Wood Flute Blanks

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This topic contains 11 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  bonefamily 1 year, 9 months ago.

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  • #808975

    bonefamily
    Participant

    Hello all. I’m hoping someone might be able to recommend a source where I could purchase wood flute blanks for transverse and rim-blown flutes that are already bored inside and turned outside. I simply just do not have a lathe to do that work. I’ve been working with bamboo but would love to move into woods. Unfortunately a wood and or metal lathe is not in the near future. Thanks.

    #934777

    Mono Loco
    Participant

    After I successfully made a few PVC “Mojave” rim flutes, I wanted to try wood, too. I found George Atkinson of Flute Blanks (www.fluteblanks.com) to be accommodating in making me some simple wood tubes. I’m ashamed to say that they still sit in his triangle shipping tube, but SOMEDAY I’ll make flutes from them!

    I’m not sure to what length he can go, but he made me two 24″ long “wooden tubes” of ERC: I think they are both are 1.25″ Outside diameter; one has a 3/4″ bore with a very thick wall, and the other is 7/8″, with a thinner wall. They are very nice quality, and his pricing was good. If never hurts to inquire – he encourages it, by his website’s line:
    “We welcome calls at: (770) 939-2603 or email us at statelarge@yahoo.com
    Also, his site reads, “We are now doing 3/8ÔÇŁ, 4/8″ , 5/8″ , 6/8″ and 7/8″ boring.”

    Good Luck!

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    #934778

    rocksncactus
    Participant

    Amazing. George is exactly who I was going to mention. He’s a member of our flute circle. He makes blanks for several flute makers, I believe. He also teaches flute-making classes. As a matter of fact, circle members will be attending several dates in May.

    #934780

    bonefamily
    Participant

    Sounds perfect, thanks gang! I’ll get in touch with George.

    #934781

    Keith Glowka
    Participant

    Although I have a lathe, I rarely turn flutes on it. If you have a router table and know how to make routed 2-piece flute blanks, they are not hard to round off with a Sureform plane and orbital sander. Sureform planes are those things that look like a cheese grater for wood.

    This method may not be great for mass producing wood flutes, but it can’t be beat for small scale production. You can get the walls thinner than with a lathe…or at least it works that way for me. Wall thickness of 1/8″ is easy to get with a little elbow grease. Soft woods like redwood, and western red cedar trim down very quickly.

    QUOTE(bonefamily @ Apr 22 2016, 04:38 PM)
    Hello all. I’m hoping someone might be able to recommend a source where I could purchase wood flute blanks for transverse and rim-blown flutes that are already bored inside and turned outside. I simply just do not have a lathe to do that work. I’ve been working with bamboo but would love to move into woods. Unfortunately a wood and or metal lathe is not in the near future. Thanks.

    #934782

    bonefamily
    Participant

    Thanks for the tips, Keith!

    #934783

    Keith Glowka
    Participant

    QUOTE(bonefamily @ Apr 27 2016, 01:23 PM)
    Thanks for the tips, Keith!

    Once glued together, take the hollow flute blank and plane off the square blank’s corners/edges to make an octagonal tube. Then take those edges down. Keep going until it’s round. Then, use your orbital sander to finish the job. The only tricky part is making sure you don’t try to get too thin and go through the walls. That is easy to avoid…just keep an eye on your progress, keeping the walls even, balanced, and straight.

    #934784

    bonefamily
    Participant

    QUOTE(Keith Glowka @ Apr 27 2016, 02:52 PM)
    Once glued together, take the hollow flute blank and plane off the square blank’s corners/edges to make an octagonal tube. Then take those edges down. Keep going until it’s round. Then, use your orbital sander to finish the job. The only tricky part is making sure you don’t try to get too thin and go through the walls. That is easy to avoid…just keep an eye on your progress, keeping the walls even, balanced, and straight.

    Thanks again, Keith. How do you gage the wall thickness in the middle of the flute where you can’t physically see wall from the ends? Just use a straight edge and keep the center relatively flat with the ends?

    #934785

    Keith Glowka
    Participant

    QUOTE(bonefamily @ Apr 28 2016, 03:01 PM)
    Thanks again, Keith. How do you gage the wall thickness in the middle of the flute where you can’t physically see wall from the ends? Just use a straight edge and keep the center relatively flat with the ends?

    The straight edge thing will probably work! I never did anything but eyeball it, but I will try that approach…good idea. Once, I tried to get as thin with the walls as possible, with the intent to keep going until it went through. It eventually did! ­čś«

    Most flutes don’t go with walls as thin as 1/8″, so the “dead reckoning” approach isn’t too bad. You’d be surprised how making a nice even octagon in that first step just gets it all set up for an easy finish. Since you’re making some transverse flutes, do one of those first so you don’t have to worry about SAC walls, tapering the mouthpiece, or the nest area. Just make a nice plain tube for a transverse flute. You’ll pick up on it right quick!

    Both of these planes work well for this work:

    http://www.amazon.com/Stanley-21-399-6-Inc…eywords=surform

    http://www.amazon.com/Emedco-Stanley┬«-Surf…eywords=surform

    #934786

    crow feather
    Participant

    I also make flutes like Kieth suggested and might add a small hand plane does wonders. For wall thickness a digital calipers will work fine. Home depot Menards Lowes or Ace has them.With Calipers there is no guessing.Pay very close attention to the end of the flute where you get close to desired wall thickness .The most outer dimension at the end should be the same all the way down towards Tsh especially where the playing holes are located.I use a caliper on all critical areas of flute .tsh ,flue wall thickness.It does not ALWAYS have to be .1875 either.I make flutes purposely with thicker walls.But what ever thickness its the same all the way thru.

    #934787

    crow feather
    Participant

    I might add my flutes play as good as any flute out there. But, i could be better on how they look and appealing design.

    #934788

    bonefamily
    Participant

    Thanks guys. I’m not making any NAsF’s, only transverse style and rim blown style. The tips sound great and those planes are very easy on the wallet :)

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