Flute making is a discipline on its own. The process alone is inherently long and meticulous. Perfecting it can be guaranteed only by years of intensive practice. That’s why a well-made flute is understandably pricey. And if you own one, you can literally enjoy playing it for years. However, if your goal is just to make a simple wooden flute, then your project isn’t that complicated. Expertise isn’t really expected. Here are the steps that you have to follow:
- Prepare your tools. Start with the knives. You need two kinds. The first is a wood carving knife. The second, an X-acto knife. Then, you need a drill, a wood lathe, and sandpaper, preferably in heavy grit.
- Select your wood. Any piece of wood is acceptable. However, you have to realize that each wood offers a unique tonal quality. If you prefer a richer tone, go for an African blackwood. More experienced flute makers favor it. Because of that, an African blackwood may be more challenging to source. On top of that, it may be a lot more expensive for a first-time flute maker like you. So, if an African blackwood is too much, you can start with apple, cedar, or maple.
- Cut your wood. After selecting the appropriate wood piece, reduce it to meet the standard length. Initially, it should be between 21 and 22 inches long. Eventually, the finish length should be at least 18 inches.
- Bore your wood. You can do it manually. But the process is tedious. So, if you are not really that patient, you can use a wood lathe. Get the one with an attachment (boring-tool). You can borrow one from your acquaintances. However, if you intend to earn money out of making simple wooden flutes, then, investing on a good wood lathe is quite practical. You can have a table model (small unit). It can readily do the trick. The inside diameter of your wooden flute’s bore should be 5/8".
- Drill holes into you wood piece. Your wood piece requires six holes. You should evenly distribute them at the center of your wood piece. Also, you should make them 1 ½" apart from each other. Don’t ruin your wood piece by drilling holes that are too large. Start by creating smaller holes. Enlarge the holes as you work out the proper tuning.
- Embellish your wooden flute. Bring out your carving knife. Use it to add some decorative elements to your wooden flute. Keep the embellishments outside of your wooden flute. Common designs include animals, flowers, and some symbols from the Native American culture.
- Polish your wooden flute. Get your sandpaper. Use it to smooth your wooden flute. When everything has been evenly sanded, proceed by painting it. See to it that the paint is water-resistant. You can also opt to enhance your wooden flute’s look with acrylic paints. Think of the appropriate color combinations and designs. Don’t forget to finish it by applying a clear coat. Use a glossy lacquer.
A simple wooden flute is inarguably one-of-a-kind. For one, you can customize it according to your taste and preference. And if your first attempt is successful, then, you may consider making simple wooden flute as a business venture.