Premier Fibreglass Timpani Part 2 (Job No: 1357)


In the first part of this job I looked at the restoration of the base casting and my approach to the repair. With the drums back from the welders I can now clean up the chassis, do the painting and rebuild the drums.

When I overhaul a set of timpani, there is a lot of work involved over a period of days or even weeks. My approach is to fix everything properly; I am after all a professional and that is what I am being paid to do. By, “everything” I mean every little detail, so in the posts on timpani I pick out examples of problems I encounter, rather than me filming and writing, and you watching and reading the same thing every time. For the same reasons I have coloured this introductory text blue (aren’t I thoughtful!)

2 comments on “Premier Fibreglass Timpani Part 2 (Job No: 1357)

  1. Lindsey Foster

    I’ve gained a lot from watching some of your work and videos, thank you! I wonder if I can ask your advice on a project?

    I’m fitting new heads on a set of old hand tuned fibreglass premiers, and on opening them up it was clear they’d never been properly serviced and may have been kept in poor locations at some point in the past. There is a fair amount of mildew and grime on the inside of the bowl. I really want to get the interior of the drums cleaned up well, but I’m unsure how to care for that rough painted fibreglass as seen in this video. I’ve been trying to wash gently with a sponge (which gets shredded), a soft brush (which flakes the paint off the fibreglass) and cloths, and I’ve tried the most gentle options at this stage like dishsoap and baking soda, but there is still a lot of gunk in there and I’m hesitant to muscle into it too much because I don’t want to damage anything.

    Are there methods or materials you’d recommend to get that cleaned up well? Is it possible to even use a power washer on a low setting? Once I can get it clean, what is the best option for painting or refinishing the interior and is it needed? (new heads are hazy, so if it’s purely cosmetic then it’s not essential but if I’m already working on it I’d like to do the best I can.)

    For context, these are owned by a school and funds are tight, so with two new skins and Teflon tape I’ve already invested a fair amount for a school budget. I’m not a professional repairer, just the music teacher who works to keep our instrument library in working order. Therefore I want to do the best job I can for my school and my students, but I’m basically volunteering my time to get it done and we’re on a shoestring budget so I need to be realistic about what I can accomplish.

    • pauljefferies

      Hi Lindsey,

      I am sorry for the slow reply, your comment slipped through my multi-media net.

      First of all, don’t worry about the bowls, either copper or fibreglass they are pretty resilient. So for the inside of the fibreglass bowl, go hard! Do whatever you feel necessary to get the grime off, even if that means using a pressure washer as you suggest. It is the outside of the bowls that have a finish which can be scratched, so protect that. Do check the bearing edge, most fibre glass bowls I see need repair work there.

      Your bowls are made from glass fibre matting in a polyurethane resin, which is pretty much inert and won’t react with anything. Therefore polyurethane varnish is what I would suggest, buy clear and put some gold paint in it – I am sure an internet search will give you more information on that, or go to a Dulux centre and ask them (B&Q won’t know, but the staff at Dulux are trained), failing that I find phoning the manufacturer of the varnish generally works when I need advice (however mostly I disregard what they say!)

      Good luck and enjoy!



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