So I’ve built quite a few drums now and have only worked primarily with goat and have had some beautiful outcomes and have also learned some valuable lessons on skin slippage through a few builds that did not work in my favor, but all valuable lessons. I just popped a skin and I am going to try out a calf skin as I’ve been playing and building for a little while now and want to explore something new and exciting, however I know calf needs to be CRANKED so was thinking about implying the 3 top ring method(which I know is not necessary and might require a little more work) but I’m willing to put in the extra work, learn something new, and mainly just trying to ensure I have little to no issues with skin slipping, and give a more solid foundation for holding and keeping tension and tuning. I’ve read some informative post on three top rings but my main question is if using cold rolled steel should I still wrap both flesh rings in cloth fabric as you would with a two ring system? I would imagine so but would LOVE to hear someone’s thoughts who has experience with using 3 rings and the process they implied. Also I know the skin will fall on the underside of the verts and was wondering if the only option was to trim it neatly with not much skin hangin down or is a kind of fold over technique still an option as I Like to shave hair short with clippers and have a nice accent of the markings of the hair at the top of the drum, just adds a little more beauty to the piece for me but if it can’t be done cleanly Or at all, I don’t wanna bother trying. My main thing is the tuning and sound and just want to explore 3 rings to see what I think, ya don’t know until you try! Anyone with any experience about wrapping rings still with cloth please feel free to chime in. If I don’t hear anything back in the time frame before I build the drum I will just go with my gut and wrap them just the same as I would with 1 flesh ring, and get a nice snug fit for both. Thanks in advance for any response, all are welcome and much APPRECIATED!
Much LOVE and many BLESSINGS
Sure glad you went with the "quick" version of your question.
If slippage concerns you, then three rings is a great option, though as has been mentioned you can also go with the double (triple, quadruple . . . ) cow hitch and/or add more knots. Nothing will give you greater contact on the skin than two flesh rings.
You'll want to wrap the flesh rings as always with textured fabric. I go with cotton and avoid synthetic.
Check this out. You can still do the hairy fold over with a variation of the three rings system.
Rather than going under the bottom flesh ring and under and over the top flesh ring, you go under the bottom flesh ring and just under the top flesh ring and out. You treat the top flesh ring and crown as if they were a single ring in a two ring system. This way you still get the full contact on the skin, though you lose out on the additional resistance of having the skin loop the loop.
Another downside is you have to make sure the three rings align perfectly so they don't slip through each other. A really snug fit prevents this.
Spiritwarrior wrote:Thank you for your response Michi, my name is Brad it’s a pleasure to meet you. Your post and your ebook have helped me a great deal and I’m extremely grateful for your passion and commitment in the art of building djembes. I would prefer to not use 3 rings(of course) but read on here various opinions that said it would have an impact on reducing slippage.
The piece I’m workin on is a guinea drumskull shell and have had a lot more problems with slippage with this drum opposed to another Mali shell I have, which has still slipped some on multiple occasions but to a lesser extent. I will try to explain process and see if you can offer any advice as I hold your opinion in high regard. Rings are sized to fit snug to shell ( both crown and flesh) have built multiple crowns for this drum. One 32 knot single hitch for fold over, and one 32 knot double laced cow hitch with skin trimmed. All fit pretty snug however drum does taper a small fraction from where rings just clear bearing edge down the bowl(minimal). Wet pull set crown ring flush to top of bearing edge with a good amount of tension to set knots into skin and flesh ring( keeping ring level) with as even tension as possible.(still learning) dry pull take my time, do multiple rounds tightening verts pulling a little harder each time, have it close to around s nice accompaniment pitch by time I’m done pulling verts. At this point I’ve encountered very minimal slippage. After I do a row of lock stitch and start I’m on diamonds is where I start to encounter issues. I even do dry pull, put a row of lock stitch and play for a few days as is usually at a decent accompaniment tune at this point. It’s when I start pulling diamonds I’ll pull some, tap gently with a mallet, play it, wait a day or two, pull Some more. And I always feel as if I reach a point where I pull diamonds, gain a little, then skin slips and I lose a little and might keep making headway, but seems to keep gaining a little tension while losing some of that extra tension at the same time. I’ve inspected flesh ring after a failed skin and wrap is still nice and tight and made sure I mounted flesh ring in direction that it will tighten wrap as I tighten skin. Using non stretch cloth fabric generously and after wrapping flesh ring feeling really good about the outcome(right amount of wrap to just fit nicely over bearing edge) I would LOVE to not have to try 3 rings, is there anything I can do differently? I value all opinions and responses so anyone that would like to chime in is much appreciated.
Oh, good. You're sticking with the "quick" version.
I usually only need one round on the dry pull. Most of the work is done on the wet pull. You might try going tighter on the wet pull. Mr. Kid mentioned something like this.
The other thing that comes to mind is you might be getting to the dry pull before the skin has fully dried. Wait until you're absolutely sure the skin is dry under the rings - then wait another couple of days. This is especially true if it's hairy skin under the rings.
Spiritwarrior wrote:Thanks for the responses. I have considered using rebar rings but not sure where to attain them. I’ve got to get the build going while I have a little free time but would not be opposed to trying to source rebar rings for future endeavors. I appreciate all the tips The Kid,and have also felt maybe I should go a little harder on the wet pull to really set the knots into the skin. I’ve never worked with cow so appreciate your knowledge on the subject and will definitely take your advice on pulling it harder when wet and leaving a little more slack to set my rings closer to where I want to end up while still wet if what you say is true about cow not stretching as much dry. On a side note my previous skins have been thick goat. Hopefully my rings don’t need to be resized to account for a thicker skin than what a thick goat is as they are pretty snug with a thick goat. Not sure how thick a thin cow is in relation to that but I should get the skins in the morning so I guess I’ll know then. One more question, would there be any reason to put lockstitch or diamonds in during wet pull when using cow or just try and pull verts as hard as I can on pulling table and start diamonds on dry pull( I’d imagine the latter but guess it doesn’t hurt to ask)
Is the play in/break in time longer than with a goat, and should I follow same routine trying to work the tension up gradually over a week or so? Also one more thing I found and was wondering any opinions on it. I found online a roll of anti-slip friction tape that is 1” width,I received it and it’s nice and flexible, and was thinking about possibly wrapping flesh ring with it to add friction. Seems equivalent to like 80 or 60 grit sandpaper. I put my finger on it with pressure and try to move it and adds a great deal of friction. To me seems like skin would have a really hard time slipping on a ring wrapped in grip tape. I know it’s not necessary, but as long as it would not hurt anything I’m always open to try different/new things to improve my outcome,That is how we learn. But would LOVE opinions. Thank you guys, extremely grateful for this site and all of YOU!
There's that "quick" version again.
The friction tape is a great idea. There's also the kind that's sticky on both sides. Either one is bound to help prevent slippage.
Good luck and have fun building your drums.