Advice and questions on keeping your instruments in top form
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By mnmack

I purchased a djembe for the history of the drum(its been on tour with two African Ballet) and sound more than for its looks. However, I think it has mold on the shell. I stripped the drum down so I could try treating it before having the drum reheaded. Any suggestions or am I stuck with it looking this way without damaging the drum? I have done some sanding of the shell with 100 and 150 grit sandpaper and it is not getting the black stuff off. I thought maybe moving to a more course sand paper might work, but what are your thoughts?

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Last edited by mnmack on Thu Jul 17, 2014 11:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
By Worcester Djembe
Hi Marta, guessing by now you have a resolution for this?

Next time, I think you would get more response posting in the "building and repair" zone instead.

Anyway, if you've sanded thru the top layer of drum it should remove the mold so perhaps kick the grit up a notch

Am curious, you noticed it only when you pulled head and rope off? If it's not growing maybe don't mess with it, maybe it's not even mold.

Also, I think it's a beautiful drum!
By bubudi
nice drum! from your pictures it's hard to tell exactly what the black blotches are. did you notice a mouldy smell, or see any mould on the rope you stripped off? if so, i would suggest applying an antifungal liquid that soaks into the wood (many commercial as well as natural options), let it dry thoroughly, then apply some oil lightly with a cloth. if it didn't have the mouldy smell, chances are it isn't mould.
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By mnmack
Thank you, everyone! Your feedback placed my mind at ease. I really want this drum to last so that it can be an heirloom. You all guessed correctly, it did not have a moldy smell nor was there any growth on the rope or from what I saw on the drum. I put some tea tree oil on it and later hit it with some more linseed as suggested.

I took it to my local djembe builder yesterday and he agreed with you all that it was not mold, but maybe just a part of the grain. Oh and thank you, it is beautiful isn't it :)

Yours in Rhythm and Solidarity,