Conga Drum Bag

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Hello leatherworkers,

I made this a few years back, but I'm new to this forum so I'll post it now.

I bought my first drum back then and got very excited. Since I had been making small wallets etc. for myself and my gf, I thought I'd make a case for my drum (it was a big jump!). Needless to say, this was the largest project I've done, so it took many months since I can only work on it at night and weekends when I wasn't practicing my open tones. Now that it's done, I can finally practice!


I designed it so that it to take all my gear to my music class in one bag. The inside fits a 30" conga drum (it fits both my drums with an 11" and 12.5" head), a circular wooden board for under the drum, a drum throne seat. The top opens up via two 26" zippers ($20). The outside has a loop that fits the drum throne support (like an umbrella on a golf bag), two pockets, and a triple-fold suitcase handle. The large pocket holds a handheld cowbell with beater, a pair of clave sticks, and timbale sticks. The small pocket holds a digital metronome, a tuning wrench, and a pen. There is a loop on each side of the pocket.

Final design

I own no machines. Everything is hand-cut, hand-dyed, hand-painted, hand-stitched, hand-polished, etc. I made the body out of one piece of 4-5 oz veg-tan leather from Tandy Leathercraft ($150). It's cut into four sections that taper down like a mercator projection on a world map. The leather is dyed using Fiebing's professional saddle tan oil dye ($50); the body is darker because I mixed some of Tandy's own canyon tan water-based dye ($15). The lining is thin velvet-like material made of polyester from JoAnn's Craft Store ($12). The art work on the pocket is my version of the artist Evelio Garcia Mata's La Conga (1930s). The figures are filigreed, dyed ($20), then finished with Cova acryllic paint ($20). I baseball stitched the vertical seams with brass rivets ($10) at the bottom. Everything else is saddle stitched with nylon thread ($20). I also added wheels ($20) at the bottom after the photos were taken with a circular wood piece of plywood on the inside ($10). I used the Stohlman brand for hardware ($30).

Cost, time

On general stuff, I consulted Al Stohlman's books ($30) on cases, esp. the part about the golf bags. On specific stuff like handles and loops for buckles, I followed Valerie Michael's book ($20) on cases because the lines seemed cleaner to me. I spent a few nights a week for 3-4 months. For example, a suitcase handle takes 4 hours to complete; cutting/dying/painting/repainting the figures took 20 hours over two weeks. I spent about $200-$400, depending whether you count the left over material like dyes, paints, and books into the cost.

Future project

I plan on making a matching case for my wife's bongo drums. The art work will be La Rumba by Antonio Sanchez Araujo. Hopefully it will only take about a month when I get around to it.




The whole thing with the drum and seat are really heavy. I added wheels to the bottom for now, but I'm thinking of hacking the top part down so that it's just the drum. As this would require much surgery (and possible destruction), I've just been putting it off. I still haven't made the bongo case yet.











Edited by Tae

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I really appreciate the planning and effort you put into this project. Just curious ... what would the weight of the case be?

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