Lost resonance in pan

I bought two handpans a few years back from a ( now) friend in Los Angeles area. Returning to Canada one started to get persistent spots of rust. Surface rust. After trying coco oil and other natural products i made a big mistake ( so it would seem) and with a super fine sandpaper ( like 2000) and wd 40 i got the rust off and stayed off now with light coco oiling from time to time. BUT i lost some of the resonance. Anyone know how i might the resonance back. Its not super bad or anything but i notice

Thanks for any advice


have you tried an online application for a computer that tests pan drum tuning ?
If the results give failure, send away to reliable tuner.
I know that excessive rubbing & buffing … heat will detune.


Thanks Benni. Good suggestion. I will look for a good tuning app. Meanwhile i found a link posted in the group a couple months ago about managing rust. Better late than never. I think the problem was using too much oil on that specific pan. That type of steel or whatever. “ dulling” the sound was the result as stated in that link as the usual result

I think it needs to go to a maker and be rebuilt Thinking to contact the guy in Rock City BC mentioned In the list a few times Dont know another Canadian maker ( yet)

Here is the link mentioned above

Hey guys,

Good question and thread here. I have some experience with this sort of thing. Basically there are a couple of reasons why the sustain may be filled, firstly, and most likely is the oil you used. A lot of heavy oils can end up dampening the vibration of the note membrane, and I find coconut oil is one of these. If you imagine what coconut oil is like when it’s cold, it goes hard. So this is what it will do on the surface of the steel. It will go hard and have a ‘muting’ effect. I highly recommend using either Phoenix Oil or Pure Sound Wax for your instrument. I have some tutorials on my website.
Otherwise the rust cleaning blog is also a good resource on MTHP.

Don’t worry this is an easy fix and I again have a tutorial on cleaning in my website. Just get some isopropyl alcohol and strip back the surface oils. Then apply a fresh coat of Phoenix oil to it. This should help.
Also worth noting NOT to oil the inside of the pan either! Keep this bare.

Another less common issue is the glue failing. I just had an instrument sent to me for a retune and I noticed this was the problem. This is a bit more tricky and may therefore need to go back to the maker.

Hope this helps!
Good luck :slight_smile:

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Hello everyone
How about WD40 ?

Tx Benni

Hi Benni,

I mean theoretically WD40 would protect your instrument from rust. I’m not sure what kind of affect it would have on the sustain or resonance. I’m also not sure if it would affect the glue.

But realistically, WD40 isn’t something I’d be wanting to be touching with my hands all the time. It even provides on the back of the bottle a caution to avoid skin contact. I think if even WD40 recommends that it is not safe for skin contact then I would be very hesitant to be putting it into my handpan. The smell is also not very pleasant.
But it comes down to your preference and beliefs.

I think there are far better products out there. This is why I recommend the products that are tried and tested. Phoenix oil and Pure Sound Wax are certainly my go to products as they have been specifically designed for these instruments with the safety of the players in mind by using natural and plant based products.

It may seem like it’s an expensive purchase for a Phoenix oil bottle for example, however consider that you use about 5 ml each time you clean your instrument. If you clean once a month for example, your AUD$35 100ml bottle will last you nearly 2 years!

Hope this helps. Again, my website has a lot of information as well as a little video to show how to apply these products.

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Thanks for the follow ups to my question about Lost resonance. The WD 40 was a one time thing to get the rust off. I agree it would not be a wise choice routinely and apparently not ever if it was the cause of the lost resonance. I am out of the country till August ( maybe) and will try the isopropyl alcohol cleaning to see if that returns some or all of the resonance.

Ill also check the seal

Thanks again for the support and ill let u know the outcome down the road. And maybe drive up to see you Benni!