New Conga skin ?

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!

New Conga skin ?

Postby blavonski » Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:02 am

Hello Conga Folks,

Last Friday afternoon I stretched my Vintage Schalloc, Made In Hamburg germany, Beech wood Congas with 1,8mm-2mm thick Steer hides. It's the first time I've skinned congas and am wondering if, after 3 full days, the Photos I've posted show that things are on the right track to curing properly to a light creme/white color as the person I baught them from assured me they would or not.
My doubts about this becoming the case are based on my inexperience with such thick and large skins as well as on the fact that the skins' surfaces are hard, rough and still brown in many places and feel dry to me. They look and feel in the middle especially the Tumba as they did before I soaked them; however the bearing edges are soft and white. I had the heat on in my studio over night and 24 hours later showed no marked change in color or texture.
Unfortunatley, the person I bought them from was extremely unhelpful over the phone and along with denying that he assured me they would have a creme or white finish even suggested that I sand them if the surface is rough and pretty much brushed me off. So, as you can imagine, having no experience with conga skins, I'm feeling lost in the sauce as we used to say and am afraid that something has gone wrong that can't be rectifeid. Any thoughtful and helpful as well as reassuring comments and suggestions are as usual greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Good vibrations,
Blavonski
Attachments
DSC03713.JPG
DSC03733.JPG
Good Vibrations,
Mr. Blavonski
blavonski
 
Posts: 158
Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2011 11:16 pm
Location: Berlin, Germany

Re: New Conga skin ?

Postby Mike » Tue Nov 12, 2013 6:10 am

Looks fine to me, no problem.
The witeish areas at the bearing edge are more or less normal.
BTW how long have you soaked those skins?
Peace & drum
User avatar
Mike
 
Posts: 2171
Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2001 6:00 pm
Location: Germany

Re: New Conga skin ?

Postby RitmoBoricua » Tue Nov 12, 2013 11:43 am

Good job the skins look good.Assuming that the they are dry you
may want to apply some palm oil or shea butter not a lot to kind
of recondition the skins the mounting and drying process makes
them a little exta dry plus I assume is cold where you live and
cold and dry weather tends to dry the skins just like it dries your
own skin and you have to apply moisturizer to keep it moist and
healthy, same concept. Take Care And Happy Drumming!
RitmoBoricua
 
Posts: 1408
Joined: Thu Feb 20, 2003 12:46 pm

Re: New Conga skin ?

Postby blavonski » Tue Nov 12, 2013 12:41 pm

Thanks for the replies fellas.

So, are you both of the opinion that they are still in the process of drying out? I soaked them for over ten hours and then they were out during the the mounting process. I've never seen Conga or Bongo skins that have this finished look or hard, rough feel to them. I have'nt been to my studio yet today, but my over all concern is whether the rest of the skins will become white and smooth like the bearing edge areas are. Or that, because they were for the first two day cool, (no heating) in my room, they did'nt cure properly. And as you well know Mike, those skins aren't inexspensive at all. So naturally I'm a little nervous about them not working out as they augh to.

Good vibrations,
Blavonski
Good Vibrations,
Mr. Blavonski
blavonski
 
Posts: 158
Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2011 11:16 pm
Location: Berlin, Germany

Re: New Conga skin ?

Postby Mike » Tue Nov 12, 2013 1:46 pm

A little confusion here:
Dry? Of course the skins should be very dry by now?

Rough: Well, a skin is a natural product.
Normally Fritz Würth sells ultra-smooth skins,
but sometimes skins are a bit rough on the surface.
You CAN sand them, but I would not
really recommend it.

All in all, everything is fine, you did a very good mounting job,
the skins look nice on those Schallochs.
And how do they sound?
Peace & drum
User avatar
Mike
 
Posts: 2171
Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2001 6:00 pm
Location: Germany

Re: New Conga skin ?

Postby blavonski » Wed Nov 13, 2013 10:26 pm

Hi Mike,
a bit rough you say? Man, it’s difficult to describe something’s in words or pictures to the point where it will be translated 100%. On the Photos they look lighter and softer than they really were after mounting and drying for four days. You know what a drum hide feels and looks like before you soak it. Well, with exception of transparancy, that’s what most of the Hembra and a lot of the Macho looked and felt like after I mounted them. From mounting three Bongos with new skins to date, my intuition told me that something was not right. But, I thought because they’re much thicker, that they would lighten and soften up as they dry. Didn't happen. No Cow/Steer conga Hides I’ve ever seen on this forum or anywhere else or have played have looked or felt this way.

At any rate, I went ahead this morning and dampened the skins while mounted; ( firm enough to resist my hand pressure), with a little warm water and massaged them with some Shea Butter to open up the pores and then tightened them a bit more. When I left them this evening the macho was a little more lighter in color than the Hembra, but more importantly to me, they were both completely smooth to the touch and were drying off at pretty much equal fourths with compatible and matching fundamentals. We’ll see how they sound tomorrow when fully dry of course. If they sound good I’ll post a clip for your listening pleasure. Und meine Meinung nach, könnte der Herr Würth eine Ausbildung in Kunden betreung und unterstutzung dringend brauchen. :roll:

Good vibrations,
Blavonski
Good Vibrations,
Mr. Blavonski
blavonski
 
Posts: 158
Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2011 11:16 pm
Location: Berlin, Germany

Re: New Conga skin ?

Postby buckoh » Tue Nov 19, 2013 6:37 pm

If they are rough on the top, what does the under side feel like? Maybe you mounted them wrong side up. They should only be soaked for about 3 hours or until the first sign of a workable softness. You might need to let them dry for a very long time. I usually leave them in the sun, on their sides for circulation of air and, a small fan blowing air into the bottom.
buckoh
 
Posts: 201
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2007 5:03 pm
Location: North Carolina

Re: New Conga skin ?

Postby Mike » Tue Nov 19, 2013 6:58 pm

blavonski wrote:But, I thought because they’re much thicker, that they would lighten and soften up as they dry. Didn't happen.


SKins do not soften up after being mounted. What you write sounds very strange to me.

blavonski wrote:Und meine Meinung nach, könnte der Herr Würth eine Ausbildung in Kunden betreung und unterstutzung dringend brauchen. :roll:

Well, I guess Fritz Würth only offers exceptionally good skins, but does not feel the need for extensive customer support,
as he surely reckons someone who buys rawhides from him knows what is to be done.

Just check the underside of the mounted skin: IF - and I do not presume that - the skin is considerably
smoother there (not softer!), then you might have the unrealistic bad luck of having mounted the skin wrong side up.
But judging from the photos you provided further up in this thread,
it does not look like that.
Peace & drum
User avatar
Mike
 
Posts: 2171
Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2001 6:00 pm
Location: Germany

Re: New Conga skin ?

Postby caballoballo » Tue Nov 19, 2013 11:22 pm

Saludos, relax my friend those skin are fine. The white parts close to the rim is because they stretched during the mounting process as you tighten them.
I agree with Mike, they look perfect on the picture so no upside-down mistake.
Josean
User avatar
caballoballo
 
Posts: 1028
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2005 10:28 pm
Location: Rio Grande Puerto Rico

Re: New Conga skin ?

Postby blavonski » Wed Nov 20, 2013 1:54 am

Thanks for the replies...
No worries, I know which way is up on the skins. As I wrote, my main concern was with the rough servace texture.
And after messaging them with a little water and shea Butter as I wrote in my last entry, they're feeling good and sounding beautifully. Will try to post a clip soon.

blavonski wrote:Und meine Meinung nach, könnte der Herr Würth eine Ausbildung in Kunden betreung und unterstutzung dringend brauchen. :roll:

Well, I guess Fritz Würth only offers exceptionally good skins, but does not feel the need for extensive customer support,
as he surely reckons someone who buys rawhides from him knows what is to be done.



Hello Mike, I find your above comment unnecessarily provocative.
As you can see from the Photos, I know what is to be done. And I never mentioned the quality of the skins, only the conditon after mounting. I wrote the above in German redarding how I felt about Fritz's handling of me as a customer because you knew who I baught them from. It's irrelevant to me what you think Fritz feels or reckons about what I bought from him. Who are you, Fritz's press agent or something?

I don't know what's important to you, but when I purchase a product from someone and pay top price, I expect that person to take an interest in and answering any questions I may have concerning that product, especially when that person is a new customer; I hardly consider that extensive customer support. And if they can't or choose not to be engaging in the way that I think appropriate, then, in my opinion,they're customer service stinks. It's rediculous to expect that every one who buys a thing has previous experience with it. Did he or you or anyone else know 100% what they were doing when they purchased and mounted their own first drum skins? This attidude is all too common among Germans if I may say so Mike and your above statement exemplifies it. And being an American, who's lived in Germany for well over ten years, and am married to a German woman, I am more than aware that German customer service practices, particularly in the privat/small business world, does take some getting use to, believe me. The simplest question or concern about their product can and is often taken as criticism and when you have to deal with that over the phone, speaking German, as a foreigner, well it can be frustrating. I'm happy with the skins, just not thrilled with the mentality and communication skills of the person I bought them from. But, that's the way it goes sometimes.

Good Vibrations,
Blavonski
Good Vibrations,
Mr. Blavonski
blavonski
 
Posts: 158
Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2011 11:16 pm
Location: Berlin, Germany

Re: New Conga skin ?

Postby jorge » Wed Nov 20, 2013 5:32 am

Sometimes it takes a few years for a skin to turn opaque, sometimes they never do. Thicker skins take longer. Those skins look fine. If they sound good and play well, I would not give them a second thought, just go play them!
jorge
 
Posts: 1054
Joined: Thu Jun 15, 2006 3:47 am
Location: Teaneck, NJ

Re: New Conga skin ?

Postby Mike » Wed Nov 20, 2013 5:56 am

blavonski wrote:Hello Mike, I find your above comment unnecessarily provocative.
As you can see from the Photos, I know what is to be done. And I never mentioned the quality of the skins, only the conditon after mounting. I wrote the above in German redarding how I felt about Fritz's handling of me as a customer because you knew who I baught them from. It's irrelevant to me what you think Fritz feels or reckons about what I bought from him. Who are you, Fritz's press agent or something?

I don't know what's important to you, but when I purchase a product from someone and pay top price, I expect that person to take an interest in and answering any questions I may have concerning that product, especially when that person is a new customer; I hardly consider that extensive customer support. And if they can't or choose not to be engaging in the way that I think appropriate, then, in my opinion,they're customer service stinks. It's rediculous to expect that every one who buys a thing has previous experience with it. Did he or you or anyone else know 100% what they were doing when they purchased and mounted their own first drum skins? This attidude is all too common among Germans if I may say so Mike and your above statement exemplifies it. And being an American, who's lived in Germany for well over ten years, and am married to a German woman, I am more than aware that German customer service practices, particularly in the privat/small business world, does take some getting use to, believe me. The simplest question or concern about their product can and is often taken as criticism and when you have to deal with that over the phone, speaking German, as a foreigner, well it can be frustrating


Whoa, Blavonski, there is no need to fly in a fury or making false allegations here.
I did not intend to sound provocative whatsoever, please apologize if it came across to you that way.
There might have been some misunderstandings. Let me explain:

In your communication with Fritz Würth, who is hard to understand with his southern German accent even for me,
language problems might have played a role. No, I am not a Fritz Würth sales rep, I only bought a skin once from him. :roll:
It was OK, but I have rather been focusing on skins by Banux lately. Würth is certainly a small one-man business deep in the Black Forest
with no international ambitions, so that could explain his somewhat backward attitude in your conversation to a certain extent. Or yes,
maybe you are right, and he offers a lousy customer service (sarcasm-free!).

Anaway, I am really sorry for your bad experience with him regarding communication. As you address bad customer service in Germany and user-unfriendly attitude in general, I would like to question that, it is a prejudice that cannot be applied to every company in general. Besides, talking about textures of skins is pretty difficult, as you admitted in one of your previous posts.

As a German myself, whose mother language is not English at all I have always have found negotiating in more or less stressful situations rather difficult,
and I could imagine this was the same in your situation with Fritz Würth.

Moreover, you mounted the skins in an ecellent manner, especially as a first-timer.
As far as I can see you were worried about the discoloration and the feel of the skin. Well, we tried to be of help by giving advice, as you can see.

Honestly, I was just put off a bit by your retort I must say, but I do hope I could clarify things a little.
Have fun playing those babies.
Last edited by Mike on Wed Nov 20, 2013 7:01 am, edited 3 times in total.
Peace & drum
User avatar
Mike
 
Posts: 2171
Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2001 6:00 pm
Location: Germany

Re: New Conga skin ?

Postby tae » Wed Nov 20, 2013 6:02 am

Sanding --- Since we're mentioning sanding, I would like to make a comment. I'd have to disagree slightly with the sentiment expressed before. In my opinion, I don't see any argument against sanding. It seems to me a perfectly fine way to smooth a surface; in fact, any wood/leather/metal surface. I have, on my own congas, started with a "fine grit" and worked up. One needn't worry about thinning it or damaging it structurally. I started at 300 and worked all the way up to 1600. My LP/Meinl heads feel smoother than any synthetic head. In fact, any manteca de corojo or shea butter that one puts to make it feel smooth works by the fact that it's filling in the gaps where the surface is not smooth. The same principle works in woodcraft as well as other leather/metal surfaces where one applies wax to achieve the same effect. A common example is polishing a pair of leather shoes. If your surface is smooth to begin with after having sanded it carefully, then one barely needs to apply any oil/butter on the surface. One caveat to the sanding is that one must be very careful around the bearing edge. It is simple to over-sand this area, so I would approach it with caution.

Color --- Rawhide can be translucent at places. It would be more so in the thinner parts since it's animal skin. The whiteness around the edges is due to stretching. So when you crank the head up over time, it'll get whiter very slowly. I am familiar with leathercraft (see my post on my bag), but I have not dealt with rawhides very much. That's my guess.

best regards,
Tae
User avatar
tae
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2009 8:24 am
Location: Palo Alto, CA

Re: New Conga skin ?

Postby Mike » Wed Nov 20, 2013 2:04 pm

tae wrote: The whiteness around the edges is due to stretching. So when you crank the head up over time, it'll get whiter very slowly.



Due to stretchn: yes, but not over time. It happens while mounting.
Sometimes you do not have those white spots, sometimes you do.
It also depends on how tight you pull the skin when mounting it,
i.e. how much you tighten the tuning lugs.

FWIW, here are some examples of mule skins with that opaque areas at the bearing edge
more or less directly after mounting them:
AFRO freshly mounted top_1024x576.JPG
Matador  after 4 days.JPG


And here is a cow skin without those whiteish areas:
Skin on Old skool WOodcraft.JPG
Peace & drum
User avatar
Mike
 
Posts: 2171
Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2001 6:00 pm
Location: Germany

Re: New Conga skin ?

Postby blavonski » Wed Nov 20, 2013 7:21 pm

Hello Mike,
I wasn't in a fury, simply annoyed with what I percieved as a smarty pants and intolerant remark by you to something I shared with you per private message. And, I appreciate you clarifying your intent behind it.

Due to the fact that my Meinl Bongo skins are also steer hides and are smooth and creme colored, and given the fact that I was informed by the seller, per my asking, that they would be creme colored, well I expected these to be similar in texture and as well as color. And so, for lack of any other reason or evidence, I have reasoned that the skins look as they do as a result of them being, one Steer and not Cow as well as much thicker than the Bongo skins. I stretched them with the rope/Synch Technic, as I do Bongos, but didn't put them under the same tension. I was being careful... But, I now know that I could have given them a little more tension than I did. However, I wouldn't want to stretch them too much where they would become thinner when dried. I would do things slightly different next time around, whenever that comes. And, as I mentioned above, I'm very pleased with the feel and sound.
As far sanding. I don't even use sand paper on wood, real wood that is, if I can help and I usually do. But, since the person I bought the skins from is a drum maker and I'm am a curious person, and like to experiment, I did go over the Hembra lightly with a used up piece of 100 grit paper. It didn't make much of an effect. However, I got cold feet and put it down and opted for warm water and Shea Butter and I'm pleased with the results. I wasn't about to risk ruining those skins with a process I have no experience with. However, as it's was written here above, it obviously can be done with success.
So much to learn, so little time.

Good Vibrations,
Blavonski
Good Vibrations,
Mr. Blavonski
blavonski
 
Posts: 158
Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2011 11:16 pm
Location: Berlin, Germany

Next

Return to CongaSet and accessories

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest