I have such an affinity for natural skins with a great deal of character. Before mounting, I used carbon osmosis to color this steer skin and highlight the natural mottling/color variation. The process is absolutely non-toxic and sustainable.
‘Manito’ fabricates every Moderna Crown from 5/8″ 304 stainless steel half round bar, and TiG welded for added strength and comfort. Each crown is custom made to order to fit any sized drum, and includes a complimentary flesh hoop. Available in matte or high polish finishes.
Caught ‘Manito’ beginning the roughing process for a spalted maple solid shell bongo hembra.
We recently mounted new amber Middle Eastern Steer skins on this set of Manito Percussion solid shell congas for a friend/customer in Atlanta.
Need a flesh hoop? Our flesh hoops a.k.a. “skin hoops” are fabricated from either 3/16″ round, 1/4″ round or 3/16″ square 304 stainless steel, and TiG welded for added strength. They are available in outside diameters from 7″ to 17-7/8″ in 1/8″ increments, and will never rust.
Pliable or floppy? While we stayed very busy this summer, there was still time for experimentation and innovation. Occasionally, I would end up with a skin on a conga that had a recess/dip in the playing surface. Drying skins with drums on their sides with a fan blowing on the underside worked pretty well. The biggest success came from soaking the skin in cold water until just pliable- not saturated and floppy. My typical soak time for a 2mm skin is now down to 4-5 hours. In this state the skin retains more strength, as the collagen proteins are still tightly wound. Cold water allows the skin to retain most, if not all, of its tallow for a supple feel and warm tones. I discovered mounting a dryer, yet pliable skin with a collar/neck height of 1/2″ allowed for greater tension. At 72 degrees Fahrenheit and 50% humidity, I increased the collar height by 1/4″ (1/8″ every 24 hours).
These solid shell spalted maple bongos were made with wood sourced from Athens, GA. They feature our handmade stainless steel hardware and steer skins.
Wood: spalted maple
Width: 7″ macho, 9″ hembra
Skins: 1mm amber steer on macho, 1.7mm amber steer on hembra
Hardware: 304 stainless steel, half round Moderna crown
Weight: 11.5 lbs
Here’s a shot of ‘Manito’ applying one of multiple finishing coats on a bongo center block. Our drums are sealed using water based finishes that are classified as Ultra-Low VOC and Environmentally Friendly. Our goal is to contribute positively to our drumming community in a positive, transparent and sustainable manner.
We recently touched up the shells and mounted new steer skins on these PM Percussion oak congas for a friend/customer in Atlanta. Peter Musser builds very high quality drums from wine barrels. His hardware is fabricated from stainless steel. His side plate design is exquisite- two bolts at the bottom only. This was my first time working on a set of PMs, and a treat. Mounting skins on them was a breeze, as the lugs were the perfect length for the distance between the ear and side plate barrel. Nice work, Pete!