Vegan Djembe Build P1

Ok, this isn’t really part one outside of the internet…? I’ve been at this build for a while so I will probably only have a few parts to this vegan djembe build.

I build quite a few of these vegan/vegetarian friendly djembes and ashikos.? Hopefully you’ll find the following interesting… just the basic process of this particular drum build.

Below is a photo of the base of this Black Walnut djembe and I have drawn out the carvings.? Nothing fancy here, just some simple line carvings of which I will use a V gouge.? I might use a chisel to clean it up or make it deeper, but I usually just stick with the V gouge.? I love the simple carvings on such an interesting wood.? Plane woods without much variance or grain pattern do good with crazy carvings, but I like the beauty of the wood itself, so a simple accent goes a long ways!

This particular carving design is something I came up with a few years ago while sitting in a tent at DrumStrong and not having anyone come by.? I got bored so I started carving on an ashiko shell I had.? I may have seen it somewhere, but it just sort of evolved from a few triangles.? I’ve now done this design on quite a few drums… and I enjoy doing it.? One day I will up my carving skills and throw some more designs in the mix, but for now… I’m digging this!

 

Djembe Carving
Djembe Carving

 

Here is the base after it’s been carved.? I did two passes with the V gouge to make the cut a bit deeper.? This can be tricky with walnut because it likes to tear out along the grain.? Best advice when working with carving detail in walnut is to make sure your tools are extremely sharp!

 

 

Djembe Carving 2
Djembe Carving 2

 

Stay tuned for more on this build.? Once the drum is done I will post final photos and perhaps even a video to show off the sound.? I do lots of little tweaks to make these synthetic heads sound as natural as possible.? I never.. NEVER muffle the head or put damping material in the shell.? This does cut down on the overtones of the synthetic heads, but it also kills the liveliness of the djembe.? There are much better ways to do this!

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