It had been a while since I had done any refurbishment or restoration of drums when I saw an advert on the local 'Gumtree' classifieds site. The advert said no more other than that it was for a drumkit. I called the seller, he was able to tell me the drums were Premier, but not much more. But that was all I needed to know. An hour later I got back home with my little treasure trove. It didn't look like much, one cymbal, a pedal, a couple of odd stands, and 4 very unloved drums. The perfect thing to busy myself in the evenings for a few weeks!
The haul as I got it. Pedal, stands and cymbal were quickly sold on
The kit is a 3 piece Premier dating from the late 60's or early 70's, with a 22" bass and 12" and 14" toms. Most Premiers I've had have had birch shells, but these are mahogany shells (with beech re-rings). The finish looks blue in some pictures but is more a turquoise colour, called 'aquamarine shimmer'. The snare is possibly original to the kit, being a Hi-Fi in brushed steel from the same period. The stands, Zyn cymbal and 252 pedal were quickly sold on eBay as I'd need the £ to buy some parts to restore the kit.
Not looking very pretty, chipped, tarnished, worn, and unloved :o(
The first thing I'll do with any kit needing TLC is to completely strip it. This way I can inspect every part I remove, replace anything that's damaged or broken, inspect the bare shells, and cleaning/polishing parts is much more effective when they have been removed. The wrap on this kit was particularly grimy, and the chrome on the hoops and lugs looked to be quite tarnished. In actual fact, all the chrome came came up beautifully after polishing with Autosol, as did the wrap, which I cleaned then polished with Autoglym car polish. The shell interiors were treated to a liberal coating of furniture polish.
Everything stripped and assessed for damage or missing parts
The bass hoops were not so pretty, and needed the wrap inserts removed, the wood sanded down, and given a coat of black Japlac paint. In hindsight these would have looked better spraypainted instead of brush-painted, but it's still a vast improvement.
Bass drum hoops freshened up.
One tension rod was missing from the bass drum, and the bass-mounted cymbal holder was broken inside so would not hold a cymbal arm securely, apparently a common problem. The rod was ordered through eBay, the cymbal holder is more difficult to source and quite rare so I'll leave it as-is for now. There were also no rubber feet on the bass drum spurs or tom legs. It's a bit of a bugbear for me when I see an otherwise beautiful original or restored kit without these... it just looks a little unfinished. So they were ordered from Lou at Supreme Drums. Lastly all the heads needed to be replaced, and so I ordered Remo Coated Ambassadors (what else for a vintage kit?) for the toms, and 2 used Premier Everplays for the bass, which were in better condition than the originals, and also a new Premier logo by Baskey Vintage to complete the look.
Stripped bare and cleaned. Mahogany shells make a change from Premier's usual birch.
This was not a difficult restoration, nor did it take much time to do. I was lucky in that nearly all parts were present and correct and, after a good clean, in very good condition. Yet it's been very satisfying to see the end result as I personally think it's a very pretty kit, with nicely proportioned shell sizes, and the aquamarine shimmer is a stunning finish!
Finished!! A beautiful kit that was a pleasure to bring back to its former glory.