Hang and HandPan - Removing Rust with Steel Wire Wool

I recently acquired something of a ‘Rescue-Dog’ Hang - a Hang that has seen better days. It’s certainly in need of a visit to a tuner, something that to some degree the price I paid for it reflected, but additionally, this Hang, was suffering from a fairly nasty case of rusting.

People within the HandPan community use a wide variety of measures, and substances, to help prevent the onset of rust to their HandPan (oils, and such), and there are products such as the ‘Miracle Cloth’, that are easily capable of removing rust should you catch it early enough. But, personally I’ve found that, should the rust be a little further developed, many (most?) of these solutions won’t remove the worst of it.

So, should you have left your Hang in storage with the bag done up tight for too long (never a good idea), or you’ve bought a questionable HandPan second-hand, and the rust is a little more severe than is treatable through other methods. You might consider using this tip that I first heard of from Daniel Waples (well known Hang musician), ‘0000 grade steel wire wool, and olive oil’.

As far as I can tell from my own experience, the olive oil is not an essential part of the remedy, but is more Daniels product of choice. But the 0000 grade wire wool, combined with a little WD-40, performed a treat. Buffed in a circular fashion with a little pressure applied, the rust began to vanish as if under an eraser. And after just ten minutes, this previously very sorry looking Hang, was almost, looking as good as new (if not sounding it). Unfortunately, I did not have the foresight to take 'before and after' pictures, so you’ll have to take my word for it about the results. But should you find your HandPan to be in a similar condition, you might also find this solution to be worth a try.

Notes:

* Start very gently. 0000 size wire wool worked perfectly on a first gen Hang, but the wire wool (especially wool sized larger than 0000 should you be in the mood to experiment) could possibly cause aesthetic damage (marking) to the patina/painted surface/etc. of HandPan that are colored, or coated in some way (though I did also have a quick try on a Halo (deep blue patina), and it seemed to be fine).  Should this be the case, you may have to decide if a little discoloration is acceptable, to rid your HandPan of the rust problem.

* As with most things in life, prevention is always better than a cure - products such as FrogLube can be used to prevent rust BEFORE it gets its teeth into your HandPan, or to treat it before it has developed to the stage of requiring wire wool to shift it.

[Additional] A post on the Hang Forum discussing the natural discoloration of PANArt Hang (which may also be relevant to some other HandPan makes) and why it should not be confused with rust: HERE
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HandPan Stands - A Selection of...

While HandPan are generally considered to be lap-played instruments, for some, this may not be practical, or comfortable - which is where a HandPan stand might come in handy. While others might find that the use of a stand opens up new styles of play, or makes it easier to play multiple HandPan simultaneously.

So, if a HandPan stand is what you’re looking for - you might find the following options of interest. And as always, we make no promises, but we’ll try to update the list with new options, as and when we stumble across them...
Pantheon Steel HandPan Stand

As with most things in the world of HandPan, Pantheon Steel don't just meet your needs - they exceed them. And while their first generation HandPan stand was retired a while back (not necessarily because it was a bad stand- but because it didn't meet Pantheons own high standards) But following some research and development, the Pantheon Steel HandPan stand is back in the form of the second generation. And its back with knobs on. Sturdy, secure, and functional, arguably the only ‘bad thing’ to say about Pantheons stand is that it’s not the cheapest stand on the market. But with Pantheon Steels name attached to this stand, you’ll know that you’re paying for quality.  More info.
Sounds Inspiring HandPan Stands

Wooden framed tripods, the HandPan stands of ‘Soundsinspiring.nl’, take a different and arguably more rustic approach, and design to other HandPan stands. But judging by the videos they certainly look sturdy enough to keep your HandPan secure during play. And with their maker being a long time HandPan player, and enthusiast himself, you can be fairly certain that these wouldn’t be available for sale, if the maker wasn’t 100% certain that they were up to the job. Available sized for either standing, or sitting, and priced between 70-90 Euro (at time of writing), these stands make for a more affordable option, when compared to Pantheon Steels offering.  More info.

Caisa HandPan Stand

If you’re a Caisa player, in this sense you’re lucky, that the Caisa, was designed stand ready. The three holes in the bottom of the Caisa allow for secure attachment to a snare drum stand. And additionally, a Google search, or a visit to the should turn up Caisa modified snare drum style stands, customised specifically with the Caisa in mind.  Or alternatively, there's the wooden mushroom stand.

You may also be interested in:

>> Review of the Sonor MPS Multi Percussion Stand for HandPan
>> Converting a Conga Stand into a HandPan Stand
>> Total Pillow - A HandPan Cushion for Playing in Comfort
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David Galleher - Land Sea and Sky

I’d stumbled across ‘David Galleher’ in a few things I’ve enjoyed recently, prior to writing this post.  From a video we featured on our ‘vertical playing’ post, through to one of the earliest demonstrations of the ‘Saraz’ HandPan, that we featured on our facebook page. So that with this cold English winter upon us, and feeling in need of a little cheering up, I decided to seek out more...

At the time of writing, David Galleher has only the one release, via his Bandcamp page (though more will surely follow), ‘Land Sea and Sky’. A collection of six sizeable tracks kicking off with lead composition ‘Laughing Water’ (presumably a hat-tip to the location where Handpangea is held), a ridiculously ominous track that leads with tension, and then riffs it up big time with some serious beats of such, that I knew from track one, that I was in for a good listen.

Track two stands a dreamy eight minute long monolith, with, ‘Little Bear’, a track title that possibly confirms our suspicions, that yes, this album is primarily (if not solely) performed on Pantheon Steel Halo. ‘Monsoon’ (another Halo reference?) borrows the building intensity of Laughing Waters, but projects a more optimistic feeling, like pre show-down music, contemplation before the upcoming battle. While adversely, track four, ‘Experimentation Improvisation’, if applied to a movie score, would be more suitable for an after-conflict soft-focus taking in of the battle field, introspective, smoky, and full of carnage of recent past.

Track five, ‘Wanderlust’, is probably my favorite track on the album, I find this one hard to describe, but this track has the kind of anaesthetising quality I often find myself seeking out in HandPan music, in bucket-loads. The cold grey winter outside my window disappeared entirely for six minutes fifthteen, and I felt completely soothed. And track six, ‘Brown Rice Beat’ ties the journey up nicely, maintaining the overall feel of the album, but demonstrating a slightly more relaxed flick of the wrist.

Summary:

I really enjoyed this album. An argument could be made that it would have been nice to hear some different HandPan thrown into the mix, for a little more variety of sound. But having listened to it a few times through now, personally, in this instance, I’d have to argue against that. I enjoyed the consistency of the vibe - the difference between visiting a quantity of locations, but only for a very short duration of time (ala cruise ship style), and setting down anchor someplace breezy for an extended while, and getting the opportunity to really explore its coves in detail...
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The 2013 Pantheon Steel Halo Lottery Poll

With the 2013 Pantheon Steel Halo lottery upon us (at time of posting), and with so many possible choices, we couldn't help but be intrigued as to what sound models others would be choosing as their 'Dream Halo' - should they be lucky, patient, or wealthy enough, to secure one of Pantheons creations in the batch three lottery (one vote per person please) :).

>> Halo Sound Models 2013 <<      ! Poll Results by Rank/Pie Chart/Map !
[Update] At the end of the 2013 lottery the most popular choice was the Pygmy Stratus (according to this poll).

Zen HandPan - of Sacramento, California

(!) This post may now be out of date - but has been left published for archive purposes.  It may still prove to be of interest, but some (or all) details may now be out of date (!).

There’s not a huge amount of information out there at time of writing, regarding this new comer to the HandPan family. But, going on our ears alone, it has to be said, that the ‘Zen HandPan’, is starting to sound very nice indeed.

Born in Sacramento, California, Zen HandPan are the creations of the maker known only as ‘Manny’ (at time of writing). And listening in over at YouTube, it would be difficult to disagree with the makers statement that, “They get better every time I make one...”.

The last known price for a Zen HandPan is $1500. And they come available in eight, or nine note models, in a variety of scales. With a waiting time of 1-4 weeks (at time of writing - this will no doubt grow longer).

Points of note: 

Zen HandPan are not (at time of writing) nitrided.

More information:

You can watch more video by visiting Manny over at his YouTube channel: HERE

For more information, and or to purchase a Zen HandPan, you can visit the makers website: HERE.

Check the makers page for more information: HERE
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