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Musical steel drum. Is it stainless steel or chrome metal?

(-----) January 11, 2008

I bought a steel drum about 3 years ago (I was told it was made in Trinidad and Tobago). I always considered it to be a chrome drum, but many people told me that it looked more like stainless steel. I believe that stainless steel can not get rust, and at this time my drum has some rust spots, so I assumed it is chrome. Some 5 months ago I noticed the corrosion, so I used liquid metal polish, but it did not do so good. Today I used a piece of steel wool and WD-40 [affil. link to info/product on Amazon] on the spots and removed some brown spots, which are now kind of black. Should I assume this is the raw metal without the coating? I did considered re-chroming, but after reading the chrome plating tutorial page I concluded that it would be to difficult and expensive. I kind of incline myself to the "chrome like paint" which is mentioned in the tutorial. My questions are: Is it correct that stainless steel will not get corrosion? Is it possible for corrosion to develop on top of the chrome so that if I polish enough I can remove the rust and refind the chrome, or is the corrosion an indication that the chrome is gone and the raw metal exposed? Is the "chrome like paint" that is mentioned the type that comes in spray cans?
Thanks for the help, Gil

Gil Castro
Musician - Humacao, Puerto Rico

January 11, 2008

There are many different grades of stainless steel, and some are more resistant to rusting than others. But, based on a number of inquiries on this site (search for 'steel drums' and 'steel drum'), I believe these instruments are virtually always chrome plated steel. I don't think chrome-look paint will adhere well enough for the pounding they get; I believe that sending it to a plating shop for replating is your only alternative.

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey

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