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PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:00 am 
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Location: San Antonio, Texas
I've seen PVC whistles and flutes that fit together perfectly to form a tuning slide. What tool accomplishes this? I got a lathe for making fipple plugs, but can I use it to change the inside diameter of the pipe?

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:51 am 
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AngelicBeaver wrote:
I got a lathe for making fipple plugs, but can I use it to change the inside diameter of the pipe?


Yes a lathe is great for changing the ID of a tube. It can either be drilled or cut with a boring bar. There are many ways to set the lathe up. Do a search for how to use a boring bar and you will find a page with many pictures of differant set ups.

What kind of lathe do you have?

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''Whistles of Wood'', cpvc and brass. viewtopic.php?f=1&t=69086


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 12:12 pm 
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What kind of lathe do you have?


I got this one from Harbor Freight: https://www.harborfreight.com/5-speed-bench-top-wood-lathe-65345.html

I broke down and bought it after sanding on a Delrin rod for half an hour. Right as I was purchasing the Harbor Freight model, a guy accepted my offer on a Jet Mini for $250 (https://www.metalshoptools.com/products/jet-719100-jwl-1015-10-x-15-wood-lathe?utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=googlepla&variant=20981804481&gclid=Cj0KCQiAl8rQBRDrARIsAEW_To-HTT5sMTmvA6_tteecKuySTV4wG0NdSrB1RvZLiCQDb0o4E6aMf-EaAmYWEALw_wcB.

Honestly, I don't know what the difference is other than the price. I assume better build quality, but the Jet doesn't seem to be able to fit the same length as the Harbor Freight purchase. Being new to this, I just see "spins thing in middle for $215" or "spins thing in middle for $500". I suppose I could return the HF and get the Jet, but it's a hassle if it's not worth it.

And everyone seems to want to use lathes to make pens, and I have no idea why you would want to do that. My goal is to play with some whistle designs for PVC whistles, but the primary purpose was for shaving down Delrin rods to fit the pipes I'm using.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 1:12 pm 
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AngelicBeaver wrote:
Quote:
What kind of lathe do you have?


I got this one from Harbor Freight: https://www.harborfreight.com/5-speed-bench-top-wood-lathe-65345.html



Both of your lathes are wood turning lathes. A machine lathe is much better for what you want to do.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2017 7:25 am 
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Tommy wrote:
everyone seems to want to use lathes to make pens, and I have no idea why you would want to do that


Ah go on, go on,go on....sure pens and pen-making are great! They basically involve turning a wood or acrylic sleeve round a brass tube and many of the materials and skills you can pick up making them are transferable to making whistles and chanters. For example:

If you check out the Alba whistles website you'll find more interesting acrylic blanks than plain old delrin to make your fipple blocks, sourced from pen-making outlets, I hazard, like Penn State Industries on your side of the pond. I think Alba have also started making acrylic slide covers?

IIRC the "Churchill" pen tubes fit exactly inside a Generation type tube. Cut your whistle in 2, superglue a bit of tube into the head end of the whistle. Let it set, push the other end onto the slide you have made, and hey presto you have a tuneable Generation. I've made several this way, and it also works with Feadog tubes. My supplier let me test fit the tubes in the shop till I found the right one then I bought a bunch of extra tubes.

A pen mandrel lets you make mounts for chanters if you turn bushes of the necessary diameter. I made a nice set for a chanter from a beautiful Australian wood called Silky Oak to replace the plasticky looking mounts it came with.

Plus if you get the mandrel and other bits in time you can make some pens for your family and friends for Xmas, and sell the others to your colleagues at work! Imagine the joy you will spread to others! And the profits will pay for the lathe!

Joking aside though, check out the pen-turning scene for skills acquisition, materials and making something both beautiful and utilitarian. To paraphrase John Lennon I suppose all I am saying is give pens a chance.

PS If you're trying to fit sleeves to PVC using a wood lathe, you might be better sanding down the outside of your two whistle halves to fit the sleeve rather than trying to bore into the sleeve itself. If you are lucky you can sometimes find couplings to fit the pipe that do the same job but aren't maybe so aesthetically pleasing. I got a bunch of pipes and couplings from B&Q in the UK which make nice tuneable alto and low whistles and save you the trouble of turning down diameters.

Let us know how you go?


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2017 10:39 am 
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Well, I successfully used my lathe to get my Delrin rod to fit perfectly into my PVC tube. However, in my idealism, I attempted to make a bass A whistle, and while the fipple end was OK, the holes were too big, which I didn't realize until after I had started drilling. I can scarcely cover the top hole, and the worst thing is that I only roughed the holes in using the standard drill bit size that was just under the actual size I needed, meaning that most of the holes need to be slightly enlarged. I think the calculator just gave me the ideal hole sizes, scaled up from a low D, but the bass A requires more adjustment. My R2 hole was 16mm. I could occasionally cover them properly, so I'm sure I could be more consistent with practice, but I'd like something a little more ergonomic.

As for the slide, I may cut the head off my first whistle and attach it to a new body with a coupler for now until I can get a body I like, then I can start messing with the head again, and maybe work on figuring out the more aesthetically pleasing slide. There always seems to be just one more tool that I need before I can do something.

On a side note, I hate that the United States can't seem to get on the metric bus with everyone else. I can't even find drill bits in millimeters in the local stores, and metric is so much more straightforward to work with.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 12:46 pm 
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AngelicBeaver wrote:

As for the slide, I may cut the head off my first whistle and attach it to a new body with a coupler for now until I can get a body I like, then I can start messing with the head again, and maybe work on figuring out the more aesthetically pleasing slide. There always seems to be just one more tool that I need before I can do something.

I have just made a couple of whistles from PE water pipe, and used an elderly Unimat metalworking lathe to turn down Delrin rod for the plug. Delrin works very nicely on metal cutting lathes.
I am considering boring out the mouthpiece end to reduce the wall thickness (and in this design the windway) but also thinking about ways to get a nice windway cutout on the Delrin plug. The lathe is too small to sensibly bore out the whole tube.

Similarly, I messed up one with making oversize holes, so I cut off the mouthpiece a couple of inches above the top hole, then made a coupler which works OK.
This works well because most of the work is in the mouthpiece - the drill does the rest. So starting again with the body is fairly easy.

Trick is to cut the tube overlength and trim it a little at a time to get the bottom note (D in my case), then drill the holes undersize and open them out - as you seem to have discovered :)
In view of your comments above, I won't mention that I use a small table saw to cut the pipe...

In my highly inexperienced hands both whistles are as good as the Generation whistles that I have. When I have more experience I might need to review that comment :D


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