Repairing Cracks in Didgeridoos

Posted: Tuesday, April 27, 2010 in Info & Education by Posted by

Repairing Cracked Didgeridoos is simple and effective. Timber is timber, even 100 year old tables have been known to suddenly crack for no apparent reason!

Recently a young man visited us with tears in his eyes, he told us that the Didgeridoo bag his Aunty made for him broke and the Didgeridoo hit the floor. Upon impact, the top 1/3 of his Didgeridoo split in half.

Following these steps you should quickly and easily be able to get your Didgeridoo back on the playing as good as ever.

It is common knowledge that didgeridoos can crack as they adjust to climatic and ambient air conditions. This is especially possible when unsealed Didgeridoos are played in unusually hot or cold, wet or dry conditions.

For one reason or another it is not uncommon for Didgeridoos to develop occasional minor surface or larger cracks. Climatic conditions, termite grooves and timber knots can also leave weaknesses that may result in cracks.

The GOOD news is that cracks are generally very simple to fix. Whatever the cause, here is one easy to follow way of fixing Didgeridoo cracks.

PLEASE NOTE: We recommend not filling any cracks with beeswax. This will make a later repair much harder. Only fill with beeswax in an emergency! (like mid concert with no back up didgeridoo in sight and 2000 paying fans watching)

Here is what to do:

1.    If you notice a crack appearing…. Stop playing. Asses weather it is just a surface crack or if air is leaking out through it. You can check if air is leaking by blocking the bell end of the Didgeridoo with your hand or a towel or cushion or anything that will stop airflow. Then seal your mouth on the mouthpiece and blow into your Didgeridoo. Now lightly run your open palmed hands around the instrument from top to bottom to feel for airflow from any leak. You will soon feel with your hands or the pressure in your cheeks if you have a leak or not. Once you find or see the cracks, make note of their position for repair.

2.    Don’t play your didgeridoo for at least a day or time enough to allow the timber to completely dry inside and out. Or just the outside if you only have a surface crack.

3.    If possible lightly sand the exposed surfaces, then ensure all surfaces are dust , moisture and oil free.

4.    Using a non-toxic, water resistant glue, fill the crack completely on the outside. A two-part epoxy glue works very well as a filler it sets fast, hard and is completely water resistant. Water based PVA glues mixed with sawdust offer a great filler and a slightly flexible one, should you have any concern that your crack may move again. If you are after a “don’t mess with me” solution, using a light surfboard grade fiberglass and epoxy resin you can strap up a crack that will outlast the didgeridoo itself!

5.    For best results mix your glue with some sawdust or color oxide to compliment or clash as you desire. Sawdust also helps thicken the texture if you need to fill larger cracks.

6.    Before the glue dries, wipe off any excess. Or you can paint your glue into any design you wish and sprinkle very fine sanding wood dust onto the glue or artistic results.

7.    Attempt to run a bead of glue along the crack on the inside of the didgeridoo.

8.    Allow the glue to dry for the recommended time. Lightly sand if required.

9.    If you wish to touch up any effected artwork or surface finishes nows the time.

10.    Your didgeridoo is now ready to sing again!

We hope this information helps you. These simple methods have worked for many people. Maybe you know of different successful techniques that we haven’t published here. Please let us know in as much detail as possible so we can share them with others.  Or if you have any questions we haven’t answered please contact us.