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 Post subject: tough didj experience
PostPosted: 23.06.2009, 21:59 

Joined: 23.06.2009, 16:18
Posts: 1
hello all the didgeridoo players.
i've got authentic australian didgeridoo and about an year ago it recieved pretty bad treatment. first, it was left on a cupboard, lying in package. the problem discovered later was in fact that the cupboard had two narrow laths on top side by side so weight (4 kg) instrument was concentrated in two tiny points near mouthpiece and bell accordinlgy. one day (after long period of non-playing it) I played about hour or so. after that I left it to dry near window and then I left my place for that night. that night was fucking cold (also it was friday 13) and by return I realized consequence of the facts I described at once.
I saw crack starting from about mouthpiece and 30 cm towards the bell. I examined didgeridoo and found changes in its shape: it bended slightly to the middle. on mouthpiece-side oblateness appeared. I saw 3 "proto-cracks"
symmetrically (tiny cavities on surface). A heart-break...
Continue examining I saw the crack was just on surface and not really deep and huge. Also it was correlated well with a deep termite cavity inside, so I realized this was the way the wood released pressure. I filled the crack with proper epoxy based clay. Luckily, crack seemed not to developing further.
After that I had to move on (for 6 months), so I packed it well, and left horizontaly lying in a proper location.
Now we're together again. I feel a lot of shame... It's great instrument of premium quality. But can't change what was done..
I need your advices in further maintenance... I treat the crack with tea tree oil regular.
I want to keep it vertically but not sure about it.
Don't know how these changes in shape will affect it in the future.
Thanks for reading this hazy story. It was tough year for me & my didj I glad we're both still alive =)

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 Post subject: Re: tough didj experience
PostPosted: 25.06.2009, 12:32 
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Joined: 17.03.2006, 21:22
Posts: 1002
Location: Zurich, Switzerland
Hi nokko

Welcome to the board! I'm sorry to hear about the cracking of your didgeridoo, but based on what you've written, I'm not overly surprised.

Sure, storing it horizontally is not ideal but that alone wouldn't have caused it to crack. Much worse was the following:

one day (after long period of non-playing it) I played about hour or so. after that I left it to dry near window and then I left my place for that night. that night was fucking cold

That's the perfect recipe for disaster! If the instrument is not completely sealed on the inside and the wood is very dry since you haven't played it for a long time, playing it for 1 hour straight creates such a strong gradient of humidity between the dry outside and the wet inside and a swelling of the wood that the instrument has no other chance than cracking! The make bad things worse, you left it to dry near a (possibly open ?) window to dry during a very cold night where the air is very dry already, meaning that you subjected the instrument to extreme stress not only once but twice.

A very careful breaking in of an unsealed instrument is a must, meaning that you'll have to increase your playing time SLOWLY over weeks from a couple of minutes in a row to an hour or so. The instrument should then never dry out completely again, otherwise you'll have to start from scratch again.

The instrument should be kept in a controlled environment and vertically, as otherwise, the moisture from playing tends to accumulate in nooks and crannies at the lowest point and will cause the instrument to crack there.

Please have a look at our info pages,, for more information on how to treat and store the instrument properly.

Your repair job seems fine to me and oiling it certainly helps to buffer changes in moisture but please still consider our tips for storing and maintenance.

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