CongaDr+ Tony's Conga Adventures: November 2010

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Gon bops and Valje, Red and White Oak

The amateur botanist in me has always wondered what exact species of Oak was used by Gon Bops and Valje, back in the day.

Looking at the drums in the past, Gon Bops looks to be a red Oak, and Valje as well, but does not look to be the same species.

As far as Red and White Oak, there is a fairly simple way of telling them apart.

firstly, the side grain, looking for long horizontal marks called "rays", being longer in the white oak, the one on the top of this picture. Not to be confused by the annual rings marks, the bigger bands lighter in color.

And secondly, the end grain, looking for a more prominent 'stacks of soda straws viewed on end', or more and slightly bigger little circles, if that makes sense. the Red Oak is on the left, White on the right.

I'll have to look at some closeups in the past, as I dont have oak Gon Bops or Valjes in my possession, at the moment. Feel free to send pics if you have them,

My guess is that Gon bops and Valje used either California Black Oak (Quercus kelloggii) or Coast Live Oak (Quercus agrifolia), or even more confusing to us as identifiers... the Canyon Live Oak (Quercus chrysolepis), an intermediate species, half way between white an red Oak!

Im quite sure Valje and Gon Bops did not use the same species of wood, at least in the time of the early Sunset Strip shop... Akbar in SF may have used a different species of Oak than Tom in LA...

Anyway, I'll change this post in the future if I can confirm my suspicions.

Skin on skin congas for sale

Here is a nice set of tubs, to say the least. they are up for sale on ebay, ending early december 2010.

slightly big at 12 and 13, but you could have Jay build you a couple others to match!

They are interesting, as they are not quarter sawn - hence the strong gain look. Unusual, as quarter sawn oak is usually a signature of Jays work.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sandy Perez, Toby Gaster, Olando Diaz, Ariel and Irish Rick McKinney at Kittys

Ashiko convention - Gon Bops, Valje, Drumskull solid shell congas

A reader and fan of this blog sent me pictures of some of the drums in his collection.. he has managed to find two Gon Bops Ashiko, and one made by Tom Flores of Valje drums. Check out the original wooden legs on the Velje, and the custom, original Gon Bops stands.. Very interesting to see the differing heights of the various Ashikos Gon Bops made.. I bet the made another size for a series of three.. How fun to own such rare drums.. there has to be only a hand full of them in existence... by the way, the Gon bops are Mahogany and the Valje is Oak...

.. he also send me pics of his Drumskull set of solid shell drums.. Nice looking set.. I bet they are LIVE!

Drumskulls is out of Santa Cruz, has a great reputation for service and quality.. a bit expensive.. but you get what you pay for, most often...

they also sell drum carving and roping tools.. very cool...

Super Rare Candido Requena Conga for sale

Here is a chance to own history.

This drum, listen on ebay at the moment, was made by a master drum maker of Cuba, the first credited for introducing tunable metal hardware.. leading to the end of the tack-heads..

The quinto up for sale was restored by the Master Maker Matt Smith, and it looks immaculate.. like most of his work.

Here is a post with pictures of other Candido's

Good luck!