Gon Bops help

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Gon Bops help

Postby Kona » Thu Sep 15, 2011 5:27 am

I picked this up in a secondhand store last Saturday while on a short holiday into the USA.

The drum has seen better days. I noticed the large crack - full length of the drum - between staves and the second crack (split) in a stave....after I paid for it. I was so excited about finding a Gon Bops in the store I did not even look at the drum carefully before paying for it. I recongnized the badge and that's about all. I'm not complaining - it is a very nice drum and the damage is basically only wood and wood can be fixed.....maybe not by me however.

My drum looks a lot like the one on the Gon Bops website - History Page - except someone put a 'handle' on my drum :roll:
http://www.gonbops.com/history

Questions and help:
What does the TT-3300 on the Badge mean??
Does anyone in the Pacific Northwest repair congas. I would need to have it reglued and the bands removed and reattached I think....they're loose.

I would not want it refinished - at least that's what I'm thinking right now. It is scuffed up a little here and there and there is a scratch. I love how it looks like it is (minus the cracks of coarse). It has what appears to be the original head - it has the Gon Bops stamp.
Attachments
BADGE 1A (Custom).JPG
SPLIT STAVE A2 (Custom).JPG
file shows split between staves
FULL DRUM13 (Custom).JPG
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Re: Gon Bops help

Postby OLSONGO » Thu Sep 15, 2011 6:24 am

First thing I would do is take that handle off, if you want a handle ..there are better looking handles.
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Re: Gon Bops help

Postby Kona » Thu Sep 15, 2011 6:37 am

Ya - I agree.
I just got home with the drum tonight and started to look at what I've got via the internet. First thing I noticed was there was a handle on my drum that was not on the drum on the Gon Bops website (History page) - mentioned in my post.
Once I get some feedback on how to repair it I will sort the drum out as to what I will be doing with it. I will keep it of course - but if I can do the repairs myself I will have a nice little project for the winter. If it's too technical - as in special tools etc. - I may send it out for repairs.
Ya - the handle may be the first thing to go...........if it was not a special order - probably not hu.

OLSONGO wrote:First thing I would do is take that handle off, if you want a handle ..there are better looking handles.
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Re: Gon Bops help

Postby Anonimo » Thu Sep 15, 2011 7:02 am

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Re: Gon Bops help

Postby Kona » Thu Sep 15, 2011 7:26 am

Thanks Leedy,
I thought you'd know that and I was hoping to hear from you.
Is it a big task to repair these cracks - should I be sending the drum away to have it done? I'd kind of like to do the repair myself but I want it done right and if you need some special tools to do a good job I would feel better about letting the Pros repair it. I think it must be worth repairing - it looks like a very sturdy drum. I'd really like to know which decade it was made in. The seller didn't know - other than she told me the person that put it on consignment in her shop said he brought it over from Hawaii.
I like the Gon Bops - Valje connection...interesting.
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Re: Gon Bops help

Postby Psych1 » Thu Sep 15, 2011 7:47 am

I've learned a lot about repairing old Gon Bops, from this board and Tony's blog. If it was mine I'd fix it myself. That is a big crack. When you glue it it will stress the shell and you will have other cracks soon - but not right away. So if you take it to a pro for fixing you will have to take it back - unless he takes it all apart - big $$. The good news is that once the staves have been reglued, with new modern super-strong wood glue, the repair will last for at least another 40 years, maybe longer.

The best way is to shim the crack with matching wood but way that is out of favor on this board.

The traditional way is to just clean up the old glue in the crack, use Titebond to fill the crack, make loops with strong 1"rope, use pipe or dowels to crank the shell closed, clean up the excess, wait a day, play the GB until the next crack comes, repeat until all stave separation stops, then adjust the bands and refinish. It's actually fun, not hard, and you did it yourself.

Nice drum.
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Re: Gon Bops help

Postby Jerry Bembe » Thu Sep 15, 2011 8:21 am

I agree that Tony's Conga Adventure blog and Congaplace have many excellent tips. It is always good to see what is successful before trying this repair.

Be careful with tightening the rope or bands around the shell. This type of shell marks very easily. You can put cloth or cardboard underneath to protect the shell from being marked.

There are Alternative methods to glue and clamping because this method can recreate the stresses that caused the crack to begin with. It depends on what you are comfortable with working with and the results you wish to achieve.

Alternatives include Wood fillers that work without causing more stress on the shell. Epoxy can be used like a filler as well. To use epoxy, just tape the outside of the shell and with a tooth pick insert the epoxy inside the shell. 60 minute epoxy gives enough working time for a long crack. Wood fillers can shrink and epoxy can stabilize wood filler that has shrunk.

I have repaired 15 - 20 drums in various ways. There is no one best way. I have had good results and not so good results as well. Epoxy is very messy so be very careful if you use this as a glue or filler. Epoxy is stronger than the wood and glue on this old IT Gon Bops. (IT is the tumba 11.5")
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Re: Gon Bops help

Postby Anonimo » Thu Sep 15, 2011 1:07 pm

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Re: Gon Bops help

Postby burke » Thu Sep 15, 2011 1:08 pm

The bands BTW are simple. Just take the tacks out and gently tap them down the drum and put the tacks back in [I've done it to all my Gon Bops] - the only issue is if you don't plan to refinish it you'll see line above [or below on the lower bands] where the finish behind the band has not darkened with age. It bothers me slightly - but loose bands bother me way more.

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