Introduction: Make an Ocarina Out of Stock Sheet Wood

Picture of Make an Ocarina Out of Stock Sheet Wood

With the dead line for the third Epilog challenge a few hours away this is the last instructable I will be able to enter.
The instructions in the challenge ask what I would do with an Epilog laser if I won.
I would clearly first learn how to use it, having never used one before.
Win or loose I will start making definite plans on starting a home based business.
Winning a laser cutter will give me not just a head start but also something to build up around giving me the ability to hit the ground running, so to speak.
Starting a business is not only difficult but rewarding as well, a part of the American dream to be successful and help those around you to become successful.
Instructables.com and Epiloglaser.com are helping many around the world be successful not only in their professional lives but in their personal lives as well by providing the sharing of information at no cost and the donation of equipment so people can achieve their dreams.
In closing I would like to thank the staff at instructables, Epilog, and the instructables community for making possible this opportunity and challenge (it was) to win a laser cutter.
THANK YOU ALL!
and good luck to everyone.

In this instructable you will learn how to make a wood ocarina out of 1/8" sheet stock.
I have tried to make this the more comprehensive than my last 2 instructable's (carve and ocarina and PVC ocarina).
The reason is that using sheet wood you can make just about any size ocarina you want.
When making an ocarina in this fashion you can use this as a guide to make one using different dimensions.

materials list:
1/8" hard wood all pieces (I'm using cherry)
(1) 1 1/2" X 3 5/8" (top)
(1) 1 1/2" X 3 1/8" (bottom)
(1) 1 1/2" X 3/4" (front)
(2) 3 1/8" X 3/4" (sides)
(2) 1 1/4" X 3/4" (back + tuning)
(1) 1/2" X 1 1/2" (bottom airway)
medium CA (crazy glue)

Tools list:
1/2" chisel
steel ruler
small chisel
small skew chisel
100 & 220 sand paper
a unibit or various drill bits
a pencil
a drill
various small files

optional:
wood stain
polyurethane


U tube sound sample link
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSjJhQeexv8

Step 1: Dry Fit

Picture of Dry Fit

Dry fit all your pieces together first before gluing.
Make sure it's fits, sand if necessary.

Step 2: Glue Sides

Picture of Glue Sides

Glue the sides to the bottom

Step 3: Glue Front

Picture of Glue Front

Glue the front to the bottom and sides

Step 4: Glue Bottom Airway

Picture of Glue Bottom Airway

Glue the bottom airway to the front and sides

Step 5: Glue Back

Picture of Glue Back

Glue the back on

Step 6: Flat Sand the Top

Picture of Flat Sand the Top

Flat sand the top with 100 then with 220 to get the top flat and even, so the top piece will
sit flush on top

Step 7: Marking the Airway

Picture of Marking the Airway

draw a 1/2" wide mark on the bottom airway piece down the center.

Step 8: Making the Airway (a)

Picture of Making the Airway (a)

carve out the area you just marked 1/32" deep with a 1/2" chisel
and clean with a file

Step 9: Making the Airway (b)

Picture of Making the Airway (b)

make a mark 3/4" on the air way. carve this section into a ramp with your 1/2" chisel it should end at 2/32"

Step 10: Making the Window

Picture of Making the Window

take the top piece and draw a line the same width as the air way piece

Step 11: Making the Fipple

Picture of Making the Fipple

behind the window you just carved out draw a square 1/2" X 1/2"
carve a ramp out of it. the vertex of the ramp should be about 1/32"
once your done carving clean it up with a file.

Step 12: Test

Picture of Test

at this point should be able to simply press the two parts together
blow into it and get a tone! If not double check everything.
Do not glue the top until the tuning is finished.

Step 13: Check With a Tuner

Picture of Check With a Tuner

go to http://www.seventhstring.com/tuner/tuner.html
this is an online tuner.

this is where is get a little complicated. I know very little about music so bear with me.
for the rest of the instructable you will need a tuner(http://www.seventhstring.com/tuner/tuner.html )and short simple lesson on how music notes work.
Music notes go in 8 note increments called octaves, so one octave would go CDEFGABC.
If you have heard the term "middle C", it is the middle C note in a piano key board, It is also known as C4. The number indicates the octave the note is at (or would it be in?).
So when you blow into your ocarina you will see a note on the tuner with a number and possibly a funny little "b" or a "#".
This explanation of sharps and flats is for the purposes of tuning.
The "b" is called a flat and that means your note is on the low side and the "#" is called a sharp and means your note is on the high side.
The blue arrow at the bottom shows you how true your note is. For example while trying to tune the base note on the ocarina (E in this case) you want the blue arrow at the bottom as close to 0 as you can get it. Ideally you want it at 0.
Also set the tuner to use sharps and flats.

I checked mine and I'm getting an E flat.
I added another piece to tune it to a E note
As a side note you can add material to the chamber, effectively making the chamber smaller to raises the pitch. So I was able to add material and go from Eb to E.
Unfortunately you can't remove material from this ocarina. If you could you would able to lower the pitch by making the chamber bigger. Theoretically if I had an E# I could remove material and lower the pitch to an E.

Step 14: Make a Fingering Chart

Picture of Make a Fingering Chart

go to
http://www.stlocarina.com/fico.html
and go to the 6 hole ocarina option and print a fingering chart starting with
the left C all the way to the next C up on the keyboard composer. I put in a screen shot to make it easy, so you can just print that one.
As a side note the 2 black dots that are outside the ocarina drawing are for the bottom finger holes on a 6 hole ocarina which gives you 2 more notes. We won't be making these to keep things simple.

Step 15: Transposition

Picture of Transposition

Now we are going to do what is called transposing in music.
Since the base note on the ocarina is an E (the lowest note you can play on this ocarina)we are going to shift the scale from C to E so instead of going CDEFGABC, this ocarina is going to go EFGABCDE. When using tablature you will play the song the same, the song will just sound 3 notes higher.
With the previous 2 ocarina instructables we were able to tune to a C in this case it's not possible so we are using transposition.
I included two fingering charts with the top one being the transposed one that we are going to use.

Step 16: Drilling the First Finger Hole

Picture of Drilling the First Finger Hole

Seeing as how the base note is E the first hole that we will drill (the #1 hole)
is the F note. This hole is the top right hole.
As far as I'm aware the hole placement isn't critical and I have not found it to be.
Also the best tool I have found for this is the unibit or Christmas tree drill bit as some call it(for obvious reasons). Regular drill bits at larger sizes catch on the wood and end up ruining it and best is no bits to change.
All 4 holes start small and you test the tone with the tuner and gradually increase the size of the hole until you get to the desired note.

In the case of this first hole we are looking for an F

Start with the smallest drill bit you have or go to the first step in the unibit and check the tone. keep increasing the size of the hole until you get an F.
The tuning will most likely proceed like this;
You will drill the first hole and get an E# then Fb then an F but with the arrow far to the left.
Keep making the hole bigger until the arrow is at the 0 point. If the arrow is floating to the left of 0 use a round or rat tail file to enlarge the hole so you don't make it too big.
Remember clean the holes with fine sand paper.

Step 17: Drilling the Second Hole

Picture of Drilling the Second Hole

As you can see from the fingering chart you printed out you will need to cover the hole you just made to tune for the G note.
Following the same procedure as before start with a small hole, actually you can start with the same size hole as the last one because each successive hole will be bigger than the last hole.
Remember when you are testing, cover the #1 hole and tune (drill a bigger hole) until you reach the G note with the arrow as close to 0 as possible.

Step 18: Checking the #1 and #2 Holes

Picture of Checking the #1 and #2 Holes

At this point you should check you A note. That is leaving the #1 and #2 holes uncovered.
If your 1 and 2 holes are tuned correctly you should see an A note on the tuner with the arrow close to 0. If not go back to step 16 and double check.

Step 19: Making the Third Hole

Picture of Making the Third Hole

Referencing the fingering chart again you will see the next note is a B.
For this one you will need to cover the #2 hole and leave the #1 hole open.
As before start with a small hole and work your way up while checking on the tuner.

Step 20: Making the Fourth Hole

Picture of Making the Fourth Hole

Like before you can tune this hole 1 of 2 ways you can cover the #1 hole and tune for a D
or leave all the holes open and tune for an E just like it shows in the finger chart you made.

Step 21: Glue the Top

Picture of Glue the Top

Glue the top on top on to the body and carve the mouth piece out.
Sand it smooth with 220 sandpaper.

Step 22: Finishing

Picture of Finishing

Now that the ocarina is tuned you can stain it, carve it , decorate it with a wood burner or leave it as it is.

Step 23: Play and Have Fun!

Here are some web sites with tablature so you can start playing.
http://composer.songbirdocarina.com/songbook.asp?letter=a
http://clayz.com/songlist.html

What's tablature your asking?

Tablature is some times referred to as fake music(notation).
Basically is shows you where to put your fingers to play a song but it doesn't show you how to play the song, you already have know that.
Where as music notation shows you how to play the song never having heard it.
Like what notes to play, how long to hold them, the time that the song is played at ect.....

Comments

MasonO1 (author)2016-01-22

If you want to it yourself just look for woodprix website. There is all you need to make it :)

OCVincent (author)2015-08-06

Going to give this one a try, look like you could have fun with the kids.

wheres.the.tea (author)2015-03-26

Hi... This is a great project but the final product cannot possibly work. Unfortunately you have transposed incorrectly. The sequence C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C is a major scale and is thus, (where W represent a whole tone step and H a half tone step) W-W-H-W-W-W-H. So, If you want to start at E (which is fine) and put the same division between notes, (ie. play a major scale), the sequence needs to be E-(F#/Gb)-(G#/Ab)-A-B-(C#/Db)-(D#/Eb)-E and you need to tune the open holes accordingly. The reason yours will not work is that although you have tuned to real notes, the tonal spacing between them is not the same because of your mistake, as a normal English pendant 4-hole ocarina and so when you start making notes by lifting multiple fingers and adding together the area of the holes you will not end up with the right notes at all... you may even end up with micro tonal notes which are not part of Western music - notes between notes as it were. If your ocarina DOES work then you have not done what you have described here. Please understand that I am not saying this to be nasty. I really admire the information you have shared here and have found it helpful in giving me clues as to how to go about making an oc of my own. I just want to help you and anyone else who might be struggling getting their instrument to play properly. All the best. Napier. :-)

joeynuggetz (author)2014-07-31

Man, this thing is frustrating. On the fipple section - your "window" looks like a rectangle. No where in the directions do you mention a rectangle. Heck, you dont even tell us to cut out the square and how big that hole should be. You only say to make a square behind the window 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch. No wonder this didn't win any awards.

joeynuggetz (author)2014-07-31

Man, this thing is frustrating. On the fipple section - your "window" looks like a rectangle. No where in the directions do you mention a rectangle. Heck, you dont even tell us to cut out the square and how big that hole should be. You only say to make a square behind the window 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch. No wonder this didn't win any awards.

joeynuggetz (author)2014-07-31

Trying to build this but there isn't enough detail when cutting out the 1/2 inch section for the mouth piece. Should that just be a flat recess or should it be angled at all? Also, the pics could have been a bit better and closer up. IN the step where you attach the front, one would think that the piece was too short. You should modify the instructions to be a bit more clear about gluing it towards the bottom and that a small space on top will remain for the mouthpiece.

joeynuggetz (author)joeynuggetz2014-07-31

Also, what in the world does this mean::

make a mark 3/4" on the airway. Does that mean make a mark 3/4 of the way on the air way? I knew I'd hit a step that wouldn't be clear and all the work up until this point is wasted :-(

joeynuggetz (author)2014-07-31

Trying to build this but there isn't enough detail when cutting out the 1/2 inch section for the mouth piece. Should that just be a flat recess or should it be angled at all? Also, the pics could have been a bit better and closer up. IN the step where you attach the front, one would think that the piece was too short. You should modify the instructions to be a bit more clear about gluing it towards the bottom and that a small space on top will remain for the mouthpiece.

Timothy95 (author)2013-12-05

I'm pretty sure this isn't how a ocarina is tuned. I have made a wood sweet potato ocarina (https://www.instructables.com/id/Wood-Ocarina-made-of-Walnut/) , the notes are played by removing multiple fingers, it looks like you made it play different notes by only removing one finger, which makes the holes end up really big. On a sweet potato ocarina it's the sum of all the open holes that makes the notes, not just one big hole for each not. I have never made or played an inline ocarina though, they may be different. Anyway, pretty good instructable overall! I will try making one more or less like this sometime.

The_Tall_Guy (author)2013-05-11

Also, I offset the holes to allow my big fingers to fit, and hold #4 is as small as it looks. Notes involving that hole are off key a bit, bigger holes would be problematic for the tiny fingers of my toddler.

The_Tall_Guy (author)2013-05-11

I am getting my daughters some Ocarinas, though, I have to wait for them to be shipped... I have a 1 year old... who will eventually be playing as well. Tomorrow is her birthday, I wanted to see if I could find a way to make a decent, simple ocarina for her to make noise on. I have some wood left over from the Doll House I made for them a year or so ago, so... last night, and into the morning I made one of these... Though the fipple had to be filed down further and an improvised reed added due to bad job on the first fipple attempt (reed made from the same wood). Not cherry, but standard 3mm ply wood followed up with a oak stain. It sounds great. Spent a hour or so on the holes alone... tuning is interesting. Thank you for your outstanding instructable.

coppertop8 (author)2012-03-31

Very awesome. You could a two more holes easily and then it could play an octave plus two notes higher.Making one now will tell you how it turns out.

ilpug (author)2012-02-01

Kind of a bummer you didn't win anything for this, it's awesome! i Will make this at some point, it is just to awesome to pass up!

zeldafan2014 (author)2011-06-01

Cool design. Im trying to make this. I do have one question: What did you use to cut the wood?

10$man (author)2011-03-29

That design on your ocarina, i think its a tree branch? anyways it looks great! what did you use to make it? dremel (i hope so, i want to make that design to XD)?

Omegablood (author)10$man2011-03-29

Thanks 10$man.
Yea it's a tree bush type thing. The top one I made with a V carving tool and the side one was made with a wood burner, the kind that look like soldering irons.
Unfortunately I didn't even make one of the finalist but thanks for the well wishes. :)

10$man (author)2011-03-29

I hope you win!, Your Ocarina tutorials are the best i have ever seen! tell us if you win!

(once you get on your way with that buisness i might think about buying a ocarina or 2 :) )

Omegablood (author)2011-03-24

Thanks! Here is the sound sample.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSjJhQeexv8

crossfire (author)2011-03-24

Very cool! But can we hear the sound aswell as the other ones?

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Bio: recently unemployed, I like to make things just to see if I can,
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