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My homemade flute

15103 Views 7 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  markb
Hey guys!
I couldn't wait till I got enough money to buy my real flute, so I decided to make
my own flute out of PVC. I found this old pipe in my basement, and decided it was perfect. Easy to work with, light and cheap! I used a file to make the tone hole, sanded it a little,
and added a mark so I could feel where to put my mouth. I can get some sound out, although it sounds pretty "pipey" (duh :D ).
Now I was wondering, are there any formulas or charts that say where I have to make the tone holes? I would also like to add an octave hole. Now it makes an "E", I'll check it later on with a tuner.
The brown stuff is some rust from the file...
Also: I'll probably have to remove the tape, so I can smooth out the the inside, although I don't know if it has such a large impact on the sound.



The inside, my camera didn't know what the hell was going on :)

Added the tone holes. I don't know, something seems wrong. It doesn't sound very great. I can barely get a full tone out of it and it seems like the tone holes are not far enough from eachother. Anyone got some tips on improving it? By the way, I added some rubber at the top for easy removal.

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Hammertime said:
Hey guys!

Now I was wondering, are there any formulas or charts that say where I have to make the tone holes? I would also like to add an octave hole.
You need Pete Kosel's flutomat. This is a nice simple design tool..

I've used it many times and you can get some nice flutes easily. You don't need an "octave hole" on a flute.

Joe B
Hammertime said:
Hey guys,

thank you very much for the links. These are extremely useful!


edit: Really useful tool JButky, but where do I enter the length of the pipe? Because now I have holes with 4 cm between them, which isn't very playable...

edit2: does anyone have any tips on how to shape the embouchure hole? Do I have to give it a particular shape? Do I have to sharpen the edges?
You select the pitch of the diatonic scale you want to use and it will tell you the length from the end of the flute to the tone hole. The longest distance is the length specified for the open end to the center of the embouchure hole.

For the embouchure hole just drill a hole to start. Don't scrape it out on top like you did for the finger holes. That's not going to help. If you want to make the hole a little more oval you can do that to the sides of the hole. But don't touch the top like you did on the embouchure hole.

Keep at it, You'll make a bunch and they will keep getting better as you experiment and find what works.

Just remember balance. Hole size affects its placement if things are too close together smaller holes will space them out farther. Too small and the tone will be stuffy. Get a cheap tin whistle to see the proportions of tone hole size to bore length. That will get you in the ball park for spacing and tone hole size.

Joe B
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