Step 13:

So  -  what should I have done?  Easy.   I really should have cut each laminate separately instead of gluing 4 layers together. That way I could have made the airway near the mouthpiece much narrower, and have achieved a much more gradually growing airway shape.  I think this would vastly help the backpressure problem.

Mainly, I also should have spent more money and made this out of plywood.  MDF was a mistake  -  and I would urge you to not go anywhere near the stuff if you plan on doing anything involving breathing near it.  Seriously, this stuff also has glues in it, which are probably not good for you either.  I really, really should have thought this through more, before setting out.

But hey!  That’s what experimenting, and making prototypes is all about. I made something, which is very nearly perfect, and I am determined to make one which really will work.
Hi there, <br>Inspired by your design, i tried to build a compact serpentine didg for myself. I made mine out of beech wood. The channels were carved out using an angle grinder fixed with the King Arthur's Lancelot carving disc. I then glued and bolted the 2 pieces together. Unfortunately i haven't been able to get it to sound like a didg. One lesson i've learnt is not to start with the hardest. Like your project, mine is a work in progress as well.
hi. I would really be interested to learn more about your didge, and how you went about the design, and build. I am always intrigued by the various methods of construction of these versions of didges, and am particularly interested by curly didges. I recently built a box didge, about A3 in size, 40mm deep. Then I built an A4 version, 30mm deep. The larger sounds just like a didge, but the smaller one needs an adjustment to the mouthpiece. I think I can get it to work. Then it's a matter of finishing it off. I'd be very pleased to know more about your work, you can contact me direct if you like, on cab_brill@btopenworld.com
Hi <br>I can send you pictures. Unfortunately, i did not document the process as i built along. But i can send you drawings. There can be a lot we can learn from each other. Cheers
The drawings and any pictures would be very interesting. Like you, I didn't take intermediate pics as I built the box didge - don't know why. <br><br>You can send anything to my email, as mentioned previously.<br><br>Looking forward to seeing what you did, cheers
I think this is a great 'ible and one that shows the flaws very well so that others who are following this can then adapt it well. <br> <br>I think WELL DONE is in order.
Many thanks for that, it's appreciated. I am still working away at this project, as and when I can, and with a workshop being sorted out in my garage, I should very soon be able to make better headway. In the meantime I am also working on a box didge made up from flat plywood components. It won't look as curvy and 'organic' but it will again test the water to see what works. thanks again,
Good job - it helps others to know what does NOT work in addition to what works in creating a project. <br> <br>I made a straight 6-foot bamboo digeridoo some years ago, but did not realize they could be folded like a brass horn. Now I want to make a box didge as well. <br> <br>The cut-away design reminded me of Weishample's Parasaurolophus horn. I wonder if they sound similar. <br> <br>http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/dinosaur/2011/02/how-parasaurolophus-set-the-mood/
wow - I have to confess I've never heard of a Parasaura - thingamabob, but now you point it out, there are some similarities, for sure. I am putting a little sound sample online as soon as I can get it recorded, and then you'll be able to decide.<br><br>The design of the airway was intended to achieve two main goals, which were to get 6-7 feet into 2, and allow the airway to get wider as it got longer, which meant shorter folds near the mouthpiece, and longer folds towards the outlet.<br><br>It's a fascinating business trying to imagine what will work - empirically, then trying it out in reality. My next design is completely different, but with the same goals.<br><br>Many thanks for your interest and comments.
This <strong>is</strong> a tutorial on how to make a (what for it) ...prototype. This is R&amp;D, that's Research and Development, kids. And this is how it gets done. You think it out, draw it up, lay it out and build it. And then with the gleaned wisdom you do it again.<br> <br> Now for my 2 cents worth. Firstly, I don't know what I'm talking about, I've never built an instrument but have played a few. It's not so much the graduating column of air, straight pipes can be tuned to play real nicely, like a flute. but two major characteristics come to mind. The first you've hit on and that's thickness or better yet, thinness. Carving and shaping the outside is very doable. The other, and you did touch around it, is resonance. MDF is just too fluffy (along with funky glues), not enough rigidity to it, and if it can't vibrate, it doesn't sing. Try to find some Baltic Birch plywood (Europe or&nbsp; America) or a mahogany ply like Okume (SE Asia). The glue could also play into it. A hard glue like CA (superglue) or epoxy should be better than PVA. You don't want anything to dampen the vibration.<br> <br> And remember, if at first you don't fricassee, fry, fry a hen!
hi gnach. Thank you for taking time to give feedback. Indeed you are quite correct that a very straight pipe can make a didge - I have a Meinl plastic didge which is not a lot more than a plastic drain pipe with a small constriction at the mouthpiece, and a small flare at the outlet. Yet it's a great didge. <br><br>I think you are absolutely correct that the fibrous nature of the MDF is a big problem - but as I mentioned, I honestly didn't know MDF was so fibrous until I started to cut it up. <br><br>I will be working on a chipboard didge, and a plywood version, this summer (I only get to work outdoors, as I don't have a workshop.) As it happens, I did a lot of experiments with glues, and found that if left, PVA goes very very hard, and virtually transparent. The only research I haven't made with glue is how it reacts over time with prolonged exposure to hot breath.<br><br>Thanks again for your comments
I have never heard of a box didge before... what a great idea! I have a normal one that I can play, well, not very well. This is really creative! One question, how does one hold it to play?
Hi, thanks for your interest. My intention, originally, was that the player would hold the instrument with the widest part of the body horizontal to the floor, one hand on either narrow edge. However, most players found it more comfortable to hod it cradled in the left hand, and steadied by the right hand, with the widest part of the body held vertically. So it looked a bit like a very over-inflated bugle.<br><br>My next version will have a totally different layout, in which the mouthpiece, instead of being on one of the narrow ends of the 'box' will be at the top of one of the long sides, and it will be played a bit like a very over-inflated saxophone. But that's a whole different project. Though a project based on and having learned a lot from this one.<br><br>Thanks again.
I can't wait to see the next version, keep it up.
What an excellent project - this is an example of true <em>Making</em>. I love the evaluation and analysis, and the ideas that others could use to take the idea further. Well done.<br><br>I know you said it wasn't perfect, but I (and I bet others) would love to hear what it sounds like anyway.
Many thanks for your input, it's really appreciated. I am planning on recording the sound of the didge, sooner rather than later, and will append the sound, or maybe even a little movie, as soon as I can.<br><br>Thanks again.

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