What IS This?

Advice and questions on keeping your instruments in top form

Re: What IS This?

Postby djembefeeling » Fri Aug 25, 2017 10:07 pm

batadunbata wrote:it's possible that what you got was a chemical they used to preserve the skin less toxically, like some kind of salt or mineral

I think they usually put ashes on the skin. Hot African sun and dry winds from the Harmatan do their part of the job. And even if, when you put the skins into water for a long period of time, sometimes even walk on them to soften the texture, the salt and minerals would be all gone. If it wouldn't, we would experience this stuff more often. And mostly directly after having mounted the skin. When it's dry, it wouldn't give anything to the wood.

You are too fixated on the picture of this one instance. I've seen a couple of examples, and this stuff can grow everywhere, right above the lower ring or in the middle of the bowl. But in all these cases it tended to grow under the rope more than next to it. Please don't speculate now that it might be because of chemicals in the rope. What is it that 30+ years of experience with drum building of David Mühlemann are so readily dismissed? He warned me that excess fat/oil might have exactly this result.
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Re: What IS This?

Postby batadunbata » Sat Aug 26, 2017 1:05 am

I hope I'm not dismissing experience, only offering ideas and inferences based on what is presented.
In this case I don't think it was mold, because DrTom said it was crystalline, and mold doesn't crystalize, in my experience.
And I don't think it's fat or wax, because it's water soluble, and turns green when wet.
So in my understanding that leaves only minerals or chemicals to explain it. But I could be wrong, maybe some mold crystalizes, and maybe some fats are water soluble. Never heard of it, but I learn something new every day.

Interesting that they use ash. Ash contains a form of lye, called potassium hydroxide, which is used for soap making. I agree with you, I would expect that soaking a skin (overnight) should remove things like lye, salt, minerals, etc. But they may have soaked it briefly.
In my case, I was unable to soak the chemical smell out of the skin I had, so I got rid of it.
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Re: What IS This?

Postby drtom » Sat Aug 26, 2017 4:22 am

batadunbata wrote:Heh, I'm restraining myself, but we'll see how long that lasts.


I knew you could do it bdb. :clap: Actually, I was pretty sure you'd be the one to offer theories for this stuff coming off green.

batadunbata wrote:Any idea of the wood? I realize it resembles Khadi, but I've seen a bit of heavily figured Djalla too, and with the warm coloring it's hard to tell.


I believe it is khadi, more because that's what the owner was told than because of my great depth of knowledge.

the kid wrote:More info on what it could be. This quote is on 'Bloom' under the wood section. It's an article showing different possible causes for mold like features on materials in an Alaskan museum.


Good work Sir Kid! Now I'm leaning toward bloom. Although the reference indicates that bloom favors areas with lots of air, which contradicts the fact that ? was thicker under the rings, it may also be true that bloom favors the dark more so than air.

batadunbata wrote:The Kid, The lipid efflorescence thing is interesting, but if it's fat or oil, you'd think it wouldn't wipe off with water, it would only harden and become sticky (like how surf wax works to hold the surfer on the wet board).


My understanding from reading the reference is that the oils/fats undergo a process that alters their state.
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Re: What IS This?

Postby djembefeeling » Sat Aug 26, 2017 6:17 am

batadunbata wrote:I hope I'm not dismissing experience, only offering ideas and inferences based on what is presented.

Fair enough. Combine that with experience and you'll become an expert in this field, I am sure. Don't let yourself be restrained. At least the Dr. still takes notice of you. You know it's worse when he completely ignores your posts ;)

batadunbata wrote:In my case, I was unable to soak the chemical smell out of the skin I had, so I got rid of it.

Never had a skin with that smell. Where did you get it from? Did it come from Pakistan?
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Re: What IS This?

Postby drtom » Sat Aug 26, 2017 3:50 pm

djembefeeling wrote:At least the Dr. still takes notice of you. You know it's worse when he completely ignores your posts ;)


Almost invariably, your elucidations are of such clarity and impeccable reasoning I could add nothing to them but tarnish.

djembefeeling wrote:Never had a skin with that smell. Where did you get it from? Did it come from Pakistan?


Perhaps he refers to the lovely aroma of a horny goat.
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Re: What IS This?

Postby djembefeeling » Sun Aug 27, 2017 4:57 pm

drtom wrote:Perhaps he refers to the lovely aroma of a horny goat.

That aroma is lovely but very different from formaldehyde.
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Re: What IS This?

Postby drtom » Mon Aug 28, 2017 8:17 am

djembefeeling wrote:That aroma is lovely but very different from formaldehyde.


Oh. Not yet having been embalmed in this lifetime, can't relate to the lovely scent of formaldehyde.
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Re: What IS This?

Postby drtom » Sat Sep 02, 2017 7:52 pm

So I'm not absolutely convinced that it was bloom blooming on the shell, but it does seem to be the most likely. I let the shell sit in the sun for several days (the sun kills ALL evil growths [OK, melanoma it causes]), before assembling the drum. Came out nice.

finishedDjembe2.jpg
finishedDjembe2.jpg (530.52 KiB) Viewed 121 times


I was not immediately thrilled by the choice of color combination, but it grew on me pretty quickly.
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Re: What IS This?

Postby batadunbata » Sun Sep 03, 2017 1:11 am

I think the color combo is unusually successful.
The turquoise is able to emphasize the red in the wood, because turquoise contains green, which contrasts with the red, highlighting it,
and at the same time it's able to emphasize the purple in the wood, because turquoise contains blue, which harmonizes with/reinforces it.
And the yellow goes with the lighter waves in the wood, and balances out the red and blue. (I tried covering up the rings with my fingers and it's definitely better with it than without)
It all works together, tropic vibes, cheers people up.
Unrecognizable from how it was (shell gross and rope/cloth blah), it looks beautiful now.
The wood's stunning grain and warm color is visible again, and the rope gives it a new vibrant spirit.
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Re: What IS This?

Postby the kid » Mon Sep 04, 2017 12:28 pm

Nah, it looks gawdy now, ...joke. The doctor did a good job here and converted manky to swanky.

There is a perfect reason for everything conceptually speaking including the color of your rope

I remember the look on my friends face when i suggested pinkish ropes for his drum. The rope ended up looking good on my drum.
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Re: What IS This?

Postby drtom » Tue Sep 05, 2017 5:33 am

the kid wrote:I remember the look on my friends face when i suggested pinkish ropes for his drum. The rope ended up looking good on my drum.


There's just no accounting for taste, and you never really know until you try.

It brings to mind a nice couple that brought their better half's djembe to me for reheading. It turned out the rope had to be replaced as well, and she very explicitly favored pink and/or purple. It happened that I had access to 5mm pink and 4mm purple. So this turned out to be a mostly pink djembe, but not just any pink - HOT pink.

This lovely lady absolutely loved her pink and purple drum.
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Re: What IS This?

Postby batadunbata » Wed Sep 13, 2017 4:23 am

I just found this:
"The white or yellow substance, afzelin, in the vessels can cause the wood to stain textiles and other materials that come into contact with it when damp."


"http://www.worldagroforestry.org/treedb2/speciesprofile.php?Spid=18116

The profile refers to Lenke, but there could be a chemical in Hare that behaves similarly.
I looked Afzelin up, and it's a crystalline substance, with anti-cancer properties.

I won't go on about the many medicinal uses of Lenke, Khadi, Djalla, etc. It's too much of a side tangent, I'll start a new post some time about it, but they're full of useful chemicals apparently.
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Re: What IS This?

Postby the kid » Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:53 am

I won't go on about the many medicinal uses of Lenke, Khadi, Djalla, etc. It's too much of a side tangent, I'll start a new post some time about it, but they're full of useful chemicals apparently.


Please do. A few times in Gambia i met friends who'd have strips of wood or root in a bottle of water and would be drinking it as medicine. In some markets you'll find someone with loads of bottles brewed up.

One guy i met over there had a book on west African trees which explained characteristics, medicinal/practical uses, appearance, photos and region of tree. It was from some charity which give the book free if you become a member. It'd be nice to source this book.

I'd say thread jack away, but a new thread would be good too on this subject.
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