Didgeridoo Making

Making didgeridoos is really easy, they cost under $5 each and you don't need to wipe out any eucalyptus trees.  All you need are two things: a pipe and some wax.
    The pipe
    The wax
    Making the mouth piece
    Cutting your didgeridoo to the right size
        Physics of the didgeridoo
        Didgeridoo length chart
    Decorating your didgeridoo

Physics of the didgeridoo
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The pipe
    I recommend using PVC vaccuum pipe.  This is the pipe that you use if you have one of those vaccuums that just plug into the wall with some central sucking unit.  It is white, two inches in diameter, and typically comes in 8 foot lengths.

The wax
    I strongly recommend using beeswax for the mouth piece, sucking on a petroleum product for any length of time must be bad for you.  Using beeswax also has the advantage that your mouth tastes like honey after you have been playing it, and who can resist a didgeridoo player with lips of honey?  Beeswax is relatively expensive at the craft store, but if you stop by your local apiary you can usually get it quite cheap.

Making the mouth piece
    The key to making the mouth piece is a few minutes of patience.  If you try to heat up the wax really fast it will always end in disaster.  Just get a bowl of really hot water from the tap and let a chunk of wax sit in it until it is soft.  This takes a few minutes.  When the wax is pliable, mold it around one end of the pipe and you are done.  If you don't get it right the first time, just hold the waxed end of the didgeridoo under the hot water tap until it gets soft and try again.  Just remember to hold the waxed end lower than the other or you will spray water all over your kitchen.

Cutting your didgeridoo to the right size
    A fairly standard didgeridoo is about 4 feet long and plays the C# two octaves below middle C.  This would be a good length for someone's first didgeridoo.  If you want to make a didgeridoo in a different key you can experiment with different lengths.  To figure out how long to make your didgeridoo for a specific key, you need to understand the physics of the didgeridoo.  Or you could just check check my didgeridoo chart.

Decorating your didgeridoo
    It is pretty easy to burn designs into PVC, and these look pretty cool.  The downside is that this produces toxic fumes, so make sure you do it in a well ventilated area.  I draw my designs on first with a dry erase marker, and then use a hand held propane torch to burn them into the PVC. 
    If you want to add a little colour to the sound of your didgeridoo you can try to add a flare to the end of the didgeridoo.  It is easiest to do this with a pair of leather gloves.  Heat up the end of the pipe until it is well burned and soft, then wearing your leather gloves stretch it out into a flare.  The physics of flares is quite complicated, but can end up raising the pitch of the didgeridoo a little bit.
    Another thing that will add a bit of character to the didgeridoo is to create some imperfections along the pipe.  Girdle the pipe at one point by burning it all the way around quite thoroughly.  Then grab on either side of the pipe and twist/bend it.  Hold it until it hardens.

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