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.

One Comment

  1. Barbo Nicosia
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

    The music sounded very joyous. Toetapping. I thoroughly enjoyed listening. Thank you Gwain

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