A homemade flute can be made out of a two-foot section of PVC pipe that is about 3/4 inches in diameter and a tapered rubber stopper of the same diameter. Essentially, the steps involve drilling holes in the pipe and adding the stopper.
While buying a flute can be very expensive, it's relatively easy to make one out of a 2-foot section of PVC pipe that is 3/4 inch in diameter with 3-millimeter-thick walls. To make the flute, a tapered rubber stopper of the same size is needed, along with a drill, some sandpaper, a centimeter ruler and a marker. This project takes about an hour to complete. This flute should produce a similar sound as a regular flute.
Step 1: Making the Mouthpiece
A flute requires a mouthpiece. To do this, a straight line should be drawn down the length of the PVC pipe and a 1-centimeter hole drilled around 56.5 centimeters from the end of the flute. In order for air to be forced through the hole, the rubber stopper must be inserted into the opposite end of the pipe.
Step 2: Making the Finger Holes
The next step in making a flute is to make the finger holes. These are constructed by making marks on the pipe 31 centimeters, 27 centimeters, 23 centimeters, 17 centimeters, 15 centimeters, and 9.5 centimeters from the end. A permanent marker can be used for this purpose. Holes need to be 1 centimeter in diameter, and it is imperative that they be exactly that size, otherwise the pitch will differ from expected.
Step 3: Sanding the Holes
No one wants to be injured while playing the flute, so all surfaces need to be smooth. Sanding the area around the rubber stopper, the mouthpiece and the finger holes with first coarse, then fine, sandpaper is usually effective.
Step 4: Playing the Flute
In order for the flute to make a musical sound, air must be forced through the PVC flute. After air is blocked from escaping through the end with the rubber stopper, blowing air through the mouthpiece should produce a C # sound. When the flute is played, placing a finger over each hole should produce C# D#, E#, F#, G#, A# and B#. If any of the notes sound flat, the holes should be slightly increased and sanded again. Alternatively, if the holes are too big the notes sound flat, and the builder needs to start again.
Step 5: Wash Flute
The flute should be washed with soap and water to ensure that the pipe is clean. This will also remove dust from the sanding. The inside and outside of the flute should be washed as dust inside the flute can affect the sound. The flute should also be washed periodically as it is used to ensure that it stays clean.