for making a flute
*Standard practice and
Woods shown are samples
of Curly Maple, Walnut, White Birch, and Cherry.
1. Purchase quality kiln
dried wood (we use locally harvested wood from Wisconsin and Minnesota).
2. Square up board to length of flute blank.
3. Run one edge through jointer to true up.
4. Rip the blank to
slightly over working width.
5. Continue steps 2, 3
and 4 until desired number of blanks made.
6. Joint surfaces that
will be the gluing surfaces and mark the side to hollow out.
7. Run the boards
through a plainer maintaining the glue surface untouched, to get uniform
8. Set the router bit
for the desired bore size. Adjust spindle height so router bit cuts half
the bore diameter into a sample piece of wood. Make any adjustments in
clamping fixtures to ensure router is running in the center of the blanks.
9. Hollow out blank.
Clamp flute blanks, gluing surface down, into guide fixture. Install stop
pins into guide fixture, start router spindle and feed blank through
router fixture from open end until stop pin is reached. Cycle this in and
out over the router bit several times to clean out inside of the bore.
Once sound chamber is clean, lift the fixture, slide to the left, install
stop pin to opposite end of guide bar. Plunge blank down over router bit
to create slow air chamber, cycle blank over router several times to clean
slow air chamber.
Details of the
sound mechanism fashioned into the top portion of the flute. The
nest area provides lateral support on three sides of the bird so it
is always in the correct position. The flu is precisely inleted into
the top of the flute barrel offering natural centering of the air
stream to the splitting edge. This makes a true sounding flute that
takes little effort to play.
10. Create ¼ " half round
blowhole, to mouth end of flute, by guiding blank over small router table.
11. File out true
sound hole (TSH), create splitting edge, and file out the air channel from
slow air chamber (SAC) to flu, this process is done using small hand
12. Coat the inside
of the sound chamber, TSH, SAC, flu, and roost area.
13. Once coating is
cured, prep glue surfaces, apply even coat of glue, align two halves of
flute blank, and use as many spring clamps as you can get on the blank.
(Keep clamps on for 8 hours)
14. After allowing the glue to migrate from seams, clean excess glue out
of all areas.
15. Run reamer
through sound chamber to clean out and true up hole.
16. Enlarge blowhole
using progressively larger drill bits until hole is 5/16” in diameter.
17. Remove excess
material and true up flute blank using power jointer to make the blank
slightly larger than finished diameter.
The chimney styled fetish, comes in
several animal forms, and adds air to the air stream, requiring less
breath from the player. Each fetish is fitted to the roost area of
an individual flute. We can provide a blank fetish made to fit a
particular flute for a player who prefers to carve their own design.
18. Set up the router
shaper with mold cutter rounding head, clamp blank in guide fixture using
internal support post in sound chamber and centering post in blow hole.
Clamp blank in fixture bottom side facing cutter, start spindle and pass
flute blank by cutter head, this will cut the round shape on the bottom
half of flute.
19. Turn flute blank
180 degrees with roost and true sound hole facing cutter head. Restart
spindle, feed blank to foot end of roost opening then stop and open de-sta-co
clamp. Advance blank to install stop pin, close de-sta-co clamp and feed
flute out to complete cut. Flute is fully shaped at this point.
20. Prepare to finish
by progressive sanding from course to fine sand paper, finish with Tung
oil or Salad Bowl Finish (a tung oil product).
21. Make and fit a
fetish to the flute.
22. File on splitting
edge until flute blows a smooth tone, that transitions to a higher octave
23. The flute is
ready to tune… tuning takes approximately 3 to 4 hours work.
24. End with a couple
final coats of finish. Rub between coats with 600 paper.
ORIGINAL Native Flute
1. Young brave in love.
2. Find a branch that
woodpeckers have placed holes in.
3. Remove core from
inside branch piece.
4. Carve until
satisfied with creation.
5. Create a lovely
song to play to young maiden.