by Erin Bishop
I don’t know how many of you live in an area that has seen a hotter than average summer, but here in Seattle, we have. Because I live in a very temperate area, I’ve never thought about how frequent I should oil my drums. So I was shocked and in a panic that one of my hand drums started developing cracks.
Research, Research, Research
I knew I needed to fix whatever the problem was and fast. I know that the rawhide material is made from the skins of animals and any cracks would have developed from a lack of moisture, just like our skin. But unlike our alive skin, it cannot repair itself and since it already developed a crack it will always have that crack. What I needed to do was to stop the spread, but what products do I use? And how can I obviously take better care in the future.
For answers to those questions I did a simple search on Google by typing in “The rawhide on my drum is cracking what do I do?” I then read over the top 4 links to find out that drums need natural based oils like shea butter and coconut oil, or leather based conditioners like saddle soap. I wanted to jump into action right away, and not wait for a package to arrive or to make a trip to the store. I asked Willow what products would fit that description. She pointed out that we have an Aussie Conditioner and coconut oil.
No Time to Lose, Apply NOW!
So Willow and I applied the Aussie Conditioner, a bees wax to the cracked drum. Neither of us were satisfied with the results so we switched to our coconut oil. Satisfied with the results of the coconut oil application. I then used the oil on my non-cracked drum, hopefully that will stop that one from cracking.
“If you've got a problem, take it out on a drum.” - Neil Peart
Other tips I’ve learned from those sites, share that you should never keep your drums in a car, something I did while camping. Oil regularly, a practice that I will have to start. Store at room temperature, something I already do. Tuning your drum is important, wish I knew how to tune. It’s best to store them in a bag that breathes and is made out of a similar material. Happy Drumming!
I started crafting out of leather in 2011, and now I am making it my life's work. I am writing this blog to help myself remember some of the small steps in past projects, sharing my triumphs and failures, as well as my love of leather.