So it had to happen, being a wood carver how could I just round off a flute? So after you actually carve on the inside, why not carve on the outside. So get comfortable and I will show you more of how I make these things.
So the parts of a wood flute are (from left to right) the mouthpiece, the wind chamber, stop block, the fetish or totem on the top, the sound holes, fipple, sound chamber with the finger holes.
So here I am with the finger nail file pointing to the totem or fetish. This is the part that makes the air about the thickness of a credit card to go past the fipple. The fipple is the odd shaped hole at the handle of the nail file.
I have found that the metal nail file is just coarse enough to give me the sharp angle that you want for a flute to sound good. Sometimes it does take some major adjustments to get everything just right. But once everything is working correctly, some flute makers actually carve out a space so the totem can’t move. Of course once the cut out space for the totem to set in, you will need to readjust your totem.
Then its time to shape the mouthpiece and the rest of the flute. While some put the flute on a lathe to get it round, you can also do it by hand with a spoke-shave like I did on my first flute.
Enjoying carving as I do, I like to hand shape mine. But for some of them I like to carve something in the end of the flute. Your carving can’t be to radical or have any holes in it as that will change the tone of the flute. So for my first carving, I decided to carve some grapes. Carving something that is already square, round is the most challenging.