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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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Grain Compression

When you’re using your chisel to cut ramps, and holes, and so on, one of the problems you might get is grain compression. This is what happens when you try to chisel hardwood across its grain – and it makes something of a mess of the “end grain” which is left behind. The pic on the left shows […]

The coming plans!

In the absence of any “Custom” comissions at the moment, I have a couple of plans for upcoming projects. First off, I have a stick of Cherry that needs to be made into a G, Ab or A flute much like the one you’ve just seen on my Facebook Page. That is already on the […]

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 […]

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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