Physics of the Flute:
Creating a Native American Flute
- 3/4 inch PVC pipe cut to 55cm or 21.65 inches
- Scrap piece of 1 inch PVC pipe about 5 centimeters or 2 inches
- Wine cork
- Dowel Rod or device to push cork into PVC
- Rasp file
- Jewelers files
- Sand paper
- Drill Press or Hand Drill
- Band saw or hack saw
Dimensions of Some Common Types of Plastic Pipe in the U.S.
Schedule 40 PVC and Steel Pipe Nominal Outside Inside Wall Diameter Diameter Diameter Thickness 1/2" 0.840" 0.622" 0.109" 3/4" 1.050" 0.824" 0.113" Schedule 80 PVC and Steel Pipe Nominal Outside Inside Wall Diameter Diameter Diameter Thickness 1/2" 0.840" 0.546" 0.147" 3/4" 1.050" 0.742" 0.154" "Copper Tube" Series CPVC Pipe Nominal Outside Inside Wall Diameter Diameter Diameter Thickness 1/2" 0.625" 0.469" 0.078" 3/4" 0.875" 0.695" 0.090"
Decimal Equivalents of Some Fractional Drill Sizes
1/32 = 0.03125 9/32 = 0.28125 1/16 = 0.06250 5/16 = 0.31250 3/32 = 0.09375 11/32 = 0.34375 1/8 = 0.12500 3/8 = 0.37500 5/32 = 0.15625 13/32 = 0.40625 3/16 = 0.18750 7/16 = 0.43750 7/32 = 0.21875 15/32 = 0.46875
- Using the rasp, file a flat surface on the pipe starting at 10.5 centimeters and ending about 15 centimeters. The goal is go get this surface as flat as possible.
- Fine sand the Flat surface to mate a smooth surface
- Using the drill press or a hand drill with a vise drill a hole at 11 centimeters and another at 14 centimeters (center of hole is at these measurements)
- At the 14 cm hole, drill next to the hole on the left and the right in order to make a longer rectangular hole (the 11 cm hole is slightly longer too, but this can be accomplished with a Flat Jewelers file)
- Using the Jewelers File set, attempt to square the larger hole as much as possible. The smaller hole also needs to be squared, but is not as long as the larger hole
- Using a flat jewelers file, create a 45 degree angle in the larger hole closest to the smaller hole. This should extend the length of the longer hole closets to the blowing end of the pipe
- Using a wine cork, cut the cork so it will fit between the two hole that were drilled. You may need to file the cork down with sand paper or a rasp in order to fit into the hole. (You want an air tight connection, so you may need to use a dowel rod to push the cork into the tube)
- Using the 1 inch piece of pipe measure about 5 centimeters or 2 inches and cut the pipe.
- Using the band saw or a hack saw, cut the tube so that there is a slit in the back the is vertical if the cut pipe is sitting on its open end.
- Slide the 1 inch PVC onto the 3/4 inch pipe so the edge of the 1 inch is very close to the 45 degree edge that was sanded using the file. (there should be a small gap between the two pieces of pipe)
- Test your flute.
- If no sound
- File more of the 45 degree angle
- File the flat surface more if no air flow
- If sound move on to next steps
- If no sound