Unfinished Conga interiors??

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Unfinished Conga interiors??

Postby sancho27 » Sat Nov 08, 2008 6:04 pm

I was wondering if any of you have seen some congas that had no sealer or clear coat on the insides of a wooden conga drum? I saw some at a music store & they were the player series congas by LP and they looked like bare finished wood, sanded very smooth. I heard that putting a finish or sealer on the inside of the shells helps with making a better tone on the drum.
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Re: Unfinished Conga interiors??

Postby akdom » Sat Nov 08, 2008 9:55 pm

Let me give you my point of you.

A rough inside is fine. If you sand and varnish it, you will get more overtones....

Most of the manufactured congas have a rough finish inside anyway..


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Re: Unfinished Conga interiors??

Postby goingquinto » Sun Nov 09, 2008 1:07 pm

I have never had a conga that was finished on the inside. My Gon Bops and my LP's are raw on the inside. Come to think of it, I don't think I've ever seen a conga that was finished on the inside. I guess those old Gon Bops with the fiberglass coating would be considered "finished".
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Re: Unfinished Conga interiors??

Postby yambu321 » Sun Nov 09, 2008 1:22 pm

HOPE THIS HELPS.

THE CLEAR COAT APPLIED BY A MANFACTURER IS MAINLY DONE FOR THE PURPOSE OF KEEPING OUT UNWANTED MOISTURE FROM GETTING INTO THE DRUM. THE FINISH ON THE EXTERIOR OF A DRUM, SERVES TO BEAUTIFY THE DRUM, TO HELP IT RESIST SCRATSHES AND ABRASIONS, AS WELL AS TO KEEP OUT MOISTURE FROM GETTING INTO THE WOOD. IF MOISTURE GETS INTO THE WOOD, IN TIME, IT WILL CAUSE WARPAGE, AND CRACKS.
ATTETION TO DEATAIL IS VERY IMPORTANT. I MAKE SURE MY DRUMS ARE PROTECTED ON THE INSIDE AS WELL. A FEW COATS OF "DANISH OIL" WHICH PENETRATES AND STRENTHENS THE WOOD FROM THE INSIDE WORKS VERY WELL. IT IS BEST APPIED WITH A SPONGE.

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Re: Unfinished Conga interiors??

Postby Mike » Sun Nov 09, 2008 2:09 pm

akdom wrote:Let me give you my point of you.

A rough inside is fine. If you sand and varnish it, you will get more overtones....

Most of the manufactured congas have a rough finish inside anyway..


B

I would even go one step further: The rawer the inside, the better the tone.
Can´t explain why, it´s just like that IMO. I even experienced this phenomenon
with a rather old and cheap, cosmic percussion look-alike conga. With a "correct",
i.e. decent cow skin, this is a little requinto baby today I have a lot of affection for!
Peace & drum
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Re: Unfinished Conga interiors??

Postby bongosnotbombs » Sun Nov 09, 2008 4:45 pm

The only makers of drums that I know apply a finish to the inside of the drum
are Resolutions / Valje and Volcano. Valje & Resolution use a brush and wipe down
the excess glue and coat the interior with that. Volcanoes have a much more finished
inside as far as the staves and glue beads and I think something is applied there as well, but not 100%
as I don't have a Volcano drum of my own.

My Isla and LP's and vintage Gon Bops that I have don't have anything on the inside. Even the fiber coated vintage
GB's don't have anything on the inside. I don't know about the new GB's, my guess is they use the glue technique like
Valje because Akbar used to work for Valje.

If you want something on the inside for protection, an oil like Yambu suggests is very good, they do not dry hard, but protect the
wood, I did this to an old Gon Bop drum I restored with tung oil. It worked well, but took a long time to dry.

If you don't like the sound of the drum and want to change it
by using a finish you would probably need a hard one like polyurethane or something similar.

I personally don't think that is a great idea with the polyurethane, liable to make your drum ringy and heavy.
And if you did not like it, good luck removing coats of polyurethane from the inside of the drum.
There are other ways to improve your drums sound, a new skin being the most common and probably best way.
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Re: Unfinished Conga interiors??

Postby sancho27 » Sun Nov 09, 2008 4:54 pm

I hope I am not confusing anyone when I say a finish on the inside. I do not mean a finish like the outside of the drum has, I mean just like a sealer or clearcoat. I was told the same thing about maybe moisture getting into the drum & warpage happenning when it is not sealed. I looked inside the drums & they are sanded very very fine, like it's ready for a finish. No lines of glue where each section of wood meets, actually like the outside of drum before the stain goes on. Where as the older LP drum I am in the process of finishing, has glue between each line showing, and, a clerarcoat of some kind like a sealer.
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Re: Unfinished Conga interiors??

Postby sancho27 » Thu Nov 24, 2011 9:34 pm

Hello all. This is an old post I put up a few years ago. Thought i would ask again. Went thru alot losing a job i had for 15 yaers and was out of work for almost 2 years and by the grace of God am working for a great stable big company so all is well again thank God. But As you see in my post its about a finish on the interior of the drum shaell. The older LP that I refinished to look like the new set I got a few years ago has a clear coating of some sort on the inside and to me has a more distintiuve louder tone than the newer ones that are bare wood inside. What could they have used? What should be used if I was to go that route?
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Re: Unfinished Conga interiors??

Postby RitmoBoricua » Thu Nov 24, 2011 10:29 pm

I know some LP wooden congas have a layer of fiberglass on the inside
toward the top to provide strenght. That is probably what you referring to.
I was just polishing a bongo drum I refinished some years back and I painted
the inside. I do not hear any diferrence in the sound. Congratulations on your
new job I know how it feels like I was laid-off and was with no job for awhile
too.
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Re: Unfinished Conga interiors??

Postby sancho27 » Fri Nov 25, 2011 12:48 am

My older LP drum does not just have it at the top, its all over entire inside area. I will take a pic tomorrow and post it for all to see. Maybe someone who has experience with drums will know what it is they used. I have been playing since 1977 off and on and have not seen one with this inside it.
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Re: Unfinished Conga interiors??

Postby RitmoBoricua » Fri Nov 25, 2011 2:29 am

Basically you can use anything you want, is up to you. Besides the fiberglass layer they use a 2 part
urethane to protect the inside of the conga from moisture but you can also use boiled linseed oil,
watco oil, paint, varnish, epoxy, acrylic, fiberglass etc. etc. All you want to do is seal the wood,
protect it. But with that said I think coating the inside of your drum with fiberglass or epoxy
probably change the sound/tone of the drum. Some people say the drums sound better with no
coat of anything others preferred to seal the wood inside. Normally when I refinish a drum I seal
the inside with a wood sealer of my choice, I do not mess with fiberglass or epoxy. I hope this helps.
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Re: Unfinished Conga interiors??

Postby Hawker » Fri Nov 25, 2011 10:52 pm

In the 70s many of us painted the inside of our drum sets with clear fiberglass resin. Supposedly when it dried it would be so hard it would cause the drums to reflect sound rather than absorb and make your drums louder. Have to say I'm not sure I ever heard any of that. However....it took decades and I mean decades for the smell to ever go away and on hot days even thirty years later you could smell it.

With congas I'd be very careful using anything that didn't allow the wood to breath. I would think fiberglass or similar would have to change the sound somewhat.
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Re: Unfinished Conga interiors??

Postby RitmoBoricua » Fri Nov 25, 2011 11:28 pm

You know Hawker you are right about the smell. Fiberglass congas have this distinctive smell inside that never goes away.
Beside changing the natural tone of a drum coating the whole inside of the drum with fiberglass will make it heavier too.
Personally I do not want a wooden drum to sound like a fiberglass drum you know.
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Re: Unfinished Conga interiors??

Postby GregNoiz » Tue Dec 13, 2011 3:08 pm

I just bought a new but cracked LP Performer series conga. After repairing the crack I applied a light coat of tung oil to the interior. No real change in sound - maybe a tiny bit less warm but with a little more projection and attack. Still sounds like a wood drum, very natural. And for a $100 drum it sounds great! I would advise against any plastic coatings unless you want to change the sound of the drum.
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Re: Unfinished Conga interiors??

Postby onile » Tue Dec 13, 2011 5:49 pm

I have a set of 3 Fat Congas, when I first got them I thought they were the bestest drums in the world! I still think they are fantastic, but the bestest, not so much anymore. The inside is coated with what Rick Buscemi called "marine grade epoxy," they look so clean and just as beautiful as the outside of the drums. The drawback of this however is what brother akdom said....."overtones." I've only tried changing the skins once however, but the overtones are still present. It's a bit annoying, but once you're amplified and playing with other musicians, you tend to overlook it. I must say though, that I strongly think that the coating of the inside with anything stronger than what brother Yambu321 said, "DANISH OIL", will give you overtones that you'll be forced to live with while you own and play that particular set of drums, or drum.
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