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Flute making is something that I have wanted to try for some time now.  I am not a flute player, but I thought that it would be fun to learn to play, so why not make my first flute.

At some point I would like to make one out of wood or bamboo, but thought that a simple and cheap way to make a prototype would be to use some non metallic PVC that I had lying around the shop.

I used a 16.75″ piece of 1/2″ PVC and used the online flute calculator, Flutomat, to determine hole size and spacing.  As you can see there are two holes that are offset.  The purpose behind this arrangement is to allow a more natural placement of your fingers based on the differences in finger length.

The end plug was made out of a cork used for winemaking.  These corks are the same diameter of the outside of the PVC pipe, so I turned it down on the lathe to 1/2″ at the right length and seated it into the pipe with a mallet.  I was going to cut off the excess cork, but decided that leaving it as is gave it some character that would be lost had I had cut it off flush.

It turned out pretty well for my first flute.  Each note is in tune with each other and overall the flute is only slightly flat when tested on my electronic tuner.  I have enjoyed learning to play this little flute. Overall I am quite happy with it and think that it will be nice for camping and hiking as it is light and very durable.