CongaDr+ Tony's Conga Adventures: June 2013

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Conga and bongo restoration and repair - Spring 2013 Restorations

Here are some before and after shots of some recent projects.

These were all completed in the month of April, and just in time to clear the shop for the work that usually comes in after Carnaval.

I will do a post about Carnaval here in a minute.. lots of content to sort through...


These project were very involved and challenging.

The Sol, with such a violent trauma, had to be done just right, and invisible without refinishing the drum.. very fun..

This Oak Gon Bops Tumba was painted with no less than four different colors of oil base paint.. so much that it seemingly added a few pounds of weight to the drum..

..and who knew such a gem was underneath?

This happens to be my favorite shell ever made in California.. it is the thinner of the two Oak shells that Gon Bops made. The ones with the bands were often thicker shelled and dont sound as nice to my ear, are a bit more heavy, of course, so they dont play as comfortably.. although those drums are also some of the best sounding congas ever made.

This Oak Tumba sounds incredible... one of the nicest sounding tubs Ive played.. super smooth, with fat projection... nearly plays itself.

And this set of Mahogany Gon Bops from the 70's were nearly falling apart.

Its is a set of three that were finished in the stock Foxtail look, and had to be refinished with tenderness as the shells were quite thin for some reason.

The 10.5 was nearly kindling, and took every bit of skill I have to get together. It nearly died twice in the middle of surgery... had me sweating, stressing and cussing at the gods that are in charge of curing time...

I am so happy to report that the drums, as they are today, look as though they have not been restored, but original out of the factory... I was amazed that they came together so nicely.. and sometimes you have to wait and see what you have when you unwrap all the binding..

Anyway, on to the next round of projects.. a Valje ashiko from the SF factory needs a new head, a Mahogany Gon Bops quinto in bad shape, a Master's huge Ghanaian Drum that needs a lot of work, and a hard working Oncolcolo/Omele that has splitting issues..

Here are some other restorations of the past, Im not sure if they were posted before, but thought you might like to see them here..