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.