Saturday, August 2, 2008

genuine gross me out

I worked on a drum today.

The ring had broken, so first off, I sent the ring off to the welder for repair. Unfortunately, it was the rope harness ring, so I had to remove all the rope and then replace it once the ring came back. Twice, because I measured wrong and ended up with too few loops.

Then I got the skin out of its bath and noticed it didn't smell good.

But I am game, so I started working on the stinking skin and getting it on the drum. I re-roped the uprights. And, oh God the thing reeked.

Shaving it was perhaps the most disgusting thing I have ever done. The hair was just falling off it in clumps. And stink. Oh, stink.

Finally I was done with the shaving and decided to pull it a little bit before it was too dry. So on it's side, I pulled the verticals, holding my breath and gritting my teeth.

I lift up the drum and.... CRAP.

There was a huge gaping hole in the middle of the stinkiest skin in the Universe.

I couldn't stand undoing the whole thing while it was wet, so I just stuck it in the garage and hoped there were no vultures hanging around.

I think the moral of the story is that a really stinky skin must indicate that it has rotted at some point. Which means it isn't good drum material. Next time I will just toss it and start with a new one.

2 comments: said...

I am wondering how long you had the skin soaking. The shortest soak that gets it thoroughly wet is desirable-one hour to a maximum of a day. Past that the proteins start to disintegrate and you get the stink you have described, which is the rot, of decay experienced by any critter that was living but no longer is.

The other thing that causes skins to be really stinky is if it is that of a billy goat. You can try adding a good bit of white vinegar to the soak to get rid of that stink.

Rachel Nguyen said...

I suspect it was rot, rather than a billy. It had been soaked a few times because the first time it was mounted the ring broke. Then I had to soak it to get it off the ring in one piece, and finally ended up soaking it for a few more hours to remount it. I suspect it just started getting gamy from going in and out of the bath too many times. I'll keep the vinegar thing in mind for the billy skins, but truly, that kind of stink doesn't bother me at all, LOL.

Thanks for your comments. Very helpful.