THE SERIOUS STICKS DIDJERIDU FORUM

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 Post subject: Intro + Agave/Yucca question
PostPosted: 09.04.2012, 14:31 
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Joined: 03.04.2012, 14:09
Posts: 27
Location: San Diego, CA
Hello SS,

I have been lurking for a bit, what a great sight to learn about everything from playing to DIY. I Made a PVC didge about a year ago and could produce the basic drone and some other sounds, but never really put any effort into circle breathing and really learning to play the instrument. I recently had a major hip surgery, and decided this would be a great time to learn the didge. Plus I enjoy the meditative aspect of the didge. I also suffer from PTSD from a military deployment and love the therapeutic aspects to playing the didge. It eases my mind and allows me to relax and get caught up in the sound and feeling.

I did not want to break the bank, so I purchased a black bamboo Tyler Spencer didge, in the key of C#. I love this didge, and was able to learn to circle breather in about 2 days.

For the reasons listed above, and because I am pretty immobile right now I decided to put some effort into making a few didge's. I live in San Diego so I am accumulating a large collection of spent agave and yucca stalks. I am in the middle of completing a 62" yucca with a 1" mouthpiece and a 2.5" bell. I have been going a little crazy with the art work, so I might have something that looks better then it sounds.

I have a few questions about agave didge making and cracks: I found a pretty cool piece of agave that has a few cracks in it. I decided that I could most likely make a didge out of it as long as I seal and harden (using epoxy resin) all cracks (is this true)? So I split and removed the pith. I then filled the cracks with wood glue on the inside of the bore. Today I will sand the inside bore and glue the 2 halves together. There is also a hole about a 1/2" in diameter so I will be filling the hole today using wood filler. My next question is, what are you guys using to fill cracks? (wood filler, putty, epoxy.....)

I know this is not ideal, it is more and experiment to see if I can harden a cracked stick to make it playable.

Any feedback is welcome, and I will post pics later if you want. Thanks for any advice.


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 Post subject: Re: Intro + Agave/Yucca question
PostPosted: 11.04.2012, 02:00 
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Joined: 03.04.2012, 14:09
Posts: 27
Location: San Diego, CA
Her is a picture of my 2 first didge's. The one on the left is Agave, the one on the right is Yucca and has not yet been sealed. Thanks to all the info on this sight I am pretty happy with my finished product.

-Chas


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 Post subject: Re: Intro + Agave/Yucca question
PostPosted: 11.04.2012, 12:30 
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Joined: 19.03.2006, 03:03
Posts: 113
Location: SW Lower MI/USA
Hi Chas. Both didges look great! Very nice especially for your first ones! Also impressive that you got circular breathing so quick.

Just out of curiousity... what method of circular breathing helped you get it so quick?

As for cracks, it depends on the crack mostly. For thinner cracks I usually use a some type of superglue or epoxy. For thicker cracks I mix up 2-part Devcon epoxy (or similar) with saw dust. Whatever the mixture/ratio is, it needs to penetrate all the way into the crack, not just lay on top. That's my theory anyway! :)

Allan


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 Post subject: Re: Intro + Agave/Yucca question
PostPosted: 11.04.2012, 15:34 
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Joined: 03.04.2012, 14:09
Posts: 27
Location: San Diego, CA
White Knight wrote:
Just out of curiousity... what method of circular breathing helped you get it so quick?


Allan, Thanks for your kind words and advice on the cracks. I agree with you, I just need the product to penetrate and fill the crack. I actually like the way the cracks look under the finish. I was thinking of using a clear drying liquid nails to fill the cracks.

As for the circle breathing: I was using a long PVC pipe (about 60"). It has a crack in it and the back pressure is not great, and the mouth piece was a little large.

Once I got the bamboo didge the wood mouthpiece fit perfect and the back pressure was great at 50". I found that I could circle breathe without the didge very easy, however maintaining the drone was quite difficult. At first I would fill my cheeks and BRAPPP into the didge and inhale through the nose but loose the drone. I read somewhere that extending your lower jaw to keep your lips even or allow the lower one to extend past the upper one could help. I began extending my lower jaw forward while trying to circle breath and things just started to connect and make sense.

I find circle breathing like riding a bike, at first it is really difficult, next you are like "wow, why couldn't I do this before?" and it seems like second nature.

-Chas


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