Intro: How to Make a Shakuhachi
In this instructable you will learn how to make a shakuhachi, an end blown flute! * (with out the coupling, it's not needed)
materials you will need are:
21 1/2" piece of 1" sch 40 PVC pipe
a coping saw
a unibit and drill
an xacto knife
100 and 220 sand paper
angle measuring device
Here is a link to a video of how it sounds. Keep in mind that I used a picture camera to shoot the video so the one you make will sound richer. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJ90ipNFKE0
P.S. I had to use a link the embeding thingy didn't work for me.
Step 1: Step 1
make a 2 marks about 1 1/8" wide as indicated by the red arrows and 9/16" in as indicated by the black arrow.
Then draw an ellipise connecting them and cut the section out with the saw.
Step 2: Step 2
place the part you just cut flat onto 100 sand paper then with 220 and sand it smooth. After sanding there will be some flashing. Trim
it with an xacto knife but make sure you don't blunt the edge while doing it.
This part is important, you want the edge that you just made sharp. This is the part that makes it sing.
At this point you can measure the angle but it's not necessary.
this particular one is at 30 degrees.
Step 3: Step 3
Now draw a curved line at the bottom, cut and sand like the top part but leave no sharp edges. The curve is meant to fit the part below
your bottom lip comfortably. So the actual shape is not to important other than it should be comfortable.
Once you have removed the flashing and smothed it with sand paper you can try to see if it will make music.
If it doesn't seem to work not to worry! It takes practice learning how to blow into one of these to make it sing.
It took me two weeks! I'm sure you can do it a lot sooner.
Step 4: Step 4
Now take your strait edge and draw a line down the center. Then mark where your finger holes are going to go.
From the bottom of the flute (the end opposite where your blow) 4 3/4", 6 7/8", 8 7/8", 11 1/8"
Step 5: Step 5
Drill all 4 holes to 1/2" diameter with the unibit and clean the inside out the an xacto knife.
Then sand the outer edges of the holes with 220 sandpaper to make the finger holes comfortable
to your fingers.
Step 6: Step 6
Now you need to make one more hole on the bottom opposite the four holes on the top.
Measure 12 3/4" from the end of the flute (the end opposite where you blow) . Mark and drill a 1/2" hole. Clean with an xacto
and sand with 220 sandpaper as before.
Now you are done. You can paint it if you like or leave it plain white.
As for removing the lettering on the pipe that depends on the ink that they used which varies.
Somtimes it will come off with solvents somtimes not.
Step 7: Final Step - PLAY!!!
The nicest thing about a shakuhachi is that you don't need to "know" how to play to play it.
First cover all the holes with your fingers.
Next put the apex (pointed by the red arrow) where your lower lip ends.
Then pucker your lips like you would when you blow on an empty bottle
and blow the same way.
Move the flute up and down slightly to get the right position to make it sing.
At first blow steadily and evenly to until you get the hang of it.
Once you get the hang of it you can improvise and make nice music no need to be a pro!