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Splitting the Stalk
(no picture)
The method I use to hollow out the stalk is to first split it. Other people do it differently, I like to split, it gives me more control over what the interior shape will do. The core of the stalk consists of a very soft, piff, styrofoam-like material. Take a sharp knife and insert it near the center of the stalk at the top as shown in the first picture here. Then start to draw it down the length of the stalk. It can be done much safer and easier if you use a mallot to hammer the knife along the length. Make sure you place the opposite end of the stalk against something sturdy and just hammer the knife along the length of the stalk until you've gone all the way down to, and through, the other end. Now take the knife to the opposite side of the stalk from this first split and split it down the length in the same manner. By splitting the stalk in this manner,
instead of sawing, the split will tend to follow the grain. And since it follows the grain when you reassemble the stalk the seam will be better hidden.


If the stalk does not just come apart after this then you may need to help it with some kind of wedging, like with a hatchet shown above, or repeat the drawing of the knife along the length but deeper. You can use your hands to pry it apart somewhat but be careful not to overstress the material, it breaks easily in this state. To see a closer look at the interior of the stalk (no picture)click here or on the picture above right.

Construction of an Agave Didjeridu
Choosing a stalk

Last updated: Thu Jul 14 8:00:00 PST 1998

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