The Workbench

Applying drum wrap to a guitar

1

I've been following the GDP Pearl Jet thread with interest. I'm not enough of a guitarist to be able to justify spending custom shop (or even pro line) money on a guitar, but the process of designing this instrument has been fascinating.

I'm also a huge fan of build, customization, and repair threads.

Which brings me to my question...can anyone direct me to photos or videos of how drum wrap is applied to a guitar top? How is it adhered? How are the edges trimmed around sound holes, for the edge binding, etc. ?

Years ago, GDP member Mainsoda applied silver sparkle to an orange 5120, but I dont remember now if that was drum wrap or a sparkle paint job.

2

There's a silver jet I documented on my website that you can find.

Basically you need to remove everything off the top including the binding then use a clear plastic sheet to trace the body and cavities. Cut the body shape proud by about a 1/2" but only mark the cavities. I use 3M headliner glue and a vacuum system to glue down the top. After it dries trim the body with a razor blade the drill the centers of the cavities and trim to size. Add binding and you're done.

3

I’ve got some of that silver wrap from mainsoda somewhere. He sent me a large enough sheet to do a top

4

My Mom & Pop shop covered a series of inexpensive, student-sized acoustics as experiments using petty much exactly the method above a few years back to sell over the Christmas season..

As I recall, they used spray glue and a pastry roller (a glass one) to roll out the sparkle so as to minimize air bubbles. Then the binding was replaced, along with the bridge and a pickguard. If memory serves, they had enough material to do the tops of 2 instruments per color.

They sold the smalllish, red, blue and gold gits like hotcakes that season, but the labor was pretty intensive and in the end, there wasn't enough profit to tackle it again.

Two years later, I got a small taste of working with the stuff when my wife's dance teacher suggested that "red sparkly" hard hats would be just the ticket for a group of tappers in her upcoming recital. For some reason, I agreed... whereupon she handed me three hard hats!

It is worth noting that drum sparkle does NOT appreciate compound curves and prefers very flat surfaces, followed by simple curves like drum shells.

Hardhats, not so much.

5

There's a silver jet I documented on my website that you can find.

Basically you need to remove everything off the top including the binding then use a clear plastic sheet to trace the body and cavities. Cut the body shape proud by about a 1/2" but only mark the cavities. I use 3M headliner glue and a vacuum system to glue down the top. After it dries trim the body with a razor blade the drill the centers of the cavities and trim to size. Add binding and you're done.

– Curt Wilson

I'll go check it out. I always enjoy seeing your repair jobs, and all the cool tools and jigs you use. If I wasn't clear across the country, I'd have you repair my first guitar, an old nylon string acoustic that I got when I was a kid. It has no value (other than sentimental), as it was a used guitar back when I got it for Christmas in 72. I think my folks paid $25 for it.

6

My Mom & Pop shop covered a series of inexpensive, student-sized acoustics as experiments using petty much exactly the method above a few years back to sell over the Christmas season..

As I recall, they used spray glue and a pastry roller (a glass one) to roll out the sparkle so as to minimize air bubbles. Then the binding was replaced, along with the bridge and a pickguard. If memory serves, they had enough material to do the tops of 2 instruments per color.

They sold the smalllish, red, blue and gold gits like hotcakes that season, but the labor was pretty intensive and in the end, there wasn't enough profit to tackle it again.

Two years later, I got a small taste of working with the stuff when my wife's dance teacher suggested that "red sparkly" hard hats would be just the ticket for a group of tappers in her upcoming recital. For some reason, I agreed... whereupon she handed me three hard hats!

It is worth noting that drum sparkle does NOT appreciate compound curves and prefers very flat surfaces, followed by simple curves like drum shells.

Hardhats, not so much.

– Kevin Frye

Red sparkle hard hat!

I always wanted to have mine chromed.

I have an old aluminum full-brim (Skull-Bucket) that I never wear, I should try polishing it.

7

A very cheap and comparitively easy option is to use vinyl wrap. Have a look around the web , folks use it their cars to change colour or add graphics and it's very convincing. And reversable. Maybe find a local garage that could handle it, or check out 'how to' videos

8

How thick should the drum wrap be?

Wraps come in a variety of thicknesses, so which one works best for our application?


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