Finally! I'm done stripping and sanding the drum shells. Yes, it really took this long. Part of it was that removing the glue adhesive from the shells was really time consuming; it took about 5-8 full sheets of 60 grit paper. I believe mahogany was chosen as the outer ply not for its looks but because it has large pores and adhesive really gets down in there, making it easy to glue the wrap on (great for them, bad for me). The other reason it took a while is because the weather has been cold and there is a moratorium on sanding in my apartment (mahogany dust flying around = not good).
I also had to take some time to fix some bearing edge issues (bearing edge = the edge where the drum head touches the shell). I filled holes with plastic wood putty and for warped areas I used a bunch of clamps + gorilla glue to get it back into shape.
I sanded the basic outer shell with 60 grit, then 100 grit, then finally 220 grit. The inside of the floor tom was in good condition and I didn't touch it. The interior of the kick drum shell I sanded with 100 grit and then 220. The inside of the kick is pretty gnarly, the reinforcing rings were reglued at some point in time, and I believe the shell has some water damage (evidence is cracking of the veneer and some water spots/mold spots). I also sanded through too far at some spots revealing some of the underlying poplar ply. At this point, the imperfections will have to be what makes these drums interesting...
So now the final step is finishing. In keeping with the labor intensive aspect of this project I'm going to use pure tung oil as a finish. It can take weeks to fully cure. *shakes head* But it will look pretty good, I think, as tung oil will accent the natural wood grain.
Sanded shells, ready for finishing
Bearing edge hole (filled it with wood putty)
Fixing warped bearing edge with gorilla glue + clamps
Tools of the trade
Workspace/Living room invasion. p.s. Buckets are awesome.