Head Forming

Once the skin is cut it is ready to be placed on the barrel.  We rub the top 2 inches with parafin wax which will assist in removing the skin after it has dried and is ready for the final stretch, which takes 3-4 days.  The skin needs to be centered and then the metal bars are woven in and out of the 4 sets of mimi holes.  The edges of the bars are where the rope is wound around each mimi.  The photo shows how we rope it all up to the stand.  With 10 mimi and 12 possible posts to wrap around, we usually wrap 3 on one side and then 2 mimi along the other side.  Once it is roped all the way around, we go once more around tightening each rope and then the end is tied down with a half-hitch knot.  Then the skin is tucked under.  Sometimes it wants to come out and you can finalize it as the bachi go in.  For the head forming, we use only the bachi for increasing tension and not the jacks.  The bachi start out with 2 half turns and then we measure the mimi lengths and add bachi turns to the shorter areas until all the mimi hang down the same amount making things even.  Once it has dried, we mark the side “A” or “B” with blue tape on the mimi and the barrel to allow it to be lined up for the final stretch.  Also, when doing the side “B”, try to match the center of the mimi with side “A”.

 Prev Next: Second Soak