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edm_tabla

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Posts: 26
Reply with quote  #1 
Hi all,

hope you are having an enjoyable weekend! Wanted to ask your collective opinion on how to deal with a crack that has suddenly appeared on my tabla (dahina).

The tabla is still playable and the crack is not too deep to make the shell wide open. But I just wanted to ensure that the crack does not propagate further and I just want to keep it in working condition. Is there some quick fix that I could use?

The crack is most likely due to the dry weather here. I am attaching a photo below.

Thanks in advance!!

Attached Images
jpeg IMG_4629.JPG (151.69 KB, 2 views)

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RobertMaya

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Posts: 45
Reply with quote  #2 
If you've been itching to buy a new tabla, this would be the time. However, since you'd like to keep her running, I would remove the straps, fill the crack with putty (I don't really recommend glue and wood dust) and sand it down to keep the shape once it dries. I would also take this opportunity to see if there are any cracks on the rim where the pudi touches the wood, as deformations or cracks in this area will effect the quality much more than a fissure in the bottom. Basically if the circle shape is deformed, the skin is stressed and will not vibrate equally, leading to a dull sound and a shorter life for the skin. If this is the case, then I would buy a new drum. Drums sometimes die of natural causes; if I were you, I would invest in a new tabla. Alternatively, I wonder if you can ship a shell and skin disassembled from India (thus saving on careful packaging)?
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edm_tabla

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Posts: 26
Reply with quote  #3 
Thanks Khitchdee and RobertMaya for the detailed reply. I'll look into those information.

And yes, I actually have another tabla set, which I have purchased very recently from Mukta Das. I practice mainly on this new one, but just wanted to have the other one ready as a backup.
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mavaidya

Junior Member
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Posts: 12
Reply with quote  #4 
Questions for you
Did you purchase this tabla recently?
If not how long have you had this tabla?
Do you normally keep the tabla away from vents?

I also have a tabla that has a major crack and am looking at some adhesives that can fix this permanently. The crack looks similar to yours and I got the tabla from him so don't know the details. Having said that once I find the right adhesive it will be good as new if not better.

Thanks
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edm_tabla

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Posts: 26
Reply with quote  #5 
@ mavaidya

No, this is an old tabla. The wooden shell is very old - it is actually from my childhood days, ~ 25 years ago :-)

BUT,

the drum head and the laces are very new. They have been installed by a local tabla maker in India, only a few months ago.

I always keep the tabla covered by multiple layers and keep them away from vents. Also I don't use this table very often. This is just a backup tabla and I mainly use my other set. In my case, I think, it is the dryness of the winter weather that caused this crack.

If you find a suitable adhesive, kindly share the information with us,

Thanks!!
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VNO Design

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Posts: 166
Reply with quote  #6 
If it's old completely dried out wood, and provided that this crack doesn't go all the way through, and that your shell is round and not warped, this could be worth repairing. Adhesives aren't going to do much by way of strength on something like this, but if it's a deep crack you can fill it with wood glue and a syringe type applicator, leaving space to use wood filler to match your color closely afterwards. It just depends on how much this shell means to you. Getting a new one is your best option if you're not attached to this one sentimentally. Nearly all Tabla shells are cut from wood that hasn't dried out yet and some are more prone to cracking than others like Neem and Rosewood (Latifolia).

Best of luck with it!

-David

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edm_tabla

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Posts: 26
Reply with quote  #7 
Thanks David for the very informative reply. That tabla does have some sentimental value and that's why I am trying to repair it But I also have a new one.

@ Khitchdee When I bought my new tabla from Mukta Das, I specified sheesham wood, because that is what my teacher recommended. Let's see how that holds up in dry Canadian winter.

Thanks!!
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mavaidya

Junior Member
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Posts: 12
Reply with quote  #8 
"@ mavaidya

No, this is an old tabla. The wooden shell is very old - it is actually from my childhood days, ~ 25 years ago :-)

BUT,

the drum head and the laces are very new. They have been installed by a local tabla maker in India, only a few months ago.

I always keep the tabla covered by multiple layers and keep them away from vents. Also I don't use this table very often. This is just a backup tabla and I mainly use my other set. In my case, I think, it is the dryness of the winter weather that caused this crack.

If you find a suitable adhesive, kindly share the information with us,

Thanks!! "

@edm_tabla

The adhesives I've been looking at are liquid epoxy or an epoxy putty I have not found the right one yet since both have advantages and disadvantages. I like the liquid one because it can go deep in the wood where as the putty I would really have to be sure work it in so it goes deep into the crack, liquid is for sure work it's way easier than the putty.
The following would have to take place:
removing the skin: head this way you can see if the crack went all the way through the wood and see any cracks that may have formed from the inside.
Just a note here:
I had a friend who bought a tabla set in India Dec 2014 and they live in Edmonton. I found out that someone had tried to fix it and gave up on it. I took a look and removed the straps and head even though there were visible cracks from the outside. I used this adhesive it's a Gorrila glue that expands and even the smallest hairline cracks the glue went through the wood (this at the bottom where the wood is thick). After making sure all the cracks were filled I reheaded the drum with a new head was able to tune it to C# and even D which was nice to hear. And my friend was really happy that his new tabla was new again so to speak.

All cracks need to be cleaned so the adhesive can stick/bond to the wood
Ensure that you have put more than sufficent adhesive put a little extra ( you can sand excess off)
the epoxy that you use make sure you get the one that bond with wood you can get so many different types and choices it can really get confusing. The one you should look for should not shrink and when cured must be hard not soft like silicon.
Amazon.ca is one place
http://www.amazon.ca/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=epoxy+putty
or
http://www.amazon.ca/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=epoxy+&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Aepoxy+

Once you have ensured the epoxy has cured (hardened) completely sometimes remember curing time does not depend on temperature epoxy comes in two compounds A+B one is the adhesive the other compound hardens the adhesive. I would leave it for a few days just to be sure its good and I've filled all the cracks.
If there's extra sticking out sand it down with a light grit sandpaper so it follows the contour of the wood.

If all is good then restrap the head tune it and you are good to go.

I hope this helps.
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