Djembe Building Process
Affordable Professional Djembes: It’s all in the process.
Freedom Drums believes that superior materials provide for superior sound. That’s why our professional djembe production process starts with premium, sustainably harvested furniture-grade Mahogany heartwood. Not only is this Mahogany among the finest hardwoods on earth, it is also harvested and replanted in a way that guarantees future generations will have an abundance of trees and healthy forests. All our wood is legally and sustainably harvested in addition to being of the highest quality. Here’s how our professional series djembes are built:
- Each Drum is built from the heartwood of a single mahogany log.
- First each log is stripped of its bark by hand.
- Our Master Woodworkers then shape each log into a drum on a precision lathe, paying exact attention to even shell wall thickness and overall shape and proportion.
- Once the proper shape is achieved,the shell is then prepared to be dried.
- The shell is coated with multiple coats of teak oil before drying to prevent cracking and preserve the integrity of the wood.
- The shells are dried on racks in a wood kiln, which strengthens the wood and lowers the incidence of cracking.
- After they are dry, the shells are ready for exterior carving and the final shaping details.
- A traditional spiral pattern is gently etched into the interior bowl of the drum to increase airflow and reduce overtones.
- Each shell’s exterior is hand carved by Master Carvers with multiple generations of experience.
- The bearing edge is sanded and waxed to provide maximum playing comfort, tone, and skin life.
- The carved shell is then stained and finished with a natural glaze.
- Once the finish is dry, each drum is headed with a premium untreated skin taken from the goat’s back for optimal thickness.
- A three-ring tuning system is used at the head to prevent leaning head mounts, and to create a fail-safe against skin movement or slippage. The skin is wrapped around two cold rolled steel rings before being attached to the drum by a third top ring. Not only does this prevent any skin movement, it also allows the drum to be pulled extra tight by the player later on.
- Premium internally braided non-stretch nylon rope is used to string the drum, in order to insure there is no stretching down the road that could contribute to a loss of tune.
- The final result of all this precise hard work is a top-quality drum with the finest sound on the market.