Advice and questions on making and fixing instruments
By fiahbun
Hi everyone,
Got my first djembe 2 months ago, it´s a "toca", from indonesia i believe. was overall very happy with the drum (for all i know..) until yesterday, when to my horror (exaggerating a bit, but not much) i realized there´s a strange almost prefectly circular crack in the shell, circa 8cm in diameter. the drum is painted black, but i think i see a difference in grain between what´s inside the circle and the rest of the shell. i´m guessing it´s a fix of some sort. i bought the djembe brand new, so i was not expecting anything like this, i only realized this yesterday after 2 months of playing, probably because it started cracking recently i guess. has anyone seen something like this before? i´m thinking of going back to the shop and asking for a new one. what do you people think? i´ll attach a picture.
any feedback is highly appreciated. :rasta:
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By michi
It definitely looks like a section of the wood was replaced there. I suspect there may have been a knot in the original wood that came loose and left a hole, and then someone fitted a patch.

If the patch is coming loose, I'd take the drum back and complain. Or you could just run a bead of two-pack epoxy around the join on the inside; it would probably last near enough forever.

Oh, I didn't see you did upload the pics before I answered. It doesn't look like a serious flaw to me. I guess this djembe wasn't expensive, was it?

Michi, why would you say that this section looks like as if the wood was replaced? To me it looks like a capillary crack. I cannot see a difference in the consistency of material around this area, not even where there is no paint as in the carved wood section before or after the crack(?). If it would be a fitted patch, shouldn't the half circular crack be completely circular?
Last edited by djembefeeling on Sun Jul 16, 2017 11:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
Hi Guys,
thanks a lot for your opinions.
@djembefeeling: the carvings are also painted (with gold-like paint) the pics aren´t great i know..
it wasn´t expensive no, but not too cheap either, i think somewhere between 150-200 euro (not sure exactly cause it was a gift)
I think Michi is right, the grain is slightly different.
Think i´ll go to the shop and see if i can exchange it with a model that is not painted..that´s a good tip you gave me.
the patch is not coming loose, but i´d rather not have that patch there..if possible.
the shop it was bought in will probably not have any djembes at the store, so the shopkeeper, if he agrees to exchange it, will have to order one, so i´ll have to keep my fingers crossed hoping i get a good one.
Shouldn't the half circular crack be completely circular, then? Above the half circle there is no hint of woods patched together as you can see in the carved wood.

What would the doctor say? Fiahbun, could you upload a picture of the complete djembe, too?
Here´s a picture from the inside.
On the outside, the patch feels just like the rest of the shell, when i touch the inside (pictured) it feels softer than the rest of the shell, almost like sawdust. is it a job well done? what do you guys think? i´m still thinking i should go back to my local shop and return it in exchange for another one, or am i being too picky?