Advice and questions on making and fixing instruments
#39168
So I’ve built quite a few drums now and have only worked primarily with goat and have had some beautiful outcomes and have also learned some valuable lessons on skin slippage through a few builds that did not work in my favor, but all valuable lessons. I just popped a skin and I am going to try out a calf skin as I’ve been playing and building for a little while now and want to explore something new and exciting, however I know calf needs to be CRANKED so was thinking about implying the 3 top ring method(which I know is not necessary and might require a little more work) but I’m willing to put in the extra work, learn something new, and mainly just trying to ensure I have little to no issues with skin slipping, and give a more solid foundation for holding and keeping tension and tuning. I’ve read some informative post on three top rings but my main question is if using cold rolled steel should I still wrap both flesh rings in cloth fabric as you would with a two ring system? I would imagine so but would LOVE to hear someone’s thoughts who has experience with using 3 rings and the process they implied. Also I know the skin will fall on the underside of the verts and was wondering if the only option was to trim it neatly with not much skin hangin down or is a kind of fold over technique still an option as I Like to shave hair short with clippers and have a nice accent of the markings of the hair at the top of the drum, just adds a little more beauty to the piece for me but if it can’t be done cleanly Or at all, I don’t wanna bother trying. My main thing is the tuning and sound and just want to explore 3 rings to see what I think, ya don’t know until you try! Anyone with any experience about wrapping rings still with cloth please feel free to chime in. If I don’t hear anything back in the time frame before I build the drum I will just go with my gut and wrap them just the same as I would with 1 flesh ring, and get a nice snug fit for both. Thanks in advance for any response, all are welcome and much APPRECIATED!
Much LOVE and many BLESSINGS
User avatar
By michi
#39180
Personally, I wouldn't bother with three rings. I've done it a few times, and it's a huge pain because it makes reheading much more tedious. I don't see any advantage in terms of reduced slippage either. If you want to reduce slippage, you are better off using a double cow hitch and/or more knots to provide more friction against the skin.

If you want to insist on three rings, you are stuck with the skin behind the verticals. Trim it off as best as you can. (It's tedious and probably won't ever come out perfect. Very sharp kitchen scissors or shears are probably your best bet.) The fold-over style isn't an option with three rings.

With rolled steel, which is smooth, I'd wrap both flesh rings. Make sure that the one in contact with the knots has a generous amount of wrap, so the knots can press into the wrapping and deform the skin, which helps a little to lock the skin in place. For the second flesh ring, just use a single layer. Coarse non-stretch fabric is preferable there; the point is to add friction, not thickness.

Michi.
#39181
Thank you for your response Michi, my name is Brad it’s a pleasure to meet you. Your post and your ebook have helped me a great deal and I’m extremely grateful for your passion and commitment in the art of building djembes. I would prefer to not use 3 rings(of course) but read on here various opinions that said it would have an impact on reducing slippage.
The piece I’m workin on is a guinea drumskull shell and have had a lot more problems with slippage with this drum opposed to another Mali shell I have, which has still slipped some on multiple occasions but to a lesser extent. I will try to explain process and see if you can offer any advice as I hold your opinion in high regard. Rings are sized to fit snug to shell ( both crown and flesh) have built multiple crowns for this drum. One 32 knot single hitch for fold over, and one 32 knot double laced cow hitch with skin trimmed. All fit pretty snug however drum does taper a small fraction from where rings just clear bearing edge down the bowl(minimal). Wet pull set crown ring flush to top of bearing edge with a good amount of tension to set knots into skin and flesh ring( keeping ring level) with as even tension as possible.(still learning) dry pull take my time, do multiple rounds tightening verts pulling a little harder each time, have it close to around s nice accompaniment pitch by time I’m done pulling verts. At this point I’ve encountered very minimal slippage. After I do a row of lock stitch and start I’m on diamonds is where I start to encounter issues. I even do dry pull, put a row of lock stitch and play for a few days as is usually at a decent accompaniment tune at this point. It’s when I start pulling diamonds I’ll pull some, tap gently with a mallet, play it, wait a day or two, pull Some more. And I always feel as if I reach a point where I pull diamonds, gain a little, then skin slips and I lose a little and might keep making headway, but seems to keep gaining a little tension while losing some of that extra tension at the same time. I’ve inspected flesh ring after a failed skin and wrap is still nice and tight and made sure I mounted flesh ring in direction that it will tighten wrap as I tighten skin. Using non stretch cloth fabric generously and after wrapping flesh ring feeling really good about the outcome(right amount of wrap to just fit nicely over bearing edge) I would LOVE to not have to try 3 rings, is there anything I can do differently? I value all opinions and responses so anyone that would like to chime in is much appreciated.

Thanks, Brad
#39183
Cow skin would have less chance of slippage due to it going so hard plus the extra thickness. Once it sets after the wet pull it should not slip any ways compared to goat, regardless of ring snugness. I'd wonder what thickness your goat skins were too. I find thin ones more likely to slip compared to thick ones.

You could work the wet pull more and aim to have the rings lower and so already cutting into the shell with skin trapped between while still wet. Then when that sets it's less likely to slip i would presume. Everything tightens up in the wet pull so if your slacking on that then maybe there is more possibility in slippage later on in tuning.

Cow skin is more difficult to mount so you want more slack in the skin before the wet pull as it doesn't stretch as much as goat, or so I have found. It is really hard to budge when dry so you want the rings below the bearing edge before the dry pull. Better to aim lower than higher imo.
#39185
Thanks for the responses. I have considered using rebar rings but not sure where to attain them. I’ve got to get the build going while I have a little free time but would not be opposed to trying to source rebar rings for future endeavors. I appreciate all the tips The Kid,and have also felt maybe I should go a little harder on the wet pull to really set the knots into the skin. I’ve never worked with cow so appreciate your knowledge on the subject and will definitely take your advice on pulling it harder when wet and leaving a little more slack to set my rings closer to where I want to end up while still wet if what you say is true about cow not stretching as much dry. On a side note my previous skins have been thick goat. Hopefully my rings don’t need to be resized to account for a thicker skin than what a thick goat is as they are pretty snug with a thick goat. Not sure how thick a thin cow is in relation to that but I should get the skins in the morning so I guess I’ll know then. One more question, would there be any reason to put lockstitch or diamonds in during wet pull when using cow or just try and pull verts as hard as I can on pulling table and start diamonds on dry pull( I’d imagine the latter but guess it doesn’t hurt to ask)
Is the play in/break in time longer than with a goat, and should I follow same routine trying to work the tension up gradually over a week or so? Also one more thing I found and was wondering any opinions on it. I found online a roll of anti-slip friction tape that is 1” width,I received it and it’s nice and flexible, and was thinking about possibly wrapping flesh ring with it to add friction. Seems equivalent to like 80 or 60 grit sandpaper. I put my finger on it with pressure and try to move it and adds a great deal of friction. To me seems like skin would have a really hard time slipping on a ring wrapped in grip tape. I know it’s not necessary, but as long as it would not hurt anything I’m always open to try different/new things to improve my outcome,That is how we learn. But would LOVE opinions. Thank you guys, extremely grateful for this site and all of YOU!
#39189
I was also wondering a definitive answer as far as soak time for thin cow? Overnight is what I usually do with goat. And if I should leave a little more slack in skin when mounting I guess there is no need in tying up skin on flesh ring. Tried that once with goat and definitely preferred the extra time to center it nice and tie it up
#39193
You should still tie up the skin to begin with. Always do that i reckon.That might have been a flaw in your earlier mountings. I don't know too much about cow skins but i found it always to be much stiffer when wet and not ever as flexible as goat. It's usually thicker but also tougher imo. Thats why it doesn't stretch as much, maybe. That's why you would still tie it up. To get some control with it. You can release the tie or have it not so tight to begin with.

You need to go fishing into old threads on cow skin mountings because there was definitely threads on it and interesting to hear more peoples opinions and perspectives.

It might be the job to put some diamonds in at the wet pull stage. You have to gauge it at the time. Make sure your ropes are strong and drink some Gatorade before.Really though, it is handy to do it and worth it after as you get to beat it. There is always something thing to learn along the way anyways.

Soaking it for few hours is fine, as is over night if you wish.

Interesting to hear how you get on. I have a calf to put onto something soon.

Blast away with any other questions. Maybe someone will answer more concisely and give you more info that you need.
#39195
I appreciate the response as always and have only not tied the skin up one time and didn’t prefer it. Everything is prepped and ready to go( I’m actually doing two) One tomorrow and the other the following day so that fact alone will help me dial in and LOCK IN what I learn since I’ll be repeating the process, really trying to feel it out and applying what you learn(do’s and donts) the following time. So there is definitely nothing better than a little hands on experience, it’s a shame I never have experienced hands to follow, however I think the accomplishment of putting in the TIME to learn yourself is far more REWARDING, and is truly my only option anyway, LoL. I will gladly update and let you know how it goes, thank you for your help, MUCH LOVE
User avatar
By drtom
#39196
Spiritwarrior wrote: So I’ve built quite a few drums now and have only worked primarily with goat and have had some beautiful outcomes and have also learned some valuable lessons on skin slippage through a few builds that did not work in my favor, but all valuable lessons. I just popped a skin and I am going to try out a calf skin as I’ve been playing and building for a little while now and want to explore something new and exciting, however I know calf needs to be CRANKED so was thinking about implying the 3 top ring method(which I know is not necessary and might require a little more work) but I’m willing to put in the extra work, learn something new, and mainly just trying to ensure I have little to no issues with skin slipping, and give a more solid foundation for holding and keeping tension and tuning. I’ve read some informative post on three top rings but my main question is if using cold rolled steel should I still wrap both flesh rings in cloth fabric as you would with a two ring system? I would imagine so but would LOVE to hear someone’s thoughts who has experience with using 3 rings and the process they implied. Also I know the skin will fall on the underside of the verts and was wondering if the only option was to trim it neatly with not much skin hangin down or is a kind of fold over technique still an option as I Like to shave hair short with clippers and have a nice accent of the markings of the hair at the top of the drum, just adds a little more beauty to the piece for me but if it can’t be done cleanly Or at all, I don’t wanna bother trying. My main thing is the tuning and sound and just want to explore 3 rings to see what I think, ya don’t know until you try! Anyone with any experience about wrapping rings still with cloth please feel free to chime in. If I don’t hear anything back in the time frame before I build the drum I will just go with my gut and wrap them just the same as I would with 1 flesh ring, and get a nice snug fit for both. Thanks in advance for any response, all are welcome and much APPRECIATED!
Much LOVE and many BLESSINGS
Sure glad you went with the "quick" version of your question.

If slippage concerns you, then three rings is a great option, though as has been mentioned you can also go with the double (triple, quadruple . . . ) cow hitch and/or add more knots. Nothing will give you greater contact on the skin than two flesh rings.

You'll want to wrap the flesh rings as always with textured fabric. I go with cotton and avoid synthetic.

Check this out. You can still do the hairy fold over with a variation of the three rings system.

Rather than going under the bottom flesh ring and under and over the top flesh ring, you go under the bottom flesh ring and just under the top flesh ring and out. You treat the top flesh ring and crown as if they were a single ring in a two ring system. This way you still get the full contact on the skin, though you lose out on the additional resistance of having the skin loop the loop.

Another downside is you have to make sure the three rings align perfectly so they don't slip through each other. A really snug fit prevents this.
Spiritwarrior wrote:Thank you for your response Michi, my name is Brad it’s a pleasure to meet you. Your post and your ebook have helped me a great deal and I’m extremely grateful for your passion and commitment in the art of building djembes. I would prefer to not use 3 rings(of course) but read on here various opinions that said it would have an impact on reducing slippage.
The piece I’m workin on is a guinea drumskull shell and have had a lot more problems with slippage with this drum opposed to another Mali shell I have, which has still slipped some on multiple occasions but to a lesser extent. I will try to explain process and see if you can offer any advice as I hold your opinion in high regard. Rings are sized to fit snug to shell ( both crown and flesh) have built multiple crowns for this drum. One 32 knot single hitch for fold over, and one 32 knot double laced cow hitch with skin trimmed. All fit pretty snug however drum does taper a small fraction from where rings just clear bearing edge down the bowl(minimal). Wet pull set crown ring flush to top of bearing edge with a good amount of tension to set knots into skin and flesh ring( keeping ring level) with as even tension as possible.(still learning) dry pull take my time, do multiple rounds tightening verts pulling a little harder each time, have it close to around s nice accompaniment pitch by time I’m done pulling verts. At this point I’ve encountered very minimal slippage. After I do a row of lock stitch and start I’m on diamonds is where I start to encounter issues. I even do dry pull, put a row of lock stitch and play for a few days as is usually at a decent accompaniment tune at this point. It’s when I start pulling diamonds I’ll pull some, tap gently with a mallet, play it, wait a day or two, pull Some more. And I always feel as if I reach a point where I pull diamonds, gain a little, then skin slips and I lose a little and might keep making headway, but seems to keep gaining a little tension while losing some of that extra tension at the same time. I’ve inspected flesh ring after a failed skin and wrap is still nice and tight and made sure I mounted flesh ring in direction that it will tighten wrap as I tighten skin. Using non stretch cloth fabric generously and after wrapping flesh ring feeling really good about the outcome(right amount of wrap to just fit nicely over bearing edge) I would LOVE to not have to try 3 rings, is there anything I can do differently? I value all opinions and responses so anyone that would like to chime in is much appreciated.

Thanks, Brad
Oh, good. You're sticking with the "quick" version.

I usually only need one round on the dry pull. Most of the work is done on the wet pull. You might try going tighter on the wet pull. Mr. Kid mentioned something like this.

The other thing that comes to mind is you might be getting to the dry pull before the skin has fully dried. Wait until you're absolutely sure the skin is dry under the rings - then wait another couple of days. This is especially true if it's hairy skin under the rings.
Spiritwarrior wrote:Thanks for the responses. I have considered using rebar rings but not sure where to attain them. I’ve got to get the build going while I have a little free time but would not be opposed to trying to source rebar rings for future endeavors. I appreciate all the tips The Kid,and have also felt maybe I should go a little harder on the wet pull to really set the knots into the skin. I’ve never worked with cow so appreciate your knowledge on the subject and will definitely take your advice on pulling it harder when wet and leaving a little more slack to set my rings closer to where I want to end up while still wet if what you say is true about cow not stretching as much dry. On a side note my previous skins have been thick goat. Hopefully my rings don’t need to be resized to account for a thicker skin than what a thick goat is as they are pretty snug with a thick goat. Not sure how thick a thin cow is in relation to that but I should get the skins in the morning so I guess I’ll know then. One more question, would there be any reason to put lockstitch or diamonds in during wet pull when using cow or just try and pull verts as hard as I can on pulling table and start diamonds on dry pull( I’d imagine the latter but guess it doesn’t hurt to ask)
Is the play in/break in time longer than with a goat, and should I follow same routine trying to work the tension up gradually over a week or so? Also one more thing I found and was wondering any opinions on it. I found online a roll of anti-slip friction tape that is 1” width,I received it and it’s nice and flexible, and was thinking about possibly wrapping flesh ring with it to add friction. Seems equivalent to like 80 or 60 grit sandpaper. I put my finger on it with pressure and try to move it and adds a great deal of friction. To me seems like skin would have a really hard time slipping on a ring wrapped in grip tape. I know it’s not necessary, but as long as it would not hurt anything I’m always open to try different/new things to improve my outcome,That is how we learn. But would LOVE opinions. Thank you guys, extremely grateful for this site and all of YOU!
There's that "quick" version again.

The friction tape is a great idea. There's also the kind that's sticky on both sides. Either one is bound to help prevent slippage.

Good luck and have fun building your drums.
#39197
I apologize for my “quick” versions, lol. I would rather try to relay as much information as possible opposed to not enough where you still have to ask more questions before you can comment on advice. However things can always be broke down more simply and if you’d prefer that I’ll gladly try to accommodate best I can. Thanks for comment on my grip tape flesh ring idea. I’ve wrapped it up in that and was very pleased with outcome, wrapped nice without any wrinkles in it which was the only thing I feared might cause problems was a wrinkle in grip tape creating sharp edges that could possibly contribute to tearing a skin. But talk about FRICTION!!I always try to wait longer than I think for a skin to dry opposed to rushing it. Well over a week, and will even set it outside on nice sunny, DRY(not humid) days. I feel really good about the snugness of crown and flesh ring and my new, improved flesh ring with grip tape wrap so gonna opt out of the 3rd ring for this skinning, however if I encounter anymore serious slipping issues the next drum I skin I will give it a whirl. But feeling good about my process this far so hopefully there will be no need. Thanks for chiming in, always appreciated. And I am truly blessed to be able to share and get advice from all of you who have been in the game much longer than I. Thank you for all your contributions. I’m very EXCITED to see how these skins turn out! Like a little kid on Christmas, Lol. Let the FUN begin! I will post an update as to how everything went
User avatar
By drtom
#39198
No need to apologize SW. I like people and enjoy the unique personalities that shine through even on anonymous forums. Would've used smilies to make sure my my tongue-in-cheek was obvious, but they don't seem to be working.

Well over a week seems like plenty of drying time to me, so your slippage has probably been due to something else.

Keeping my fingers crossed until the update.
#39199
Indeed and well put. I LOVE conversing with others as well and truly VALUE everyone’s unique personalities and perspectives. It’s also nice to be able to talk to others( outside of my family members who mainly just listen, LOL) about this ART that I’m trying to grow and further myself in as I live in a rural area with not much connection to like minded individuals. Thanks for taking the time and hopefully we can all develop a greater friendship through it all. I’m so looking foward to being able to PLAY the final outcome, but patience is a virtue!
#39201
Spiritwarrior wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:56 pm
I found online a roll of anti-slip friction tape that is 1” width,I received it and it’s nice and flexible, and was thinking about possibly wrapping flesh ring with it to add friction. Seems equivalent to like 80 or 60 grit sandpaper. I put my finger on it with pressure and try to move it and adds a great deal of friction. To me seems like skin would have a really hard time slipping on a ring wrapped in grip tape. I know it’s not necessary, but as long as it would not hurt anything I’m always open to try different/new things to improve my outcome
Sometimes, I wrap flash rings with thin bicycle inner rubber tube cut in straps. I cut the tube into long 2- 3cm wide straps and wrap the flash rings just as I would with fabric. It simply works regardless if the ring are smooth or ribbed, no need to worry about any slippage any more.
#39207
So I have completed the dry pull on the 1st drum I’ve been working on. Rings ended up at a decent height, prefer a little higher but for the first time mounting calf I’m happy with where they are. But WOW calf definitely needs to be CRANKED to bring up to pitch. I’m happy to say though that I achieved that with what appears to be ZERO slippage that I could notice which is BEAUTIFUL. I did have to put in a row of lock stitch and two more rows of diamonds to get the right amount of tension on it( not sure if that’s considered 3 rows) but I’ve never done a row after where I’m at. Usually will undo and retighten verticals if I reach that point with goat but is usually further along than after dry pull, and have only had to max out on diamonds when battling with the skin slipping to a degree. I am wondering thoughts on using this fourth row for tuning as I break the skin in, although I can see they’ll pull hard with being higher up on the drum. Do people mounting calf tend to follow the same process of undoing diamonds and retightening Verts? Also is there a longer break in period due to calf being a tougher skin? It sounds pretty good, have it to where there is the tiniest bit of give in the center(sure it could be tighter) but gonna keep it where it’s at and try to play in a little. Once the overtones mellow out a little I think it’s gonna sound AWESOME! All in all so far I’m very happy with the outcome. Thank all of you that have offered your support and words of wisdom. Very GRATEFUL for everyone who contributed to this forum