Native American-like PVC Flute
The PVC Flute below is acoustically similar to traditional
Native American Courting Flutes, though no claims are made
regarding similarities in style, etc. For this type of flute,
the air stream is directed across a hole from the outside of the
instrument. A typical Native American flute has a relatively
large bore diameter to length ratio compared to classical
(European) flutes and recorders.
Make your own
3/4" PVC (Hot/cold water) pipe
1/2" PVC pipe (short length, optional)
3/4" to 3/4" PVC coupler
3/4" to 1/2" PVC reducer
Wood dowel, cork or other plug material.
(a 3/4" dowel, sanded or turned down - before cutting -
to get a tight fit will work well)
Drill with 1/8", 1/4" and 3/16" bits
Small file (jewler's file) or equivalent
Cut 3/4" PVC pipe to length
Flatten approx 1.5" at one end with file, sandpaper,
(or use a router or end mill)
(The Flat region should be ca. 3/8" across)
Drill 1/4" hole at very end of tube
Drill two 1/8" holes side by side for rectangular hole
Use a small file to make the hole approx. 3/16" x 5/16" wide with
(optional) undercutting as shown below
Drill finger holes
Make and install the plug
Assemble the adaptors as shown
Five hole flute:
One can make a functioning flute using 3/16" circular holes
for all the holes, though the volume and tone may not be as nice
as what is obtained with the rectangular tone hole.
The notes sounded with all the finger holes closed and with all the
holes open should be about 1 octave apart. Making the finger holes
(slightly) larger will sharpen the notes, if necessary.
The style and/or dimensions of PVC pipe adapters may vary
somewhat from manufacturer to manufacturer.
Some modification may be necessary. The dimensions above are
measured to the nearest 1/16" for finger hole locations.
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