On making an instrument *4

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February 3, 2009

My third class has been much like my first.  Since we are making my instrument in two parts just to be safe (in case the headjoint is great but I mess up the finger holes), I had to turn more wood today for what will end up being the headjoint.

Turning wood has started becoming something truly relaxing for me. My friends said this would probably be the case. It is sort of calm and meditative. There is wood spinning, and you just have your gouge going left and right, left and right, left and right. I find it much easier to keep consistent pressure during the gouging process if, like in everything, I relax and just breathe deeply. Maybe I came into this class thinking it would be meditative because of comments my friends made. I’m glad they did.

In addition to turning the wood, I filed down the small section of metal tubing that will be holding the two parts of my flute together.  Filing metal is something different than turning wood.  The process is the same, but you have to be much more careful with metal shavings flying everywhere, and of course it feels different.

metal tubing

The end of class led to an exciting development of the flute.  We bored the inside of the first piece of wood to the final measurements – 14.8mm instead of the 4mm it had temporarily – and then I brought the rest of that piece of wood down to 23mm, though ultimately it will be 22. (Always good to move in slow steps just in case I get a heavy hand with the gouge!) And now that one piece really looks flutey!  Sorry my photos don’t manage to show any scale – I’ll keep that in mind for future photos.

starting to look flutey
inner bore