Damaru maintenance

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javier.espinoza.t
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Damaru maintenance

Post by javier.espinoza.t » Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:57 pm

Hello all,

I would like to know how to do maintenance to a damaru which leather is not painted. For keeping the wood and leather as best as possible, etc.

Also how to prevent its unnecesary deterioration.

Thanks!
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Fortyeightvows
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Re: Damaru maintenance

Post by Fortyeightvows » Fri Mar 09, 2018 1:15 am

One of my teachers recommends putting it in the sun sometimes. And storing it vertically.

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Grigoris
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Re: Damaru maintenance

Post by Grigoris » Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:28 am

Fortyeightvows wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 1:15 am
One of my teachers recommends putting it in the sun sometimes. And storing it vertically.
Putting it in the sun ensures that it does not accumulate moisture. Leather gets moldy and rots if it stays wet to long.

Store the damaru in a cool and dry place when you are not using it. If it is in a case I would recommend you throw in some packets of silicon (like the ones you find in shoe boxes when you buy new leather shoes).

The problem with putting the damaru in the sun, especially in warmer climates like here in Southern Europe, is that the skin becomes tense and then when it cools goes slack. If you do this enough times the skin will de-tune and become permanently slack and need to be heated every time before use. It will also dry out the skin excessively and cause it to tear.

The wood, if it is not varnished, needs to be treated with wax to stop it going brittle. If it is varnished it does not need anything to be done with it. You could also consider varnishing it yourself. It is not difficult, just be careful not to get the varnish on the skin.

If the skin does de-tune, the best (and almost permanent method) to fix it is to cut out two pieces of tissue the size and shape of the drum heads. Wet the paper and stick it on to the skins. Leave the damaru in a room at room temperature, until the paper dries and falls off. The skin will be perfectly tuned again.

Do not use alcohol on the skin as it dries it out and makes it brittle.

Regularly rub the skins with the palm of your hand. This will transfer oil from your hand to the drum skin keeping it supple. Do not oil the skin or use moisturiser.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
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"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
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Bristollad
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Re: Damaru maintenance

Post by Bristollad » Fri Mar 09, 2018 9:11 am

What about replacing a torn drum skin?

I've been given to use a damaru that was previously damaged and then stored in a leaking freight container for a few years. Thankfully it hasn't gone moldy but the tear needs "fixing".

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Grigoris
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Re: Damaru maintenance

Post by Grigoris » Fri Mar 09, 2018 9:49 am

Bristollad wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 9:11 am
What about replacing a torn drum skin?

I've been given to use a damaru that was previously damaged and then stored in a leaking freight container for a few years. Thankfully it hasn't gone moldy but the tear needs "fixing".
You have to replace it. Tears cannot really be repaired. Most good instrument shops will be able to point you to somebody that can help.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

Bristollad
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Re: Damaru maintenance

Post by Bristollad » Fri Mar 09, 2018 9:55 am

Grigoris wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 9:49 am
Bristollad wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 9:11 am
What about replacing a torn drum skin?

I've been given to use a damaru that was previously damaged and then stored in a leaking freight container for a few years. Thankfully it hasn't gone moldy but the tear needs "fixing".
You have to replace it. Tears cannot really be repaired. Most good instrument shops will be able to point you to somebody that can help.
thank you.

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javier.espinoza.t
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Re: Damaru maintenance

Post by javier.espinoza.t » Fri Mar 09, 2018 12:13 pm

Thank you all.

To add something, i have being looking for instructions and, in general, the drums skin care does not require oil rubbing and the cracks on the wood are mostly caused by drastic temperature changes (example day/night temps., weather, etc.). Temperature fluctuations are to be avoided.

:)
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aussiebloke
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Re: Damaru maintenance

Post by aussiebloke » Fri Mar 09, 2018 9:55 pm

I have a very old drum that was kindly given to me by one of my teachers. In winter the skin can become quite slack. A ngakpa lama showed me the best treatment for this. Get ash from a wood fire and mix it with water to form a paste. Apply it to the skin of the drum and let it dry. Then wipe the dry powder off. The drum should stay as new for a year or three, depending on the weather conditions.

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Grigoris
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Re: Damaru maintenance

Post by Grigoris » Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:11 pm

aussiebloke wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 9:55 pm
I have a very old drum that was kindly given to me by one of my teachers. In winter the skin can become quite slack. A ngakpa lama showed me the best treatment for this. Get ash from a wood fire and mix it with water to form a paste. Apply it to the skin of the drum and let it dry. Then wipe the dry powder off. The drum should stay as new for a year or three, depending on the weather conditions.
The wet tissue technique is basically the same thing, with less mess! :smile:
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Palzang Jangchub
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Re: Damaru maintenance

Post by Palzang Jangchub » Mon May 07, 2018 2:59 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:11 pm
aussiebloke wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 9:55 pm
I have a very old drum that was kindly given to me by one of my teachers. In winter the skin can become quite slack. A ngakpa lama showed me the best treatment for this. Get ash from a wood fire and mix it with water to form a paste. Apply it to the skin of the drum and let it dry. Then wipe the dry powder off. The drum should stay as new for a year or three, depending on the weather conditions.
The wet tissue technique is basically the same thing, with less mess! :smile:
Ash from a wood fire sounds much more charnel, though! :tongue:

Does the wet tissue method revitalize the skins for up to few years as well, or are the effects more temporary?
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Grigoris
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Re: Damaru maintenance

Post by Grigoris » Mon May 07, 2018 5:00 pm

Palzang Jangchub wrote:
Mon May 07, 2018 2:59 pm
Ash from a wood fire sounds much more charnel, though! :tongue:

Does the wet tissue method revitalize the skins for up to few years as well, or are the effects more temporary?
I haven't had to do it again. Basically it will acclimatise the drum to the local environment. Unless you move from the seaside to the desert or a mountain top, you probably won't need to do it again.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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