Custom Made Ash Wood Congas and Stainless Hardware

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Custom Made Ash Wood Congas and Stainless Hardware

Postby KevBo » Mon Jul 31, 2017 3:34 am

I recently finished up this set of congas. They are ash wood with walnut accents. Rubber foot on the bottoms and stainless steel hardware. The interiors are turned slightly rough. The tones are pure and resonant. I'm super happy with these. I made a big mistake of using stainless steel nuts with the stainless lugs... Stainless on Stainless will seize! I used a impact driver to set the heads and the threads cold welded. Well, I had to cut them off and make new ones... now I use a copper anti-seize and standard nuts on the stainless lugs. Tunes very smoothly also.

When I was figuring out the shell dimensions and ratios, I wanted to use the golden ratio. I'm not sure why - it's not something I'm obsessed with or put into practice in other places.. but I watched something on it at the same time I was working out the sizes I wanted to use... So i made some formulas in an excel sheet just to see what would happen.. It worked out really well. I give the sheet one number (the head size of the conga) and it gives me all ratios that define the shape of the set. The congas pictured here are the first I built off this formula.

I'm excited to build some more of these! Short video here -


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Re: Custom Made Ash Wood Congas and Stainless Hardware

Postby windhorse » Tue Aug 01, 2017 4:45 am

Nice work! The shape looks like Valje.
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Re: Custom Made Ash Wood Congas and Stainless Hardware

Postby Chtimulato » Fri Aug 11, 2017 8:47 pm

Nice work, KevBo !

I suggest you to use bronze nuts for your lugs to protect the threads.
If you use 3/8" or 5/16'' lugs, you can use Mini (Austin, Cooper, ...) exhaust manifold brass/bronze nuts. Or marine (sailing) nuts. You should easily find some on the web.

In case of metric lugs (8 mm), the same nuts for Fiat 500 will fit.

Keep on keeping on.
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Re: Custom Made Ash Wood Congas and Stainless Hardware

Postby jorge » Thu Aug 17, 2017 4:39 am

You can also use 2 different grades of stainless for the lug and nut, like 304 and 316. That will lower the risk of seizing too. Some heavy grease on the threads would work fine too but grease doesn't look good on white pants (or any pants) and it is hard to completely remove it from the exposed threads of the lugs. Cleaning exposed threads with alcohol on a paper towel before each time you play will help a lot though.
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