Archive | Making Flutes

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Whacky Birds/Fetishes/Totems 1: Antlers!

So… I made some antlers for a recent commission. I thought it might help some of you to know how I did it, since it seems like the impossible dream when you see the result! I used oak, but any wood would work; the less brittle and less pronounced grain the better because otherwise the […]

Some of the differences between a premium and a standard flute

A question I’m often asked is “what’s the difference”? Well – my standard flutes play pretty well, and they’re in tune; and they don’t have anything wrong with them… BUT When making a premium flute, I go the extra mile; and this post will tell you some of the ways I do this. It’s not […]

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Tuning and Temperature

So there seems to be a lot of confusion around, about tuning and ambient temperature. The thing is, when you play a wooden flute in a room at 14°C it will play one note, and if you play it in a room at 25°C it will play another. So we have to make a compromise… […]

13 – Troubleshooting

I left this until last simply because the posts in this series have been long enough, without adding text about the problems you can encounter as you go along. 1. Leaks. If the bore is not completely airtight, the tuning will go wonky, the flute won’t play well, and things will be pretty awful in general. […]

12 – Final Finishing, and Marking

So – that’s it, isn’t it? The flute is tuned TO PERFECTION, and will play beautifully… sadly only for about a week. Now we need to “Finish” the flute to prevent environmental conditions getting into it and wrecking our carefully crafted wood’s shape and size. This has the interesting and fortunate side-effect of making our […]

11 – Fine Tuning

So – we’ve coarse-tuned – the flute was roughly correct when we left it last night, and it’s now been a good 12-24 hours since we did anything with heat. It is 18°C in our shop, and we’ve cut the block which our flute is going to run the rest of its life with. Play […]

10 – Cutting a Block

I’m putting this next simply because the shape and construction of the bird can make a huge difference to the sound and tuning of the flute… so until we have the flute’s final block, we can’t effectively tune it! But – here you’re only really limited by your imagination and one small rule; NO LEAKS! The block […]

9 – Initial Tuning

Tuning This is where we get more “mathy”. (Mathsy for us Brits 😉 ). There are a number of ways to work out where the holes go on a flute, and that’s just for “Minor Pentatonic”. There’s the “Flutomat” at Flutopedia; there’s an Excel Spreadsheet by Bob Grealish, also on Flutopedia; and there’s a nice “rule of Thumb” […]

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