THE SERIOUS STICKS DIDJERIDU FORUM

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 Post subject: Constructing a PVC didge from waste pipe
PostPosted: 20.06.2006, 14:14 
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Location: England - but would rather be out sailing in the Med
Recently while at a local didge club I was invited to compare the sound of a traditionally made mago of good provenance with that of another mago type stick. The sound was remarkably similar, more so after the demonstrator revealed that the second stick was made from black PVC waste pipe, about 10cm in diameter, sanded down to give that rough black ochre finish often seen on modern traditional sticks. This was finished off with counterfeit aboriginal art work (naughty) and did not disgrace itself among a collection of sticks on the club stand.
This PVC pipe has a thickness of about 6/7mm allowing it to produce a resonant sound when played. I was later given a section to work upon and have used a jigsaw to cut out four slots starting from what is to be the mouthpiece, triangular in shape, starting from 1cm at the mouthpiece, to 60cms in length, to reduce the diameter at one end and make it more playable and give it that classic Yirdaki shape.
One big problem though, the bonding cement normally used for sealing PVC pipes is not holding the sides together – they keep tearing away. At present its temporary held together with non traditional duck tape, when I know it should be electrical tape. I was considering covering the reduced section with fibreglass, but would really appreciate suggestions for any other materials that could be used to bind ‘The Beast’ together.

Thanks

Paul


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PostPosted: 20.06.2006, 16:32 
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I'd go with the fibre glass myself and build the whole stick up with it, may be finish it off with some traditional house paint and of course a milliput mouthpiece. :D


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PostPosted: 20.06.2006, 19:24 
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Location: Bantry, Ireland
Yep, you can't go wrong with Milliput, can you ?

:idea: How about going the whole hog and building a 100% Milliput didge? :lol:

I would say the best person to ask about joining pipe would be a plumber. Speak up, plumbers! We must have one lurking somewhere.


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PostPosted: 20.06.2006, 21:09 
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Location: Rimrock, Arizona
I have had a lot of luck using Gorilla Glue (a moisture activated urethane glue). That stuff will stick anything together. The glue will foam as it sets and fill gaps.
As for normal plumbing type solvent adhesives, they require a very close union between the two surfaces for them to work properly (the type of proximity you would get putting a coupling on a pipe).
You can also try using plastic welding rod and a heat gun, but that is expensive and, I believe, can generate some harmful gases.

Paul

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PostPosted: 20.06.2006, 22:57 
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Joined: 22.03.2006, 11:23
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Location: Sunny Palm Beaches, Florida
Based on my extensive experience with Aboriginal didgeridoo players I'd suggest taking a somewhat more traditional approach to your PVC didg mouthpice -- duct tape!

:-)

--------------------------

I have also used a spray-on textured finish (comes in rock, sandstone and granite-like textures) to make the PVC less smooth and plastic looking. In addition, you can use a propane burner (or professional heat gun) to add bends or a bell by carefully heating the PVC. To make a bell, heat one end until it softens then push the end down over a large soda bottle.

Looking around on the web for some pics, I discovered this site on PVC didg making - actually quite a good page on the subject. Covers bamboo didges too:
http://www.geocities.com/gangwise/didgeridoo

The make the mouthpiece smaller, instead of cutting just heat the other end, then press it down into something with the shaoe you want (like the inside of a wine bottle for example) - though I haven't tried this since I just use beeswax on the end usually. Here is an example:

Image

I have also made a mouthpiece out of various combinations of PVC components, like adapters and size reducers. My best adapter style mouthpieced used a black pvc straight joint, into which I inserted a size reducer that was threaded on one end, then I screwed on a white cap with a hole on top that I guess is used to tighten down on something, but makes a nice mouthpice. Just experiment. Here's another example - plays pretty good and since I don't glue it on, just push it on and it stays, I can trasfer the same mouthpiece to different lengths of PVC, giving me a range of keys. One of these days I'll work on a slide didg, too.


Image Image


Milliput sounds like a good solution, too, especially if you ask Loretta :-)

Also, make sure your "waste" pipe hasn't been carrying any real waste products :mrgreen:

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PostPosted: 21.06.2006, 10:03 
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Joined: 11.04.2006, 09:37
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Location: England - but would rather be out sailing in the Med
Thanks guys, lots of nice ideas there.:lol: :D :P

I've ordered the Gorilla glue, thanks Paul and Ebay, which I hadn't come across before, but which reminds me of some of the glues used in wooden boat repairs - I like the one part nature of the stuff and the way it fills gaps and can be sanded down to boot. I will let you know how I get on.

Chatting to a fellow club member yesterday we are going to investigate the possibility of welding the parts together.

I would like to keep trying to bond the sides together before resorting to the fibreglass option, as for covering it with milliput, that sounds expensive, and as an ex apiarist, I'm very much a beeswax man.8)

By the way, great site Robert, I understand that quite a lot of PVC piping fell off the lorry onto our club members' roof rack, so the dimpling and reshaping could be a lot of fun.

Paul


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 Post subject: glues
PostPosted: 21.06.2006, 14:19 
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Location: Alpine , California
Just checking- you said black pipe thats "pvc"- normally that is abs - pvc glue doesnt bond abs well- use black abs glue from any plumbing store.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 22.06.2006, 07:06 
Heating PVC can be bad. It can give off very bad fumes including clorine gas.
A single didge heated outside probably isn't too bad. If you're gonna make a bunch of them, invest in a filter mask that handles gases.

I'm fascinated that this topic should come up on this forum... nothing further away from "serious" traditional sticks than pvc tubes....

Anyhoo.....


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 22.06.2006, 13:21 
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Joined: 22.03.2006, 11:23
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Location: Sunny Palm Beaches, Florida
karl kalbaugh wrote:
I'm fascinated that this topic should come up on this forum... nothing further away from "serious" traditional sticks than pvc tubes.....


PVC is often just a place to start for new didg players. My first attempts to make my own didg were PVC. (I haven't played the ones in the above pics for years). They actually play pretty good and sound nice, and can be made to look decent...but critically, they are cheap.

When I could afford it, I started buying better instruments. Today I even own a great Burrnupurrngu. I would like to start making my own wood didges some day, like you Karl, but I live in a small condo. What clearly IS traditional is encouraging people just starting out or who don/'t have the resources yet to get a "proper" didgeridoo. For them, PVC is a great alternative.

Finally getting ooutta here today. Should be seeing you soon. . May be a week or so before I can get back down to the DC area after I visit my kids. I will call ya! Then you can show me how YOU make didgeridoos :-)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 22.06.2006, 15:30 
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Location: England - but would rather be out sailing in the Med
As said this is a relatively inexpensive way to experiment with 'instruments' of different lengths and thickness. I'm doing it primarily for fun, because its available, and because I'm also after a real stick around A/B, which I’m hoping this plastic thing will approximate to. Playing with (recycled) plastic tubes ensure that when I do get my next real stick, it’s the right one.

As for the appropriateness of discussing this here, I don’t thinks its that out of place among discussions on epoxied mouthpieces, sealed interiors and protected artwork. Heck, I even considered fixing a wooden mouth piece and veneering the exterior.

Paul
Over looking the beach in sunny Herne Bay, Kent


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 22.06.2006, 20:05 
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Joined: 18.03.2006, 05:29
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Location: Rimrock, Arizona
I have several didjs. Some of them are agave, some are yucca, one is eucalyptus, one is a "found" chunk of PVC that was heated over a gas grill and bent and formed into a perfect B, and one is a slide didj. To be very honest, the PVC didj is my favorite to play. It is what I used for the entire time during the Solstice Meditation last night. One good thing about this didj is that when my main critic (dog) chews on the end of the didj while I am playing he doesn't do much harm :?

Paul

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 27.06.2006, 10:12 
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Location: England - but would rather be out sailing in the Med
Just a little progress note.

The consensus here is that this is an abs pipe and not pvc as earlier mentioned.
Also that the gorilla glue is making a reasonable job of holding the sides together and filling the many gaps caused by me not having a mitre on the removed sections.

Guess I’ve learnt a fair amount here – the next one will be better, although I much prefer to work in wood!


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