Flute making Apprentices

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Damian Thompson
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Tell us something.: I am a keen wooden flute player, I am also an aspiring flute maker. I have been following the page on and off for many years.

Re: Flute making Apprentices

Post by Damian Thompson »

I just wanted to say thanks to Paddler for the heads up on the roughing reamers, I've been searching for something similar to these for a few years now.
Properly working reamers are one of the most important parts of flute making and can be a challenge to maintain, anything that makes the job run more smoothly is a bonus.
I just ordered the same two as Paddler, they seem great value for what they are. Looking forward to using them!

Damian
https://www.thompsonflutes.com/
GreenWood
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Tell us something.: To add to the renaissance flute discussion that is under way. Well, the rest of this field is going to be taken up by a long sentence, which is this one, because a hundred characters are needed before it is accepted.

Re: Flute making Apprentices

Post by GreenWood »

Funnily, I just came across a pdf I had saved a while back, and it lists flutemakers as "Critically Endangered". That's for UK though so I guess anyone outside doesn't have to feel like they are going to be put on a reserve.

Listed between flintknappers and flydressers is

https://heritagecrafts.org.uk/woodwind- ... ng-flutes/

Which looks at some of the difficulties faced by the craft.


Also I just saw an seanduin mentioned case hardening, and I had mentioned it also. It is not that hard in fact. I have a double bellows because of bloomery smelting, but many others use whatever air supply they have (from hairdryer through to vacuum cleaner outlet) to run a forge. A forge in this case is a shallow pit in soil of say 20cm diameter (depending on size of object) , or a small embankment that height made out of soil (not rocks unless you know which, because they explode sometimes), or anything similar shaped. You need maybe five kg of charcoal. The item is placed in a tin (say an old spray canister) packed with crushed charcoal, and the end or ends just hammered closed onto it so any gaps are say under a mm. Then that is placed in hottest part of the forge which tends to be just after where air supply blows through brightest coals (i.e. just move it to where it heats to lightest colour ) and kept like that for half an hour. We did one tool for quarter of an hour at yellow heat and that worked, but the longer the time the greater the depth the carbon sinks in, and so the greater the depth of high carbon steel. Online there are examples for all the above. Gloves and glasses are a good idea, and staring at the hot part of the furnace/work is avoided.

[Edit in... Just remembering the first case hardening I did, and that was the tip of a drop percussion bit for boring a well, and that was done in a large tin packed with charcoal, using a steel bucket with some plaster/sand mixture lining inside the bucket, about 5cm thick. A lid of same was made, with the meter high drill bit sticking out through it (only the tip needed hardening), and the inside of that furnace was heated via a hole in the side of the bucket using a blow torch, for about an hour. I later took that to be reshaped at a metal workshop because all I had was a hacksaw, and the smith there had difficulty cutting it also... he asked me a bit perplexed why the cut metal was a different colour, and I told him I had heated it in charcoal and he nodded. So just to say a torch powered furnace works as well. ]
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Terry McGee
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Re: Flute making Apprentices

Post by Terry McGee »

GreenWood wrote: Sat Sep 11, 2021 2:43 pm Funnily, I just came across a pdf I had saved a while back, and it lists flutemakers as "Critically Endangered".
Woah. I was feeling quite good until I read that...
GreenWood
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Tell us something.: To add to the renaissance flute discussion that is under way. Well, the rest of this field is going to be taken up by a long sentence, which is this one, because a hundred characters are needed before it is accepted.

Re: Flute making Apprentices

Post by GreenWood »

Terry McGee wrote: Sat Sep 11, 2021 5:52 pm
GreenWood wrote: Sat Sep 11, 2021 2:43 pm Funnily, I just came across a pdf I had saved a while back, and it lists flutemakers as "Critically Endangered".
Woah. I was feeling quite good until I read that...
... and as if there weren't enough fear loosed on everyone already. I think I will remain anonymous to avoid being shortlisted though... at least I think they won't know I make flutes... what if they have inspectors though :-? . You're ok Terry, you are protected by your notoriety, but I'm just the sort they would use as example :( .
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