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 Post subject: Soft Sugarbag
PostPosted: 26.07.2007, 23:53 
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Joined: 18.04.2007, 23:34
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Location: Essex UK
Hi

Don't know if any of you have had this problem when using sugarbag. I recently (about 2 months ago) used sugarbag for the first time to make a mouthpiece for a vintage didjeridu. great to work with , nice smell and soft. Thats the problem!! too soft, it still has not gone hard or even looks like it is going to go hard. You can only play the instrument if you are prepared to re-shape the mouthpiece after every playing and thats say after only a few minutes. John or Chris(can't remember who it was) here @ S.S suggested mixing the sugarbag with wood filings, which should help harden it they say. I have one Mago with a sugarbag mouthpiece and this is ok but it doesn't look a black as as the stuff I have. it is still not as hard as 'normal' wax one though, has anyone else had this problem, solutions please if you have, don't really want to mix wood filings with if if I don't have to.
Thanks Guys and girls of course!!
Paul

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PostPosted: 27.07.2007, 01:01 
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Joined: 18.03.2006, 03:07
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Location: Pennsylvania, USA
Sugarbag really varies depending on location of the hive/nest and the types of plant species the bees are around-- consistency being the biggest difference. Wood filings will definitely give the sugarbag a bit more 'body' but some batches are just more reactive to heat- meaning they get very soft!

Jason


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PostPosted: 27.07.2007, 01:09 
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Thanks

What about mixing it with 'normal wax' sacrilege or not??

P

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PostPosted: 27.07.2007, 01:20 
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Location: Pennsylvania, USA
Quote:
What about mixing it with 'normal wax' sacrilege or not??


I've experimented with that in the past- works pretty well. Sacrilege? Nah, you want to play the stick, right? :)


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PostPosted: 27.07.2007, 07:29 
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Joined: 20.03.2006, 10:41
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Location: UK
The sugarbag that has recently become widely available on the didj market is cultivated and tends not to be as solid as the wild stuff. Mix it with whatever other agent you prefer to harden it up although it will harden up over time.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 27.07.2007, 07:34 
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Location: Bantry, Ireland
Quote:
mixing the sugarbag with wood filings


I believe it was Christian who suggested that, well sort of. I think his suggestion was actually for sawdust. What you need is fine sawdust, as you get when sanding a piece of wood. The drier the better.

If you checkout sugarbag mouthpieces on sticks from Arnhem Land then you often find all sorts of bits in them.

Sugarbag contains oils which evaporate in a very slow process. If you've got any left over, I'd suggest you roll it out flat, keep it unpacked and hopefully next time you need a mouthpiece, it will have dried out a bit.

Just out of interest, what's your objection to wood?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 27.07.2007, 09:00 
Hi Guys

one problem I have noticed is the stickyness of the sugarbag eg if I leave the stick up against a wall (which I have no choice over) it has in some cases taken some of the paint with it. is this the same problem with the oils and will it dry out and become less sticky as well as harder (Time for an ooh err comment!!!)

I also tride mixing with european wax and it seemed to be wose in that it went hard quickly but got really soft quickly as well also it really looses its colour and goes a mancky milky grey


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PostPosted: 27.07.2007, 09:08 
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Location: Bantry, Ireland
Quote:
is this the same problem with the oils and will it dry out and become less sticky as well as harder


Yep - but this takes a long time, that's why we recommend pre-drying it with the sawdust, which soaks up some of the oil


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PostPosted: 27.07.2007, 09:25 
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Thanks Guys

My arm is aching already!!!!!!!!!!!!! NO!! just making sawdust

P

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PostPosted: 27.07.2007, 10:24 
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Sounds like you don't have an orbital sander ;-)

I suggest you spread the sawdust out and let it dry well before you mix it in. It may be moister than you think, and then it won't soak up much oil - and when you've mixed it in, it can't dry out of course.


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PostPosted: 27.07.2007, 10:41 
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No. but I've got a wood lathe though, so I can just turn a bit of wood down into a cylinder and then hold some sandpaper on it to create the dust. Good thinking Batman !! will let you know how I get on, thanks for the brain jog!!

Paul

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 27.07.2007, 12:12 
woukld charcoal or burnt would work as its dried already (i know not very carbon neutral) and dark so may not discolour as much


Last edited by stockie on 27.07.2007, 16:30, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 27.07.2007, 13:31 
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Location: Bantry, Ireland
Quote:
woukld charcoal or burnt would work


There's only one way to find that out ;-)

Quote:
may not discolour as much


Use dark wood for the sawdust if that's an issue


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 Post subject: charcoal
PostPosted: 30.07.2007, 13:59 
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Joined: 18.03.2006, 05:35
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Location: Alpine , California
Yes I have seen charcoal added to beeswax for hardening and coloring purposes succesfully. It produced a very hard wax. You will always know who played your didge :)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 30.07.2007, 15:36 
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Joined: 11.04.2006, 09:37
Posts: 307
Location: England - but would rather be out sailing in the Med
My latest stick has some old black sugar bag wax on it which is very solid and difficult to mould without a hard instrument. Despite its age, below the surface it still has that familiar sugerbag smell which the more recent batch of sugerbag wax doing the rounds does not have.

Paul

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