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Copper flutes by taika-kim Copper flutes by taika-kim
Some transverse flutes and a shakuhachi I made from copper tubing I got from a junkyard. Tuned to different, mostly modal tunings (let's give a big YAI for dorian here, folks!)

They are working OK, considering that I have never seen a pro flute... Mostly I would need some advice on the embouchure(?) hole.

The shaku doesn't really work, plays only one octave. I guess the wall should be thicker, now it's only 1,5mm... It's also quite hard to keep the right angle when blowing. Then again, maybe I'm just a lousy player.

Filed & brushed the surface for extra beauty, and then heat treated for oxidation colours.

Oh, and they're toxic too, probably. Any advice on this is appreciated.

In the future, will stick to stainless probably... Or maybe aluminium? Does aluminium tubing exist?

And it's NOT cheap, around here copper is 6 euro/kg at the junkyard...
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:iconnanasten:
nanasten Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2013  Student Artisan Crafter
Oxidation makes a fine effect! A zapon lacquer (saponilakka) on the outside of the flute might do the trick to avoid possible copper poisoning. And the calculator you've lost is probably Flutomat (11wall-west.com/~ph_kosel/flut….
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:icontaika-kim:
taika-kim Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
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:iconnanasten:
nanasten Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2013  Student Artisan Crafter
Oi, vau! Kiitti.
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:iconharlequinhybrid:
harlequinhybrid Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2011   Artisan Crafter
I was wondering how you tuned the flutes, do you go off any plan? I'm all for instruments that are out of tune it gives them a kind of ancient otherworldlyness, but how would you know how to tune these, as each tube is of different sizes?
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:icontaika-kim:
taika-kim Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2011  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I used some java calculator I found on the Internetz. I've lost it since. They are out of tune anyway :D I tried to get some modal scales, but it's not accurate... And yes instruments that don't follow the usual 12-equal can sound interesting!
Also I have Bart Hopkin's book on wind instrument design... But the web application was easier to use :D Altough I did some calculations myself too.
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:iconharlequinhybrid:
harlequinhybrid Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2011   Artisan Crafter
Thanks very much, finally got some copper pipe. made a bunch of pvc bansuri's in G because I have a bamboo one that I copied exactly and they sound the same, also made a pvc Fujara (Slovakian instrument) yesterday, might need some fine tuning. I've found that there are many youtube videos and websites with premade plans on flute making, so thatseems to work for me. Thanks for the info :)
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:iconharlequinhybrid:
harlequinhybrid Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2011   Artisan Crafter
and how did you drill the holes? Anyways they look amazing, I love the rainbow hippy-earthy look, there's definately some divine inspiration there.
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:iconsavagedryad:
savagedryad Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2009  Professional General Artist
Oh hey man hows it goin.

I was looking at your Shak there and I think I know why it doesn't play the second octave.

Basically its too fat. With any flute if the difference between the bore and the length is off it will be hard to get the upper (or lower) notes. In short chubby flutes only play their lowest notes and super long skinny ones only play their upper notes.

Not that a fat flute is a bad thing! They are still awesome flutes man I would have a hard time working in metal like you do. :)
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:icontaika-kim:
taika-kim Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2009  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Ah, that might be. The measurements are from a shaku making site, but yes I think the bore is much more narrow in a real shaku since bamboo is more thick walled than the pipe I used...
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:iconsavagedryad:
savagedryad Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2009  Professional General Artist
Probably it. Still really nice I bet they sound pretty nifty with how thin walled metal is.
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:iconferner:
Ferner Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2008   Artisan Crafter
Ooi onps hienon näköisiä, ja tosi simppelisti tehty, propsit siitä, päästövärjäys on tosi onnistunut :)
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:icontaika-kim:
taika-kim Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2008  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Jooh, tosin värit on jo nyt puoles vuodes hieman tainneet himmentyä ihan ilman kanssa ollessaan... Mut en viitti lakkaa kun metallijutuis kosketus materiaaliin on yks olennainen juttu..
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:iconmotorbikeman:
Motorbikeman Featured By Owner May 3, 2008  Hobbyist Photographer
These look great. If you're really worried about the copper, then maybe a dipped coat of varnish might help, this would also protect the oxidised colours as these are very fragile on copper. Mind you, when you think that the vast majority of water piping in homes these days is copper, it's very definitely a misunderstood material
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:icontaika-kim:
taika-kim Featured By Owner May 4, 2008  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
yes, I was thinking about that piping thing too, it can't be that dangerous.

do you have any idea about a good varnish? I don't know anything about varnishing metals.
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:iconmotorbikeman:
Motorbikeman Featured By Owner May 5, 2008  Hobbyist Photographer
Umm...so long as the pipes are well degreased, I would imagine that any good quality acrylic varnish would be ok to use. I have used the sort of laquer that you get in car repair shops on copper with good results before, but that's solvent based and full of nasties which might take some time to evaporate off fully and be safe.
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:icontaika-kim:
taika-kim Featured By Owner May 5, 2008  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
yes, that's what I was thinking about too, don't wan to substitute one poison with another...
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:iconmotorbikeman:
Motorbikeman Featured By Owner May 5, 2008  Hobbyist Photographer
Another option might be a coating of renaissance wax [link] (Try Ebay as well) only snag with that might be that buffing it off might actually damage the oxide colours. Only way to tell would be to try it
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:icontaika-kim:
taika-kim Featured By Owner May 8, 2008  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
thanks! I might check that out if I have the time...
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:iconcosmicfolklore:
CosmicFolklore Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2008
copper is not toxic by itself. It is the Verdi Gris (green tarnish) that is toxic. You can offset this with a patina with liver of sulphur or a good wax. Copper pots are still used in making chocolates. They just wash them before using. Many people do not understand the nature of copper well, and this makes them afraid of it for superstitious reasons.

I think they are very beautiful works that you have here. Very nice!!! Don't worry about the copper, just put a coat of wax on it, and it will be fine.
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:icontaika-kim:
taika-kim Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2008  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
thanks! it's very good to know. I'll get back to you, now I'm in Moscow, en route to Izhevsk so can't check anything out really...
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:iconlanthir44:
Lanthir44 Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2008
Oh, they're lovely! (^_^) As far as embouchure openings go, it's hard for me to give much constructiv advice without being able to play them to see how they work as you have them now, but most flutes I have played have more oval-shaped embouchures.
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:icontaika-kim:
taika-kim Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2008  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Yes the shape is one thing I've been thinking. But also the steepness of the edge where one blows is very important I think. With mine, it's quite sharply against the airflow, but I've seen almost 90 degree vertical ones too...
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:iconlanthir44:
Lanthir44 Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2008
I just checked the embouchure on my flute an was surprised to see that the edge is sloped at twenty degrees or so, angled in the same direction as the curve of the flute. I hope that made sense...
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:icontaika-kim:
taika-kim Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2008  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Yup, that's how I make them too, though I think mine are more than twenty...
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:iconfreespirit2moon:
FreeSpirit2Moon Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2008   Photographer
ahh my instrument of choice, and these are absolutely gorgeous. Too bad that they may be a week bit toxic ;) I would suggest making a mouthpiece to place on top of them. In fact that might even help a bit with the switching between octaves.
These are lovely though, I look forward to seeing what else you produce if you decided to stick with flutes as a project for awhile.
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:icontaika-kim:
taika-kim Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2008  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
In fact I'm very excited about the idea of replicating some rennaissance woodwinds in junk piping, but the time, the time...
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:iconfreespirit2moon:
FreeSpirit2Moon Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2008   Photographer
I am sure you will eventually get around to it, and when you do your final product will be stunning.
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:iconyulrathsl3ane:
Yulrathsl3ane Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2008
Wow.

Well, Copper is germicidal if that tells you anything.

Copper is very hards to poison yourself with. A pot made from copper must be used for a while before it becomes any kind of dangerous.

And I don't think a flute has any dangerous potential at all.

Unless you let it oxidize for a long time.
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:icontaika-kim:
taika-kim Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2008  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
that's good to know, thanks... I was also thinking, that you don't actually suck the flute when you plau it anyway..
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:iconhyllyn:
Hyllyn Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2008
Yes my friend, I'm afraid it is not a grand idea considering toxicity of copper, for a reason copper pots are banned from kitchens these days, the same applies to instruments. Aluminium alloys would be fine but you ought to find out what is it they use for sure in chieftain whistles for example as unlike others they don't resort to a plastic mouthpiece, although mangling one out of pvc pipe isn't a bad idea.
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:iconfamiliarshadow:
familiarshadow Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2008
actually Aluminium itself happens to be one of the most expensive metals out there mainly because of the energy requirements for making it. so it may not be the best solution considering its price.
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:icontaika-kim:
taika-kim Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2008  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
one thing is maybe making a wooden/ stainless mouthpiece and use copper for the body since it's so beautiful... or then learn to electroplate them with silver :) shouldn't be toooo hard.
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:iconhyllyn:
Hyllyn Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2008
That would be an even nicer solution indeed. I like copper too as you say. Maybe cutting the mouthpiece off a recorder to fit the copper body would be viable too? and you just adapt the same mouthpiece to any copper flutes you like.
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:icontaika-kim:
taika-kim Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2008  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I think it's fairly easy to fashion a fipple from steel tubing, and for transverse flutes, I just need to insert a piece of stainless tighly and then treat it as I would a pipe wholly of copper.. but now I had like four days for these, and other things to do at the same time, so..
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:iconbear48:
bear48 Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2008  Professional
looks nice

How do they sound?
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:icontaika-kim:
taika-kim Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2008  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
pretty good, most go all the way up to the second octave, and the third somewhat... but can't really compare since I've never played a really good flute.

I think they once made that famous blind test where flute players couldn't make out the difference between even a concrete & silver flute...
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:iconbear48:
bear48 Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2008  Professional
I see

cool
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