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Painted '70's Ludwig 3-Ply question


I have a 3-ply Ludwig kit that someone painted blue. underneath the blue is what looks to be a brown paint or wood-grain look. I'm not sure if an original wrap was removed and then the shells were painted or if the original brown finish was painted over. Either way, I was curious if there was a way of stripping the blue without damaging the brown underneath, or if I'm just better off re-wrapping the kit and giving up on trying to salvage anything original at this point.

Also, are these shells still considered "valuable" regardless of the exterior issues due to the type of shells they are?

I have a 14x22" bass, and 12-13-14-15-16" toms, all painted blue, but none are nearly as dinged up as the top of the bass drum pictured here.

Any input is welcome and appreciated! Just learning and trying new stuff! Thank you!

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Posted on 6 years ago


It looks like a the bass drum originally had a mahogany finish. Unfortunately it has been damaged and will never look very good again no matter what you do. Plus it would more than likely be a ton of work stripping all of the paint off that many drums. If it were mine I would try some stripper on that bass drum as an experiment to see how easy or hard it is to remove the paint. If it comes off real easy and you can get the blue paint out of the grain then I would continue on the bass drum just to see how bad the damage to the original exterior ply is. If its too much work then pick a nice wrap and go with it.

As far as the three ply shells go, they are not necessarily valuable but they are desirable, seems they are preferred much more than the 6,5 ply without rings in general. Good luck, I hope you share your results with us. There are a lot of nice people here willing to give advice.

Thank you!
Jeff C

"Enjoy every sandwich" Warren Zevon
Posted on 6 years ago

Wow, some major gashes in the drum.

I fully agree with Jeff C. And trust us he knows the refurbishing process . . . just read his posts on his donation kits.

Good luck and share what you have done.


No Guru - I just love collecting & learning about vintage drums!

Some of my favorites from the kits in the collection
58 WFL New Yorker Blue Sparkle
67 Ludwig Hollywood Red Psychedelic
69 Ludwig Standard Red Ruby Strata
70's Ludwig BOP "Ringo" Kit

A few of my favorite snares
20's Leedy Black Elite
51 Leedy & Ludwig Knob Tension
58 WFL Buddy Rich Classic Blue Sparkle
63 Walberg & Auge Sea Blue Agave Green Pearl
66 Leedy Shelly Manne Blue Agate Pearl
Posted on 6 years ago
Posts: 1880 Threads: 292

Yep, if anyone knows wood and restoring drums, it's Jeff. I'd do what he suggests.

An easy re-wrap would be Jammin' Sam's, should you choose to go that route.

Also, there is some hardware that is not Ludwig, and it looks like the bass drum

spurs were added, giving the shell extra holes and diminishing it's value even further.

Whatever the case, these drums can still be brought back to life with a little hard work

and patience. Keep us posted !



Posted on 6 years ago

If those were mine, I would use some wood filler to fill in the gashes and then recover them in the wrap of your choice. If you are wanting to go the economical route (around $50) for the wrap, you could do what I did and use vinyl fabric. Here is a how to video I did: [ame=""][/ame]

Posted on 6 years ago