gun was my best friend to try to remove the gunk and wrap residue.

Black wrap still on the kick, floor tom with stubborn wrap plastic, '59 snare shell on the right

Kick drum. Check out the Walberg Auge rail which is used to attach a rack tom.

'59 snare: mahogany-poplar-mahogany construction.

The inside of the drum is stamped with the year it was made - 1959. The M stands for a mahogany exterior finish.

Leedy drum badge.

Stripping in progress

That black thing is the wrap that I removed from the tom

Close up of the original wrap. It had a weird iridescent shimmer thing happening that somebody hated enough that they wanted to (sloppily) cover with black paint...

More stripping in progress

I made the mistake of removing the wrap too fast and it left half of the vinyl wrap stuck to the wood. I tried to scrape it off, then solvents, but ultimately the heat gun did the trick. Hope I didn't scratch up the wood too much though...

Inside of the shell: P stands for pearl wrap, stamped Nov 1964.

bearing edge has some holes that I'll try and fill with wood filler. mahogany-poplar-maple 3 ply construction.

Snare has a mahogany-poplar-mahogany construction.

Heat gun zapped the wrap off

Heat gun, got it on discount

Lexy? Sexy? Some sort of writing underneath the wrap

Almost done...

Majority of the wrap is off. Hopefully sanding will get the rest off, and then a light finish to protect the wood.

I am not really a collector or vintage drum aficionado. Stumbling upon these shells was a lucky coincidence, and fascinating to learn about them. The truth is buying new drums was just insanely expensive - so finding and fixing an older kit seemed like a more practical choice.

To be continued...

zirafa says:

Note: sanding is actually pretty difficult because the mahogany has absorbed a large amount of the glue that kept the wrap in place. So basically I have to sand a layer of glue which is...gummy. Acetone seems to push the glue around but not really remove it...and the hot gun is incredibly slow.

xbeethovenx (not verified) says:

awesome update!

lost in the parking lot (not verified) says:

Dude if you're still sanding these, Leave them outside in car while it's still cold out, like freezing, that should help with the gumminess.

Glad to see you're still rocking those plates

Gear Whore :-)

zirafa says:

I finished sanding one of the shells and the other one is almost done, but I've discovered some significant water damage where the plys are warped or cracked. At this point there is no stopping though...just gonna try and patch and fix...if they don't work as drums I suppose I can convert them into some kinda weird coffee table! The sanded raw mahogany has an interesting grain - it kind of shimmers even without any finish applied.