Flute Making! Part 2

When we arrived back at the workshop, Greybeard had  done some fine tuning on the flutes; shaved the walls down to be a little thinner and put on the mouth pieces. Unfortunately, most of the purple hues on my piece of cedar have disappeared, but I still love the way it looks.

So the day started with sanding to get out all the marks out of the wood. First 120, then 180, then 220, then 320 grit sandpaper. Most of the flutes ended up with a couple of  marks in them anyway, but they aren’t really noticeable.

We purposely made the bore to long because it’s easy to shorten but difficult to lengthen. (Greybeard has lengthened the bore, he did that on my husand’s recent flute purchase, but for class we wanted to do it the easy way. )  So we started sawing and sanding the end of the flute until it was just sharp of G# (the target key).

After sanding and trimming, we had to find the center line on the flute to ensure the finger holes are in something near a straight line. We did that with blue painters tape and a pencil (gotta love painters tape).

Now comes the math.

Wait! Don’t run screaming yet! Yes, I said the m-word. But thanks to the miracle of the internet, there are numerous programs available to do the math for you! Greybeard ran the numbers for us using one of these, and all we had to do was measure.  So we measured and marked where all the tuning holes were to go.

Each tuning/finger hole is drilled with a pilot hole then a red-hot tool is used to burn it to the proper size. Seeing all the smoke come out like some kind of mythic dragon was pretty awesome. This roughed in the tuning for the holes, but Greybeard polished that up for us through his flute whispering.

Another batch of sanding gets rid of the burn marks. Then off to dip in the finish.

Once dry, all that’s left to do is tie the bird on (we used Alaskan Yellow Cedar), photograph, and play! I was really energetic that day, so I’m playing much bouncier than I normally do.

Flute making!

As many of you know, I’m a member of one of the local Native American style flute circles. Once a month we get together, talk about flutes, play flutes, discuss flute techniques, and generally have a good time. But this month, one of our local flute makers (click the link to visit his website, love his flutes!) invited us to use his equipment to learn what it takes to make a uni-body NAF (NAF is short for Native American flute and is used extensively in this blog).  Thanks to the wonderful photography of one of our members, we have an extensive collection of photos to show you the steps involved. Notice in all the tools involving heavy machinery, I am under the watchful eye of a master. For a small material fee, he provided us with aromatic cedar blanks. Most of them had interesting colour variations; one of which you’ll see when my flute is finished.

After doing the prep work the first step is to bore the SAC or slow air chamber. This is the part of the NAF you blow into to make pretty noises come out the other end. The next step is to bore the sound chamber which is where the finger holes will ultimately end up. These two steps are shown below.

Drilling the SAC

That's a long drill bit!

Then we had lunch. Sorry, no photos of lunch.

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Ostara blessings to all!

Blake and I may be well into adulthood (when did that happen???) but we still love Ostara baskets. But instead of loading it with candy, we like to give a couple of gifts instead.  I woke up this morning to find that Blake gotten me John Michael Greer’s book The Wealth of Nature: Economics as if Survival Mattered and John Two-Hawks’ album Vision Seeker. Let’s talk about the book first.

Haven’t had a chance to even crack the cover yet. Work gets in the way of play, how big a pain is that? But if it’s anything like John Michael’s other books, it’ll be amazing. I have The Druidry HandbookThe Long Decent, The Ecotechnic Future, and Atlantis. All of them are amazing. I cite The Long Decent all the time in conversation and Atlantis is so well researched and explained Atlantian myths so well that it changed my opinion on the topic. But that’s not what we’re here to discuss. Maybe another day?

So on to the CD. It’s amazing. John Two-Hawks uses all traditional instruments on this album. Native flute, drum, rattle, chant, and the like. The sounds that he created are amazing and entrancing. I put it on this morning while I was doing doing some writing for my proposal, but I was completely entranced and absorbed in the music. I don’t think I got any actual work done. I highly recommend you check it out!

In other news, Blake and I met our goal on kickstarter yesterday!!!!!! That means Canyon Storm will be manufactured and will become a reality! Last round of mixing should happen this week then it can sent off for mastering. Huge thanks to all who donated! This album couldn’t have happened without you! If you still want to donate and/or get a copy of the album pre-ordered, click here. Donate at least $15 and the album will be shipped to you as soon as it becomes available. Donate more and their are other rewards! Every contribution from here on out still helps!

New Blog!

So my blog is finally uploaded and styled and all that good jazz! I’ll post here periodically about magickal workings, musickal workings, crafts and other thing that might suit my fancy at the time. TTFN!

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