The Troupe
This drummer's journey with other drummers.

The Renovation Project: Part II

Phase III (Deep breaths and not giving up)

Having stripped all of the pleather from the Red Neck Doumbek I was honestly horrified at the condition of the drum body itself, and despair was creeping up on me.

Had I taken something that had sounded so good and ruined it by trying to fix it?

Was my favorite drum now a lost cause?

Why oh why had I tried to fix something that was not broken?

It was time for a break.   I needed a hug, or at least a beer, and some moments of quiet reflection to decide upon my next course of action.

Beer, the ultimate tool!

Phase IV (Cleaning and sanding the aluminum for paint prep.)

In addition to all of the nasty ridges, cracks, holes, and pits the doumbek also had a ton of upholstery glue residue (Henceforth: Gunk) all over it.

Gunk. Gunk. Gunk.

The original plan was to use the cleanser, a scrubber, and my winning smile to make the gunk simply fall off.   Sadly that did not work, at all.   The gunk actually giggled, as if I were tickling it.

Next plan: Sand paper.   The gunk was too rubbery, and the sandpaper did virtually nothing.

I rubbed at the gunk with the tip of my thumb, just to get an aidea of what I was up against… and it stuck to my thumb and peeled right off the drum!   Sweet.

New plan: Rub it off with my thumb and fingers.   However, I quickly discovered the flaw in my plan!  My thumbs were made of flesh but the drum was made of sharp aluminum.  Owie.

There is some math I could probably do to explain the surface area of my doumbek, but it seemed like about three square miles of broken glass.

Two hours, seven cuts, and a near infinite number of small scratches, later I had a clean drum.


Clean, but still sharp.

Phase V (Filling the cracks and holes)

Now it was time to break out the bondo and fill up all the nasty spots.   I mixed up the incredible goop stuff and started to to work it into the gaps and such by hand. (Open air only for sure.  That stuff is nasty)

I also filled the cracks on the ring and edges, shaping it as best I could to match the curve of the drum, but leaving excess to sand down smooth.    This part was fairly fun, as I could be as sloppy as I need to be.

And then… the waiting for bondo to dry to hardness.

Bondo drying.

Watching bondo dry is so exciting the picture is blurring with the speed.

This went on for, wait for it, seven days. The pits and holes were so deep it took the bondo a full week to dry. I was no longer sad, now I was just annoyed.

Dubious progress, but progress none-the-less.


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