Didgeridoo Design, Make and Play
What to look for and where to find it.
Sourcing timber to make a didgeridoo seems easy - how difficult can it be to find a suitable piece of wood? Surprisingly difficult is the answer.
Ok so there is a lot of wood about, but it is either unseasoned, to short, too big, not big enough, has splits or cracks or some other problem, for example, rotten. Finding a piece of wood is easy, finding a piece of wood suitable for making a good didgeridoo, is a little more difficult. What type of wood do I want anyway? What the difference between them? What sort of things do I have to look for? This page hopefully will answer some of the questions that I found myself scratching my head over.
Where to Find It
Friends, family, neighbours, work, all may have trees on their property that could be suitable (a friend of mine cleared his garden and I got a nice bit of holly ((shame I didn't know about seasoning as it split several times and ended up on the fire)).
Going for walks in the country can surrender some interesting timber, whether fallen or cut, but do check with the land owner first.
Many farms and tree surgeons sell wood off for firewood and quite often it is well seasoned. There are many adverts in local papers, if not look up tree surgeons in the yellow pages or internet. This is a good source.
There are number of organisations that can be contacted either on phone or email, such as National trust, Environment agency, coppice societies, woodland trusts etc. Also think of local and county councils, they have teams of people clearing the roadside, cemeteries etc. There are also several websites such as (for south east England) http://www.woodnet.org.uk/woodlots/index.htm . This site is an initiative put together with lots of adverts for timber in all shapes and sizes. Also think laterally, many of the people I spoke did not have wood the length I needed, so I thought where do they get their wood from? Lumberyards and sawmills can be productive, and if they don't have what you are after, they quite often know who does.
Digging around other sites on the internet can prove useful, for example http://www.ttf.co.uk/ is the home page of the 'Timber Trade Federation'. Looking under buying wood there is a directory of companies from all over the U.K, who specialise in certain woods.
The best result I got was to email a local council who then forwarded the email onto about 50 other people of which I had half dozen responses and some very good supplies of timber.
Going to didgeridoo festivals, gigs and clubs is a good idea a people are extremely friendly and you would also learn an awful lot.
Now the obvious one. Timber yards and DIY shops. Most timber yards will sell wood that could be used but is rather limited both in size and variety, and most importantly cost. Many companies use generic wood that comes from sustainable sources but it still comes down to cost and how much you are willing to pay. I have used some 'Meranti' from a timber merchants http://www.alsfordtimber.com/index.html , it is considered 'poor man's mahogany', is FSC approved and initially I used it because I was so frustrated at not being able to find anything locally. An example of a Meranti didgeridoos can bee seen in my galleries.