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Made a PVC flute!

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  • Made a PVC flute!

    First effort is a D major flute, 6 hole. Came out good but not great, it plays a little flat.

    Fortunately, each 24" tube costs less than a buck. So anticipating my first would not be great I got three tubes. The first one showed me where the holes should be relative to my own fingers. So I'll do it again, rotating those holes to where I want them, but getting the initial length right.

     

    Once that's complete I'll try a Fajardo wedge in the third iteration.

    Then there's the matter of a proper embouchure on my part  lol

    ______________________________________________

    "Your own limitations render you incapable of realizing that not everyone is as limited as yourself."

  • #2

    Update: Second one didn't work out. Tried drilling the embouchure on an angle for maximum sharpness of the edge, but the 'lip' edge of the hole chipped and the sound is bad. Tried filing it, to no avail. So I will re-purpose that tube for a different pitch at a later date.

    My objective is to obtain a good tone on Db in the low register before I drill any finger holes or cut the tubes to length. The next one will be a straight hole, and then constant testing as I file until I get a good tone. Only aftere I am satisfied with the tone will I cut the tube to length and then drill finger holes.

    ______________________________________________

    "Your own limitations render you incapable of realizing that not everyone is as limited as yourself."

    Comment


    • coyote-1
      coyote-1 commented
      Editing a comment
      Next is a 3/4" PVC mouth joint. Came out good. Then I used a file and a hole saw to widen the end just enough to fit 3/4" copper pipe into the end; that also went well. Put in the pipe, cut the embouchure.... a perfect Bb flute! Glued a penny to the inside end of the cork and inserted and repositioned it.

      Then I cut the pipe down to D. Turns out it is exactly 20" from mouth hole to end. Marked out the finger holes on masking tape. Will cut those sometime in the next few days.

    • coyote-1
      coyote-1 commented
      Editing a comment

      The copper tube flute sounds good. Problem is I don't like the feel of the holes.

      So the next couple (all 3/4")  will rely on PVC headjoints, connected via 3/4" copper tube to PVC bodies. It will allow a few different headjoints for experimentation, while yielding flutes in various keys.... and most importantly, making the angle of the headjoint independent of the position of the finger holes.


    • coyote-1
      coyote-1 commented
      Editing a comment

      Bought a real flute! An Armstrong, used but in great shape. Learning to play it already. Look out Ian Andersen  lol

       

      But I'm also using it for comparison. Its internal diameter is closest to, of all the materials I've been playing with, the 1/2" Sched 40 PVC. The easiest big diff to identify is the height of the embouchure chimney. The solution just might be either an added mouthpiece, or an added mouthpiece with a metal chimney insert. That would be easy. Just

      a) get some PVC Weld, and use it to cement a half-piece of properly shaped 3/4" PVC pipe onto the 1/2" in the mouthpiece position

      b) when adequately secure, drill the mouth hole

      c) get some 3/8" diameter thin steel tubing from a hobbby shop, cut a small piece, shape it slightly oval and insert it and glue it into place - being sure to get a correct angle and to seal the gaps

       

      Of course this returns me to not having a separate headjoint as the 1/2" copper joiner messes with the airflow. That's OK. I don't want to use an external PVC connector.



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