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PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2012 4:48 pm 
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wormil wrote:
I've built 4 whistles, only one turned out well enough to play (my inexperience, no fault of the calculators, one (4th) was an experiment in tiny whistles), but HBflutomat has been spot on for length. On the good one (my 3rd), the hole size/spacing was very close. At first the holes were a little undersized but after a day in the house, I had to drill them out to full size because the whistle had gone flat. So you might want to give it a day before going for final size. Now if I can get the head end in better shape I'll have some good whistles.

"HBflutomat has been spot on for length" I'd say was rather fortunate for you! I would not like to rely on the calculated full length when creating a one-piece prototype whistle , as even small changes in the whistle's window dimensions will seriously flatten or sharpen the overall tuning.

If you are finding that your actual holes need to be a bit larger throughout than the calculator says, it is most likely that the (bottom) end-correction factor in the calculator needs adjusting. HB Flutomat uses by default 0.56 as a factor (it assumes the vibrating air column is 0.56 * bore longer than the tube at the bottom end). I am using 0.5 * bore now, which has the result that all hole locations are moved up a little, thus producing slightly sharper notes (and therefore you may not need to widen the holes).

The bottom end-correction factor in the calculator has an impact on all hole locations, since they are measured from the bottom. So getting it right is useful.

The top or window or embouchure end-correction is important for the overall length, or the distance of the window from the bottom end. Getting this calculator function right would be useful for one-piece whistles, but very hard/impossible to achieve, so I use the calculated length from window to bottom end only as a rough guide. For tunable whistles it does not matter anyway much, since you can compensate calculator errors by adjusting the length in the tuning slide.

Or have your whistle tube cut a bit longer, then make the head to your satisfaction, till it sounds just right (and don't widen/enlarge the window later!), and then cut the bottom end to tune the base note, before any other holes. In theory you introduce a slight error with this method, since the effect of the closed tone holes is not present at this stage. But this effect is very small, and if the tube has fairly thin walls it can safely be neglected (My calculator says on a high D whistle with 13mm bore and 3mm thick walls the distance from window to bottom end should be 1mm shorter, with 1mm walls only 0.3mm shorter than a tube without holes).

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2012 6:33 pm 
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The C I had trouble with is not a very good whistle; it has fipple/windway issues that may effect tuning. It sounds good at the bottom end but is breathy and squawky higher up if you don't have really good breath control. So it can sound okay, but it is harder to make it behave than it should be. I pressed on to keep getting experience, but this one will be given away as a toy or prop without my brand on it.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 2:25 am 
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hans wrote:
"HBflutomat has been spot on for length" I'd say was rather fortunate for you! I would not like to rely on the calculated full length when creating a one-piece prototype whistle , as even small changes in the whistle's window dimensions will seriously flatten or sharpen the overall tuning.


Actually I made the mouthpiece and window first, cut the tube down to hit the base note I wanted; then I transferred measurements of what I already had made into the calculator and the length matched up dead nut to HBflutomat so I used that algorithm to layout the holes. Yeah, I learned my lesson after the first two whistles, to finish with the calculator, not start with it.

hans wrote:
If you are finding that your actual holes need to be a bit larger throughout than the calculator says, it is most likely that the (bottom) end-correction factor in the calculator needs adjusting.


Actually all but two ended up being pretty much spot on, those two I had to file out a hair larger. Originally I drilled them undersized and could hit the notes in my shop (which runs about 90 degrees) but once I took it in the house for a day the notes went flat (which I attribute to a change in the temp/humidity) so I went back and enlarged them.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 2:32 am 
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CarvedTones wrote:
aren't consistent with the fipples.


Yep. I'm working on another project at the moment but when I come back to whistles I plan on making a jig so that I can consistently drill out the window at the angle I want. When I cut the window by hand, I inevitably end up making it shallower or wider than I wanted. Before that though I really, really, need to get a drill press.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 3:31 am 
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wormil wrote:
Before that though I really, really, need to get a drill press.

I don't use a drill press (pillar drill), I use a power drill mounted in a drill stand (Bosch). I considered a drill press, but I do not like the fact that with a drill press I need to move the table with the work piece up or down when changing to different size drill bits. I like the drill table and work piece at a constant height, bolted down to my work table, so I can do the job sitting down and have the same view and arm angles. Perhaps a bit primitive, but it suits me (apart from the fact that a power drill is noisier than a drill press).

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 5:11 am 
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A friend that makes NAFs and various folk instruments locally has pretty much convinced me go get a milling machine as my next major tool purchase. You do move the table around between and sometimes during operations, but very precisely. You can get the tables (cross slide tables) separately much cheaper and use them with a drill press, but my drill press is a small, weak and not incredibly precise one, so I am not sure that is a good option for me. However for the moment for ramp and windway I am getting even louder than the handrill. Using tiny templates and jigs I am going to start routing them. I may always route the windway.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 12:13 pm 
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I find that jigs and fixtures go a long way to helping with consistency from whistle to whistle. Sometimes it takes a fair amount of time to realize just what the jig design needs to be though. So I keep examining my processes as I make a each batch of whistles.

I understand the drill press table movement issue. I have cured that one by making a jig that includes a sled which holds each whistle body to be drilled. The jig is mounted on the drill press table. A whistle body is mounted in a sled. I use a different sled for each key and the hole positions are registered by pin holes in the sled and and one on center in the jig. The sled is clamped into the jig. The position of the table to the drill is centered on a set of registration marks and a sacrificial sled in the jig. That worked on an inexpensive benchtop drill press for several years. That jig evolved over about seven years. It started out as a simple table fence with a single movable stop.

I recently upgraded my drill press to one with a laser guide. I just line the laser cross hairs to a center spot on the jig and away I go. I rarely drill all six holes in a single whistle. I work in batches and do one hole in all bodies at a time. Of course I'm not trying to establish tuning on these since that was settled years ago on these designs.

Another thought about moving the drill press table up and down is to look for a set of stubby bits that are all the same length. There is probably a proper name for these but I am drawing a blank at the moment. You can also shorten a set yourself if you have the grinder and jig to re-point the bits.

I've exchanged email with several makers here about milling machines. I am shopping for one now but more for luthiery work than whistles and flutes. I've held off on buying a mill up to this point just for flutes and whistles. But I was just wondering how many whistle makers here might have a mill and for what tasks are they are using it?

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 12:46 pm 
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The stubby bits - are you talking about an end mill set? That is something I have considered but they can be pretty pricey. They cut really nice clean holes and certainly work in drill presses (the wood can't tell what is spinning the bits :) ).

My NAF making friend who also does some strings has the Grizzly G8689 and says that is about as low end he recommends going for a general purpose mill. He said I can get by with the MicroLux if am really going to limit myself to woodwinds but I may grow to hate the top hand wheel for general drilling. One of his main justifications was replacing the jigs because he was just accumulating too many of them.

EDIT - There are a couple of MicroLux mills with low end prices - I am looking at the smaller one (currently and often on sale around $400). The larger one does have the drill press arms.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 1:24 pm 
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CarvedTones wrote:
are you talking about an end mill set?
No, definitely not. I do have some end mills though. And not center drills either - I have a set of those as well. What I was referring to are just shorter drill bits. I've been trying to find an example since I posted that last bit but no success yet. I found such a set at a machinist's supply place at one time, the were pricey (to me anyway). I didn't save the link and the old memory melon ain't what it once was. They might have been a particular set of screw length bits but even those generally vary the length along with the diameter. Still they would be shorter to begin with so the table wouldn't have to move as much. And an added benefit is that they wouldn't wander as much as jobber length bits (more germain to drilling metals).

CarvedTones wrote:
My NAF making friend who also does some strings has the Grizzly G8689 and says that is about as low end he recommends going for a general purpose mill. He said I can get by with the MicroLux if am really going to limit myself to woodwinds but I may grow to hate the top hand wheel for general drilling. One of his main justifications was replacing the jigs because he was just accumulating too many of them.
Yes, I've spent too much time at Grizzly in Muncy. PA. The Grizzly G8689 is a bit too small for my needs at this point. I know they are used by a lot of folks though and a DIY CNC favorite. I may end up with a Grizzly G0704 though if I don't run into a deal elsewhere. The MicroLux Mill is a nice looking package, it is the same Sieg X2 mill as the Grizzly down below the paint but with some sensible upgrades. I used to work nearby the MicroMark facility. I presently feel that a milling machine is overkill for drilling holes. And most are not set up primarily for drilling, as you point out. The older round column drill/mill machines are not attractive to me either. Susato do mill their tone holes with a CNC machine but they make a lot more whistles than I ever will. I can see an NAF maker using a mill to rout the halves of the flute bodies though. A router table and sliding sled would do the trick neatly though.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 2:09 pm 
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Actually my friend the NAF maker uses gun drills that make mine look like toys; he thinks through boring produces superior instruments. It may, but oddly enough splitting and hollowing is more authentic for NAFs. Anyway, on NAFs he uses it for drilling and for flue cutting (it is on the exterior). I think all the drilled holes are the same diameter. Not sure what else. It sounds like you are very knowledgeable on the milling front.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 2:29 pm 
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CarvedTones wrote:
Actually my friend the NAF maker uses gun drills that make mine look like toys; he thinks through boring produces superior instruments.
:) That reminded me of this video.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3H5o2DHloc
What a setup!

Feadoggie

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 5:26 pm 
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Feadoggie wrote:
I find that jigs and fixtures go a long way to helping with consistency from whistle to whistle. Sometimes it takes a fair amount of time to realize just what the jig design needs to be though. So I keep examining my processes as I make a each batch of whistles.

I understand the drill press table movement issue. I have cured that one by making a jig that includes a sled which holds each whistle body to be drilled.

Another thought about moving the drill press table up and down is to look for a set of stubby bits that are all the same length. There is probably a proper name for these but I am drawing a blank at the moment. You can also shorten a set yourself if you have the grinder and jig to re-point the bits.

But I was just wondering how many whistle makers here might have a mill and for what tasks are they are using it?
Feadoggie


Here is a little more insight and sharing.
Before I bought a mill I drilled ''Whistles of Wood'' tone holes with a drill press but after breaking several from feeding the drill in to fast I switched to mounting the wood tone tube to my lathe cross slide. The mount must be made centered with the drill that is in the chuck. This was easy to do with an end mill to line up a piece of aluminum channel bolted to a tool post. The wood tone tube was clamped to the tool post channel and using the hand feed wheel I could move the wood to the drill in the chuck. The cross slide had enough travel to accommodate soprano D,C whistles but not enough for lower keys.
Yes some milling can be done with a lathe without the Z axes of a mill. However there are slides available that bolt to the cross slide giving all three axes of milling but using a lathe.

My drilling jig has evolved in one size fits all. An aluminum channel bolted to the drill press table and centered with a sled/slide/carriage made from angle aluminum. There are three angles one it the middle holds any size tone tube and the other two support the middle one in the channel. A single bolt in the end of the angle holds the tone tube. There is a three foot ruler with metric mounted to the the angle that slides with it. My tone hole drills are the same length made by removing the end and then regrinding with a drill doctor. Clamping the tone tube is most likely not OSHA approved. I call it a lever stick. lol It fits under a C clamp on the drill press post and with little pressure keeps the cpvc pvc from trying to jump up when the drill goes through. This saves time as opposed to having to re clamp for each hole. The channel is drilled with holes that allow it to be moved to mill easily for precision drilling.

I don't find it necessary to have a mill to make whistles and flutes but it does save set up time when making several at once.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 6:48 pm 
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Tommy,

I am confused about what kind of whistles you are making. You said whistles of wood and then are talking about drilling PVC. Just want to clarify as the materials don't mill quite the same. Actually, I am finding even different types of wood don't mill/drill the same.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 7:22 pm 
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CarvedTones wrote:
Tommy,

I am confused about what kind of whistles you are making. You said whistles of wood and then are talking about drilling PVC. Just want to clarify as the materials don't mill quite the same. Actually, I am finding even different types of wood don't mill/drill the same.


I apologize for the confusion. I was trying to post it short. I make both wood and pvc/cpvc whistles. Also make a conical bore of copper with delrin or pvc head..
You are correct that different woods pvc/cpvc delrin don't lathe, mill and drill the same. But they all respond best to sharp tools.
I put together a slow speed grinder that is slow enough to keep the grinding wheel in water. I don't remember what the motor came from but the pulleys and belts came from the local hardware store and the bearings I already had from years in a shipyard machine shop. Bearings are also available on E Bay. The advantage of a slow speed grinder is to prevent the cutting tools being sharped without overheating. Different materials will still cut a little different but with sharp tools the results will be clean and neat.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2012 5:22 am 
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Feadoggie wrote:
CarvedTones wrote:
Actually my friend the NAF maker uses gun drills that make mine look like toys; he thinks through boring produces superior instruments.
:) That reminded me of this video.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3H5o2DHloc
What a setup!

Feadoggie


Ron Wolf has a lot of great advice in his videos about making NAFs that can apply to nearly any long wood boring operation, but that setup is largely overkill IMO. I made a shop built hard maple bushing by chucking my bit in the headstock and sliding my bed mounted block of maple into it. This worked okay, but I have found that it works just as well or better for me to trust the geometry of the self centering bit. I drill a short pilot through a bearing center using the tailstock and then I just feed the gun drill in by hand (with the bearing center still there). The bit comes out in the center of the headstock spindle, so I would say that self centering is pretty darn accurate.

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