Thing Creation: Duduk Box

I bought my fifth instrument recently, a beautiful Armenian duduk made of apricot wood. It didn’t come with a case, though, so I decided to make my own using the resources at my disposal.

In the wood milling room at work I dug a few pieces out of the scrap box. I think I ended up with maple, red oak, ash, and possibly mahogany. It’s a bit of a patchwork box, which reflects its recycled nature. I measured a few times, and chopped the wood down to size. Assembly was a simple matter of glue and staples.

After making the basic box and finding a nice chunk of wood for the lid, I went to the hardware store to pick up brass hinges and a clasp. After treating the wood with tung oil, I installed the brass, and then used an old leather wristband as a stop for the lid–if it swings back too far, it’ll strain the hinges and make the box fall over.

duduk-3

duduk-2

Of course, after making the box I still had to invent a liner to hold the duduk securely. For that I obtained a scrap piece of foam from the shipping department at work, and carved out a trench in it the size of the instrument. A quick pass with my propane torch smoothed the jagged foam, and then I glued a piece of leather from my old coat over it. The insert sits high enough that the lid holds the duduk in place, and for extra protection I have another loose piece of leather to wrap around the instrument. Several reeds will fit in the narrow gap between the foam and the back of the box.

duduk-1

The total cost of this project was about six dollars for the brass hardware. I probably could’ve found some old hinges to reuse and made my own clasp, but the brass ones were cheap and they match the trim on the duduk nicely.

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