Advice and questions on making and fixing instruments
User avatar
By djembefeeling
#38947
As I often told, the situation with hardwoods in Africa is worsening and many woods get on indices, like rose wood aka balaphon wood, which is not allowed to import since last year. So I particularly buy those beautifully patterned, possibly free of sapwood djembes from the used market and give them a complete overhaul. got one that I am partiularly fond of, because it sound so beautiful too. cranked up for sharp slaps, still holds its mighty bass. By pure luck I had a pair of spare rings that fit ablsoulutely perfectly tight on it. The best one I got so far.
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Now I got another one, a bit smaler, that I just skinned yesterday. Beautifully patterned on the bowl , not that much on the foot. Instead of a steel ring at the food it had just twisted wire on the foot, covered by fabric, so I didn't notice at first. it was a pain in the ass to get the ring work done, hopefully it will pay of in sound. 32 knowts for just 28 cm in diameter:
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rosewood djembe, small.jpg
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Rose wood, small.jpg
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User avatar
By djembefeeling
#38948
Then I got two very beautiful Lenké, of which the one is already gone. Since my dealer droped out somwhow, I am looking for used David djembes especially, since this is sort of my brand on the website. the one Lenké I just got is freshly reskinned, and the wood pattern is as beautiful as Lenké can get:
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Speaking of beautiful, did you ever see or had a djembe made of Bahia rosewood? That is absolutely stunning! Very dense and hard, very beautifully patterned. I used it for ngoni bridges two years ago, but since then it also, like African palisander, it got on the CITES index and so it's price like tripled and is hard to get anyway. it is so dense, this rather small shell is worked thinnly and still weighs a ton:
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Bahia Rosewood.jpg
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User avatar
By the kid
#38950
So second hand is sustainable no matter where it came from. Like a second hand diesel Audi or VW is sustainable is it. I'd say that is really dependent on many factors.

To me real sustainability is very hard to define because we need to look at many factors to make a conclusion. It may ease the conscious of using tropical hardwood for drums to call a second hand drum sustainable but it doesn't make it so. I have a few myself but never realized they are sustainable, maybe i'm too pragmatic.

I think people use sustainable like a badge these days but generally it is only a facade as it is truly hard to achieve in reality.
User avatar
By djembefeeling
#38955
the kid wrote:So second hand is sustainable no matter where it came from.
Exactly! The problem with your likeness of cars is that your used cars still polute the environment, often more so then new ones. Used djembes don't! Once they were logged and sold and shipped here, it is nonsense not to get them back on the market. So many unused djembes are here in households where someone used to play the djembe for some time and doesn't do so any more for much longer. I think there are enough djembes in the circuit here, so there really isn't any need at all to import. There is no need to call used djembes sustainable, but they are. For me, it is one of many roads to take. Until recently, I used to buy hardwood shells from Africa. Now, I buy shells from homegrown woods, melina shells and used. I think it's a step in the right direction, and it is futile to deny that. People still try to deny that there is a problem with hardwood or ridicule attempts to react to the problem. I don't care too much about that. Facts cannot be denied for a long period of time, fake will loose...
User avatar
By the kid
#38957
A djembe could be made from a last of a species of tree, essentially making it non sustainable, and you pick it up second hand and then call it sustainable. It can come from an area deforested by djembe carvers and again not sustainable. It is debatable to what extent djembes ever caused deforestation and thats another debate.

My point about the car is diesel gate, esp german diesels, as in, these cars use technology to evade environmental tests making them less environmentally friendly than a petrol car which doesn't make the superior clean or enviromental claim. Just because these companies claim to be clean diesel they actually aren't.

I get your point and you've got some nice drums of out shopping second hand, and I compliment your effort to find actual sustainable woods, I'm just not sure second hand necessarily means sustainable.
User avatar
By djembefeeling
#38961
kid, I still don't get your likeness with cars. Now you stress that the diesel gate was mostly initiated by German companies. I am German, is that your point? Well, I get a bit tired of bashing Germany and Germans, lately. Used to like to watch American shows, but it is hard to find an episode without some form of putting Germans down these days. So I do cheat with the label sustainability like German automobile companies, Germans are all cheaters? I do not drive a car so I don't know much about that, but as much as I know those companies cheated with the boundary values of emissions and lied about the environmental effect of their cars. They never claimed anything about sustainability, did they?

Speaking about diesel gate: As an environmentalist, I find it despicable how those automobile companies cheated and how our politicians always don't find the courage to force this industry into more ambitious objectives. We used to be leading in environmental issues, now these ambitions are all gone, all hot steam. As someone interested in global economics, I also see the other side of the coin: ever since the fall of the Berlin wall, global economy takes forms of a trade wars. Even under Obama German and other competitive companies were targeted for misbehaving but American weren't, like in the financial branch Deutsche Bank and Credit Swiss were. The enviromental limits of polution were chosen in a way as to make it hardly possible to compete for German producers, I don't think that there wasn't a political intention in that. While, on the other side, the financial industry could cheat big time by mixing bad bonds with good ones and thus peter out the American debt crisis around the world without any punishment whatsoever. It's all about power these days, Germany is speaking the same language within the EU when it can like with Greece.

Back to the issue at hand, I don't advertise here. Nobody of my possible costumers reads in this forum. I usually do not even tell my costumers that my djembes are sustainable. All they want a djembe that is good looking and sounds fine (yes, mostly in that order of value). I just want to share experiences with colleagues and interested people here and try to have some exchange with them, which has reduced radically since almost everybody seems to do that on facebook nowadays, where I don't wanna go. It is sort of a lonely business with no colleagues around and no feedback.

I feel this thread is loaded now with questions distracting from my original intentions, which is sort of discouraging for me and makes me think about withdrawal. Is it worth the time posting when there is little reaction to offensive? Doesn't feel like that any more.

There is one questions you raise that has a point. Is a second hand djembe sustainable? I am not an expert in sustainabality. I did read an article once where is was criticized that this label is used for many things nowadays with no common qualities. I understood from that article that sustainability in the strict sense means that you take from nature only as much as can grow back in an adequate time frame. In this sense used djembes are not sustainable, since, as you rightly point out, it is completely unclear under what conditions those woods were logged. From another point of view, used djembes are even better, environmentally speaking, than fresh sustainably logged djembe woods, since they are not withdrawn from nature any more, but from households that got tired of their drums. I give them some overhaul and make them attractive for costumers that are looking for new and good djembes and do not want to go for homegrown woods nor melina. Not sustainable in the strictest sense, but in the larger spectrum of the word as it is used today.

I wish everyone a good time with the djembe and want to thank all those who shared here and made me learn heaps of stuff, think about things freshly I thought I knew everything about and helped me to develope ideas! I did have some incredible years. Thank you James, Michi, Bubudi and Rachel for making this possible!
User avatar
By the kid
#38963
I should have voiced my opinion with out dropping the example of German cars pretending to be something they are not. I wasn't trying to compare your actions to them at all.

I would have used the same example at the time with someone who wasn't German was claiming their drums were sustainable when they are really second hand and the true origin is not available. That's just where my train of though went.

If someone was investing in African forest then I'd be more willing to cut them some slack and accept the term sustainable as they are actively working towards a future sustainable project. Maybe you are working like that, I don't know.

Anyways I wasn't questioning your integrity and think it a good idea to revamp these nice drums.