Drum Restoration Project
Posted 04 February 2004 - 10:25 PM
My only dilemma is whether or not to have them refinished to remove the flaking rust and prevent further deterioration. The back covers retain about 80% of their original finish, but the front covers are discolored pretty badly and the rust has ruined the original finish. Oh well, I'll decide as I proceed with the process.
Regular readers will remember the past discussion regarding the presence or lack of spot welds on the slide plates on the front and back covers of early Colt drums vs. Worcester contracted Colt drums. I own two Worcester Press, New York address Colt drums and was aware that they have the visible spot welds. Having never examined early serial numbered Colt drums up close, let alone clean decades of rust of them, I was interested to notice they also have visible spot welds in addition to the rivets. The welds are clearly visible in the following pictures and should dispel any doubt about whether the early Colt drums had these welds. If the first production serial numbered drums had them, it would stand to reason that the second and third production Colt drums would also. Granted, the welds are not quite as visible as they are on the Worcester drums and there aren't as many, but they are definitely there.
The following pictures clearly show the welds as well as the early Colt drum markings. The other drum, a three digit serial number, is in approximately the same condition. Enjoy the photos!
Posted 04 February 2004 - 10:49 PM
Posted 04 February 2004 - 11:16 PM
Posted 05 February 2004 - 12:02 AM
Posted 05 February 2004 - 12:08 AM
Don't need to remind collectors this fact was self-evident, but when that drum thread started again a few months ago, I said the Colt drums had "faint" spot welds. When one only relies on photographs from Doug's, and others, books, inconclusive evidence prevails. I don't know why first hand accounts would be dissmised in favor of non hands-on opinion.
That is way cool that you have uncovered these drums!!!
Posted 05 February 2004 - 07:10 AM
I was under the impression that the early Colt drums did not have visible spot welds based on photographs from the aforementioned publications on Thompsons and accessories. I hadn't physically examined a Colt drum in over twenty years and wasn't aware of the various nuances in the production models as I am presently.
I didn't mean to imply that any list members were incorrect in their previous posts regarding the spot weld issue. I was guilty of quoting the popular literature in attempting to give advice to another list member when he was looking for a drum. It just goes to show that the subtelties of the Thompson and it's related accessories are fascinating and, as you point out, should be examined first hand before specific conclusions are drawn only from photographic evidence.
Posted 05 February 2004 - 11:37 AM
Posted 05 February 2004 - 11:52 AM
Thanks for the thoughtful response on the finish issue. I agree that if refinishing is not required it is not a wise thing to do. The finish, however, is really worse than it appears in the pictures. Depnding on the angle of the flash, the rust looks better than in person. I even tried Flitz polish and it won't remove the deap-seated rust that has bubbled the finish in places. I'm afarid that time will deteriorate the finish even more. I am leaning towards not refinishing, but we'll see. Whatever I do, refinishing will be a last resort.
By the way, I like your lottery ticket analogy. I usually don't play it, but maybe I'll buy one at lunch time today. What the heck!
Posted 05 February 2004 - 02:40 PM
on a 95% cond.thompson.
even the one's in chicago fed.reserve,get checked and wiped down every six months or so...........if nobody does not think so...............put away the colt and don't look at it in five year's....things happen.........unless its in cosmo...and wrap.............and little humidity bags or rod's in the safe.............
anyhow just a op.they are your's do what you want.........take care,ron colt21a
p.s. sidenote.just bought a new drum,blued somebody must have had fingerprints on the inside of it and never wiped it down or looked or oiled it,guess what a fingerprint of rust...............and nope it ain't dillinger!!!!
Posted 05 February 2004 - 03:13 PM
Thanks for the information. That is what I was afraid of, that they would continue to deteriorate. I have been told the same from others. I hate to do it, but it would also be a shame if these drums weren't preserved. They have seen enough abuse already.
I appreciate the input.
Posted 05 February 2004 - 06:42 PM
Posted 05 February 2004 - 06:44 PM
Thanks for the tip. They are presently saturated with Clenzoil but it didn't occur to me to put them in a plastic bag. I'll give it a try.
Posted 05 February 2004 - 06:46 PM
Posted 05 February 2004 - 06:52 PM
Posted 05 February 2004 - 06:59 PM
Yes, I see the spot welds on the inside of the front cover and they are pretty smooth. The ones on the back cover aren't as finished. Good observation.
I like your analogy about the rusting car. I agree with your logic about them being irreplaceable. I appreciate your response
Posted 08 February 2004 - 03:02 PM
I cannot make the March 18 show opening. Take lots of pictures for the web site for me!