Clamps for the flute? (with pictures)

Well hello, here we are in California in the beautiful Temescal Valley where we grow poppy’s on the sides of our freeways after some rain. In fact some of the motorists actually stop on the freeway to look at the countryside. So the local newspaper printed an article saying you can’t do that.

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Clamping a flute

So for a long time it has been a joke that when you don’t know what to buy a wood carver, buy them a wood clamp. Well as you can see from the picture of one of my wooden flutes, they don’t have to be a big one. But let me take you back a few pictures to show you how I do things.

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Putting down the glue

Once you have both of the pieces ready to be glued, I like to lay them side by side so I know where to put the glue. You don’t want to have too much, but you don’t want to have any spaces where their is not any either. So I spread the glue with my finger so it gets a smooth coat everywhere.

I feel that a lot of glue on the inside of the flute sound chamber will not be that good for the tone. Maybe I picky, but I want my flutes to last for many years. I also use a good quality exterior glue, because of the moisture that collects when you play them.

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Escaping glue

Here is a magnified (darn this new Verizon “Droid” phone does a good job) picture of just how much glue that squirts out. This is just about the right amount, because you can count on some being on the inside also. Now some flute makers also run some sandpaper on the inside once it is all dried. I myself shine a flash light down the flute to see if it is necessary. I don’t feel small amounts can be that bad. Like other carvings it all in the prep work.

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The curing process

So here we have the finished flute that is set aside to dry at least 24 hours. However one of the interesting things about the glue is that it takes a long time to actually set up. This I feel is good so the glue sets in to all of the fibers. So it is set aside in the workshop “to cure” as I call it. Oh the other flute in the picture, has just had the air chamber drilled ( I like to use 3/8 to start).

Next I will show you how I actually shape the wood so it makes that unmistakable wood flute sound. Also making a “totem” or “fetish” and other technical terms.  Now all I have to do is practice how to play them like Carlos Nakai.




About smoothrock37

Sometime an artist with wood or a pencil or maybe a camera.
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