Saturday, June 13, 2009

NAF Part 3

We went over most of the basic steps to get your flute started in my past posts like:
1, Wood section, I like pine or Fir but most woods will work.
2, Tools, a gouge and a block plane will do most of the work, and a coping saw for the bird effigy, or if your making a carved head
3, Dimensions, I like my flute to have a 7/8 bore but 3/4 and 1" will work. The length of the flute depends on the key.

Now here are some tips I would like to share. I drill all my holes before I glue the two pieces together, this lets me sand any splinters away that the drilling creates. I like to sand the inside to a 320 grit this I feel helps improve the sound. I also put 2 or 3 coats of mineral oil on the inside just be careful not to get any on the gluing surface.

Finishing the inside will stops the wood from absorbing moisture as you play it, giving it a more consistence sound. I also use a 1 to 1 glue size on the end grain of the sound block, this is the block that separates the two chambers this help to strengthen that area since its a weak area and its also a end grain that will absorb the moisture from your breath.

Next thing to do is glue the two parts together. I use plenty of clamps and don't over tighten the clamps since you are only gluing a 1/4 surface. I keep mine in the clamps for a whole day, and I use a waterproof glue like Titebond 3. Next you have to decide if you are carving a head on the end of the flute. I carved an eagle on this one. I glue an extra piece of 3/4 x 5 wood to the top.

Next comes the fun part shaping the flute, since I was carving a head I started my planing the sides flat and close to the 1/4" wall thickness, then I drew a out the lines of the eagle.

I used a coping saw to rough out the shape.

Then I planed the flute round. this is the part that most people every fears, but its really easy just watch the direction gain and take your time. You are looking for walls that are about a 1/4 " thick all the way around. If you tap the wood you can almost tell where you need to take off more just by the sound, when you get close its time to sand. I work my way from 100 to 220, and if you are carving now is the time to do most of your carving.

When you get the all the carving and the thickness where you want it, its time to work on the sound. I drill all the holes to a 1/4, then I use a fine file to clean the holes. I file the angle on the reed hole at about a 45* ankle.

Now before the flute will play you will need two more pieces, and they are the nest and the bird, the nest is a veneer that is 3/4 x 3" with a 1/4 x 1 slot cut into it, this lets the air from the first chamber go across the reed hole with the help of the bird, which is a effigy that sits on the nest.

I tie the bird to the flute with a leather cord with the nest under it.

You also need to drill a 1/4 hole in the mouthpiece end of the flute to the 1st chamber, now blow into it and get all the chips out.

When you get everything assembled blow though the mouthpiece and see if you get a sound, you may have to move the bird around a little while you blow to get the first sound, now just keep working it till you are happy with it, this takes a little while so stick with it. If you are planning to put a finish on I suggest a nontoxic one like mineral oil or walnut oil then bluff it with some beeswax.

most times mine play pretty well at this point, but if you are musical you might want to adjust the scale by filing the key holes till you match the scale.

I hope you enjoyed this project and if you have any questions please contact me and I will help anyway I can.


Sunday, June 7, 2009

Krylon Spray Stain

Recently I was asked to review Krylon’s new line of outdoor wood stain and sealer with a UV protector in a 12 OZ spray can. I was more than happy to test this new product.

I worked in shop back in early 90s that sprayed their stain on 75% of their work. I wonder why more shops didn’t do this; it certainly speeded up that part of the finishing process and with the right person behind the spray gun gave great results. The only problem is the process demands an outlay of money and a little time to master the technique to get setup to spray stain, and not all stains work well when sprayed. This is why most hobbyist and small shops don’t get involved with the spraying their stains.

Krylon to the rescue; Krylon has come out with a stain in their standard spray cans that will let anyone spray stain without all the hassles. I tried their product this afternoon and I can tell you, I really liked it. I made a small table for my porch out of some old 2 x 4s I had and then mounted it on a base that I made a few years ago. I was a little worried about the end gain absorbing the stain and appearing darker so I put a coat of diluted sealer on them. I sanded the top with some 100 grit on my sander. Then I sprayed a light coat on the top, starting with the edges. The can sprayed nice with its 360 adjustable nozzle that lets you change from a vertical to a horizontal flow. After I laid down a thin coat I wiped it off with a clean rag. The color was a little lighter then I was wanting and uneven. I should point out that I did not seal the top just the end gains on the edges. I let this coat dry for about an hour then I spray a second coat on this time I didn’t wipe off the stain I just let it dry, doing this gave me a nice even color across the whole top without hiding the grain pattern. I left it to dry for couple of hours then checked on it and still a little tacky to the touch.

My thoughts on this product, it’s easy to use and it will give you good results. I can see a lot of week end handy people using this along with crafters. It sprayed a nice even coat with no spitting and flowed nicely. Iit will save you time. I think just the time I spent staining the top without the time I waited for it to dry was about 6 minutes that includes clean up. That in its self is motivation to use it.

My only complains about the product is it only comes in a limited amount of colors for outdoor projects. I would love to see them come out with a line of indoor stains and more colors, maybe even some primary colors like red, blue, and green stains.

I plan useing this product on future projects, I have some outdoor chairs I need to build, and a trellis that needs stained and this product will be perfect for the job. So if you have some outdoor projects that you are planning give Krylon’s new stain a try, I am sure you will be pleased.