Monday, March 29, 2010

classic Ludwig

I went on the road this past weekend and used a refurbished kit that I just finished. It is a classic Ludwig set. Hearing them miked for the first time gave me the chills. I sounded like the late John Bonham of Led Zepplin. I even set them up the way Bonham did... two floor toms.
On the way to Georgia, we stopped to pick up the bass player in Nashville. Having never met the guy, we wondered how the weekend would turn out. He proved to be a great asset to the group.
Upon arrival, we set up and checked the sound... I recall thinking, "man, this bass player is really good. this is going to be fun."
I refinished the old used Ludwig set from a plastic grey wrap to a beautiful classic black finish with a light sparkle. with the original bass drum hoops being metal with a grey stripe on them, the drum set looked charcoal.
I modified the rack tom by cutting 4 inches off making it 12"x8" fitting nicely on the bass drum. I made the 13"x13" a floor tom, mounting it to a cymbal stand next to the 16"x16" floor tom. I used a metal snare with the set to brighten the tone.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


This set was for a guy who wanted a "big" sounding drum set with a
purple finish. The bass drum is 22" x 20" floor tom 16" x 16"
rack tom 13" x 11" and the snare 14" x 5.5". I named her Elaine
after the city commissioner of Bowling Green, KY.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Torched Maple

This experiment turned out better than I excepted. The
Pearl Export set shown here started out with a wrap on
the shells. I disassembled the set, and detached the plastic
wrap. The shells made of ply maple dissplayed beautiful
grain patterns. I sanded the shells removing all tape and glue
residue. Once the shells were ready for staining, I decided
to take a different route. I thought it would be interesting
to see how they sounded with forced aging. Aging the wood
allows a warmer tonality. What better way to age wood but
by fire. I did just that. Using a handheld blow torch I torched
along the wood grains at first outlining the nice grain patterns.
then filled in the rest of the surface very slowly and with low
The black hardware complimented the burnt shells adding an
organic look. I went with a satin finish letting the true colors of
the burnt wood appear. The set includes a 22"x18" bass drum,
16"x16" floor tom, and a 13"x11" rack tom. It was purchased by
one of my students. I have his old set for restoration. photos
soon to come...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


I received this snare with a drum set purchased to rebuild. Rust covered the entire drum. Being chrome, I knew I could clean it and it would turn out looking new. I disassembled the snare keeping all components organized. I cleaned the shell first. Luckily there were no major problems or pieces missing. After everything was clean, I reassembled the drum only replacing the heads.
Other than the initial cost of the drum set, it didn't cost a penny refurbishing. The heads I used were not new but were good for the sound I desired. I used this snare over the weekend in the studio and it sounded amazing.