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Drums & Percussion/restore natural finish '70's Big R Rogers


I own a set of late 70's Rogers "big R" memri-loc drums.  I purchased them in 1981 from a drummer in Denver who bought them new the year before and just got an endorsement from another manufacturer.  I used the set (24" bd, 12, 13, 14, 15" rack toms, 16" floor tom) 300%-plus days a year, and over the decades the lacquer finish has aged poorly.  In addition to scuffs and scratches from all the use, the finish has hardened and cracked, leaving discoloration along the cracks.  I'm certain that the finish must go, and then a new clear-coat applied.

Were it not for the large badges I'd have sanded the shells down and had a professional apply a good, durable gloss finish to the beautiful natural finish shells.  But, it appears that the badges are more like "decals," glued to the shell, and I have no idea how I could remove them without seriously altering their appearance.

I love this set even though I've had to replace the BD with a 22" from Dragon Drums after a giant Elvis impersonator stumbled backward into the set and literally flattened the original shell!  I'm in my 50's and although I have other sets, this is the one that I want to bring back to its old glory.  These drums and I have lots of history together, as you might imagine.

John in Palm Bay, FL


I have never been successful at removing that type of "Badge" from any of those drums.
I have asked other drum repair techs and none of them could tell me a way to remove those badges.
However, it has been several years since I have tried to remove any of those badges and who knows,there might be some chemical or other method to remove those badges ssuccessfully.

I have done several drum kits that had badges like this and I told the owner that if he wanted a new finish, those badges would be destroyed.

Every owner, except 2, decided that a new finish was more important than the badge.
Those 2 owners went to a sign place and had thin metal badges made that were exact duplicates of the original badges.
The new badges had 2 small holes in them and we used very tiny bolts & nuts to affix them to the drums.

When you do have a new finish done, go to a furniture refinisher and use a "Spar Urethane"
This stuff is bullet-proof.
It was designed to be used outside and it is used it on million dollar yachts----
outside in the salt air.
Your drums will never be exposed to any treatment like that!

BUT---before you have the finish redone, take those drums to a drum repair expert and have the bearing edges checked.
If your drums sound good like they are, they will sound great when the bearing edges are redone.

Hope this helps.

You have some great drums there!



What "Jem" are you talking about?

Can you send some pics to my email?
It is drumdoctor at live dot com.

Also, I was tslking about your bearing edges.
I have done the bearing edges of several of these drum kits and EVERY drum kit like this
had bad edges.
Some of the edges were not bad, but still  needed a "tune up".
Many of the drums had really bad edges and the improvement was amazing!
Every one of the owners said that the difference in sound was drastic!
They thought that their drums sounded good before cutting the edges----
they thought that their drums sounded AMAZING , after the edges were cut.
2 or 3 of the owners told me that they were planning to sell their Rogers drums and get
a new kit.
 BUT---after I cut the edges, not a single owner sold or traded their Rogers drums.

I even resealed the insides of a few of the kits and then opened their eyes (and ears)
to some different drum head combinations.

You can do a check of your bearing edges.
1--Take all the heads off the drums
2--Put the drums on a flat surface (piece of glass or mirror, countertop etc...)
3--Make the room dark.
4--Place a bright flashlight inside.
5--If you see light escaping from the bottom edge, you have bad bearing edges.
*Rotate the drum slightly and look again.

Bad edges means that there re high spots and low spots.
A drum head is perfectly flat---SO---
How do you put a perfectly flat drum head on a bearing edge that is not flat?
This causes lack of resonance and attack.
Basically, you have free sound in your drums, but it takes an expert to bring it out.


Hope this helps.


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