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 Post subject: So I'm about to start building Didge 1.5... please help!
PostPosted: 10.03.2011, 22:34 

Joined: 08.02.2011, 19:28
Posts: 4
Sooo I spent about 6-7 months carving away at this very large log... only to realize I shaved it wayyy too thin and basically had to stop making that didge (very, very sad day) :(

Anyway, my neighbor was cutting down some old, dead trees and I saved 3 logs that were ideal for didges.

I'm starting with this one:
(cutting at the yellow line)

I have a few beginners questions:

1. What should be my first step? Removing the bark and/or sanding? Splitting it?

2. I'm on a broke college kid budget... what would be the best and most hassle-free means of splitting the log? Is there a type of hand saw I could use to get a clean cut that wouldn't require too much strain?

3. Generally speaking, after splitting the log, how much time do I have to hollow the two halves and glue them before the wood starts to dry too much?

4. After splitting the log into two halves... what would be the best means of hollowing it? A flat/round chisel? Any inexpensive power tools that might work?

5. Do you guys prefer any specific type of wood glue?

6. Do y'all also prefer any specific type of epoxy/shalaque?

7. What is an ideal thickness from the inside walls of the didgeridoo? What is the very thinnest I can go without making the instrument too fragile?

8. Any random/additional tips you guys can give a beginner?

Thanks so much guys,
Catfish de TX

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 Post subject: Re: So I'm about to start building Didge 1.5... please help!
PostPosted: 12.03.2011, 19:35 

Joined: 22.12.2010, 12:29
Posts: 5
Hey Catfish.

1. Well, there are several schools of thought: some people like to split and do the inside first because they want a very precise air column, and then they take their time with the outside -- with great finitions usually.
But as a beginner, it's much more natural to remove the bark, do the outside, split, empty the hemididges, glue, and viola.

2. the real hassle-free method would be going to a sawmill nearby your home, if you don't then you probably have a neighbour with an electrical saw (or a portable jigsaw that have a blade to saw wood as well), if not, then your last option is the hand saw, but that's no longer hassle-free.

3. Beware, it's not because it dries, it's because it twists and expands. You have 24 hours, 48 at most. The last didj I made I took 4 days, and I almost regretted it because I nearly couldn't glue the thing. It's serious, don't slack on this step.

4. Round chisel is the best: you need 2 to be really efficient 25 and 12 mm. Take quality ones (steel), they're expensive (15€ each), but in the long -run you won't regret it because they're the easiest to work with and they won't loose their sharpness on your second hardwood didj. It takes 6 to 8 hours to empty one half. A wood mallet is also the best to work with these, but if you can't afford it, any plastic mallet should do.

5 & 6. I use araldite -- don't know if it exists in your country -- but it's a bi-component epoxy resina (slow dry). Wood glue sometimes doesn't resist the humidity in the didj when you are playing.

7. 1 cm thickness is the usual,
but keep in mind experienced crafters vary the thickness in 1/4 at the mouth piece 1/2 in the middle 3/4 at the bell proportions. It can seem a pain, but it's easily done with you fingers. You can't go wrong with 0.5 cm , 1 cm, 1.5 cm,
unless you want a tougher or heavier instrument. If you want more bass: make a wide bell with even more thickness, but mind you have a nice air column or you gonna have a air-hog (which is more difficult to play).

8. If you don't practice a sport, the first day of carving/hollowing can seem really tough, but don't worry you'll get the build eventually. Also when carving/chiselling, try to swap the hammerhand and the chiselhand every 2 or 3 hours to avoid tendinitis. And try to find clamps to glue the didj, they're cheap and handy. 6 are usually enough. I know that's all a lot of gear, but cost will be absorbed by the time you complete your second didj.

Well good luck, just pop in if you have any more questions.
Plus I'm currently translating a tutorial for moesby (I haven't forget you man!) so you might want to check it out (like next week).
Cheers. ;)

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 Post subject: Re: So I'm about to start building Didge 1.5... please help!
PostPosted: 05.04.2011, 21:51 

Joined: 08.02.2011, 19:28
Posts: 4
Thank you so much for your help! I'll post back if I have any more questions.

I would have posted a thank you much earlier but I never got an email saying someone responded.
thanks again,

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