First, please make sure you read and understand our Terms and Conditions (included in this letter as well, see below).
After you unpacked your instrument, please have a look on it carefully, look for cracks or damages. If you find any, contact me as soon as possible and provide photos of the damage.
You need to know, that your instrument is coming from a completely different climate – unless you are living in Northern Australia. The change in the climate can be a physical stress to your didgeridoo that can cause small or even bigger cracks. Most of the cracks appear at either end of the instrument; the cracks that affect the sound quality are along the top section of the instrument, around the mouthpiece and along the neck.
Most of the traditional didgeridoos are sealed on the outside with timber glue and/or acrylic/ochre paint. Also, both ends in the inside up to 5 cm are sealed with glue to protect the timber. Further down in the instrument, the internal wall is not sealed. Most didgeridoo players choose to seal the internal surface of their instruments, that protects the timber in the long term and help avoiding cracks. If you choose to use some sealant, you need to know that any type of sealant you are going to use might affect the characteristic of the sound.
Finishing off the outside
The makers usually use timber glue to seal the raw timber that protects the instrument from losing moisture and essential oils. If your instrument is painted, you might like to protect the artwork. On both natural timber or paint, I recommend using clear oil or water-based matt or gloss varnish.
Finishing off the inside
Most of the cases the inside of the instrument is not sealed, however some makers use timber glue to protect the instrument. To avoid cracks in the future, I recommend thinking about one of the following options:
- Glue: you can use waterproof timber glueas a sealant. I recommend mixing it with water to get a thin liquid, then pour the mixture through the instrument, and make sure it is sealed properly. When you finished, leave the instrument in a vertical position the let the excess glue out.
- Oil: there are many different types of oils to treat and seal timber. One of the cheapest and easiest option is linseed oil(I suggest using the anti-mould option), that you can buy in your nearest hardware store. The tung oil absorbs to the timber the best, it is more expensive and harder to source. Pour the oil through the instrument into a bucket, and make sure the inside is sealed properly – you can repeat the process to make sure there is a sufficient coverage. When you finished, leave the didgeridoo in vertical position to let the excess oil out. If you use your didgeridoo often, I recommend oil it every second year or so.
As I mentioned above, any kind of sealant can change the characteristic of the sound, therefore some didgeridoo players choose not to use any sealant at all. If you prefer sealants, keep it in mind, that the timber needs to breath, so do not use excessive amount of glue or oil that will eventually build up a water-resistant film in the inside of your instrument. Every timber didgeridoo sounds their best when it is warmed up and gets wet in the inside. It adds ‘life’ to the sound and helps to bring out richer and vivid tone.
While you are getting used to your new didgeridoo, here are a few tips to keep in your mind
- Do not play your new didgeridoo longer than 5-10 minutes at a time during the first two weeks after the purchase. Your new instrument has not been played a lot before, so it needs to get used to its new home, owner, the fluctuation of the internal air density, moisture, and temperature. After two weeks you can start to play it longer.
- Make sure you keep your instrument away from extensive heat or temperature fluctuation – too hot or too cold temperature, direct sun, and dry air will cause cracks.
- Keep your eye on any appearing or existing cracks. If you find a new crack, I suggest not to touch it for a while, let the internal tensions of the timber do their job. After the crack stopped, you can seal it (please contact me if you are not sure `how` and `when`).
- Clean the inside of your didgeridoo with clean water every now and then.
- If you take your didgeridoo anywhere, make sure you protect your instrument, especially if the outside temperature is low. Do not take the instrument outside immediately after playing if there is cold out there, not even in a case.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to be in touch.
Enjoy your didgeridoo!