Poor mans guide to vintage conga restoration

Manufacturers, brands, skins, maintenance, stands, sticks, michrophones and other accessories for congueros can be discussed into this forum ...... leave your experience or express your doubts!

Re: Poor mans guide to vintage conga restoration

Postby RitmoBoricua » Wed May 20, 2015 3:38 pm

I think it could be interesting to know what kind of glue
LP uses on their congas because this guy on Facebook
claims his wood LP congas were submerged in water I think
during Katrina and the congas survived that event intact.
I have seen a guy throw hard his Matador congas on the bed
of his pick-up truck after practice, the drums had all kind of
scratches, gouges and dents but the staves never came apart.
Given that if I remember correctly LP install metal pins between
stave to act as a "biscuit joint".
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Re: Poor mans guide to vintage conga restoration

Postby bengon » Thu May 21, 2015 2:33 pm

I had a pair of LPs that were underwater during Hurricane Sandy and the wood didn't crack. The gel coating cracked and bubbled a little but that's it.
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Re: Poor mans guide to vintage conga restoration

Postby RitmoBoricua » Thu May 21, 2015 4:25 pm

Sandy not Katrina, stand corrected. But the wood
still did not crack, beautiful.Some people give LP
drums quality a bad rap but I tell you I know this
from experience they can take a licking and keep
on ticking.
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Re: Poor mans guide to vintage conga restoration

Postby jorge » Thu May 21, 2015 8:23 pm

So, depending on what kind of extreme conditions you think are most likely you can optimize the glue to be water repellent (eg, Titebond 3) but with more creep and much less heat resistance, or to be more creep and heat resistant (eg, Titebond original) but much less water resistant. Personally I think my congas are more likely to be left in a hot car than to get submerged in another flood. Life is a bunch of gambles and compromises, and so is conga repair.
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Re: Poor mans guide to vintage conga restoration

Postby bengon » Sat May 23, 2015 3:48 am

It might have been a different guy who posted about congas during Katrina, I don't remember posting anything about it on facebook.
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Re: Poor mans guide to vintage conga restoration

Postby CampoSantaRosa » Fri Aug 31, 2018 3:13 pm

Wanted to say thanks to everyone on this thread, especially 11am. I recently obtained a mid 90s Gon Bops XXL 14+1/4” super tumba in need of some serious attention. You guys have saved me from many mistakes and lots of trial and error. It’s coming along nicely, I’ll try to post some pics when it’s finished.
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Re: Poor mans guide to vintage conga restoration

Postby jorge » Fri Aug 31, 2018 3:26 pm

+1
There is a lot of useful information in this thread, although like all information sources, it has some dubious information in spots and needs to be read critically and applied carefully.
Pics would be very nice.
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Re: Poor mans guide to vintage conga restoration

Postby Juaort » Mon Sep 03, 2018 6:44 pm

This is Gold! Thanks for the tips. I’ve played around with refinishing as well as reglueing Bongos and Congas, this is just great info.
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Re: Poor mans guide to vintage conga restoration

Postby CampoSantaRosa » Tue Sep 04, 2018 5:01 pm

The shell is coming along nicely. Could use a recommendation on removing the lacquer from the bands. Had read a suggestion for nail polish remover/acetone but that didn’t seem to do anything.
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Re: Poor mans guide to vintage conga restoration

Postby Chtimulato » Tue Sep 04, 2018 8:11 pm

Paint stripper ? Heatgun ? Or simply a very fine steel wool ?
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Re: Poor mans guide to vintage conga restoration

Postby jorge » Wed Sep 05, 2018 3:09 am

If nail polish remover doesn't work it may be polyurethane not lacquer. If the bands are aluminum, steel wool may make tiny scratches in the surface and change the appearance, so paint stripper would be better. If it contains methylene chloride (some still do) do it outside. Actually with any paint stripper it is best to do it outside or in a highly ventilated area indoors. I actually painted the bands black on one of my congas to match the black ox hardware.
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Re: Poor mans guide to vintage conga restoration

Postby CampoSantaRosa » Wed Sep 05, 2018 3:12 pm

Thanks guys, yes, the bands are aluminum and sprayed with whatever Gon Bops was using in ‘94. I’ll try paint remover.
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Re: Poor mans guide to vintage conga restoration

Postby CampoSantaRosa » Thu Sep 06, 2018 3:29 pm

Jorge, thanks for the insight on the poly, I picked up a stripper made for that as well as a plastic scrubber made for stripping that I’ll first test on the inside surface.
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Re: Poor mans guide to vintage conga restoration

Postby CampoSantaRosa » Sun Sep 09, 2018 9:21 pm

Success! I applied a layer of Jasco premium paint and epoxy remover with a cheap brush and used a plastic mini scraper shaped like a razor blade (in a razor blade holder) to remove the softened lacquer. This took off about 98 % of it. Used a plastic wire brush to get the leftovers after a second coat then wiped with a terri cloth rag to get the remaining residue. This worked great, very clean and no scratches. By the way, I tested a 3m plastic scrubber made for stripping and it scratches the aluminum.
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Re: Poor mans guide to vintage conga restoration

Postby jorge » Sun Sep 09, 2018 11:11 pm

Glad to hear it worked. Interesting that plastic scratches the aluminum of the bands, must be very soft aluminum. I remember some very delicate aluminum bands on an old Gon Bops quinto I had 40 years ago. One popped from tension caused by the wood swelling during a humid summer.
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