Design by Dalton's Shakuhachi Kit
A 3D printed Kit for making a variety a flutes from 3/4" pvc. The idea is to have interchangeable, durable, waterproof flute bodies to accompany the 3D printed parts that boast the same qualities. To accomplish that I have 2 printed parts that slide on to 3/4" pvc (not included). Pvc is an ultra cheap widely available material. The pvc is cut to a specific length to determine the key, and has 5 holes drilled in the perfect place and size to go up the musical scale. If you buy this kit you will be able to make a beautiful and versatile collection of flutes for under $75. Be sure to check out the demo video below to see how my two flutes sound with the same mouthpiece.
How to build your ultra cheap PVC Shakuhachi body.
Relax, it's easy to get started
Materials & Tools needed and a quick breakdown of why...
- 3/4" PVC pipe, Length Determines key. Should play a single note immediately, cut to tune
- Hand saw, Miter saw, pipe cutter, or anything else you can cut the PVC with.
- Drill and set of bits, hole sizes and location determine tuning.
- Bigger hole : Higher key
- Hole closer to top of flute : Higher key
- Measuring tools. I use both a tape and caliper.
- Sandpaper, low and high grit. Recommended, but playable without.
- Internet connection, recommended free calculator to help choose the size/key (below)
Use this Calculator to help create your flute body with ease. http://jeremy.org/music/shakutool.html
When deciding your length, use the calculator but cut the pipe a little bit too long. Too long is always better because you can change it. Too short = no chance to change anything. Also keep in mind that the printed parts add about a cm each. It's important to have a chromatic tuner on hand, I use my guitar tuner, you can get an app on a cell phone for it, whatever kind you want should work. Blow your flute and use the tuner to test the key of your instrument before you drill any holes. Shorter pipe = Higher key. Leave the flute just a little longer than needed, so the desired note is flat by a few cents, 5-3 cents, barely flat. The note will change a few cents as you drill the 5 holes (because the volume of the pipe is slightly changing).
When drilling your holes, start much smaller than the calculator says, tune to higher notes by enlarging the hole slowly, there is no going back if you make a hole too big. I personally only use the legth's from the tool, the size of the hole I find purely through trial. I start very small, blow the note, and change accordingly. I leave them all just a few cents under the desired note as well, just a little under. After all 5 are dilled and tuned, I start at the beginning and tune with sand paper (even the ends). I recommend sanding the pvc until smooth and matte. It feels nicer in your hands, looks clean, removes hardware store markings, and it matches the look of the 3D printed parts better after sanding.
Now it's time to get creative, make the flute your own. I truly can't wait to see what you make with my Shakuhachi Kit. If you make one, please share in the comments section below. Thank you!
Do I have to use PVC?
Nope, use whatever you want.
Any 3/4" pipe or tube should fit fine, really anything it fits on to should make a noise so you can get creative if you want to. Colored acrylic tubing is another good option. Even a hose would make a noise. I only recommend pvc because it is durable, ultra cheap, and readily available.
Everyone's mouth is shaped a little different, so a little work can go a long way. Sandpaper can quickly smooth the mouth piece if it's too ruff for your liking, and can also round any sharp edges. I smoothed mine for comfort and rounded the bottom edge a little, only took a minute or two and will be a litle different for each person.
Don't want to make your own?
No problem, have me make a custom one for you.
Visit me at www.etsy.com/shop/DesignbyDalton to order one of these flutes in any key.
Send me an email at DaltonBissell@live.com for a custom order. I can make a full set of professionally tuned flutes just the way you want them. I am a talented sculpture artist, custom order flutes could certainly have your own ideas incorporated. So send me the details and I will send you a quote for the work.