Advice and questions on making and fixing instruments
By Leem
#39287
Hi guys,
I bought a djembe but unfortunately the shell broke in transit. Any ideas on the best way to salvage it? My idea was some strong wood glue, but I am no expert whatsoever, in fact one might even call me a total beginner to salvaging djembe shells.

Any help would be really appreciated.

Please excuse the cat in the photo, he is not broken.
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By boromir76
#39289
The shell looks relatively thick, which is good in this unfortunate case...More surface area for glue to stick and hold it together. I would try to glue everything together, and fixate all broken pieces tight against the stem, until it completely dryes out. With little luck, it should do the trick.
Some folks also use nail clamps for reinforcement, after they glue it together... The clamps do not look nice, but probably also help to hold broken pieces together.
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By drtom
#39292
Looks like a nice shell, definitely worth the effort.

The damage looks horrendous but is actually easy to fix. Wood glue will work, but I would go with a five minute epoxy, because you can press and hold the pieces perfectly in place as the glue sets.

Something to look out for: it's tempting to glue one piece at a time, but it's possible that the pieces need to to go in one, then two at a time, two then one at at a time, or even all three at a time, depending on how they fit into each other. Do some dry runs before your try it with glue and figure out the proper sequence.

One other thing: the glue takes up space, so use just enough to cover the surfaces, but don't slather it on so thick that you're in effect making the pieces larger (thus making it harder for them to fit back together again). This will also help to minimize ooze-out and runoff.

Let us know how it works out.
By Worcester Djembe
#39299
Heres one that arrived to me in pieces. Looks like a very similar break to yours. I used wood glue (titebond II). I glued one piece at a time using a ratchet to hold tension overnight. I use epoxy more for filler than for this kind of application. Using wood glue instead will also hide the cracks better than epoxy. This drum has held up since I did the repair 3 years ago.

In general for crack repair if a crack can be closed I will typically use wood glue if it can't be closed and needs to be filled instead I opt for 10 or 30 min epoxy mixed with sawdust to match the color of the wood.
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