How to take care of your Handpan ?

Written by Matthieu. Posted in caten.

last update 14/01/2018 : article creation, translation in progress


What maintenance for your Handpan?

1) After use, wipe it with a microfiber cloth (only for that). Storing the cloth in the instrument can be a very good idea. Wipe it immediately in case of moisture on the surface. Pay special attention when exposed to a marine environment (salt, sand). NEVER (NEVER) store it wet in its carrying bag.

2) Store in a closed bag only for transport, possibly add desiccants in the bag. Always carry it with a bag providing physical protection adapted to the conditions of transport. Fly with your Shellopan in hand luggage only.

3) Store it at home away from shocks (children, animals, falling objects ...). A wall hook is often a good solution!

4) Apply 1 to 12 times a year a maintenance product compatible with skin contact (you can increase this frequency if frequently used outside or to clean the surface).

In case of regular use for maintenance and cleaning. We recommend to avoid using too thick oil products (froglube and coconut oil) too often, preferring them for occasional use. Never put oil inside your instrument, at best it will be useless, at worst it will degrade the sound. Oil-based products change the color of your Shellopan when they are first used (it becomes darker and / or more contrasted, some color reflections may change, pink or purple become brown, for example). Aerosol spray products, anti-rust molecular protection films, and nanotechnology-based products are (very) strongly discouraged.

5) In case of rust, coconut grease on a slightly abrasive cloth works wonders (principle of the miracle cloth). In case of more pronounced rust, very fine iron straw can help.

! Caution: Any abrasive product or oily product can cause a change in the color of the surface of the instrument. It is always advisable to ask the manufacturer of your instrument for more specific advice on the use or choice of cleaning products. Some instruments have a brushing brass, the life of this brushing is unfortunately not eternal and whatever the maintenance technique used.


Example of recommended maintenance product for handpan:

- Phoenix Handpan Oil. Oil is fluid and has been tested / validated for skin contact but has a vegetable base, rancidity and viscosity change may occur

- coconut oil. It will be easier to apply on a warm or warm instrument because it is thick.

- beeswax or mixtures of waxes (beware if a solvent is used, turpentine is a natural but potentially irritating product)

- products based on triethanolamine (emulsifier but also active component of Biafine). It is the maintenance product of musical instruments marketed by PANArt. Its application pleasantly changes the touch of the instrument /

- fluid mineral oils of pharmaceutical quality or authorized for the lubrication of machines having contact with food products. Simple and effective product, do not rancid with time.

- The Shellopan maintenance kit consisting of an assembly of products that we found most useful for Handpan maintenance:

  •     square grit 8000 grain (allows to find a mirror polish on a metal surface)
  •     abrasive microfibre coconut "miracle cloth" (makes it possible to remove traces of rust, product well known and appreciated in the United States but difficult to obtain in Europe)
  •     microfiber with an ideal texture to apply oil (put the oil on the cloth rather than on the instrument and use the cloth only for this purpose)
  •     a mineral oil spray "lemon oil" 1oz
  •     a cleaning spray "polish & cleaner" 1oz

This kit is reserved for our customers and the price is 25€.


Example of maintenance products sometimes sold for handpan and which we advise against:

- the spray anti ox of hand pan shell, it does not mention any information as for its contents or the tests carried out for its placing on the market

- the WD40 (it was designed to protect the electronic part from missiles, very strong smell ...)

- The Ballistol (but why want to maintain an instrument that is played with the hands with an oil that feels the feet)

- the froglube, although we used it at the beginning, too many people make bad use of it until creating a layer which alters the sound (the smell of mint is also very unpleasant for the entourage when it is applied) .


How often do you re-tune a Handpan?

Tuning has a natural tendency to become noticeably sharper over time, even if the instrument is not played for a long time. This is due to the normal relaxation of the induced voltages in the metal. However, re-tuning is only a necessity from the moment you feel the need. People accompanying other instruments tuned in a precise way will more easily feel an embarrassing shift.

The heat changes the tuning (it resumes its place when the instrument returns to normal temperature). Avoid direct exposure to sunlight as much as possible as the instrument can become very (very) hot and a strong game in this situation could more easily detune the instrument. In case of overheating, allow it to cool before playing again.
The cold also modifies the sound and the reactivity of the striking, the ideal for the game being the temperature of your place of life.





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