1992 LP Matador Bongo project.

usclassic

Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2017
Messages
6
Reaction score
5
Location
MS
Bought these Matador bongos off eBay as a stay at home project and they have not disappointed. Was not aware how vintage they were until I took them apart.

P1010654.JPG


P1010655.JPG


P1010661.JPG


Sanded the bearing edges with 800 grit paper to remove the rough lacquer where the heads were stuck on the shells, then waxed and polished the wood inside and out.

P1010656.JPG


P1010664.JPG


Polished all the hardware.

Fed the heads

P1010659.JPG


P1010660.JPG


Still working on the aluminum baseplates so will update when completed.
 
Last edited:

studrum

DFO Veteran
Joined
Jul 28, 2006
Messages
2,678
Reaction score
398
Nice work, and nice to see. I didn't know the Matador line went back that far, but I think these drums could be older than 1992. Here's my sleuth's-worth:

The head from the drum that has the date on it appears to be much newer and less worn than the other. Also, it is an old-school drum shop practice to put the date of any service somewhere inside the drum repaired. My best guess then would make these drums older than 1992.

I can remember when (I think) yours' was the only finish available for Matadors, and weren't they bongos-only at the beginning? Anyway, I have a late-00's set like yours, but with a light blonde wood finish and gold hardware. They are of phenomenal quality, especially for being mid-price. I admire your resto work. Those will last forever!
 

mkelley

DFO Veteran
Joined
Dec 13, 2005
Messages
1,687
Reaction score
237
Location
Chattanooga, TN
I purchased the same bongos in 94 and still have them. They're great and still have a good sound despite being 26 years old. I look forward to your updates!
 

usclassic

Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2017
Messages
6
Reaction score
5
Location
MS
Happy to see this thread has life, thank you for your contributions. In spite of the difference in logo appearance it is my opinion that these are both original skins due to the fact that they were both stuck to the lacquer in spots.

P1010665.JPG

P1010666.JPG


It may be that the original Matador skins got a bad rap because they were originally stuck in the lacquer at spots resulting in problematic tuning. So the original heads were tossed rather than cleaned and reused.

Since I have the drum apart I thought I would document some weights. I wonder how the shells and hardware compare to the new ones.


P1010667.JPG


P1010668.JPG


P1010669.JPG
P1010670.JPG


P1010671.JPG


P1010672.JPG


P1010673.JPG


The chrome hardware all seems very high quality.

I am working on the aluminum baseplates to remove casting voids before polishing. I have already begun work on the hembra so it would no longer represent accurate original weight since I have been sanding down to eliminate the voids. I will reweigh the macho when I finish it to see how much lighter it becomes.
 
Last edited:

usclassic

Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2017
Messages
6
Reaction score
5
Location
MS
The macho is now 10 grams lighter after rough sanding with 80 grit. Logo is crisp now too.

P1010683.JPG


P1010681.JPG


My guess is the hembra is about 15-20 grams lighter so far. The dots on the edge will be covered buy the shell and I wanted even contact around the whole shell so material there was not removed. The exposed upper side of the lugs will be mirror polished.

P1010684.JPG


Matador logo is now crisp and the surrounding surface flattened in preparation for mirror polish or maybe satin brushed finish.

P1010685.JPG
 

studrum

DFO Veteran
Joined
Jul 28, 2006
Messages
2,678
Reaction score
398
Wow! Your close detail work is impressive! May the vintage percussion gods look favorably upon your work!
 

usclassic

Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2017
Messages
6
Reaction score
5
Location
MS
Shell sizes

Both can be called 1/2 inch thick.

P1010690.JPG


P1010691.JPG


The bearing edge is not very precise nor consistent around the circumference.

Approx 8" center to center and 8.5" edge to edge

Approx 6 9/16" center to center and 7" edge to edge

P1010686.JPG


The specs for new Matador bongos = 7-1/4" and 8-5/8" natural rawhide heads
 
Last edited:

usclassic

Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2017
Messages
6
Reaction score
5
Location
MS
Finished up today. Decided not to high polish the aluminum after all. Bought a vintage Snap-On 1/2 wrench to go along with the drum. Turned out ok and sounds good. Tuned up easily no creaking or popping.

P1010693.JPG


P1010696.JPG


P1010697.JPG


P1010702.JPG


P1010703.JPG


P1010705.JPG


P1010707.JPG


P1010709.JPG


P1010710.JPG


P1010711.JPG
 

Latest posts



Top