How to Make a Flute Mouthpiece

Written by sabrina stapleton
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How to Make a Flute Mouthpiece
You can make your own flute mouthpiece out of bamboo. (flute image by Victor M. from Fotolia.com)

A flute is a musical instrument that is played by using your mouth to blow air across a sharp edge in the mouthpiece of the instrument. A flute is typically in the shape of a cylinder, long and thin and open at both ends. A flute can be made from a number of different materials, including bamboo. Both of the major flute types -- the recorder style and the traditional style -- can be made out of bamboo.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Bamboo stick, approximately 375 millimetres in length
  • Tape measure
  • Grease pencil
  • Propane or butane torch
  • 1/4-inch drill bit
  • Oven glove
  • Pliers
  • Sandpaper
  • Flat file
  • Chisel
  • Belt sander

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Carve the wooden dowel to about 20 millimetres in length. Using the flat file, file downwards to remove approximately 1 millimetre against the crest of the dowel.

  2. 2

    Cut an indentation of about 20 millimetres from the top of the concaved bamboo. It should be cut at an angle of approximately 15 millimetres in length and 8 millimetres in width. Carve all the way to the other side of the bamboo at the top of the indentation.

  3. 3

    File a flat surface on the upwards side of the bamboo stick from the top of the chiselled hole using the flat file. Position the dowel into the bamboo making sure the flat edges are matching and leaving a slight space between the dowel and the inner portion of the bamboo stick.

  4. 4

    Blow directly into the flute. If it does not make a sound you will need to take the dowel off and make the flat surface deeper.

  1. 1

    Cut the bamboo to the dimensions that you wish for your flute, around 375 millimetres in length. Cut the upper end of the flute in front of the nodule, sealing off one side of the flute.

  2. 2

    Measure approximately 25 millimetres at the sealed section of the flute. The mouthpiece hole will be positioned here so mark the area with a grease pencil.

  3. 3

    Put the oven glove on and heat up the drill bit using the torch so that it turns red. Use pliers to pick up the drill bit and brand out the mouthpiece hole. Smooth the hole over using sandpaper.

  4. 4

    Blow on the mouthpiece hole. If the flute does not make the correct sound you will have to make the whole bigger using sandpaper.

Tips and warnings

  • Wear protective glasses and gloves when using heated tools.

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