plating, anodizing, & finishing Q&As since 1989
Re-nickel a drum in black, saving the engraving
I own a 1920's Ludwig snare drum that's called a "Black Beauty". It has a brass shell which was then nickeled in black then engraved exposing the brass. All the hardware on this drum is in copper. A beautiful drum. My problem is someone removed the black nickel and what I have now is an engraved brass shell. Is there a way that I can have it electroplated in black nickel and not damage the engraving or cover it? Also, I was told that the prep, the buffing of the shell may remove some or all of the engraving. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.Michael Guedes
- Monroe, New York, United States
It is possible to replate a drum and to save the engraving at the same time!Adrian Kirchler
AK drums - Olang, ITALY
You could re-plate the drum, but you can not save the engraving, per se. Preparing the shell would require buffing the metal shell to a high luster. This will give you the shine you want out of the finish. After plating the shell, you might contract John Aldridge of "Not So Modern Drummer" to engrave over the existing pattern. That is the best approach, next to leaving the drum in it's original state.
- Castle Rock, Colorado, USA
...and I tell you it is possible (take a look at my website ak-drums.com under "restoration")
- Olang, Italy
January 22, 2013
Hi. Everything is relative, but I think Adrian is more correct than Curt. First, the plating is quite thin, probably not more than 0.001" thick, which is small compared to most engraving. Second, it's possible to mask the engraving if necessary, so it doesn't get plated. Good luck.
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
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