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Re: [Native Flute Woodworking] How much filtered beeswax?

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  • pocketconcepts
    Dave, I ve never really been good with a plane. I ve hand planed some flutes before, but when I moved to working mostly with hardwoods, it became difficult.
    Message 1 of 17 , Apr 30 10:08 PM
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      Dave,

      I've never really been good with a plane. I've hand planed some
      flutes before, but when I moved to working mostly with hardwoods, it
      became difficult. I did try a cabinet scraper for flatening the
      roost/nest, but found the area where the flue was cut caused the
      scraper to scrape unevenly - hence the move to the glass solution.
      Before that I would try to flaten them on my belt sander, but that
      was way to inexact.

      For dust collection,I now use a cyclone separator and a HEPA filter
      in my shop vac. I also wear a dust mask. Even when hand sanding you
      have to be careful. I sand up to 2000 grit (found in the automotive
      department) and that fine dust can be a problem. 2000 grit is good
      for smoothing out the wax finish after buffing. Makes it feel like
      butter/silk/glass (really smooth).

      I do bevel the cutting edge to move it into the airstream. I adjust
      this by moving the bird back and forth a little bit until I find the
      clearest tone. If the bird ends up toward the mouth end, I know the
      cutting edge is too high and I bevel it down and try again. If it
      ends up slightly over the TSH, I know the edge is too low and I move
      it up by filing the underside. I do this until the clearest sound is
      produced when the bird is even with the back edge of the TSH - that
      makes it easiest for players to position. I should also mention that
      I use a chimney on my birds, so the TSH is surrounded on 3 sides by
      the bird. This may cut down on the airiness some, but I think it is
      the cutting edge placement that is the real key. I know the chimney
      helps when playing outside in the wind. The flute that had the flue
      that was about 3/32 deep is a 3/4 inch bore flute and has a TSH that
      is 3/8 wide and about 9/32 long. Just a little bit longer may help
      with additional overblown notes, but I would have to experiment
      before saying for sure. The flute currently playes <0xxxxx, <0xxxx0
      and <0xxx00. I would say that there is about a 1/32 bevel on the top
      of the cutting edge. The cutting edge itself is thin, but not too
      sharp. It's probably somewhere between 1/64 and 1/32 thick (maybe
      closer to 1/32 than 1/64). All this makes for quite a loud flute.
      It does take a little bit more air to play than my older style
      flutes, but the tradeoffs are all good - no back pressure, quick
      response, no wet out, etc.

      As for ignorance, I'm right there with you. I've only been making
      flutes for 2 years now. I've made about 80 of them and each one has
      been a learning experience. The information available on this group
      has helped me out a tremendous amount and I'm very thankful to all
      who have contributed. I've also learned quite a bit from "not
      knowing any better" -- like experimenting with a deep flue -- and
      from trial and error. I haven't posted here too often until
      recently. Now I'm trying to give back to the group what I have
      learned. Hopefully someone else will find it usefull and build on it
      yet again. I think this is the way the early flutes were made. It
      wasn't one person sitting down with a stick or piece of cane and out
      popped a fully functional flute. I think it was something that was
      worked on over time by many people. Passed down through the
      generations and refined. We continue that process here. There will
      always be a place for tradition, traditional methods and traditional
      designs. But, there is no reason the flute has to stop evolving and
      stay stuck in time. We continue the journey.

      Jim V.

      --- In nativeflutewoodworking@yahoogroups.com, David Moses
      <purelypygmalion@...> wrote:
      >
      > Hi Jim,
      >
      > I actually have used shavings to burnish on a lathe. Unfortunately,
      I haven't had a lathe for ages now. Even If I did, I probably
      wouldn't use it for flutes. I find myself increasingly turning away
      from power tools. Not that I'm a Luddite or anything; I've just
      become enamored with the feel and sound of a razor sharp tool
      skimming through wood. I find it much more contemplative and
      meditative than the deafening snarl of a power tool. And then
      there's the sawdust, as you unfortunately know too well. I've read
      many post regarding dust collection and so forth, but the fact is,
      unless your dust collector vents outside, or your Shopvac has a HEPA
      filter, it's stirring up and spewing out tons of superfine particles,
      the worst kind. With hand tools you just sweep up the chips and
      shavings. And for me, sanded wood just doesn't compare to a piece
      smoothed with a scraper. (Hence my interest in bone-burnishing.)
      >
      > Do you find with your deeper flue you have to put a bit of a top
      bevel on the cutting edge? And how long a TSH have you found to be
      sufficient? I'm still swimming in ignorance here (though sometimes I
      think not knowing you're doing it "wrong" can be an advantage), but
      one thing I have learned is that I prefer less backpressure. And I
      too have a bit of a moisture problem. (I didn't even know it could be
      controlled! I'll try to work on that :-)
      >
      > Dave
      >
      > -
      >
    • David Moses
      Great post Jim, Hand planes do take some finessing, especially with contrary grain. One really aggravating problem I ve found is the quality of planes commonly
      Message 2 of 17 , May 1, 2008
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        Great post Jim,

        Hand planes do take some finessing, especially with contrary grain. One really aggravating problem I've found is the quality of planes commonly available these days. Most of those found in hardware stores and the like seem to range from fair to absolutely useless. I once spent several hours flattening and smoothing the sole, and filing the imperfections out of the mouth, bed, and cheeks of one of these wretched things. I never did get it to work as well as it should. Cabinet scrapers too, can take some finessing. I'm certainly no expert. Softwoods especially, often give me fits.

        I too have a Shopvac with HEPA filter-great tool. Unfortunately, my tiny work area just doesn't have enough space for me to squeeze in a cyclone separator. As for dust masks, I don't think any shop is complete without a good supply on hand. I use them whenever it seems appropriate. I do so however, with the uneasy knowledge that they're not working properly. I have a mustache/goatee sort of beard that hangs nearly to my waist. (It hides under my shirt around power tools!) A thick bed of whiskers just won't allow a dust mask to seal properly. I've recently discovered a solution though. It's called a RESP-O-RATOR. It's basically a mouthpiece attached by hoses to two HEPA filters. It was designed by a woodworker as dust protection compatible with eye and ear protection, and with us bewhiskered woodbutchers in mind as well. It's NIOSH tested and approved, filters 99.97% particulate down to 0.3 microns, and runs around $50; I think I'll be ordering one soon.
        Pretty slick. And way cheaper than the positive pressure systems I've seen; nice stuff but way out of my price range.

        Thanks for all the great information on TSH; very helpful. And I fully agree: this group is an amazing resource. I'm sure early flute makers traded information and variations learned from experience. I think it's likely been so for a very long time. I find it interesting that very early cultures had such highly developed systems of music and art, as evidenced by 50,000 year old bone flutes tuned to a diatonic scale that fits almost perfectly within any modern or ancient diatonic scale; and cave paintings showing an intimate understanding of both linear and aerial perspective. In other words, once the later hominids of the Homo species developed reasonably reliable and efficient methods to feed, clothe and house themselves, the next tschnologies they concentrated on, and brought to a high state of accomplishment, were music and art. Quite remakable really, considering the evidence that Neanderthalensis at least, lived a rather hard and brutal life. Sadly,
        it sometimes seems to me that these "primitive" peoples had a little better understanding of what's really important than a lot of modern folk.

        As for tradition vs innovatiive ideas/designs/sounds: I think music is music; I prefer working more traditionally myself, but I'm fascinated by other's wholly different styles of work as well. And I'm as fascinated by the the electronic tones of a synthesizer as I am the sound of the near thousand year old design Chinese Xiao flute, or the raspy howl of a medival hurdy-gurdy. New ideas, like the recent posts on removable mouthpieces, I always find intriguing. In fact, my mind is constantly being inspired to roam in ridiculous places; like, what if I made an NAF style flute out of say, a deer or elk longbone, and added a removable cherry mouthpiece, and a bird with a cedar base laminated/attached to a bone fetish, and maybe a wireless mike I could plug into that Marshall tube amp I shamefully never use? Hmmmm...

        Probably ought to get basic flute construction down first...

        Dave

        --- On Thu, 5/1/08, pocketconcepts <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

        From: pocketconcepts <no_reply@yahoogroups.com>
        Subject: Re: [Native Flute Woodworking] How much filtered beeswax?
        To: nativeflutewoodworking@yahoogroups.com
        Date: Thursday, May 1, 2008, 1:08 AM


        Dave,

        I've never really been good with a plane. I've hand planed some
        flutes before, but when I moved to working mostly with hardwoods, it
        became difficult. I did try a cabinet scraper for flatening the
        roost/nest, but found the area where the flue was cut caused the
        scraper to scrape unevenly - hence the move to the glass solution.
        Before that I would try to flaten them on my belt sander, but that
        was way to inexact.

        For dust collection,I now use a cyclone separator and a HEPA filter
        in my shop vac. I also wear a dust mask. Even when hand sanding you
        have to be careful. I sand up to 2000 grit (found in the automotive
        department) and that fine dust can be a problem. 2000 grit is good
        for smoothing out the wax finish after buffing. Makes it feel like
        butter/silk/ glass (really smooth).

        I do bevel the cutting edge to move it into the airstream. I adjust
        this by moving the bird back and forth a little bit until I find the
        clearest tone. If the bird ends up toward the mouth end, I know the
        cutting edge is too high and I bevel it down and try again. If it
        ends up slightly over the TSH, I know the edge is too low and I move
        it up by filing the underside. I do this until the clearest sound is
        produced when the bird is even with the back edge of the TSH - that
        makes it easiest for players to position. I should also mention that
        I use a chimney on my birds, so the TSH is surrounded on 3 sides by
        the bird. This may cut down on the airiness some, but I think it is
        the cutting edge placement that is the real key. I know the chimney
        helps when playing outside in the wind. The flute that had the flue
        that was about 3/32 deep is a 3/4 inch bore flute and has a TSH that
        is 3/8 wide and about 9/32 long. Just a little bit longer may help
        with additional overblown notes, but I would have to experiment
        before saying for sure. The flute currently playes <0xxxxx, <0xxxx0
        and <0xxx00. I would say that there is about a 1/32 bevel on the top
        of the cutting edge. The cutting edge itself is thin, but not too
        sharp. It's probably somewhere between 1/64 and 1/32 thick (maybe
        closer to 1/32 than 1/64). All this makes for quite a loud flute.
        It does take a little bit more air to play than my older style
        flutes, but the tradeoffs are all good - no back pressure, quick
        response, no wet out, etc.

        As for ignorance, I'm right there with you. I've only been making
        flutes for 2 years now. I've made about 80 of them and each one has
        been a learning experience. The information available on this group
        has helped me out a tremendous amount and I'm very thankful to all
        who have contributed. I've also learned quite a bit from "not
        knowing any better" -- like experimenting with a deep flue -- and
        from trial and error. I haven't posted here too often until
        recently. Now I'm trying to give back to the group what I have
        learned. Hopefully someone else will find it usefull and build on it
        yet again. I think this is the way the early flutes were made. It
        wasn't one person sitting down with a stick or piece of cane and out
        popped a fully functional flute. I think it was something that was
        worked on over time by many people. Passed down through the
        generations and refined. We continue that process here. There will
        always be a place for tradition, traditional methods and traditional
        designs. But, there is no reason the flute has to stop evolving and
        stay stuck in time. We continue the journey.

        Jim V.




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