Conga crack - absoĺute newbie

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Conga crack - absoĺute newbie

Postby vasikgreif » Mon Jan 09, 2012 8:15 pm

Hi, I have cracked Meinl conga, and more importantly for me, Isla requinto (which I didn't play at all yet). Could someone look at the attached pictures and tell me step-by-step instructions to fix this? There is no conga manufacturer here in Czech republic, so I'm left to try to fix this myself...

Thanks
Vasik
Attachments
007.JPG
Meinl conga
001.JPG
Isla requinto
002.JPG
Isla requinto
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Re: Conga crack - absoĺute newbie

Postby CongaTick » Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:54 pm

vasikgreif,

so sorry for this to happen to you. If you search the forum there is a lot of information on do it yourself crack repair. good luck.
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Re: Conga crack - absoĺute newbie

Postby vasikgreif » Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:25 am

I did a search, but I didn't find any easy to follow info. If someone could post here some summary what to do - maybe that could be made sticky topic...
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Re: Conga crack - absoĺute newbie

Postby CongaTick » Tue Jan 10, 2012 1:44 pm

vasikgreif,

There' at least 7 pages of posts on crack repair.
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Re: Conga crack - absoĺute newbie

Postby vasikgreif » Tue Jan 10, 2012 2:25 pm

Well, actually there are 654 matches for "crack", and yes, there's a lot of info on the site already. I hoped to get the info to one thread and make it sticky. Anyway, here are the threads I found, which are relevant (I went thru all the 44 pages of search results)

What is the best way to glue these cracks? - viewtopic.php?f=14&t=6993&p=68790&hilit=crack#p68790
Gon Bops help - viewtopic.php?f=14&t=6983&p=68657&hilit=crack#p68657
Mike´s Gon Bops project - viewtopic.php?f=14&t=4761&p=48298&hilit=crack#p48298
HELP! MEINL TUMBA WITH GREAT BREAK - viewtopic.php?f=14&t=4743&p=48140&hilit=crack#p48140
HOW TO REPAIR - viewtopic.php?f=2&t=4451&p=45224&hilit=crack#p45224
Cracked Bearing Edge - advice please. - viewtopic.php?f=5&t=4247&p=42842&hilit=crack#p42842
Split Repair: Stop that belt clamp from sliding - Rug Mate - viewtopic.php?f=14&t=3164&hilit=crack
Conga Shell Repair - A crack under the side plate - viewtopic.php?f=5&t=1939&hilit=crack

Anyway, I still don't get what's the best method to close the crack - tire tubes, ratchet straps, hose clamps, bike tubes...? I fear that when I try to close the gap, crack appears in other spot.
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Re: Conga crack - absoĺute newbie

Postby burke » Tue Jan 10, 2012 3:17 pm

Hi Vasik,

I expect part of the reason you are not getting definitive answers if because of there is no definitive answer. As you found when when you searched there are many ways to do it and it also depends on what end result you need.

I'm pretty lax and as long as the crack is closed and the drum works I'm not to fussed if the repair shows. Others want it to look like it did when it came out of the shipping box [they would consider my work garbage].

Everyone has different favorite glues. I like something called PL-Premium. Comes in a tube like caulking and is strong as hell, but messy - like gorilla glue it expands and YOU WILL see the repair. But I think [as almost all the posts say] any modern glue will be stronger than the wood itself.

Over all the last post you listed had the best advise from deadhead

"Get some ratchet straps from walmart or home depot, the kind that you crank to tighten. Use your wood glue on the crack and crank the straps around the drum as tight as possible. Let it sit for a day or 2."

All the rest is detail - also I remember someone posting a picture of cool alternative way to tighten a rope around a conga using a stick to twist the rope and little strings to hold the stick - but I couldn't find it [sorry dude].

Finally, you made a cajon - this will be a piece of cake!

Cheers

Darrell
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Re: Conga crack - absoĺute newbie

Postby bongosnotbombs » Tue Jan 10, 2012 4:03 pm

I have closed several cracks. The way that works best for me is Titebond glue, I use Titebond II because it is waterproof. Really, any woodworking glue will work fine. You often need to use a syringe to get the all the way glue into a tight crack. Then use the rope with a stick inserted to cinch the rope really tight.

I've closed probably 20 cracks this way and never had one open back up, nor have I experienced cracking in another location. I also dove right into the repair with only a little bit of research. I came up with the rope and stick method on my own. Sometimes you just have to jump right in and see what happens.

Go for it Vasik and fix those cracks! You can do it!
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Re: Conga crack - absoĺute newbie

Postby Jackson_B » Wed Jan 11, 2012 12:14 am

Vasikgreif-
Here's a thread that deals with a crack and I think it's the drawing that Burke mentioned about the alternative way to tie it up (in case you don't have access to those ratchet straps). http://www.mycongaplace.com/forum/eng/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=6920

Also, somewhere in a thread I read here in the past few weeks, someone mentioned that they put the glue in on one side and then use a vacuum hose to suck the glue through to the other side of the wood. That way the glue get all the way through the thickness of the wood. I think that's just genius.
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Re: Conga crack - absoĺute newbie

Postby KidCuba » Wed Jan 11, 2012 5:24 pm

I started my first restore back in September 2011 that is riddled with cracks. You can track my progress here: http://www.mycongaplace.com/forum/eng/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=6920

Here are few bits of insight that I learned in dealing with the cracks, and I am a newbie as well:

1. Be patient.
2. Use a syringe to get the glue into a thin crack like yours. You can purchase an inexpensive kit here:http://www.cmlsupply.com/
3. Titebound II works very well and is easy to work with.
4. Read up all the information linked here, along with Tony's Conga Adventures (http://congadr.blogspot.com/), but in the end you will find a system that works best for you.
5. Did I say, be patient?

Good luck and keep us posted! Just jump in there and get started, it's actually pretty fun.
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Re: Conga crack - absoĺute newbie

Postby p.a.dogs1 » Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:38 am

Hi Vasik,

my neighbor is a boatbuilder and I got him already to repair old atabaques and a pair of Delaporte congas. What I learned is that there can be two reasons for such cracks: 1. having put the conga down hardly or (2.) because of a tension between the staves. In the second case it is recommendable not to take wood glue and force the staves together but filling the gap (f. e. with epoxy).

On the Isla photos can be seen some indications for the crack´s origin. It starts where the metal band´s ends overlap. Maybe there is a concrete pressure point. But maybe the gap starts just above of this overlapping, because the band´s pressure is less strong at this point. Maybe there is an enormous tension over the drum´s complete height and just the metal bands keep it in shape. So, it is probable that the gap expands at once when you remove or loose the band.

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Re: Conga crack - absoĺute newbie

Postby bongosnotbombs » Thu Jan 12, 2012 1:02 am

Islas bands are there purely for cosmetic reasons, the Isla congas I have are made without bands. Additionally the staves are carved and are not likely to be under much tension. I think it is more likely that the first reason is correct, the conga may have been damaged during it's transport from Belize to Vasik in Europe. The top and bottom edges of a conga are particularly susceptible to this kind of damage.
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Re: Conga crack - absoĺute newbie

Postby rhythmrhyme » Thu Jan 12, 2012 4:53 am

Another possibility is that the poor joint work on Isla's older conga's caused another one to let go. It looks like there is some gap in that joint near the crown.... This is even more likely with the super thick heads that are typically put on Isla quinto's. They sound great, but come with some risk.

Either way, it's not like asking for an exchange is tenable or that the shipping to Belize to make it happen is in any way affordable. So, a fix it is!

Good luck man. I tried to repair an Isla drum that arrived cracked and it didn't work out, ended up going out of round. However, the crack on mine was much worse. When I took the head off the stave was cracked lengthwise along the bearing edge as well as from in to out like your drum. As though the stave was fractured before it was put together but used anyway. I would be very doubtful that your crack occurred during shipping - was the packaging in any way damaged??

RR
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Re: Conga crack - absoĺute newbie

Postby Psych1 » Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:42 pm

The cracks that we all most often fix are old Gon Bops or even older Cuban drums. The problem is usually caused by brittle 40 or 60 year old glue that can't hold the seasonal expansion/contraction any longer. New modern glues usuallyfix the problem. We will know for sure 40 years from now

I can't think of any reason for Islas to crack other than a problem with the construction.
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Re: Conga crack - absoĺute newbie

Postby bongosnotbombs » Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:49 pm

I have seen brand new Matt Smith Ritmos cracked when opened right out of the box, also at the rim, it was assumed that they were damaged during transit, but I guess it could also be due to construction.
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Re: Conga crack - absoĺute newbie

Postby p.a.dogs1 » Fri Jan 13, 2012 1:37 pm

bongosnotbombs wrote:The way that works best for me is Titebond glue, I use Titebond II because it is waterproof.

The function of a wood glue is as good as you get the pieces pressed together. But(!) both surfaces have to be wood - not old and dried glue.

I do not know if you get Titebond in the Czech republik. As I know there is one sort …

Image

… which is said to be similar to traditional hot glue (don´t know if this is the correct word) while having all qualities of modern wood glues. It´s instruction says that you can also use it for repairing chairs without removing all rests of the original glue (because the glue needs rather long to harden and therefore is able to creep into all spaces). But those informations are often wrong.

bongosnotbombs wrote:Then use the rope with a stick inserted to cinch the rope really tight.


bongosnotbombs wrote:I've closed probably 20 cracks this way and never had one open back up, nor have I experienced cracking in another location. I also dove right into the repair with only a little bit of research. I came up with the rope and stick method on my own.


These experiences make your arguments rather strong. Nevertheless I want to describe the constructive problem (as I see it) with two graphics, which are probably interesting apart from Vasik´s concrete damages.

Image

The doves´ shapes, if not bent, are cutted at a band saw. Then every single dove gets it´s angles from a circular saw, while being fixed on a sliding bed. This sliding bed holds the doves horicontally in the exact position as they later will be glued together (as parts of the conga corpus).

When you cut every dove separately at the band saw there will always be tolerances. So the thicknesses vary, while the inner width of all doves are identical [- b -] (because of their fixation on the sliding bed). But when the doves get glued together, they get pressure from the outside (the principle of constructing vaults). And this can cause shifts like my second graphic shows [- A2 - B2 -]:

Image

You can see, how already one shift causes tension. In my graphic I just show one gap on the opposite side [- C -], but such a tension disperses all around the whole corpus. In an advantageous distribution the doves´ variancies neutralize each other more or less.

The described rope-and-stick-method reconstitutes the tension. And possibly there is another bonding, which is the (next-) weakest. Therefore epoxy would be a good solution, because it adheres perfectly, can be mixed very fluidly (in order to disperse in smallest gaps - I am not sure, but there happens also a capillary action), fills gaps, is a resin substance and can be dyed.

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