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Old 07-13-2019, 08:47 AM
JimmySticks JimmySticks is online now
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Default Cleaning Red Sparkle Wrap

So my new Norma kit in red sparkle wrap is pretty clean, but I would like to give it a good waxing to see how good it can really look.

I understand from reading through some threads that a good quality carnuba car wax would do the trick, but I would like to clean the wrap before waxing, however I'm not sure what I should use to do that. (I didn't find much on cleaning) I was thinking about using a general, all-purpose diluted Spray Nine or Simple Green. I won't be taking hardware off, so...

So what do you guys use?
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Old 07-13-2019, 11:12 AM
Mr.Toast Mr.Toast is offline
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Default Re: Cleaning Red Sparkle Wrap

Jimmy,
Most of the guys here recommend Novus plastic products...they come in several levels of abrasive. I have also used an automotive product called PlastX by Meguire’s I think.
Taking lugs off is preferable, but at least mask them off.
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Old 07-14-2019, 08:29 AM
JimmySticks JimmySticks is online now
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Default Re: Cleaning Red Sparkle Wrap

I did see that Novus product mentioned a couple of times.

Does it take the place of waxing?
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Old 07-15-2019, 12:07 AM
vyacheslav vyacheslav is offline
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Default Re: Cleaning Red Sparkle Wrap

Hey Jimmy,

Novus and Plastix (made my Meguiar's) are specifically made for plastic material like headlights, boat windshields, plastic bumpers etc.

Either one will work very well. I've used both. I prefer Plastix, because it's much easier to find (any auto parts store), it's cheaper and easier to work with. Novus comes in three choices, 1, 2 or 3. Novus 3 is a heavy scratch remover, which honestly you shouldn't need to use. It's also very hard to buff completely off. Only use this if it's absolutely necessary. Novus 2 is the equivalent to Plastix, which is essentially liquid car wax designed specifically for plastic surfaces. Novus 1 is a spray mist that's the equivalent of Windex for plastic items. That really brings out a nice shine to the shell, and helps prevent fingerprints too.

My system is (after removing all the lugs/hardware):

1. Clean the dirt off with Windex and a microfiber towel, then buff with a clean terry towel.

2. Plastix (or Novus 2). It's like a liquid car polish. Apply with a microfiber towel, then buff off with a microfiber towel and again with a terry towel.

3. Novus #1. This is a mist spray that I spread around with a microfiber towel and let it get hazy, then buff with a terry towel. This step is optional, but gives great results. Even after Step 2 (Novus 2/Plastix) you'll feel how much smoother the wrap is.

That system works great for me. You may have hard time finding Novus, although if you have a Sam Ash in your area you may find some there. Otherwise it's either Amazon or ebay. To the best of my knowledge, no hardware store or large home improvement store like Lowe's carries it. That's why I prefer Plastix; any auto parts store carries it. (I am getting low on Novus 1...I'll have to order more). As far as actual car wax goes, I suppose that could work. I've never tried it on wrap finishes before. I use it on gloss lacquer finishes and it works great. If anything, I would stick with Novus/Plastix, because they are specifically designed for plastic materials, and that's what drum wrap is, plastic.


Finally, from the pics of your kit, that should work well. If you ever come across a kit that is dull or dingy, you can also use an actual headlight restoration kit. I used one once on a silver glitter MIJ kit (really more of a dirty white) and achieved excellent results. This is the kind that involves wet sanding on using a cordless drill as the sander, but it came out great. That is the exception though, not the rule. Most kits can look showroom new again with the Plastix/Novus treatment.

Don't forget to clean all the hardware thoroughly before reassembly. You'll get many opinions on how to clean the chrome the best way. Some say Dawn dish washing soap. Some say Eagle One "Nevr Dull" wadding polish. Some say 000 Steel Wool. It is up to you. I prefer the 000 Steel Wool method. A lot of people oppose that, because it's abrasive, but that always gives me the best results compared to the other methods. People opposed to this method are quick to point out that it adds many, very fine scratches to the chrome that you can't even see. That is certainly true. However, my counter-argument is always the fact that if it's from the 60's or 70's, doesn't the chrome already have many fine scratches that you can't see anyway? I will say it is my preferred method on MIJ kits and hardware. I may go a different route if I was cleaning up a Gretsch round badge or a Ludwig Black Panther or something (or maybe not). Find what works best for you and go with that.

While you're at it (and before you begin the cleaning/polishing process), those MIJ drums greatly benefit from a light hand sanding of the bearing edges. 220 grit works great. Just lightly sand them to smooth them out. You don't want to change the shape or contour of the edge, just smooth out the roughness, so it actually feels good to run your finger along the edge, instead of feeling like your running your finger along a cheese grater instead! It really helps a lot. They are usually pretty rough feeling from the factory.
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Last edited by vyacheslav; 07-15-2019 at 12:35 AM.
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Old 07-15-2019, 01:00 AM
idrum4fun idrum4fun is offline
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Default Re: Cleaning Red Sparkle Wrap

+1 with everything vyacheslav said above! I use Novus products exclusively on all my wrapped vintage drums. I start with Novus #2, followed by Novus #1. It's a great product. True, it can be tough to find it locally, but you can easily order it on Amazon.

-Mark
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Old 07-15-2019, 08:52 AM
JimmySticks JimmySticks is online now
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Default Re: Cleaning Red Sparkle Wrap

vyacheslav - thanks for taking the time to give me, and others I suppose, a great step by step tutorial on cleaning and polishing our kits!

So I'll start with some Windex to get any dirt off, and then I'm probably going to go with Plastix, simply because it is so easy to get, and my guess is it won't harm the hardware. I am planning on masking the lugs, not taking them off. They are in great shape and shine like glass with a cloth rubdown. My guess is there is still some kind of polish on them from the last owner. Eagle One Nevr Dull, is a great cleaner and polisher and so easy to use. I'd have no qualms using if on drum hardware. I use it on my vintage watches and it makes the cases shine like new.

I will check the bearing edges. Maybe a previous owner sanded them down, since they do have new heads. It seems like its something you would do when changing them, if you know about the tendency of rough edges, but I'll check them out.

Mark, I saw the Novus products on Amazon, so if I do go that route, I will get it from them. Thanks!

Can't thank you enough for the tips!
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Old 07-15-2019, 06:03 PM
jccabinets jccabinets is offline
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Default Re: Cleaning Red Sparkle Wrap

Great help there guys!
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Old 08-21-2019, 09:54 PM
JimmySticks JimmySticks is online now
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Default Re: Cleaning Red Sparkle Wrap

Hi guys, I wanted to let everyone that contributed to this thread know that your helpful hints weren't wasted! I have started cleaning and polishing my kit.

I started with the rack tom, Windex first to get any dirt off, and then I applied the Plastix and buffed it out. And wow, it brought out a beautiful sheen and the red sparkle wrap really stands out now and it shines like a ruby. It really looks showroom new. And these drums are in fantastic condition, but it still brought out some nice shine.

I also used Eagle Nevr Dull on the chrome and the results are nothing short of stunning. And again, the chrome looked great before, but now it is just beautifully shiny.

So thanks to all for the help! Your advice was spot-on.

Last edited by JimmySticks; 08-22-2019 at 02:50 PM.
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