Friday, April 27, 2012

Stromberg Invincible Orchestra Drum Update 2

The Stromberg Invincible Orchestra Drum hardware, which was previously painted silver in a misguided attempt at 'restoration' by a previous owner, has been cleaned and polished. The paint came off fairly easily with lacquer thinner and a toothbrush revealing the original nickel plating underneath which is in fairly good condition all things considered. The plating on the lugs and claws, both of which are made of brass or bronze, is in much better shape than the plating on the steel tension rods which is to be expected. The remaining plating on all of the hardware shined up well using Cape Cod Polishing Cloths.

Now the hardware waits while I search for the correct color of shellac for the shell and hoops.

Stromberg Invincible Orchestra Drum Hardware

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Stromberg Invincible Orchestra Drum Update

Upon arrival, it was clear that a horridly amateurish slopping of brown lacquer had been applied to the shell over the original blond shellac. Additionally, the hoops had been previously stripped and poorly refinished but did not match the original blond shellac on the untouched sections of the shell. Removing the brown lacquer from the shell while salvaging the original shellac underneath proved impossible. So unfortunately, a complete refinishing proved the only option here.

The good news is that the shell and hoops are in very good structural condition and will require no sanding or repairs. We are now ready for a new coat of shellac - the same finish that was originally applied to the shell almost 100 years ago!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Stone Master-Model Restoration

I normally condone preservation over restoration. This drum, however, is an exception to me for a couple of reasons. For one, this instrument is missing several pieces of its original hardware. Two, the remaining hardware is in poor condition with significant plate loss and rust. And three, both the hardware and shell have already been modified from their original state by a previous owner. The drum's hardware had been poorly chromed over the original nickel plating which was already worn. The shell has had it's original finish removed and a terrible refinish of some sort has been crudely applied. All of these factors have led me to have this drum completely restored.

So this is what a George B. Stone & Son Master-Model Drum looks like without the shell:

The parts are now in the hands of master craftsman Adrian Kirchler who is making up a few replacement claws and nuts, and then re-plating all of the hardware in nickel as it was originally. He will also 're-blacken' the background of the Master-Model badge bringing back its original appearance with the raised bronze lettering.

As for the shell and hoops, they have gone to Will Tillman, a.k.a. Drummers Dream, in Stewartstown Pennsylvania for minor repairs and refinishing using period correct techniques.

This Master-Model dates from late 1924 or early 1925 and was one of the first 250 produced by Stone the model's introduction in 1922. Hopefully, bringing it back to life through respectful, authentic restoration techniques will preserve this instrument for future generations to appreciate!

Do you have a Geo. B. Stone & Son Master-Model Drum? I'd love to hear from you! Send Lee an email at