How Do You Build Your Own Bamboo Flute?


Make a bamboo flute by burning holes in a bamboo rod and sealing it with linseed oil. The supplies you need are a bamboo fishing pole, a hacksaw, fine sandpaper, a 1/2-inch diameter steel rod, a butane torch, a permanent marker, an oven mitt, a 1/4-inch drill bit, vise-grip pliers, linseed oil and a clean rag. This project takes about 40 minutes.

  1. Cut the bamboo fishing pole

    Use the hacksaw to cut an 18-inch piece from the bottom of the bamboo fishing rod. Choose a section with one open end; the other end must be sealed by the fibrous partition that separates the bamboo segments. This is the body of the flute.

  2. Mark the finger holes

    Measure 1 inch from the sealed end and mark the location with a dot of permanent marker. Starting from that mark, measure 6 inches up the bamboo, and make another dot. Then make five additional dots above it, spaced 1 inch apart.

  3. Burn the extraneous interior partitions

    Put on an oven mitt. Grasp one end of the steel rod, and heat the other end with the butane torch. When the steel is red hot, insert it in the open end of the flute. Push the rod through the flute, incinerating all but the last of its fibrous partitions.

  4. Burn the finger holes

    Pick up the drill bit with the pliers, and heat it with the torch until it is red hot. Carefully press the bit into the seven permanent marker dots.

  5. Polish the holes

    Roll a small sheet of fine sandpaper into a tight tube, and insert it into the burned finger holes. Scrub the sandpaper up and down to remove charred bamboo fragments.

  6. Rub the flute with linseed oil

    Pour a small amount of linseed oil onto a clean rag, and rub it over the flute.