Instructables

Compact Spiral Didgeridoo

Picture of Compact Spiral Didgeridoo
constructed with readily available and relatively inexpensive modular plastic plumbing... inspired by the traditional Aboriginal instrument, but assembled at the Home Depot!
 
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Step 1: Visit your favorite Home Improvement Warehouse

Picture of Visit your favorite Home Improvement Warehouse
Plumbing.jpg
It doesn't have to be Home Depot, but I've found their Aerophones Section.... I mean, Plumbing.... to be rather well organized compared to the competition.

Step 2: Gather Pieces

One - 2" to 3/4" reducer bushing - Mouthpiece
Ten - 2" 90 degree Street Elbow - spiral
One - 3" to 2" reducer - Bell

Its a short shopping list... and its all you'll really need to get started!

In these pictures, I'm assembling it in the aisle at Home Depot... Starting with the mouthpiece, I attach the first elbow... with each added section, you want a slight 'twist' or offset to make a proper spiral. Unless, of course, you don't want to make a spiral... But I'm making a spiral. So here we go.

Step 3: Final Assembly

The white plastic (PVC) pieces have a nasty tendency to loosen up and fall apart over time, so I've glued mine together... which precluded its disassembly for photography. I also made one with black plastic (ABS) which retains good fit and stability even after repeated disassembly... but have since given it to friend, and when I went back to Home Depot to take pictures, they were out of stock... perhaps word is already out and people are making Spiro-Didges? There is a small price difference between the black and the white plastic, I'm not sure if one is always cheaper than the other... if you want to glue it into a permanent shape, it won't matter; but if you want to play around with different shapes, I recommend the black plastic (ABS).

A year or so ago, I made a video with the black Spiro-Didge, showcasing my fantastic skill... *note massive sarcasm in preceding statement*

Spiro-Didge video on MySpaceTV
Sgt.Waffles6 years ago
ABS and PVC didges sound terrible. At least do a bamboo one with a beeswax mouthpeice, if not traditional eucaliptus or even teak in a pinch.
psychopathicdude (author)  Sgt.Waffles6 years ago
Uhhhhh..... hmmmm.... okay..... wow. Guess I really wasted my time and money, huh! Except for the fact that I think its awesome and tons of fun. Which is why I thought I would share it. I'm sorry you've had such rotten experiences with plastic didges. But bamboo, eucalyptus, "or even teak in a pinch" are not what excites me. I prefer to be NON-traditional and try new things. To each their own.
NO project in which YOU (or others) gain enjoyment or understanding is a "waste" of money, time, etc. That said, when you make such efforts available for public scrutiny, you should be aware that they WILL be scrutinized. It wouldn't matter if you'd built a new cure for cancer out of a radio set or a flawless scaled replica of the Tower of London out of toothpicks--somebody's BOUND to have/offer a criticism. :-)
psychopathicdude (author)  Transquesta6 years ago
Oh, I am definitely aware of the criticism possible on the internet... I have a fond memory from an automotive forum of asking a specific question and getting answers to who-knows-what and all manner of personal opinion and "advice" that had absolutely nothing to do with the question.... I've come to the realization that when you cast your nets into waters so vast as the interwebs, you're bound to get some algae and kelp; no matter what you're actually fishing for. And I was employing a little bit a sarcasm on the waste part... But thank you for emphatically backing me up :)
I love how Waffles left the second he gained more than one person opposition.

ONTOPIC: Thank you so much for this tutorial and idea! I'm gonna go and make it now. I am thinking of ending it with a [insert very large diameter here] - 2" bell reducer to amplify the sound AND make it look totally badass.

Also, instead of using that weird bushing reducer for the mouthpiece, try using a bell reducer. Personally, I think bell reducers look much more attractive on PVC didgeridoos than bushings, but I dunno about you.
didgeri-snob
Age 5 years please.
haha
It may not be traditional but PVC didges do have a unique and I believe great sound. And when you add the 90 and 180 deg turns it changes the sound. Also resonance chambers for added texture you don't find in a eucalyptus didge. I once made a PVC didge shaped something like a sax that I put up into my djembeand clamped in place. this uses the drum as an amp and you get a percussive blow-back. The clamp allowed me to beat and blow at the same time. Also the slide didge (or didgeri-bone) I'm not saying that plastic is as magical as the original played by an aboriginal master but the world is big enough and music is only made richer by experimentation on the whole.
keep up the good work!
pemungkah3 years ago
It's pretty good! Around a middle G on the bass staff without the bell (I was rushed and forgot it). It's certainly a great project to "try out" a didg that's not going to take up an entire corner all by itself when you want to put it away (the problem with my "real" bamboo didg), and yes, it's not a high-priced "concert" didg, but it's definitely playable, and the modular build lets you play around with configurations and length.

Have you seen http://wethome.x10.mx/wdidge/didges.html ? I'm going to try a couple of those after I find all the parts - there are enough odd little pieces that my Home Depot doesn't have that I couldn't pick up the parts for one of those tonight - but they did have the ten elbows!

I'm going to try adding a couple more turns, possibly with some 2" elbows - I'd like to get it down about another 5th or more. One other suggestion I've seen is to roughen up the interior some to darken the tone a bit with a coat of wood glue and sawdust (which I'm pretty sure you could scrounge from the Home Depot if you asked nicely).
once saw an ABS didge with an old Washer agitator on it as a bell--LARGE
karlito11186 years ago
Hi, I made one of these about 13 years ago and had a great time with it. I used a mixture of 90 and 45 degree joints, glued them in sections of 4 or 5 joints each, and interspersed the sections with single joints. That way I could keep the thing together, play around with the shape, and also vary the length/pitch of the dij with different combinations of sections and singles. I think I used about 26 pieces in all and wound up with a VERY low tone. Most impressive in stairwells and parking garages.
I gotta know... Do you take the assembled pieces to the cash and have them scanned like that? (would be a real larf, if you cement it together in the aisles and have them run through the half used jar o' solvent too...) I've noticed that one can produce vaguely didge-ish noise from those 6363636363636363636363+9 (darn cat) shells of the elusive cardboard snail, as discussed in the "Kiteman's Konch" comment area. Regarding the shop-vac hose. I used to have a toy that was a plastic hose that you spin real fast and it makes a "whoooo-whoooooooo" kinda sound. Might be interesting to didge-ify into one end of the hose and spin the other end around...
No, I haven't taken the assembled instrument to the checkout... sadly, my store usually has the "Automated Checkouts" open and only one cashier to watch-dog them. Shop Vac hose is pretty cool, especially for the spinny whooshy noises they can produce. I believe the tones generated by spinning the hose are on a harmonic scale, so you could theoretically play taps... and perhaps other songs of limited melody.
Transquesta6 years ago
Hmmm. I guess this is a pretty cool idea . . . provided that one knows how to 'play' a didgeridoo and doesn't mind spending upwards of fifty bucks on fittings. How about a Shop-Vac hose instead? ;-) . . .Oh, and how much does this instrument weigh once fully assembled? I'm betting somewhere around five pounds. You could re-title this instructable as the Compact Curl Machine/Spiral Didgeridoo. ;-> Just yanking your chain, dude. I like the idea. It gets me thinking about other PVC projects (which I've yet to complete).
psychopathicdude (author)  Transquesta6 years ago
Haven't tried a Shop-Vac hose.... not for a didgeridoo anyway. Did use a shop vac to make a jet engine one time: Project Muffler Jet
Which did involve some hose. It's not that heavy.... or expensive.... but you were being sarcastic, yes?
Sarcasm, yes--definitely. I thought I'd been clear on that point. :-) BTW, I checked out your shop-vac jet. VERY cool!
Actually, playig a didge is pretty easy. Playing it *well* is a lot harder, but It's a pretty easy instrument to pick up.
Patrik6 years ago
Very cool! We actually have two ABS didjeridoos, that we bought from a self-proclaimed "houseless" guy in Albuquerque for 20 bucks a piece. He would just take a straight 4-5ft black ABS pipe, and heat it over a campfire to mold it into a more natural shape. Looks great, and sounds much better than a straight pipe.