I have a sweet ‘70s Ludwig drum kit. I bought it when I lived in North Carolina for about $300. It had originally been black, but had since been stripped of the wrap and brush-painted in natural. But the drums are nice and big (24” kick, 13” tom, 18 floor) and I thought they would be cool in a period-correct silver sparkle.
So I re-wrapped them. First I totally dismantled them removing all heads and hardware. I decided I wanted the bass and tom to be “virgin” so, I filled those holes. The tom was easy as I simply put some wood filler in the screw holes and then coated both sides in clear sealer. The bass was more involved as I had to cut a plug to fill the large hole. I rough cut a circular plug from 5/8” thick piece of maple that I had on hand. Then using a bench-mounted disc sander, I carefully sanded it down until it fit in the hole very tightly. I glued it in place with some wood glue, and once it dried, I used a Japanese saw (they are flexible to conform to the shape of the drum) to cut away the excess material. I sanded it smooth inside and out and coated both sides in clear sealer. It came out very good, I think.
I ordered the silver sparkle wrap from jamminsam.com. I know, maybe the best website name ever. It’s not cheap, but it is well worth every dollar. jSam (that’s what I call him) cuts the material to size and applies very user-friendly adhesive tape which makes application pretty easy as long as your drums are fairly true in terms of roundness, and you take you time. They came out great.
I proceeded to clean and polish all of the lugs and hoops. I sanded and spray-painted the hoops back to a glossy black, and then added in the pre-cut silver sparkly inserts which I got from jSam. Added some new heads, and I had a brand new 1970’s Ludwig drum kit. If I had a second floor tom, it would dang near be a John Bonham kit (I’m on the lookout for said second floor tom).
Now for the conundrum part… my kit, which I totally dig, is in the cases back in my garage in N.C. My garage is packed tightly with everything that we own in our house as our realtor has removed our things so that she can “stage” the house to make it more appealing to prospective home buyers. Even if I could get to North Carolina, and then spend several hours to get at and remove the drums from the garage, how much would it cost to ship them to Texas? I’m guessing a lot. Like $200 or more with the snare, kick pedal, stands, etc.
So, I came up with a better solution (or maybe better; only time will tell.) I bought a kit off Craigslist from a guy moving to Panama. He was leaving after the weekend and was desperate to sell. It is a more recent Gretsch four-piece kit from the Catalina Stage line. It came with a Pearl kick pedal which seems very nice, plus two cymbal stands, two crash cymbals (one Zildjian, one Sabian, both decent), hi-hats (A. Zildjian) and hi-hat stand, and a cheap throne. He was asking $480, but I got it all for $260. I figure that I can easily sell for that amount on Craigslist when my home in N.C. sells and my real drums arrive. Or maybe Lizagator will take them over as her own kit. I could do up a cool bass drum head for her!