Tucking Drum Skins
First find a 5 gal. bucket or something to soak the skin in. As long as it’s submerged, it’s fine. Generally speaking, we soak small bongos about an hr. & large about 1-1/2 hrs. On Congas, 2, 3 & 4 hrs. the bigger they are. If your in a hurry, try warm water.
Step 1. Center skin on drum. Again, if you wish you can view the slide show here
Step 2. Unlike the photo, press the rim & hoop together down over skin. Try to keep the top of the rim about 1/2” below head level. Lift the edge of the skin up and weave it between the lug bracket on the rim and the hoop and stuff the other area next to the bracket in also. Press the rim down so it locks the 3 together. Now, repeat on the opposite side. Repeat until all 6 brackets and surrounding areas have hide locked underneath them . You did the tuck!
Step 3. Get your pipe pliers out and pull the rest of the skin in under the rim. The object is to have all the skin tucked in and pull the overlaps out and have the rim about a 1/2” below the top of the drum when finished with this step.
Step 4. Now align your head rim lug brackets with the face plates. Install the 1st. lug bolt. Leave the nut loose. Repeat opposite side. After you’ve done them all, start hand tightning around the drum until even. Look down on the drum and try and center the rim on the drum. Start racheting the drum lugs, and pulling up on the skin with the pliers again.
Step 5. It’s all downhill now. Your main concern is centering the rim on the drum. Put your fingers under the rim as a gauge. Does it feel like there’s equal space between the drum & the rim all around? Keep checking that as you tighten in a circular pattern. Remember where you started,so you tighten evenly.
Step 6. Put the drum on a table so you can see right across the top of the drum. Measure as you tighten around the drum. You want to finish at least 5/8”down on a conga and 3/8’’on a bongo. Measure over lug bracket. Now your lug bolts are all even & your doing great.
Step 7. Before you cut off the pie crust or circumsize the foreskin, you must protect the head from being cut. I suggest you go to any cabinet shop and ask for a 3/4”wide strip of laminate, like formica about 4’long. Stuff it down between the head & the “you know what”.
Step 8. Get a utility knife and start circumsizing, because your done!
Step 9. Admire your work. It probably took you about 45 min. If you need any skins, let us know...Aloha!