Hammers for Steel Drum Builders/Tuners
It is essential to maintain your steel drum instrument, this would include having a yearly basic tuning. Rhythmical Steel's basic tuning fee is $125.00 per set, with yearly and quantity discounts available. As part of Rhythmical Steel's Tuning Service each set of instruments being tuned, Rhythmical Steel changes the mallet tips and wires free of charge!
Repairs, estimates, and touch up tuning will be charged at the rate of $235.00 per hour with a minimum charge of $65.00. All touch up tuning will be done at our location only, in La Center, Washington.
Travel fee and expenses are extra and will be negotiated in advance.
It is also important to change your mallet tips often so you will get the best over all sound from your steel drum instrument.
Steel Drum Tuning Contact
Use the proper mallets for the particular instrument that they were intended for. The use of the wrong sized mallet will not give you the best tonal quality and could cause the instrument to go out of tune.
If the sound of the notes become distorted during playing, the instrument is being played too hard. In turn, the instrument will go out of tune prematurely.
Rust can be a problem without proper care. Do not wipe moisture or dust from the playing surface with your hands, the oils in your hands and fingers will encourage rusting. Water or moisture may be wiped out of the instrument with a soft cloth very gently. To help protect the playing surface you may gently apply a thin coat of car wax, then softy buff, be sure to not apply any pressure.
Do not put your Steel Drum Instruments, or pans in the direct sunlight. The sun will cause the sound of the notes to distort. If this does happen, do not play your instrument it could cause it to go out of tune. Simply sit the instrument in the shade for a few minutes and wait for it to cool on its own.
CLEANING STEEL DRUM INSTRUMENTS
Materials You Will Need:
Muriatic Acid (can find at any hardware store)
Liquid Car Wax
Paint Brush (cheap one)
Old Tire (good sized so the belly of the drum doesn't touch anything)
Water Hose with Shut Off
Get your work area ready outside. Make sure it is away from anything that is metal that can rust.
Find a table or workbench that can hold an old tire to place the drum on (the middle of the tire needs to be big enough
that a lead pan can sit without the belly of the drum touching the tire or table). Have a water hose with shut off close
by ready to go.
This is the procedure to clean a steel drum instrument that has not been chromed or has not been buffed out to a high gloss finish. Take the drum outside and place it on the tire that has been placed on the workbench. Put gloves on and put about a cup of water in the drum, pour a little (approximately a couple tablespoons of) Muriatic Acid in the drum (stand up wind so as not to breathe the strong fumes from the acid). Use the paint brush to gently move the acid around the bowl of the drum trying not to get it on the side of the drum (it can cause the paint to discolor). The acid will work really fast, but there maybe a few suborn spots, just keep moving the acid around on it gently with the paintbrush for a few more minutes. After the drum looks clean pour the acid out of the drum and immediately put some more clean water in, rinse then pour it out. Again immediately put about a cup or two of water in and use an SOS pad soaping everything down with a circular motion gently.
Next step is to rinse the drum and carry the drum carefully to a clean area and dry it very well with paper towels or dry towels getting all the moisture. At this time put some liquid car wax on the dry drum and spread it around covering every inch of bare metal gently in a circular motion. When the wax sets up gently buff it by hand using a nice soft clean cloth. Repeat the waxing to make sure it is completely protected.
Attention this is important, if the drum is left at any point before the waxing stage for more than a few minutes the entire drum can rust worse than it was in the first place. If this happens start the procedure all over again from the beginning.
Another thing to keep in mind is clean steel drum instruments before having them tuned by a qualified steel drum tuner/builder… If the cleaning is done after a major tuning there is a chance of putting them out of tune so, IT IS BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY.
When cleaning up the mess do not take any rags, paper towels, or paint brush back into the house or building. Discard in an outside trash can only. The acid/fumes left on these items will rust any metal it comes in contact with.