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How to Repair Conga Shell Cracks, v9j

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> -----Original Message-----
> From: Homer Fernandez []
> Sent: Friday, March 05, 1999 7:16 PM
> > Subject: [TexasDrums] I GOT DA CRACKED CONGA BLUES
> From: Homer Fernandez <>
> 'EY ALL,
> at last saturday's drum circle a drummer that had borrowed one of my
> congas dropped it on a concrete floor.  what had been one small crack in
> the wooden part of the conga, turned into two huge(.5cm in width)
> cracks.  the cracks run vertically on the conga.  does any one know how
> to fix this?
> vaya con dios,
> homer
From: "Spencer Dawkins" <>

Yes, I do.

I took a set of congas on a church trip several years ago, and one fell off
a picnic table onto the concrete pad below. I resisted the temptation to
burn it on the spot and took it to Brook Mays' Pro Shop, which is also their
repair facility.

The nice man there told me

(1) he didn't have any equipment big enough to go around the conga, but

(2) this was actually something you can fix yourself. His method:

Go to a hardware store and buy a bottle of wood glue (I used Elmer's) and a
kit for "make your own hose clamps". The kit I got had 36 inches of hose
clamp material and three tightening assemblies. The idea is that you cut the
hose clamp material in pieces that are just long enough to go around the
conga and then fasten the ends with the tightening assemblies.

I used one kit, which was EXACTLY enough for three clamps on an older conga
(as opposed to "quinto" or "tumba"). You MIGHT need a second kit for a
larger drum, or one with a wider middle.

Once you have the clamps cut to size, you are just putting glue in the
cracks and then fastening the hose clamps around the drum using a
screwdriver to tighten them.

Stuff I learned - don't use a LOT of glue, 'cause the clamps squeeze it out
anyway, have a wet towel nearby to wipe off excess glue (inside and out,
right?), and the clamps can create depressions in the wood - so put
something between the wood and the clamp (towel? cardboard?).

The nice man at Brook Mays said the resulting drum would have a crack that
was STRONGER than the wood around it. I played my drum for another three
years and then donated it to a prison ministry (guess what? There are a LOT
of really good drummers in prison. The guys at Beto One were really glad to
get the set, and refinished it, including hardware, in the prison shop. I
hear they look great, and hope to get down to see for myself one of these
days). I was playing several times a week, and never saw any indication of a
problem with the repair job.

Good luck!



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