I'm a woodturner and a friend in a drumming circle mentioned something about djembes, and I decided it would be a good project. I found a large, freshly cut maple log on the side of the road and took it to the shop. I probably should've started here, but I have turned the shell, bent, welded, and covered rings, laced the rope, and I'm about to stretch the head over it.
I guess my biggest question is about how tight to pull while wet. I'm not even sure i have the correct hide, but it is from a goat and was labeled as a bodran/djembe skin. No hair on it, so I'm not really certain of what side goes up.
I'm thinking I will make a foot pedal style, under bench (OK, table saw outfeed table) rope puller, but I don't want to go crazy. Dry, this skin is like a heavy paper/posterboard thickness, and I don't want to blow it out while wet and soft. (maybe that's not even likely?)