Poor mans guide to vintage conga restoration

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Poor mans guide to vintage conga restoration

Postby 11am » Tue Mar 19, 2013 4:00 am

Poor mans Step by Step, guide to Conga restoration

Gon Bop Banded Oak Conga Restoration Post 1 in a series of posts

Some thoughts on conga restoration.. I have played Congas, timbales, and Bongo since the late 60’s professionally, on and off until the present.( I also play drum set) I am now nearing 60 this year. Afro Cuban music, rhythm & blues, and jazz have always been my passion, in that order. My other passion has been woodworking. When music stopped paying my bills, woodworking started and neither has ever stopped, although music is now more of a medication. ( Or is that meditation?)

Both disciplines require the hands to make the wood respond, the head to communicate the thought, and the heart to make it come alive. The rest is paying attention to detail. The repairing and restoration of a neglected drum can be one of the most gratifying, spiritual connections a conguero might ever have with his instrument. Why? Because you talk to it as you heal it, you tell it to be patient, you tell yourself to be patient, you assure it that it will speak, and be heard, and will soon be worthwhile and magical again. You make it your companion, and it will respond accordingly.

That’s the spiritual part, now for the reality. A conga is essentially wooden a barrel. That’s all. Unless it’s a solid carved or turned drum, we will be discussing a stave constructed conga. Most of the ones you find or will be looking for, are either old Gon Bops of California, which you might find in really bad shape for not so cheap, on ebay, (when you factor in shipping), or get lucky at a tag sale, or find one on Craig’s list in your area. Maybe you know a friend? Your chances are much better if you live in California, I’ll tell you that! But they do show up now and then, everywhere in the country.

The other vintage drums (primarily, but not exclusively) are of Cuban and Puerto Rican origin ( there’s some great local builders too) and you will pay out the nose for any one that comes to light, unless of course you get extremely lucky. One just surfaced on ebay last month and went for 500 bucks, not including shipping. It also was cracked and repaired, and needed to be re-chromed. I, like a lot of people in this forum, watched that bad boy for a week! (Not everybody can afford 600 for a used tub). So I decided to write this article on restoration, for anyone interested in doing it yourself, if you find a wooden drum you like.

What might be of value to some are the techniques I use to do the wood restoration. I use straight forward hand applied, furniture techniques to accomplish this. There is no magic. It’s the same process I would use on a desk, or bookcase in someone’s home.. The tools are minimal, but I would have to say that I have extensive tooling at my disposal. Not much of it applies to drum restoration, you’ll be happy to know, but having tools, or a friend who does, will make your life easier. Again, I worked quickly on this, I was not aiming at ultimate perfection, it is what it is, for my purposes. You can put as much or little time into it as you desire according to your own preference.


My conclusion is that ANY wooden drum, no matter how broken or neglected, as long as it has collector value, or sentimental value, ( and has ALL the hardware parts, with the exception of the lugs ) can be repaired and refinished by hand, with a little effort and these straight forward instructions. Also, for those of you who like the beat to shit , funky ass, my drum got soul look, Just use the glue up information, slap that bad boy together, and hit the park bench in style. It’s all good.

A word of advise; you will have a hell of a time finding any hardware for a vintage Conga drum, period. Don’t think you can just go on ebay and find 50 auctions for a lug plate for an old Gon Bop, or a Cuban rim, or some bands, to finish off the drum. You’ll be looking for a long time, Brother. If you buy the parts from Gon Bop, (if you can,) you’ll pay out the nose, too! So try to get a drum that might be beat, but complete! Like this one for example. ( pic 0)
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This drum that will be the focus of this thread was purchased by me, from Ebay for $195.00 plus $85 shipping for a grand total of $280.00 In the auction picture it looks strange but OK. But I saw the end to end split, right away, and knew it was a 70’s banded oak Gon Bop. I picked it up for the rings, which will kinda sorta match my mahogany GB’s. The rings don’t belong on this model incidentally, but I wanted that size drum with rings for visual purposes on stage, ( until I come across the right mahogany sizes) and I really like the old drums. I’m old, I appreciate old things! The drum was much worse than the pictures. Naturally. Full of deep dents, dings, scratches, x holes, brads everywhere, and splits everywhere. Or a typical Ebay vintage conga for under 200.00! What I own, right now, at this point is a $280.00 umbrella stand. That I will change into a decent Conga, and hopefully, you’ll be able to do the same. This is the before photo. ( pic 9)[/attachment] Almost all of these photos I took are very high resolution, save for a few. You will see lots of ugliness. Much more then you will see from 2 feet away! This is for illustration purposes
Attachments
1 (9).JPG
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Re: Poor mans guide to vintage conga restoration

Postby 11am » Tue Mar 19, 2013 4:57 am

Post 2 in a series of posts

1) First off, you have to strip the shell of hard ware. Examine the lugs for crushed and or bent threads. A bend in the lug can some times be tapped back into alignment, (pics 2-4) but a crushed or stripped thread means you’re in for a wrestling match. Before you start thrashing around with a wrench, trying to untighten the nut, do yourself a favor and turn the drum upside down on its skin, take a 5/16 long nosed socket and a long 3/8 extension ( if you have a socket set) and crank it off this way. You get a lot of leverage fast, and you’ll avoid doing further damage to the shell. If it binds, and snaps off, good, you saved yourself the aggravation of hack sawing off the lug anyway. You may in fact have to cut the lug in half. What you do in this case is shim under the lug with a piece of ¼” thick hardwood or aluminum scrap, ¼” hard thick plastic, long enough and wide enough that will abut under the lug snugly, and protect the surrounding shell of the drum. Wedge 2 cedar shims under the hardwood from either end pressing tight against the shell of the drum. Then CAREFULLY hacksaw it in two.( pic 6) If you have no problem getting the lugs off, it might be a good time to re-chase the threads with a 5/16 thread die.( pic 5) Take down the rest of the hardware and fasteners and put them in a container to the side. We’ll get to cleaning and polishing later.

Now that the shell is cleared of hardware, you want to remove the bottom ring ( If it still exists) This ring was tacked at the factory with a round headed ¾ inch long brad. Pry up gently with a thin blade and don’t gouge the aluminum ring when you do it. Lift it just high enough to get a pair of wire dikes under the edge of the crown and lift out slowly. Take out the steel re-enforcement ring near the top of the bearing edge if it has one as well. On this drum’s bottom ring, someone cranked machine screws through the shell. Of Course.


2) You now have a wooden shell with nothing on it. Examine it for cracks. There will be 2 kinds of splits on most old Gon Bops. Big ones that run the length of the shell, and smaller ones that are around the base. On the drums with the center band of oak, there usually will be splits, as well. There usually are A LOT. Don’t worry about the amount of cracks. That’s what this article pertains to! Note: If the shell is in 3-4 pieces, locate the segments in proper orientation ( it’s pretty obvious distinguishing top and bottom) mark them on the inside, stand them upright, and tape the seams DRY together with duct tape. You will have to compress and glue one seam at a time to get proper alignment. (I would not recommend doing all the seams at once unless you have some experience at stave glue ups) What’s the rush anyway?
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Chase 5/15-18 threads pic 5
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Bent lugs are typical pic 2
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Place lug in vice and tap with hammer (pic 3)
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Straightened lug (pic 4)
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Shimming lug for cutoff (pic-6)
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Re: Poor mans guide to vintage conga restoration

Postby 11am » Tue Mar 19, 2013 5:19 am

Post 3 in a series of posts



3) Before we do any gluing of any kind, you’re going to need a couple of things that will save a lot of time. 1) At least 2 strap clamps. 3-4 is optimum ( Home Depot, 14 bucks each) These are really essential. The more you have, the easier the glue up, but 2 will get you done. You can use a tourniquet clamp (which is a rope that is torqued with a lever ( like a piece of broomstick) but believe me, spent the 20-30 bucks on 2 strap clamps. ( You’ll thank me for that advice) Put the clamp on DRY ( with no glue) and slowly compress the shell and examine if the cracks come together and fetch up ( disappear, or form a tight seam) That’s what you want to see at this stage, so you can make a judgment on how and what you’re going to glue up with. ( pic 7) This is a very important consideration! THE GLUE UP IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THE RESTORATION, PERIOD. The rest is window dressing.

Now at this point of the discussion, I’m going to point out some issues with method and outcome, concerning this project. It deals with overall condition of the drum, and just what you hope to achieve with you’re restoration effort. There are any number of levels you can take it to within reason.

As I mentioned, a good percentage of these vintage drums are beat up, split, or have been repaired. Some of the repairs are good, and some of the repairs are not. I decided that since people on this forum follow the tubs that show up on ebay, (and this was one of the recent ones that was in that loop,) It would serve a purpose to show the restoration of it, and explain in detail what was wrong with the drum upon arrival. Always remember: You cannot tell anything about the real condition of a drum by a photo. This is just a given. On ebay, a basket case still is going to cost you some 150-200 bucks and $35-85 bucks to ship. So we’re talking about 225 minimum unless it’s a local pickup. Now you have a $225 flower pot, that will cost another few hundred to have done professionally ( with varying results) depending on the condition of the shell when excepted. Already you’re up to $500-600 bucks for a used vintage drum. When you do it yourself, you still will be up to $300 overall minimum, when you factor in tools, glues, stains, varnish, new fasteners, metal polish/cleaner , not to mention re- chroming, which will be another $65-100 (or more) It adds up fast. If you pay anything under $100.00 for a vintage Gon bop in ANY kind of condition, you did good!.

Let’s address condition of the shell. There are 3 grades of possible out comes: 1) Museum quality: Perfect in every respect. like new, unblemished. Forget about this happening, unless you have an unblemished shell to work with, with no gouges or x-tra holes, that is in round. It can happen but it is unlikely on average, or you’re going to pay a premium price for it. (I see some nicely done vintage restorations on ebay, going for $450 or more, per drum. That price is not unreasonable, IMO, but nobody seems interested in buying them? Go figure?)

2 A shell in fairly good condition with some splits, gouges, dings, x holes, deep scratches but in round overall Ala old Gon Bops ( pic 10 )

3 A shell that is split and/or split in two, or three, or four, has scratched, dings, dents, gouges, x-holes, took a set and is out of round and beat to shit on top of it. Like most of the drums I buy! ( pic 11)

My intention with this article is to deal with 2-3. #1 is not really relevant to this discussion, but many of the techniques will be the same. I subscribe to the 2 foot rule when it comes to conga restoration. If it looks good from 2 feet away, there you go! If you’re going to take out the jewelers loop, and examine the grain structure, and demand invisible repairs, you better think about buying a new drum, or spent a lot of dough on and old one, with no imperfections.

I would add that if you invest in a vintage conga, or pair of , or set of Drums, and they are in reasonably good shape, ( maybe several splits, and some minor scratches.) You will be able to re-glue the joints, sand the shells, and clear coat them, without having to stain them in order to hide a lot of blemishes that you can’t do anything about. Just follow the glue up procedure, and skip the filling and staining part. Some guys like to hand oil the drum with a rubbing (Tung) oil. If the shell is blemish free, knock yourself out. It’s all good.


Lastly, everyone has different ideas as to what is the best method to do a particular restoration. Mine is just what I’ve found applicable BY HAND and has made me a living for 40 years, in woodworking, without incident, it is just one way of achieving an outcome. Nothing more. This is not the only way to do it, AND I’m keeping it simple to get you to a known quantity, with a reasonably small investment of money, and effort.. it is not aimed at the professional restorer, rather at the handy person with a limited budget who wants to turn out a very respectable looking drum. ( pic 12)

SOME FACTS

All wood ages, expands and contracts, glues dry out, and barrel staves take a set. ALL OF THEM. Small Oak barrels and kegs were probably the first things ( other than hollowed out logs) to be turned into congas. These barrels were available for shipping items to the colonies for centuries. Rum and pickle barrels, nail kegs, etc were plentiful. None of them were ever glued. They were coopered and fitted with iron rings.) They expanded and swelled when filled with liquid, and they didn’t leak! But they all take a set. They conform to their shape over the years and tend to stay that way. ( Folkloric drums traditionally incorporate the barrel rings) Conga shells are no different. Oak and Ash were always the preferred wood because its plentiful, cheap, dense and strong. Mahogany was light, reasonably strong and resonant, attractive and milled well, and was a first choice for cabinet makers. Congas can and are made out of any wood that has good machining properties, and is strong. And attractive, but oak is pretty traditional.

Again, all wooden barrels/ conga shells will take a set. So the first thing you want to check for, before glue up, is whether or not you have a split stave that took a set, OUT OF ROUND.

With the drum being restored here, it had a major end to end split, along a stave, that took a set. (It also had 4 more substantial splits and 8 more minor splits). Well how did I determine that it took an off set? By strap clamping the shell dry, I can examine the severity of the set, and manipulate the shell to see how close I can get it back to the original set, I do this with a simple shop made tool made from a turnbuckle.( about $5- 7 bucks in any hardware store) this little devise will solve a lot of problems. (again I devised this tool out of necessity) someone else probably uses something different.
With the shell compressed fairly hard under pressure, I check to see if there is a visible gap between the staves. This is A VERY IMPORTANT CONSIDERATION. Why? If it won’t pull together DRY under pressure I have a big decision to make about glue choice and alignment concerns.
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So while it’s compressed, tap it firmly from the inside or outside with a RUBBER mallet. (don’t go whacking it with a steel hammer) if it doesn’t come back to proper set, then put the turnbuckle spreader on the inside of the shell and push it out a little. ( pic 13)
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Dry clamping the shell (pic-7)
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Typical beat up Gon Bop (pic-10)
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Typical beat up cracked Gon Bop (pic-11)
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Restored to playing shape 9pic-12)
Attachments
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Spreader made from turnbuckle (pic 13)
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Re: Poor mans guide to vintage conga restoration

Postby 11am » Tue Mar 19, 2013 5:39 am

Post 4 in a series of posts


You might need a couple of these.( pic 15) After a little back and forth, you will soon discover whether or not the shell will glue up in proper shape. Hopefully it will. In the case of this drum, it did not come fully into shape. ( Which is VERY common) So here’s the big question. What do I glue this up with now that I know it will have a small gap what ever I do? ( And no, I’m not going to remove the stave completely and hand plane it in on the bevel to compensate) because it’s a lot of extra work, it’s not going in a museum, it’s just going onstage, or in my living room, or to the park to be played. So I want it to sound very good, and look as good as I can get it to look within reason.

Now, because this is my personal drum, that will be going onstage, after determining that this is the only one problem stave, and knowing ahead of time I will be staining the drum to match my Mahogany Quinto and Requinto I’m going to use an unconventional glue.

For all splits that come together properly, I’ll use tight bond 3, waterproof wood glue. I have not had any issues with it bonding to the old glue in the stave joint. (That’s been my experience) ( pic 16-20) But for the stave split with a gap, I’ll use a gap filling Adhesive. In this case I’ll use pl 400 urethane sub floor adhesive. . Tight bond will not perform well in this instance, because of the technical properties of this particular wood glue. ( It needs to be touching a lot of the stave surface to adhere properly.) It’s a judgment call. You might elect to use an epoxy like west system, (good choice) but it’s expensive, and its open time is an issue too.
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Close up view of turnbuckle spreader (Pic-15)
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Opening split with small thin bladed screw driver (pic-16)
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Tight bond 3 wood glue for all regular splits (pic 17)
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Applying the strap clamp with a shim (pic 20)
Attachments
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Flood the split with glue (pic-18)
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Re: Poor mans guide to vintage conga restoration

Postby 11am » Tue Mar 19, 2013 5:57 am

Post 5 in a series of posts


I know from experience and what it will look like when stained after sand down and for my purposes, the PL 400 will work fine, look good, (pic21) (as good as any filler, which I’ll discuss later) and hold the joint together really well. Again, this is my preference in this situation, for my own drum, which is getting a dark stain. It is unconventional, but the joint will not fail. Feel free to do it anyway you want, with what ever works for you. In a different application, where the drum would remain natural oak, I would custom color match an epoxy resin, or disassemble and shave the stave. Which is not a guarantee of perfection either?

In any event, you will have to make sure you can force the glue into the joint as thoroughly as possible. This can be accomplished in a few ways. One way is to inject it into the split with a hypodermic type needle, while holding the joint open. Another way is to force the crack open at the top or bottom of the split, ( I’m showing it here with a small screwdriver)( pic 16) and force the glue into the split with the glue tip applicator. Another way is to force it in with a razor blade.( pic 19) The most problematic of all the splits, are the ones that remain in the center of the drum, but are closed at the top and bottom. This presents the problem of opening the stave from the front, without distorting or damaging the joint line. I would suggest that if it is closer to the top of the shell, open it up from the bearing edge on a glue line from the inside of the drum if possible, essentially splitting open the entire joint. The same would hold true if it were closer to the bottom. This type of split calls for very careful thought and imagination, to avoid harming the joint line. Split the joint line from the top or bottom as a last resort. But keep in mind that if you can’t get glue in that split, the drum is going to come apart there sooner than later, so pick your poison, but get the glue into that joint. I also find it necessary to go slowly in this stage of the restoration. I might only do one or 2 splits at a time, allowing for the glue to cure before I move on to the next set of splits. The key issue here is to get them all identified and fixed before you move on. Once you think you have all the splits fixed, hit the shell with the palm of your fist, hard, to listen for cracks. ( The shell will buzz and you will hear it, if it is still cracked) When the shell is solid it will resonate nicely. There is no mistaking the 2 sounds.

One more thing, In this case, the shell has an oak band recessed into the center of the shell. Gon Bops are the only company I am aware of that did this application on their shells in the 70’s. This band is usually cracked in a few places. Use tight bond 3 under and around the split. Put the band clamp around the oak band and tighten with a ratchet ( incidentally, use good judgment as to how much tension you are applying to the clamp, it can take a lot, but don’t go crazy and break it) Now with the band clamp good and tight, hit the high spots firmly down with a rubber mallet. The band will sit in the groove nicely. Let it dry overnight.

THE STRIPPING PHASE (pic 22)

The stripping of the clear coats on a vintage drum is pretty straight forward. What I found to be a very stable holder for any size conga shell is a standard plastic 50 gal garbage pail.( with or without trash, mine has shop trash!) (pic 23) Two scraps of wood and 4 hand clamps. This will form a cradle that will not allow the shell to fall or move. It is all you need.
The stripper I use is a methylene chloride based gel stripper.( pic 24) Rock Miracle is the trade name that works the best. Paint stores carry this in stock. You’ll will need a quart. It’s about $15. You don’t need a lot to strip a drum. A quart will do 5-6 shells, easy. Home Depot carries a variety of this kind of gel strip called Kleen Strip. It’s OK, and I’m using it on this restoration, but I prefer Rock Miracle hands down. I suppose that you could use a lacquer based stripper ( Zip Strip) but I personally never do. I have various reasons that don’t require detailed info, but Methylene Chloride is what professionals prefer in the furniture trade, and I’m no exception.
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PL 400 urethane sub floor adhesive (pic 21)
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Forcing the glue in with a razor blade and removing excess with a damp cloth (pic-19)
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The shell can be placed in a holder like this (pic-22)
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The holder set up (pic-23)
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Methylene chloride gel stripper (pic-24)
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Re: Poor mans guide to vintage conga restoration

Postby 11am » Tue Mar 19, 2013 6:12 am

Post 6 in a series of posts

The procedure is very simple. Put a little blob in a pail, (pic-25) and brush it on with a chip brush. (I like to do 3 staves at a time, no more.) I also advise you to wear some hand protection. I use work gloves that are fairly supple and have a rubber palm. Home Depot sells these, but any rubber dish glove will work fine.
Let the gel do it’s job, the finish will start to bubble. In some cases, (Like with this drum ) It did not bubble, but it softened up the finish enough to plane it with a razor blade.

Surfacing with a single edged razor blade ( pic 27-1)

About this technique I use. In the old days of cabinet making, there was a tool referred to as a card file scraper. It was a piece of thin steel that would be filed on the edge to accept a burr. This burr is what did the scraping. When the card was held with 2 hands and drawn across the surface of the wood, ( with the grain) it produced a shaving, like a hand plane. It’s a pain in the ass to form this burr. So I don’t bother. A single edged razor blade, that is used primarily for wallpaper is all that is necessary to do the same thing. You hold it firmly in one hand and bend it slightly ( pic 27). Then you draw it back and forth, ( Like using an eraser) on the softened top coat, while still keeping moderate pressure on the bend in the blade. The slight bend is what produces the shaving. You’ll get the hang of it quickly. When it gets dull, get a new blade. 5 blades will do a drum easily. I do the majority of the shell in this manor and leave the 1 inch margin on the ends for last. ( pic 28) The edges are done in one direction away from the drum, not towards it. All furniture ( with few exceptions) can be stripped quickly and accurately with this method. (I have taught this technique to many an apprentice) 30 minutes later you will have a stripped, and very smooth conga drum. Ready to be sanded. ( pic 29)
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Use a very small amount of the stripper, no need to waste it (pic-25)
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Single edged razor blades ( 27-1)
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Surfacing with the blade (pic-28)
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Stripped shell ready for sanding (pic-29)
Attachments
27.JPG
how to hold the blade ( pic27)
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Re: Poor mans guide to vintage conga restoration

Postby 11am » Tue Mar 19, 2013 6:25 am

Post 7 in a series of posts


Note: I always strip furniture, ( Wood) with Rock Miracle. (Methylene Chloride) I do not sand it to accomplish what a gel stripper is designed to do, faster, easier, and safely without aggressively dry sanding the wood and putting deep swirl scratches into the surface that will inevitably occur with dry sanding. No professionals dry sands Antique furniture for this reason. ( If it has to be refinished at all) Some pros use lacquer based strippers, I don’t . They can be problematic.

THE SANDING PHASE

When you are satisfied with the stripping, it’s time to move on to initial sanding, and filling stage. You get to examine the shell very closely in this stage. There are 3 sanding tools that might be incorporated at this phase in the restoration. 1) The hand ( Which I use 98% of the time, say on mahogany, for example. 2) a palm sander, (which I’ll use depending on the situation) and 3) A belt sander ( Which has one purpose only) We’ll address the belt sander a little later on. For oak, I’ll choose the palm sander with 80 grit paper. The final sand is done with 100-120 grit BY HAND, in the direction of the grain. You can go finer, but with oak, 100 grit will give you a very acceptable surface.
All of these old beat up vintage shells have a ton of imperfections. ( pic 30) For those of you with pristine shells, good for you, you hit the lottery! For everybody else, it’s decision time!. The depth of scratches, dents, gouges, lug rash, extra holes, out of set staves etc. need to be considered here. Some things are going to sand out, and some things are here to stay, . Most things will sand out on most shells. Some things will not, without changing the shape of the drum permanently. We want to avoid changing the shape of the shell from bad to worse! Ask your self this question, many times, before you do a process. “Will this thing I’m about to do, make the situation worse?” Ask that a lot! This poses a problem, especially on shells that are going to be left natural. ( Most old beaters don’t look so good up close, left natural). You will have to fill the imperfections with some kind of filler. This is a cosmetic choice, it’s up to you.

This drum I’m restoring here has a multitude of sins that will have to be addressed. There are at least 50 copper brad holes, ( pic 33) where the brads were sanded off and left in the shell. ( I removed them all with a small drift and dikes from INSIDE the shell)) ( pic 32) Some people here on this forum thought it might be the work of a PRO refinisher, but I doubt that highly. No one who does this professionally would leave copper brads all over a shell, so, I think it was a DIY attempt.( PIC 31) Although the SS rings were not part of this original drum, and you cannot just buy these at a hardware store. In fact, I find that Conga drum Hardware is almost none existent in the internet supplier world, except for lugs. ( Maybe I’m wrong)

A thing about Oak and sanding grits. Oak comprises what is 98% of ALL hardwood flooring in homes. It is hard, dense, with a lot of pores. 80 grit will sand oak smooth. (100-120 will finish sand it.) Almost all the preliminary sanding can be done with 80. Sand the imperfections until you are satisfied with the result. If all the flaws sand out, you are golden, if you got deep gouges going across grain, you are stuck with them, They will have to be filled and they will show. In this case I had one out of set stave that glued up a little high in one spot.. (about 1/32”) ( pic 34)
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Typical blemishes in vintage shells (pic-30)
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Brads left in shell green dots show brads (pic-33)
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brad removal (pic-32)
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more damage (pic 31)
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High stave glued with pl 400 (pic-34)
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Re: Poor mans guide to vintage conga restoration

Postby 11am » Tue Mar 19, 2013 6:39 am

Well, That's all for now, I'll post the rest when the system allows me too. I seem to have reached a server limit, and maybe I'm not allowed to post more. Sorry if I broke a rule,as it is surely unintentional. I'm new and I thought the post would be helpful
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Re: Poor mans guide to vintage conga restoration

Postby RitmoBoricua » Tue Mar 19, 2013 11:53 am

That's a fantastic job you did there 11am, lots of good information on your "tutorial".
I like the way you finished it, the finish on that oak GB totally blends with the other
(2) mahogany GB's. Did you dye first or use a toner to get color/shade you wanted?

PS: What's up with that Gon Bops with an LP head? Blasphemy :lol:
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Re: Poor mans guide to vintage conga restoration

Postby 11am » Tue Mar 19, 2013 12:23 pm

RitmoBoricua wrote:That's a fantastic job you did there 11am, lots of good information on your "tutorial".
I like the way you finished it, the finish on that oak GB totally blends with the other
(2) mahogany GB's. Did you dye first or use a toner to get color/shade you wanted?

PS: What's up with that Gon Bops with an LP head? Blasphemy :lol:

Thanks Bro, I really want to post the rest of the tutorial, but the system wouldn't allow me to post anymore photos last night? All of your questions are answered in the other half of the article!I'll try to post it later
About the LP head, LOL I did say poor mans Guide!
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Re: Poor mans guide to vintage conga restoration

Postby RitmoBoricua » Tue Mar 19, 2013 1:02 pm

11am wrote:About the LP head, LOL I did say poor mans Guide!


Just having fun with it, I see LP
stuff on other brands all the time.
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Re: Poor mans guide to vintage conga restoration

Postby burke » Tue Mar 19, 2013 1:16 pm

Great posts and very useful. I've mentioned [and used] PL on my resto's. I actually use PL premium [I also use it for my poor man's boats]. Is the 400 better in your opinion?

Thanks

Darrell
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Re: Poor mans guide to vintage conga restoration

Postby Psych1 » Tue Mar 19, 2013 5:57 pm

Great article, very helpful, thank you. Looking forward to the rest of it.

Question: I've got a 60's mahogany 13" Gon Bops with a big crack along a stave line, crack doesn't quite reach the top & bottom of the shell. Previous owner repaired it with epoxy and it opened again. I've been told I now need to clean out all the old epoxy glue and carve a V shape mahogany shim to fill the crack. It will dry strap closed now but I'm concerned that if I just try to glue the crack, without the shim, other cracks will open up because of the stress on the shell. I don't care about perfect but I do want to do it well. Think I can skip the shim and clean out and just use glue? If so, which glue will bond with the old epoxy? Thanks again for the guide.
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Re: Poor mans guide to vintage conga restoration

Postby 11am » Tue Mar 19, 2013 9:20 pm

Psych1 wrote:Great article, very helpful, thank you. Looking forward to the rest of it.

Question: I've got a 60's mahogany 13" Gon Bops with a big crack along a stave line, crack doesn't quite reach the top & bottom of the shell. Previous owner repaired it with epoxy and it opened again. I've been told I now need to clean out all the old epoxy glue and carve a V shape mahogany shim to fill the crack. It will dry strap closed now but I'm concerned that if I just try to glue the crack, without the shim, other cracks will open up because of the stress on the shell. I don't care about perfect but I do want to do it well. Think I can skip the shim and clean out and just use glue? If so, which glue will bond with the old epoxy? Thanks again for the guide.



Thanks Brother, glad there was something of interest. I will try to post the rest of it today! Is there anyway you can post me a pic of the split on this thread?? Be glad to offer some thoughts to help you out.
Last edited by 11am on Wed Mar 20, 2013 1:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Poor mans guide to vintage conga restoration

Postby 11am » Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:01 pm

Aha, Problem fixed!
Last edited by 11am on Tue Mar 19, 2013 11:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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