how to make a branch flute

how to make a branch flute

Remember that this type of tool will use a lot of electricity, so please watch out for high bills. If you have a band saw, you can actually split any branch into two pieces. sharing the beauty of native american flutes since 2014. This method of making flute is typically used by makers who build highly individualized instruments and craft flutes one at a time. Learn how to build Native American style flutes made of branches (but don't worry, the skills and knowledge applies to NAFs made of other wood, too). It allows us to truly express our inner creativity and attend the crafting process from the very start to very finish, from taking effort to find the proper branch, through patience to dry it, to art in order to turn it into a musical instrument. If it does, the breaks are small and can be filled with some artistic inlay, like with crushed minerals, that fill the breaks with help of epoxy glue. Cut a small wedge from the branch about an 1 1/2 inches from the end of the branch. Trust me – sometimes the flute doesn’t want to come to life. Try to burn out through the wood. It takes patience if you can’t find a dry branch and you have to wait a couple of months, but it’s better to wait, than have to remake the flute if it splits on its own. In order to make a Native American style branch flute, you need to understand branches. Create a nest and sound mechanism – then create a sound mechanism that … A quick, non-branch related tip for amateur woodworkers. You should be able to find all of these items from the hardware store. The next tutorial will cover the branches. Either you split the branch and use chisels to carve the inner chambers, or you drill the branch. How to Make Branch Flute - Part 5. The first step in the flute-crafting process is choosing the right wood and the marrow-like softness of an elderberry branch’s hollowed pith make it the material of choice. Although Basswood is the traditional material for making Pan Flute frames, a flexible tree branch, of Willow or some other soft, pliable wood, can also be used for the front and back strips for those who want a very natural feel and look. Finally repeat with the 3-tubes pan flute. A couple of branch flutes I made. And it loses volume, meaning: it shrinks. Not only are recorders fun and relaxing to play, a hand-crafted recorder makes a beautiful decorative piece. You … Normally, a branch is “wet”, that means it contains water within itself. May 20, 2018 - In this tutorial on making a Native American branch flute, you will learn how to create the main chambers of the instrument. Personally, I use spruce, pines and larch, because these are threes soft enough. Also, each branch is unique, thus each flute is unique, with its unique sound, tune and “feel”. It's available as e-book for Kindle on Amazon. Continue to weight the branch and make notes for the next few months. Crafting a flute out of a branch is a careful and true art of craft – it requires care, patience and enjoyment in what you do. In order to make a Native American style branch flute, you need to follow the steps: Grab a branch – find a proper branch and dry it, so that it’s perfect for your own flute. Measure and mark with a pen the centre point of the branch 5 inches in length and 1/2 inch in diameter. The ring should be approximately 2 … Step 1: Cut a dead elderberry branch Cut a dead branch from an elderberry tree with pruning shears or a saw. Simple Flutes A Guide to Flute Making and Playing But if you dry it too quickly, or you carve it too soon and glue it back together, the branch will continue to dry, but its structure will have a hard time adjusting and breaks will appear. Be sure to check my Native American Flute songbook, Calm Forest, available for Kindle and as Paperback. There are two ways to make a branch flute. Besides, if you don’t have to, don’t harm the tree. Without the glue, the branch shouldn’t break or split during the drying process. There is a simple way to figure out if the branch is dry enough. Try to drill the inside holes. All rights reserved. To make a flute that plays in the key of A, you'll need a 14 inch length of "pipe"... for the key of F, an 18 inch section... and for the key of D, a 21 inch piece. Learn all that you need to know about branches in order to make a Native American style branch flute. Gather supplies. Use the Internet or local library to learn about the trees growing in your area. Last week I was adding the four new branch flutes to the 'family tree' (below), and today's 'kid' is the one closest to the anaconda-size 'trunk' flute at the bottom. Pick up some branch and cut it with a saw. Branches 2 and 3 are not good – they can be drilled, or cut on a band saw, but it may not be possible to split them with a  knife, because they have too many knots/offshot areas. For now, I will teach you how to make split flutes, because building a machine to drill the branches is a lot more complex and requires more tools, time, money and space. I recommend using a branch of pine, spruce or similar soft wood at first – soft wood is good for beginners. How to Make Branch Flute - Part 2. "Calm Forest" is a Native American Flute songbook for beginners. And all of this will be supported with many photos and illustrations. One of the most basics things you can do before becoming a flutemaker is to go to local library and read as many books on woodworking in general as possible. How to Make Branch Flute. Step 4 Cut a ring around the branch with the tip of your knife. We’ll finish the project with learning how to finish the flute with shellac and/or food grade oils. September 2020. Learn how to create the heart of the Native American Flute - the sound mechanism with true sound hole and windway. There is some kind of magic in this uniqueness. The branch must be dry – that’s why it must be seasoned, for example. As long as you do not live in a big city, branches are easy to find. Be sure where the fingers will rest over the holes that it feels natural to hold the branch this way. Unfortunatelly, I can’t just tell you “take a branch that is XX inches long and XX inches thick” and guide you through every single quarter of an inch – because in case of branches, it would not work. When the branch is left to dry, water slowly evaporates, and two things happen: The shrinking is not very visible, those are very small changes in the branch’s size. And I’m going to do so in such way that you have all the necessary information so that you can turn most of your branches into flutes. These branch flute by far are my favotite. You’ll also need a general purpose hand-held sander, masking tape, a saw, a ruler or measuring tape, and a box cutter or sharp knife. The branches were simply lying there for months, up to one year, and that was enough to make them dry enough. Make sure to angle the cut. This way, with a lot of test branches and lumber in general, you can learn both the tools and the material before even getting to make a flute. A flute out of bamboo is one of the most common musical instruments. You will learn how to find a branch, what kind of branches are good for flutes and what kind of branches are not good, and you will learn how to dry the branch, so that becomes ready to be turned into a flute. I used chisel to carve the inside of the pine’s branch. Making a branch flute is simple and fun, BUT: only if you remember about safety rules, and you’re patient, and only if you know that mistakes at first are lessons to be learned and not the final failures. Or, in simpler words: measure the weight of the branch as it dries – when it stops loosing weigth, it’s dry and ready :). Unless otherwise noted, all content is Copyright © 2014-2020 Flutecraft.org and its respecitve authors. Learn how to recognize them by looking at them, their leafs or needles, or their bark etc. Mark three other points beginning an inch from the centre point and ascending up the branch an inch apart. Often, you can see these “offshot areas” on the branch, like on the branches 2 and 3 – basically, what you are looking for is a piece of branch between these offshot areas. This website uses cookies to improve your experience, gather stats and manage ads. Flauta Nativa Americana Banyo Instrumentos Cómo Hacer Manualidades Flauta. This is important, because at first you should really seek softwood, not the hardwood. There is a different approach to drying a branch. The wood is so dense that the branches usually crack before they can be harvested. But the reality is – let’s start with something small. Well, basically what I call “great branch” is the branch best for beginners or for people with limited tools and workshop. If you don’t have to, don’t cut out a branch out of a living tree, when there is a lot of stand-alone branches already on the ground. These days when we think about ecology, you may think about building some kind of solar dryer with a glass, allowing the Sun to dry the branches. To do so, you need some cardboard box, some lightbulbs and alluminium foil. In this lesson on how to make branch flute you will learn what kind of branches you should look for, and how to dry a branch so that it is ready to be turn into a Native American style flute. Oct 25, 2016 - Learn all that you need to know about branches in order to make a Native American style branch flute.. . The ring should be approximately 2 inches behind the wedge cut. Sep 29, 2016 - This branch that becomes a unique and beautiful branch flute. Just remember not to create a nest or finger holes just yet, because additional holes may cause the flute bo break. Jon published a post on his website with some general info regarding the kiln: check it out here. By starting with a green branch the finished flute can still radiate signs that the dryad , spirit, or life force of a tree is inhabiting it, though now the leaves of that branch be music. Crafting Flutes, How to Make Branch Flute April 7th, 2015. I generally don’t like making branch flutes out of Rocky Mountain Maple. For example, you can watch Steve Ramsay’s channel – his videos are not focused on flutes, but on different wood projects, but just by watching how others do things, you can learn a lot. This entire series of tutorials will cover all these elements in details, so that you learn how to craft the flute. I can be walking on the beach and discover branches washed onto the shore and rescue those branches before they become part of a beach party bonfire. Note nuances of shape. This way, the branch will receive additional reinforcements and it should not warp and break as a result of drying process. Or, it can be cut off from a dead, and already dry tree, as well. We will start with learning about wood and branches. As the branch dries, it loses weight. Split the branch in half. Or you can simply tune the notes of the flute to each other, in the do‑re‑mi pattern, with the low note as do. The HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN BAMBOO FLUTE eBook is suitable for beginners as well as … Next month on the very same day, weight the branch again and write the date along with the weight in the table. Pick up some piece of a type of a wood that you wish to make flutes with. Example of good and bad branches for a branch flute. Some people, especially those tho drill their flutes, drill the chambers first, and then let the branch dry. The branch should remain this way for a couple of months until it’s dry enough. You can’t make a flute out of something that can be carved with a teaspoon ;). Create a simple table, where you can mark the day the branch was collected, and the dates of weighting along with the weight. When stored inside, the branch should be seasoned for half a year or even a year, at minimum. Don't forget to become a fan on Facebook and subscribe to new posts via RSS or via email. The surprise of finding the right branch to become a branch flute Although I regularly make branch flutes, usually finding branches for flutes is unexpected. When I was just starting out, I had a room in my place that was unoccupied, and it was very sunny at the same time. The chambers as far as being round did not seam to make any difference. sharing the beauty of native american flutes since 2014. I will guide you from start to finish on your flutemaking journey. It’s a good idea to do some test work. At first, you may make a lot of mistakes, like me when I was just starting out. First, you need a branch – it can be collected in a local forest, or in your garden if you have proper trees growing there. This post is the first article in a series of practical tutorials in the “How to Make Branch Flute” project. This website uses cookies to improve your experience, gather stats and manage ads. The best way to dry a branch is to place it outside but under a roof – this way, it will be protected against rain and snow, and at the same time it will be dried by the wind and fresh air. Write down the date and branch’s weight. Oh, and be careful not to focus the Sun’s rays – or your branches will turn to ash. Sometimes, a branch found in a forest may not be dry, but already rotted – rotted branches cannot be turned into flutes, because they’re soft and fragile. Branch numer 1 is perfect for a flute no matter how simple workshop you have. A member of “The Flute Portal” recently asked about sanding the bore of a sunflower stalk flute he is working on. Once the branch is dry enough, it is ready to be turned into a flute. Instead, I will guide you now through phases of turning a branch into a flute explaining the math behind the flute, so that you can apply it to any branch you find. Along with the dryer…. A branch flute, from Dryad Flutes, is handcrafted to reflect the unique beauty, strength and spirit of the tree from which it was made. I let the shape of the branch decide this for me. Make 2-3 turn, then knot the end and trim the exceeding yarn. Some flute makers begin their flutes from a branch of a tree rather than from lumber that has been milled. Just remember to put some alluminium foil to reflect the heat; place the branches on a rack, for example made of wooden or metal dowels so the heat can surround the branches, and make sure you make holes in the dryer, so the air can flow through – this way, mold should not develop inside the solar dryer. When the weight loss is slowing down until it’s only 1/4 of the “W” factor, and this continues for another two or three weeks, we’re done with drying. Deeper tones require more experience. Most of them, because the sad truth is – some branches just won’t play no matter how hard you try. All rights reserved. Learning some basics about this particular piece of the tree will save you a lot of troubles in flutemaking. I suggest to look for branches that have fallen down from a tree and are already dry in most past. A branch flute can be big or small, thick or thin and can have so many different colors. None of mine are perfect round by any means and some are very oval. It's great for beginners, no need to read staff music - it uses simplified fingering notation. For tuning, the notes of the flute can be compared to the notes of a piano, pitchpipe, or other tuning instrument. Learn the anatomy of the Native American Flute first. Crafting Flutes, How to Make Branch Flute April 4th, 2015. Be sure to check my Native American Flute songbook, Calm Forest, available for Kindle and as Paperback. I decided I would create this little tutorial because about a year ago, I discovered a great set up to sand the bores of my branch flutes. To speed up the process of drying, you can build a simple “kiln” to dry the branches. If the branch is left in a proper room or area where it can slowly dry, after 6 to 12 months it will be dry and you won’t even notice a difference. May 20, 2018 - In this tutorial on making a Native American branch flute, you will learn how to create the main chambers of the instrument. Basically, two strong lightbulbs heat the box filled wtih alluminium foil, and branches lie down above the lightbulbs, on a rack. Cut a ring around the branch with the tip of your knife. The branch used to make this flute was harvested from a Rocky Mountain Maple tree. Building and Playing Native American Style Flutes, and the Japanese Art of Wabi Sabi, Healing Stories of the White Man: What Northern Exposure Taught Me About Cinema, How to Produce Native American Flute Music at Home. "Calm Forest" is a Native American Flute songbook for beginners. It is hard to find the right branch in this wood species. On the photo below, you see my idea of great branches for flutes and bad branches for flutes. Any lichen growing on the branch can even be preserved, as in the English Walnut branch flute pictured to the right. Branch number 4 is pretty good :). They’re “dead”, so their drying time will be shorter than a drying time of a branch that has been just cut from the tree. Examine the branch to see which way will be the top of the flute. Article from flutecraft.org. To make a bamboo flute, you’ll need a drill, a rotary tool such as a Dremel, and attachments for it. It will save you a lot of time. There is a whole wood hardness scale that you need to learn. Be sure to learn the articles on flutemaking safety and prepare the basic tools to make a Native American style flutes. Try to cut out some pieces of the surface. Also, it’s a good idea to bind the branch together with straps or twine after removing the clamps used for glueing. Sanding the bore of a branch flute … Notice how much weight the branch looses every week. How to make a Native American Style Flute from a branch: Dry the branch. Make a second mark about 3 inches from the first line, and a third about 1 inch from the second mark. The next lesson will focus on splitting the branch and carving the inner chambers. Branch flutes are wonderful – in most cases, they must be handcrafted – the amount of tools that can operate within the branch is limited. Making a Native American style branch flute is a rewarding experience. double branch flute. Nov 1, 2016 - In this lesson on how to make a Native American style branch flute, you will learn how to prepare a workspace and split the branch in two. Also, it’s simpler to make short flutes work than to make long flutes work. First, you can split it and carve the inside chambers, and glue it back toghether, then leave it to dry for a couple of weeks (or even months). Before I made my first flutes out of a pine, I took a piece of a pine branch just to learn what I’m going to work with. Don't forget to become a fan on Facebook and subscribe to new posts via RSS or via email. Learn how to build Native American style flutes made of branches (but don't worry, the skills and knowledge applies to NAFs made of other wood, too). It requires you to do some math. How to Make Branch Flute - Part 5. Please read our privacy policy to learn how to completely disable cookies in your web browser, make a Native American style branch flute, How to Make Brach Flute – Part 8: Finishes, How to Build a Jig for Drilling Branch Flutes, How to Make Branch Flute – Part 7: Sound and Tuning, How to Make Branch Flute – Part 6: Sanding and Gluing, How to Make Branch Flute – Part 5: Creating the Sound Mechanism, How to Make Branch Flute – Part 4: Carving the Main Chambers, How to Use Native American Style Flute in Film Scoring, Beauty in Imperfection. Create a simple table, where you can mark the day the branch was collected, and the dates of weighting along with the weight. I have made too many cane flute to remember. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Cut a small wedge from the branch about an 1 1/2 inches from the end of the branch. Never put green elderberry branches in your mouth. When you find the right place, take a piece of yarn and wrap it around the ends of the first group of five of tubes (C, C#/Db, D, D#/Eb, E). You should look for two kinds of branches: Now, you can collect long branches and short branches. First, use a kitchen weight to weight the branch. The bark may be loose but if it is still on, the wood is usually good. There is nothing perfect about them. It doesn’t require too many skills nor tools nor strength to create your first, basic flute that sounds great. And the sound of branch flute is wonderful. This website contains links and references to products and services that may include affiliates, sponsorships, or other business relationships in which Flute Craft and its author may receive compensation from referrals or sales actions. Article from flutecraft.org. In order to change the branch into a flute you need to carve the two inner chambers. Everything you need to know. The branch should be 9 to 12 inches long and 1 inch in diameter. Split the branch and carve the chambers – split the branch in two, and use chisels to carve the two inner chambers of the flute. Like on the branch number 2, the lower area below the offshot is good, it can be cut off and split into two. It's available as e-book for Kindle on Amazon. Next month on the very same day, weight the branch again and write the date along with the weight in the table. Learn more on Wikipedia: Janka Wood Hardness Scale. And sometimes, I get the branches from people who cut them from the trees around their homes. Let’s call this a “W” factor. If you can’t dry the wood outside, you can just leave it somewhere in your home – place it in a room where it is dry – don’t use a kitchen, bathroom, basement, because there is too much moisture there. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. And I know that most people will prefer to build an F# flute at first – which is long and deep in voice. It's great for beginners, no need to read staff music - it uses simplified fingering notation. A pre-drilled branch dries quicker, because it has smaller volume and greater evaporation space. It’s normal – but after few branches, you will figure out how to make it sound good. Carving recorders from wood makes a great hobby, and with a little patience and some basic knowledge, you can make your own recorders to play, collect or even sell. An attic may be fine as long as it’s not too dry and hot, because if the wood dries too fast, it may break or split, making the branch useless. This question has inspired me since the beginning of my flute making journey. First, use a kitchen weight to weight the branch. Photo: Mike Oitzman, September 30, 2008. Once carved, the branch will dry faster than without carving it first. You do not need a lathe to round the branch – branch is already round. It is an ability to create wonderful instrument with your own hands. After strong winds or storms, a lot of branches breaks and falls down. Partake in this traditional form of playing music while learning more about the endangered elderberry beetle and bush. I had not yet split it, only cut the mouthpiece area (which is on the right end) and sanded the rough areas off the flute For example, if the “W” was 10 grams per week, and for few weeks in the row you notice the branch loses only nore more than 3.5 grams per week, then in simple words it means that the humility of the branch is lower than 20%, and now the branch is ready to be turned into a flute. Look for branches that are at least 3 cm in diameter. I burned through the wood with my burning tool. Learn how to create the heart of the Native American Flute - the sound mechanism with true sound hole and windway. Then I will explain how to carve the inner chambers, how to create the nest and sound mechanism, and finally how to tune the branch flute to pentatonic scale. Use a chisel and a long screwdriver to carve out the centre of the branch, removing the pithy substance until the centre is hollow. Also, even if you split the branch, it may be very hard to carve through the knot, because it’s much harder part of the wood. I sanded it, I created a nest, I played with a knife only to see how the wood behaves – what may go wrong, how many pieces can be cut out accidentaly, what kind of pressure and strenght I need to apply for this type of wood and such. This part of the branch is the one that can be turned into a flute. Sometimes, you may see photos of branch flutes that were made from what I call bad branches – why is it so? Write down the date and branch’s weight. Basically, you should look for tree’s branches that are are as soft as possible according to the wood hardness scale. Knots in the branch are not welcome that much – the clearer the branch is, the better for the flutemaker. Its bark can create wonderful textures, too. This website contains links and references to products and services that may include affiliates, sponsorships, or other business relationships in which Flute Craft and its author may receive compensation from referrals or sales actions. Make your first mark about 1 1/2 inches from the "head" of the flute. How to make branch flute. Please read our privacy policy to learn how to completely disable cookies in your web browser, basic tools to make a Native American style flutes, How to Make Brach Flute – Part 8: Finishes, How to Build a Jig for Drilling Branch Flutes, How to Make Branch Flute – Part 7: Sound and Tuning, How to Make Branch Flute – Part 6: Sanding and Gluing, How to Make Branch Flute – Part 5: Creating the Sound Mechanism, How to Make Branch Flute – Part 4: Carving the Main Chambers, How to Use Native American Style Flute in Film Scoring, Beauty in Imperfection. You can hear the flute playing in the video and watch the transformation. I collect my branches in local woods. May 7, 2017 - Learn how to make a Native American style branch flute with this series of tutorials and lessons.. . In order to make a Native American style branch flute, you need to follow the steps: Generally, these are the main steps to turn a branch into a flute. Create the SAC and sound chamber in each half with router, using a 7/8-inch round head bit. A perfect branch for a flute, no offshots, no knots. Make them for pleasure, for sale – the sky’s the limit. 6 Steps to Make a Branch Flute. Often, a dry branch can be found in the forest, if it got broke off from the tree. For example, let’s say that the “W” is 10 grams each week – it means that each week the branch loses 10 grams. Elderberry has a soft spongy pith in the center that can be easily crushed with your thumb. They are covered with shellac which gives them this “yellowish” look. Also, use the Internet. It’s because it may be very difficult to split the branch with a knot or “offshot area” without some kind of circular saw or table saw. To make your flute, you must use the right kind, shape, and structure of bamboo, use the right tools and be patient in perfecting your work.

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