Advice and questions on making and fixing instruments
By futurepotus
#39411
Hello Everyone,
I've got into djembe carving recently and have been experimenting with different tools.
The biggest challenge I've found so far is carving the bottom surface of the bowl. Due to the depth, its nearly impossible to carve this surface flat (at least with the tools I've been using). I now see why a lot of djembes have a conical shaped bowl.. its much easier to carve that way. However, from my research I've gathered that a flat bottom provides a much better sounding drum than a conical bowl.

Anyone have some tips or tool recommendations for getting the bottom nice and flat?
For the record, I am carving green Basswood.. and no, I don't have access to a large enough lathe for a full size djembe.
Thanks!
User avatar
By batadunbata
#39423
I imagine this reply is a bit late, any progress to report?

What tools are you using? I imagine a long straight chisel would be the best bet, but I don't know. (long enough to keep the hammer handle outside the bowl)

If you don't get anywhere watching videos on youtube, I'd try contacting Wula, because that was an issue they tackled and part of why their drums cost more (paying carvers to spend the extra time getting a nice flat smooth bottom ledge), so they might be able to point you in the right direction?