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By Hodgy
Hello folks. After over a year using just cheap hand tools I've finally finished making a new djembe and thought I'd share the picture story here. I live in Cambodia and got a beautiful piece of local wood. A friend who I work with keeps goats, one of which died because it ate a plastic bag which got stuck in its intestines - that was the skin sorted. I bought the steel to make the rings locally (it's what they use to make reinforced concrete here) and didn't have to ride too far before finding a road-side welder to make the circles complete. The only thing I got from abroad was the rope: wanted to use proper djembe rope so I bought that from a shop I use in the UK. I carved the outside with an axe. Tools are really cheap here and axes blunt quickly. But on the good side, the metal is so soft it's easy to sharpen on a stone. Hollowing out I started with the axe and then used a hammer and chissle to get through the middle.

There were some high points: seeing light come through a little hole in the middle while hollowing out was one. Shaping the bowl and stem with the axe was enjoyable too. But I think what was most amazing was rubbing in teak oil before putting the skin on. The grain of the wood just beamed out: so beautiful. With it being so hot here, the wood had some pretty bad cracks in as it dried too quickly. The local wood carvers use epoxy mixed with sawdust or really watery super glue mixed with sawdust, depending on the size of the crack. And once I'd properly sanded down and oiled the wood, you can hardly see the cracks.

Anyway, as I said, just wanted to share the story here to some interested folks. Here's a link to the photo album on Google Drive:

All the best.

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By korman
Wow, that's quite an effort, hats off to you! It looks great (though I would have preferred a slightly different shape).
Anyways, impressive dedication - over a year of work, wow!
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By the kid
Nice Job. It is a pretty tough job to do, well done.

I seen a guy carve a djembe in Gambia in a day and was awe struck. It is certainly hard work.

Shape wise, these days people try to get drums with larger bowls and straight walls. The sound and volume is improved as well it being easier to rope up and tune. You 3rd or 4th picture is really the shape i would have aimed for and just hollow out the bowl from there. Easier said than done i know.

Great first attempt and a home made djembe is always gonna be special to you. Enjoy