Beater Drum Project

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Beater Drum Project

Postby KidCuba » Tue Aug 23, 2011 5:43 am

I have a LP Matador tumbadora that I would like to refinish. Unfortunately, like I mentioned in a previous post - my woodworking skills are zilch. Really, most of my skills with any sort of mechanic, or handy work are highly limited.

So before I work on my Matador - the first conga I ever purchased and put so much time and energy with as I learned a little bit about this music, I decided to develop my restoration skills on an old beater.

A friend came across an old Mexican drum at a swap meet and got it for next to nothing. It has several cracks, including one which suffered a horrible attempted repair job, a miserable skin, and hardware that seems pretty much useless at this point. I figure I can learn a little bit about repairs and refinishing, and not have to worry about messing it up.

I posted a few picks of the condition I got it in. It has some engraving on the alma which says Al's Music Studio 1969 #028

IMG-20110815-00042.jpg

Southeast-20110815-00044.jpg

Southeast-20110815-00049.jpg



Thus far, I have taken all of the hardware off and started sanding with 80 grit paper. I am going little by little, in the evenings once my kids are asleep.

Southeast-20110820-00055.jpg



Funny thing is, I know this drum is weak - but now that I have put some time into it - I am hoping I can get it back to a point where it can be played - I got three kids, they all need their congas. :wink:
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Re: Beater Drum Project

Postby dende » Tue Aug 23, 2011 7:31 am

that "repair" is a disaster. looks like someone used Liquid Nails, not a good glue for a repair (been down that road...)
what happened to that PM?
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Re: Beater Drum Project

Postby Anonimo » Tue Aug 23, 2011 10:22 am

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Re: Beater Drum Project

Postby Jerry Bembe » Tue Aug 23, 2011 6:04 pm

I would like to recommend "Tony's conga adventures" for aditional information for repair ideas. Tony uses the Conga Dr. as his ID.
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Re: Beater Drum Project

Postby Mr. Conga » Wed Aug 24, 2011 8:12 am

KID CUBA, it can turn into a nice drum, people in Cuba play messed up congas, egged shape edges, un even heads, driedheads, vry similar to yours and make great music with it.

I have a similar conga as the one above, that i will restore, an maybe have caly re do the hardware, and with a good skin, it will sing!

I also repaired a beat up, old gon bops quinto recently, and i am not finish, it had a long crack as ur drum, a few cracks.

Use a flat screw driver to get inside that crack to open it more, it might crack a little bit, once you get the screw driver inside the crack, it will give you space to put plenty of goog glue, such as titebond 3, i fixed like 5 cracks using this method, then use some rope, also use the rings it has to put things back into right place use ur arms to close the shell, and then rope it tight...

i did sucha a good job, that u cant really tell there was cracks, only one crack i will fix again, so it will look cleaner.

I had one question for you did you use a palm sander? to sand faster?

Que te salga bien, may be i could fix it for you... :mrgreen:

U might wanna re do the hardware by someone who makes good hardware, put a ne skin, and its gonna sound good..

Those congas have a thick shell, with a nice skin, its gonna sound awasome...and u can take that conga to the park. :) ..in the future
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Re: Beater Drum Project

Postby KidCuba » Wed Aug 24, 2011 2:05 pm

Thanks for all the input fella's...

Jerry... Tony's site is an excellent resource, and I have studied it before I started this project...

Mr.Conga... I did not use a palm sander, I am sanding by hand. I started with a palm sander, but the drum has several cracks and I felt it was making some larger (vertical).

The almas are embedded, so they help in keeping the drum together at the cracks. I am just having a hell of a time trying to close the cracks up with a rope or strap. Can anyone further detail how to use the rope to get the proper tension?

The hardware is going to be an issue, I think the threads on the hook are not usable - but I have not gotten that far. I still have to still finish sanding with the 80. then fix the cracks, then sand down with thinner paper, stain, and poly. THEN, I'll worry about hardware and skins. :wink:

Any recommendations on what type of skin to use on an old drum with mutiple repaired cracks - something that won't put too much tension? The head on this drum is 9 1/2"
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Re: Beater Drum Project

Postby Jerry Bembe » Wed Aug 24, 2011 3:09 pm

One recommendation for repairing multiple cracks is to use epoxy. There are epoxies that work well with wood and they are stronger than the wood itself. Use 1, 5, 15, 30 or 60 minute epoxy depending on how much working time you need. Be careful because it is very messy. I have had excellent and messy results with using epoxy but I prefer it to Gorilla and Titebond glues because it is stronger and can be neater.
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Re: Beater Drum Project

Postby KidCuba » Mon Sep 05, 2011 9:00 pm

Well, I finally finished sanding with the 80 grit sandpaper.

Now it is time to try and fix the numerous cracks. Due to the almas being "embedded" there are some cracks in the middle of the drum I cannot close up with rope, or anything else - I might have to use wood filler on these. We'll see how it goes.

IMG-20110904-00081.jpg
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Re: Beater Drum Project

Postby docarroyo » Mon Sep 05, 2011 9:20 pm

Good job so far, what you refer to as almas are actually bands, an alma is fitted inside the drum close to the top to prevent it from loosing its roundness or shape. You do not have to place the rope turniquets or tie down straps where the bands are to close the cracks place them as needed on the drum to accomplish your goal. The attached photo demonstrates I didn't remove the bands at this point but did later to refinish the drum. I understand your bands are sort of inlayed but the method remains the same.
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IMG_1329.JPG
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Re: Beater Drum Project

Postby KidCuba » Mon Sep 05, 2011 9:25 pm

Thank you for the correction on the terminology, and advice on how to close up the crack. It is much appreciated!
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Re: Beater Drum Project

Postby KidCuba » Wed Nov 23, 2011 10:14 pm

After quite a few weeks, I spent some time with my drum today.

I started gluing some of the cracks near the base, with Titebond III, rope, and a ratchet strap.

Downey-Norwalk-20111123-00171.jpg
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Re: Beater Drum Project

Postby bongosnotbombs » Wed Nov 23, 2011 11:19 pm

Looks like good progress. A technique to get the rope really tight is to put as stick in one of the wraps of rope and twist it. The twisting stick gets the rope really tight and closes those crack up good!
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Re: Beater Drum Project

Postby Jackson_B » Sun Dec 04, 2011 6:53 pm

The rope/tie-up suggestion by bongosnotbombs is a good one. My problem with using that system in other projects before was after you tighten the stick in the rope/s, you need to keep the tension on it. I found that by using some good string (like masonary twine) placed behind the rope and later used to tie around the stick after tension was applied worked pretty well. I tie a square knot around the stick, somewhat loosely, then start twisting it clockwise until it's as taught as I need it and in a horizontal position. Then use the string/twine to tie around the stick. Works pretty well.

Pardon my attempt to draw it out in microsoft paint:

Image
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Re: Beater Drum Project

Postby KidCuba » Sun Dec 04, 2011 7:54 pm

I will try your technique on the next series of crack repairs.

Thanks for the graphic.
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Re: Beater Drum Project

Postby KidCuba » Mon Jan 02, 2012 7:35 pm

The Holiday afforded me some time to keep working on the drum, I posted some pictures below.

The use of a syringe from CML Supply has made the crack repairs a log easier.

I am left with one ugly crack, which was the victim of a miserable repair attempt from a previous owner. I am going to try and sand off the glue from the previous repair on the interior of the conga to try and open the crack and re-glue it. In it's current state, I cannot repair it because of the strength of the glue on the interior.

If you want more of the dirty details, visit my humble blog. http://www.http://larumbasoyyo.blogspot.com/

Happy New Year!

IMG_0227.JPG
The drum's "good" side
IMG_0229.JPG
The drum's "bad" side
IMG_0230.JPG
Scars from a poor repair job
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