For a school project, we were assigned to create and perform a musical instrument. We decided, seeing as one of our group members plays the flute, to make a flute out of PVC piping. After a little bit of research, we came up with a process that was fairly easy to follow and created a flute that didn't sound half bad! This Instructable will take you step by step on your way to creating a PVC flute.
Step 1: Materials Needed
The materials need for making the flute are as follows:
1) A length of PVC pipe ¾ inches inner diameter (15 inches works well, so you have room to mess up, or you can just go by about the length of your forearm, including your hand.)
2) ¾ inch PVC cap (to fit the pipe)
5) Rubber band
7) A saw to cut the PVC
9) Drill Press
10) Electrical Tape in the color of your choice.
Step 2: Cutting the PVC
There is no one length of PVC that we have figured to be the "best" length, or a length of PVC that plays and has the best tone. But know that the longer the PVC pipe is, the lower the flute will sound, and the shorter it is, the higher pitch it will be. This is because the shorter length of PVC gives the air less time to travel through.
When cutting the PVC, it is best to clamp it to the edge of a table with the section of PVC you wish to cut hanging off the edge. Make a small indent in the PVC with the saw to start yourself cutting, and then cut all the way through the PVC. The straighter the cut the better.
Step 3: Planning out the Flute
Before you start to cut the holes in the PVC piping, it is necessary to first plan out where you are going to cut the holes. The diagram below shows where to mark, with a pen or pencil, spots on the pipe to cut the holes. For more information on the placement of your holes, you can visit: http://www.friendlyplumber.com/pipe_flute.html