Instructables
Picture of How To Make A Wooden Ocarina
   Hello everyone, I know I haven't made an instructable for a very long time but I'm back and I would like to share my newest project with you. Since the beginning of high school I have made about 10 ceramic ocarinas and 3 wooden ocarinas but now that I have graduated, I have decided to finally make an instructable on how to make one of these awesomely haunting instruments. This project will be perfect for anyone struggling to find a project for shop class because not only will they have every tool they will need at their disposal, but they will also be able to obtain the materials much more easily.

    Unfortunately, I wasn't able to take photos for a couple of steps so I will try to recreate and explain them the best that I can.

Step 1: Tools And Materials

Picture of Tools And Materials
   For this project, you will need a few tools. You will need a:
- power drill
- drill bit set
- jigsaw
- disk and belt sander
- wood carving gouge
- mitre saw
- dremel
- wood glue
- chromatic tuner
   When it comes to making an ocarina, or any instrument, the range will always be important. The size is a major part of determining the range of your ocarina. Generally, the smaller, the higher in pitch, and the larger, the lower in pitch so when it comes to making your own ocarina, personal preference can mean different measurements. I will use the measurements to my ocarina which I believe is classified as a tenor(G3-C5). You will need:
- two 2 x 4 x 12 pieces of oak which will be used for the top and bottom of the ocarina
- one 1/2 x 6 piece of red oak which will be used for the lining between the top and bottom and between the body and mouthpiece
- two 1/2 x 4 x 4 squares to be used as the top and bottom plates of the mouthpiece, they should be the same type of wood as the body, not the middle lining.
- one 2 x 4 x 3 1/2 of white pine which will serve as the middle lining of the mouthpiece 
 
- Sweet Almond Oil

To get the 2 x 4 and 1/2 x 4 x 4 pieces oak, I cut them out of a stock of oak my teacher gave me. I have provided a diagram of how the stock was divided into the different pieces. Also, the measurements provided on the list are nominal while the measurements on the diagram are actual.

 
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gonna dig up some exotic woods for this

Is there another way to hollow out the two sides of the main body of the ocarina? Because i don't have the proper tool.

The only other thing I've tried to hollow it out with is a dremel with a sanding bit but it seemed to take forever. There might be another way but to my knowlege I don't know of one sorry:/ If it helps, I know that hobby lobby sells some chisels for around 5 dollars for a small set and 9 dollars for a bigger set. I've never tried them but I don't see why they would work differently from any other set. Hope I helped :)

try a burr, it's like a router bit, but ball shaped. there's some that are almost smooth, good for metal, nearly useless for wood.

sickdevotee637 months ago

I am going to paint it blue...ZELDA RULES!!!!

I'm a tad bit confused on how you made the mouth piece, (fipple, airway, etc.) I'm new to woodworking and your diagrams are a bit confusing. could you give me measurments the are at least approximents to what you used to create it? beautiful Ocarina, btw. Love love love the colors (:

buildingupbob (author)  liftupthefallen8 months ago
Thank you :) I'd be more than happy to but could you tell me what measurements you needed exactly
lborges610 months ago
Dear Gladiator Bob wanted to know what would be the measure you used.
and could you explain me this part .

" - Two 2 x 4 x 12 pieces of oak wood that will be used for the top and bottom of the ocarina
- A 1/2 x 6 piece of red oak which will be used for the coating between the top and bottom and between the body and the nozzle
- Two 1/2 x 4 x 4 squares to be used as top plates and bottom nozzle, which must be the same type of wood as the body, and not the liner means.
- A 2 x 4 x 3 1/2 white pine, which will serve as the medium nozzle liner - Sweet Almond Oil For the 2 x 4 and 1/ 2 x 4 x 4 pieces of oak, I cut them out a stock oak my teacher gave me . I have provided a diagram of how the stock was divided into different parts . Furthermore, the measurements given in the list are nominal, while in the diagram are actual measurements . "

because I was confused on what would be the order of steps, which are: width, thickness, and length.
buildingupbob (author)  lborges69 months ago

Hello, I am extremely sorry for answering you so late but I made a little diagram of what belongs where to kind of help out and I'm sorry but I don't know what you mean by the meaure I used. Do you mean the dimensions of the ocarina as a whole or just the individual pieces?

Sketch1052252.jpg
CrazyJoe32110 months ago
Does the mouthpiece/fipple have to be connected to the body before it can produce sound or should it be able to create a tone on its own? I've attempted to make the fipple numerous times and have not managed to get sound out of it, but have not tried it connected with the rest of the ocarina. Any tips?
buildingupbob (author)  CrazyJoe3219 months ago
No, as far as I know it shouldn't be able to make any noise by itself. It has to be attached to the body first. I'm sorry I took forever to reply I've been a bit busy but good luck :)
Arremer1 year ago
How does it sound?
buildingupbob (author)  Arremer1 year ago
I'll try making a sound sample so you can hear it. I'll try uploading it today.
GTAtomten1 year ago
Great instructable and beatiful Ocarina. It'd be fun making one, but I got lost in the mouthpiece section. I'll probably buy one to begin with.
buildingupbob (author)  GTAtomten1 year ago
Thanks, if you want I can redo the mouthpiece part a bit, just tell me what it is and ill fix it.
You shouldn't have to do that, I'd guess it's more my stupidity than your writing that does it.
buildingupbob (author)  GTAtomten1 year ago
Lol don't say that, I'll see if I can make a replica and I'll try to post it up sometime soon :)
If you say so. I'll be keeping an eye out. :)
I thing you will win
buildingupbob (author)  Icecreamismine1 year ago
Lol thanks, keeping my fingers crossed
Tangski1 year ago
Don't worry about using a woodcarving chizel. Just make sure it is a GOOD one, and very sharp, that way carving is much easier to master when using one. It takes to the wood like a hot knife to butter then. Glad you used a good water based exterior water proof glue, saves it from falling apart!LOL. Good to know about the layers too.. I thought so, but was just making sure. It will be nice to see some internal clarification on the mouth piece, and the angle of the air split ramp...usually I think they are about a 45 degree angle, but on this instrument it could be more or less, and of course must line up with the airflow mouth chamber. Oh, after you glue the spacer wood onto one side of the sound chamber, you can (should) finish it also on the inside. When you do, you get an even better sound in any internal chamber of an instrument as then the air is allowed to 'flow' without bucking into rough edges. Use your dremel drum sander to round off the edges and then hand sand the inside of both halves. This little extra detail will give you an even better sounding voice chamber. Try it and see the difference. If you only leave a flute in rough cut, if effects the sounds vibrations dramatically. So, smooth out the insides as much as possible, and finish it just as you would do the top outside! I would show you a picture of my flute process with this, so if you want to email me to see what I mean, this is my addy down below. Keep making instruments. Try all kinds! The world needs music for healing. And it certainly needs LOTS these days...not to mention man as well! The sound vibrations have healing abilities, or so science has finally caught up with and proved that cells will increase their healing properties when someone is listening to 'good' positive tones. Like who knew, eh!?LOL You never know where your creative hands will take you, so never give up, and keep exploring possibilities. Wood has an energy that keeps living on, even after you cut down the tree. So giving the tree a 'voice' is one of the best ways to keep the energy going, and going and going. It has also been recorded that tree energy can be photographed from objects well over 3000 years old....so, you tell me. Many artists who create with wood, including a great master of furnature arts who was Japanese, credited trees with having a 'divine' energy, which is why he wanted to only create and make them into lasting gems. His work is around to this day, and his daughter now carries on the tradition in wood. Cool, eh? When we think of all the different wood instruments out there, it is really no surprise. Becoming a master maker for musical instruments is a great gift. Even the simple instruments can spread joy!
Cheers Tangski
willowswaves@gmail.com.
buildingupbob (author)  Tangski1 year ago
Thank you for the valuable advice and I see what you mean, I made sure to sand the inside of the Ocarina with a very fine sandpaper. I'll be sure to try it out the chisel if I ever get a chance to make another Ocarina :)
OMG!!! I've been looking for something like this for FOREVER!!! Thank you SO much, this is really gonna help!
Lol your welcome I'm glad I could help :)
Tangski1 year ago
Very nice. I make native american flutes so will carve one of these. I do have a question or two. I take it the layers of wood are for decoration? I could have simply carved most of the instrument without the 'middle' layer. Except the mouth peice, however that too can be also carved as a separate piece without the layers again? Just wondering, as it seems to be a lot of extra glue work. I would also use aromatic cedar to carve this out of, not oak. /Also to use an exterior waterproof glue is best with instruments that are to be subject to moisture while playing. There are some nice ones out there now, wood glue department, and very nice to water clean up as well.
Sweet Almond is a neat idea. One can use butcher block oil as well. Or you can spray the inside with a water proof poly coating, making sure the finish does not touch glue edges and once glued up and ready, it can also be applied to the outside of the instrument making it even more 'weather proof' as these often go places like camping etc. Just a couple of thoughts there. Some of the diagrams here are a bit confusing, maybe when you make another instrument, add the photos!:) Mouth piece really needs to be clear, for entry and exit settings, or it may not play at all. Same mistake can be done when carving a flute as well....! I should know!LOL Also, finish off the holes a bit, so that your fingers cover them a bit better by counter sinking them slighly. Makes them look finished and also lets the pad of the finger tip cover the holes better. As for fine tuning your instrument, remember one can also 'undercarve' a hole once you have the right sized hole for the note. That is take material out from under the hole, (not on top), and that will really help to put the 'note' in pitch. Find what 'key' you want it to play in and work the the scale from there, as I am guessing there IS a general scale and placement of notes for this instrument and is not random...? Guess I will be looking that up!LOL
Cheers and thanks for the idea to try this out!
Tangski
buildingupbob (author)  Tangski1 year ago
I'm sorry I meant that you could make the mouthpiece without a lining but the top plate of the mouthpiece had to be thick enough to compensate for the lining. I hope I made sense.
buildingupbob (author)  Tangski1 year ago
Hi! It's nice to hear from an actual flute maker :) To answer your question about the layers, they are for pure decoration. You can always make the Ocarina without it, even the mouthpiece can be made without a lining, but I'm guessing it would have to have a thicker top plate about the thickness of both the top and middle lining. And now that you mention it I forgot to include the glue that I used for it. I used a carpenters glue that is washable before drying but after it dries it is very waterproof. I believe it was titebond though. Also if you want, I can change the diagrams a bit to make them a bit more understandable, and as for the undercarve method I was kind of scared of doing it because unlike clay, wood can't be fixed as easily but that is a good method for anyone who wants to try. Thank you for the tips :) I'll be more than glad to go into them.
Kiteman1 year ago
That's a really nice project - can you recommend an online resource for learning to play the ocarina?
buildingupbob (author)  Kiteman1 year ago
Thank you, and I'm sorry but i dont know of any but there is this awesome tool on stlocarina's website that lets you make a fingering chart to learn songs more easily. I learned a couple of songs with it. Here's the link if you want to check it out.
http://stlocarina.com/fico.html
Cool, thanks.
TekoMuto1 year ago
< ^ > < ^ >

:D
buildingupbob (author)  TekoMuto1 year ago
Lol thank you :)
Newton1 year ago
Beautifully done
buildingupbob (author)  Newton1 year ago
Thank it means a lot
saosport1 year ago
this is great thanks
buildingupbob (author)  saosport1 year ago
Thank you and you are extremely welcome
Beautiful! :D
buildingupbob (author)  jessyratfink1 year ago
Thank you so much
rimar20001 year ago
Beautiful ocarina!
buildingupbob (author)  rimar20001 year ago
Muchas gracias me alegra a saber que le gusto