Leo and his son Xavier (age 3) tightening a djembe

Leo has always had an interest in fixing and maintaining the percussion instruments he plays. He recalls making the music teacher in his high school nervous when she found him with one of the school's tympani in pieces! Nevertheless, it went back together sounding better than before and Leo has more or less been able to keep up that record.

Leo started doing hand drum repairs on his own instruments in 1998. Soon friends asked him to work on their drums and his understanding grew and grew. Leo now skins or re-skins between 30 and 50 drums per year. He is the most experienced drum repairman in the region.

In addition to re-skinning drums (the most common repair by far), Leo will make new rings and/or replace the tension rope for the drums he is working on. He uses only 1/4” cold rolled steel for his rings and 1/4” double braided polyester rope for tension. He also makes a point of leveling and re-crowning each drum he works on (working the bearing edge of the drum to make it level and consistently rounded).

There is nearly no percussion instrument repair Leo will shy away from. As long as owners are patient (He only works on repairs on average of one day a week) thier instruments come back literally better than new.

Leo has fixed drums from all over North America. Quality repair work warrants the price of shipping. Email us for quotes or details


Below is a list of common repairs and costs. Contact us for other inquiries.         

Re-skinning Djembes/Ashikos $80 - $100 (Skin included in price)
Re-skinning Bodhrans $60 - $80
Welding collar ring on djembe $10
Replacing tension rope $20 + cost of rope @ 50¢ foot.
Simple tightening (Adding Mali Weave) $10  - $15
Thorough tightening (down to verticals)  $30 – 40

Prices are subject to size and condition of drum, and if materials (i.e. skins, rope, rings) are provided. Some conditions apply to certain repairs.

Contact us regarding Congas, Doumbeks, Daraboukis, Bodhrans, and orchestral percussion instruments. Regrettably, we do not repair Indian Tabla.


Call Leo regarding special prices to get that much neglected percussion section back into great shape! Great prices and expertise!

Leo Tightening a djembe in his home made Pull-O-Matic machine.

Leo routinely offers materials for drum repairs such as rings, rope and skins. He also builds special pullers for tightening the drum after re-skinning and sells cleats for pulling the rope for regular tightening.

Below is a sample of what we can offer. Contact us for more information or to provide us with measurements for your new rings or rope. Typically for djembes and ashikos, Leo likes to make the rings TIGHT. It's best to have the drum to measure, but rings can be made to order with good measurements.

Our rings are made with 1/4” cold rolled Canadian steel. They are machine curved, welded, and hammered flat for rings that won’t break or warp. Rings can be wrapped in fabric and roped with loops for an additional fee. Contact us for details on rope and fabric selections.           

New Rings  $10 each or $25 for a set of three
Wrapped and roped $15 each (some conditions apply)

Leo also will make a collar ring and weld it on the drum for $15.


Treefrog Percussion gets its rope custom made by a Canadian manufacturer. Tension rope is 3/16” (#6) double braided polyester with very high strength and very low stretch and friction. It is available in the trademark Treefrog Percussion colors of black with a green fleck, or in the pan african colors of black with red, yellow and green flecks. Ring rope is either #3 or #4 rope in black or white (Leo doubles the #3 rope on the rings for Treefrog Percussion instruments)

Tension Rope $0.50 CAD per foot
Ring rope $0.35 CAD per foot

Leo keeps a wide variety of goat, cow and even mule skin on hand for any type of drum repair. Contact him with inquiries as to what is the best skin for you before you order. All goat skins are minimum 20” diameter

Skins, untreated, African Goat $40 - $50 CAD
Skins, untreated, Canadian Goat  $30 - $40 CAD
Skins, untreated, Pakistani Goat $20 - $30 CAD
Skins, treated, Pakistani Goat   $20

Occasionally, treated and untreated cow, calf and mule skin is also available. Contact us for availability.


The Treefrog Percussion drum puller is an amazing tool for the casual drum repair or for the seasoned drum builder. Made from sturdy Canadian rock maple, it is guaranteed not to break. Instructions for use included. Check out the photo in the repair gallery.

Drum Puller  $60 CAD

Save your hands when tightening your drum! A rope cleat like this is an indispensable tool when pulling your drum or adding “diamond” twists. Keep it attached to your djembe bag.


Leo has always thought a good picture tutorial on how to tighten a djembe was needed on the web. So here it is! There are sections on basic tightening, Starting a second row of weave, What to do with remaining weave rope, and Tips & Tricks to make it easier.

The photos use black rope for the "verticals" (tension rope) and white rope for the horizontal weave which tightens the drum. This is simply to make things more clear. Further instructions are given below the photo on the page for each step. Click on a thumbnail below to get started.

Basic Tightening

Step 1
Step 2
Step 3
Step 4
Step 5
Step 6
Step 7
Step 8

Starting a second row of weave

Step 1
Step 2
Step 3
Step 4
Step 5
Step 6

What to do with remaining weave rope

Step 1
Step 2
Step 3
Step 4
Step 5
Step 6
Step 7

Tips & Tricks

Trick 1
Trick 2
Trick 3a
Trick 3b
Trick 4a
Trick 4b


This Gallery will show photos of drums before and after Leo repairs them. Shots of some of the more memorable repairs will also appear.

(if I can remember to take photos! - LB)

Click on the photos to see the image enlarged

1907 Brass
Snare Drum