Cleaning and Maintenance of an accoustic Drum Set
Posted 08 March 2012 - 04:14 PM
1. Your hardware will last longer and will be less likely to seize up on you when setting up and tearing down
2. Your shells will be less likely to be damaged by the elements of time and nature
3. Your drums will be easier to tune (tension rods are less likely to seize) and sound better (in my opinion)
4. Your drum set as whole will last longer, even a lifetime
5.And your set looks better on stage when it's clean and polished
Since I have a lacquered finish, I use :
1. lemon oil because it's nicer for the laquered finish (Pledge furniture polish works well on wraps too, as I used to have a set with wraps),
2. 2 Chamois (one to apply polish, the second to wipe off polish),
3. Feather Duster,
4. Rubber gloves (to prevent sweat from hands from interfering with cleaning),
5. Chrome polish for the lugs, tension rods, and hoops (rims),
6. Paraffin wax for the bearing edges and tension rods,
7. Diaper towels (one to remove chrome polish and one to "buff" the shell),
8. A very soft, fine bristled make up brush (or like something they use to apply shaving cream at the barber shop). I use this to remove any chrome polish, dust, or polish from corners and crevices.
9. DrumDial (for tuning / I first tuned by ear and then measured what the head tension was prior to removing the heads).
I also use Baskey Matt Markers for easy set up after cleaning. They attach to any drum rug (or carpet as in my case) and make set up a breeze without having to reposition or figure out how things were set up. Each stand can be color coded with three Matt Markers for each leg of your stands. Sure, duct tape will work just as good, but these are affixed securely and won't move or tear off from gig to gig and can be easily changed around should you reconfigure your set up.
1. I remove both heads and hoops; leaving only the shell and lugs:
2. I apply chrome polish to the hoops, tension rods, and lugs (not pictured). At this point I also rub some parrafin wax on to the tension rods. I have also discovered it helps keep the drums stay in tune a bit longer (or so it seems).
3. After the polish has sit for about 5 min. or so, I "buff" off the polish from the hoops, tension rods and lugs. I have found the "Make Up Brush" to be very useful in removing any chrome polish from the hoops, tension rods, and lugs that have "crevices" or Weird angles where the polish has got into.
4. I apply lemon oil to the inside of the shell. I dampen a chamois with lemon oil, then rub it in going with the grain of the wood. This is just another one of my "Peace of Mind" things I do to help repel any moisture or rapid humidity changes. Hey, it also makes them smell good too.
5. I do the same with the lemon oil on the outside of the shell. However, unlike the inside of the shell, I polish this off in a two step process. Obviously, I first apply the lemon oil to the shell by dampening a chamois, then rubbing it on the shell. The two step polishing process is : first, rub it off with a clean diaper cloth (or clean, soft, corron towel), and then secondly, polish any remaining "smudges" off using the feather duster (make sure it's very soft).
6. Next, I apply paraffin wax to the bearing edges. I've heard (and believe) this helps creat a better "bond" and "seal" between the drum head and bearing edge. Ok, I'll admit it. It's another one of those "Peace of Mind" things again. Just an extra precautionary measure I take. BUT, I will say it does help seat and seal the drum head a little better (or so it seems).
7. Now I put the heads on and tune using the DrumDial. A word on the DrumDial : I have tuned my drums "by ear" many, many times prior to getting a DrumDial. After I got the DrumDial, I tuned my set "by ear". After getting it all sounding good, I went with the DrumDial and measured the tension at each lug point, then wrote it down. So, when I get to this step in cleaning my drums, I have a "base point" to start at with re-tuning the heads by using the DrumDial. I usually go back after getting it all set up and "tweak" here and there.
Now that's a shiny drum (snare drum) only 6 more pieces to go (5 toms and a bass drum).
I then move onto my pedals: Hi-Hat and Bass Pedals.
For these I use Chrome Polish (to clean surfaces and Hi-Hat Stand), rubber gloves, two soft cotton clothes (one to use to apply polish and the second to wipe it off), WD 40 (not shown / to lube joints/movable areas), and a soft bristled make-up brush.
To polish Hi-Hat Stand and wipe down surface areas of pedals, I spray/apply polish to the first cloth and wipe on stand/surface areas. Then, using the second cloth, wipe down and remove the polish from stands and surface areas (much like the same procedure I used when polishing the shell of my drums. I use the paintbrush at this time to remove any dust from the cracks/crevices/joints/springs/chains on my pedals. I then use the WD 40 on the chain of my Hi-Hat Pedal and joints of my Double Bass Pedals.
Next I clean my stands and all other hardware.
Again, I use Chrome Polish, two white cotton cloths, and rubber gloves. I use the same process I used for cleaning my Hi-Hat Stand. Spray/apply polish to the first cloth; wiping down all parts of stand. Then I use the second cloth to remove the polish. Depending on how many stands you have (or size of your drum rack); you may need additional clean cotton cloths to remove polish.
Last but certainly not least, I polish my cymbals.
For this, I use Zildjian Cymbal Cleaner (almost any polish made for polishing cymbals can be used), paper towels, cotton cloths (one for each cymbal; including one for each cymbal that makes up the Hi-Hat), q-tips, two pairs of rubber gloves (one pair to wear when applying polish and the second to wear when wiping off polish / you can actually use one pair through this whole cleaning process, but I just prefer to use a different pair for the multiple elements that make up my set), and a toothbrush.
I use a stand as a base for polishing my cymbals. I take a paper towel and apply the polish; being careful not to go over logos (if these areas need attention, I use a q-tip to go around logo). I flip cymbal over and do the same process for the under-side.
After waiting five to ten mins. for polish to �dry�, I use a clean cotton cloth to remove polish; using a side-to-side motion that follows the �grooves� of the cymbal. I polish small �slices� of my cymbal at a time: using a clean area of cloth on each section that still has polish on it.
After doing that, I use the clean side (or a totally new clean cloth) to do a final polish on my cymbal; wiping with the grooves and removing any polish that I might have missed.
I turn the cymbal over and remove the polish in much the same process as used above. The toothbrush is used for hard to clean spots (that require a little more attention / and the q-tips are used to clean around logos).
I repeat the above steps with every cymbal.
Edit : It's been brought to my attention that I should explain a little more clearly on polishing cymbals and keeping the logos intact. Almost any polish and cleaner will remove the logos from cymbals. Even polish or cleaners that advertise as being "logo safe" will eventually wear off the logos (even using warm soapy water to clean and polish your cymbals will eventually wear off the logos). The safe way to keep the logos intact is by polishing "around" the logos. As mentioned above, use a q-tip if needed. It's more work and takes more time. But, this the only way I can think of to keep the logos from wearing off when polishing them.
That�s what I do when I do a complete and thorough cleaning and tuning of my set. It took me 10 hours, but it was worth it. Yeah, it's a lot of work. But, I'm pretty particular when it comes to my drum set. It's a major investment and one worth the work in oreder to protect it an keep it looking and sounding good. Besides, A clean drum set is a happy drum set. And a happy drum set sounds great and is fum to play.
I do a thorough cleaning once every six-eight weeks. In between that time, I just dust, remove cymbals from stands, and cover the drums after each practice/playing them.
Posted 16 February 2013 - 08:57 AM
I thought I'd chip in what I do to clean since my last 2 weeks has been all about upkeep and maintenance of 3 different kits.
I used this stuff to moisturize and protect the inside of my drums. It was about 7 dollars, and there was enough to do 2 drum kits with about 1/3 of the bottle. It worked out because I couldn't find any lemon oil, and this stuff also leaves the beeswax on the surface in microfilm to seal in the moisture content of the wood. Definitely recommend.
Another really good product is Bar Keeper's friend, as mentioned in this article by YT. It actually works! It made cymbal cleaning a breeze.
Again, great thread.
-Revelations 6:7 as used in song by Johnny Cash