How to Make a PVC Ocarina




Introduction: How to Make a PVC Ocarina

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

In this instruructable you will learn how to make a PVC ocarina!
From wikipedia;
The ocarina ( /RkY�rument.[1] Variations do exist, but a typical ocarina is an enclosed space with four to twelve finger holes and a mouthpiece that projects from the body. It is often ceramic, but other materials may also be used, such as plastic, wood, glass, clay, and metal.

I have searched high and low across the Internet and found no instructions on how to make an ocarina other than clay.
So as far as I know this is a first so bear with me.

here is a vid of how it sounds.

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Step 1: Tools and Materials

(1) 6" piece of sch 40 1 1/4" PVC
(2) 1 1/4" plugs (I had to use a reducer and a plug)
Possibly CA glue ( crazy glue) , I didn't need it

Sand paper 100 and 220
steel rule
various files
1/2" & 1/4" chisel
unibit or drill bits

Step 2: Modify the Plugs

 cut the flanges off of the plugs, or reducer in my case (and put the plug and reducer together if you needed to get both)
And yes clean up the cut part with a file or some sand paper.

Step 3: Mark the Pipe

make a mark on the pipe the same size as the plug.

Step 4: Marke the Window and Fipple

right behind where you made the mark, draw a rectangle 1/2" X 1/4" and 1/2" X 1/2" behind that.

Step 5: Making the Fipple

using the 1/4" and 1/2" chisel (or power tools) cut out the 1/2" X 1/4" rectangle
then make the 1/2" X 1/2" square into a ramp with the apex at about 1/64"

Step 6: Making the Airway

first mark a 1/2" wide path on the plug
then use a chisel or 100 sandpaper or a file and file the side that you drew flat (indicated by the red lines), it should be 1/32" deep
then about 1/2" down carve a deeper ramp as indicated by the blue lines and red arrows.
then sand with 220 to make is smooth

Step 7: Fit the Plug and Test!! It!!

with the narrow (1/2") wide section inserted first into the pipe with the fipple cut into it.
Align the end of edge of the plug to the edge of the of the fipple opening. I have a attached
a crude cross sectional drawing with the pipe in black and the plug in purple red and blue.
Once you have done this you can blow into it and you should get a tone.
I fitted the plug and the plug was snug I didn't need glue to make it work.

Step 8: Put the Other End In

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. there is a nice one to use for free
next put the other plug in the opposite side.
with the tuner on push in the plug and blow into the unfinished ocarina until you get a "C" with the little blue arrow at the bottom as close to "0" as possible.
If you a get a funny little "b" that is flat or a pound symbol "#" that is a sharp.
(for the purposes of this instructable and for those who don't know about music)
While trying to get a "C" if you get a a flat (funny little "b") the tone is on the low side push the plug in. If its a sharp (pound #) pull the plug out till you get a "C" on the tuner (with the little arrow at the bottom as close to 0 as possible.

Step 9: Making the Tuning Holes

Again this is complicated.
A little more on music so bear with me.
(for the purposes of the instructable)
music notes start with a C, then D,E,F,G,A,B and the next C up.
This is called an octave (8 notes).
If you did everything correctly you should be getting a C5 on the tuner which is
one octave above middle C (C4, middle C is the middle C key in a keyboard)

Thing to keep in mind while drilling your tuning holes, start with a small hole and increase the size until you hit the desired note.

The holes are #1 top right, #2 bottom right, #3 top left, and #4 bottom left.

Start with the #1 hole and start all holes small and keep going up in size till you hit a D note.

Remember to clean the holes with an Xacto knife and 150 sandpaper after drilling.

Then continue with hole #2. To tune #2 you have to cover #1 (the one we just made) keep going to you hit an E note .

(you get an F by leaving 1& 2 open incase you were wondering)

Now the #3 hole. To tune the #3 hole you must cover the #2 hole and leave the #1 open until you get a G
For the 4th and final hole you can cover hole #1 and tune for B or leave them all open and tune for a C.

Just a side note for the high C in my ocarina I have to blow hard or I get a high pitch whistling sound.

Step 10: Finnish and Play!!

That's it!!!! Your done!
If you like you can spray paint it.
Here are some sites that contain ocarina tablature ( sometimes called fake music).
It shows you where to put your fingers to play a song.

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    13 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    My grade is doing a project on building recycled instruments. Thank you for saving me from being forced to make a banjo out of a pizza box. Ah, Zelda, I will play your lullaby.....

    where did you get the parts from? and could you tell what the exact measurements of the pieces are?


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Roughly, what are the diameters of the finger holes?


    8 years ago on Introduction

    can you make it more holes? how will it affect the sound? what if it longer or shorter?


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    A longer or wider ocarina will have a deeper sound, for one, which means a shorter or smaller one will have a higher pitch. As far as the holes go, you can put in as many as you want as long as you have a tuner and know what fingering layout you want. The notes are even affected by how hard you blow into it, as I learned while testing my tuner program on a clay ocarina I had laying around.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Added wav files to all the ocarina instructables
    Thanks again Rimar.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    the u tube link has a sound sample, I don't know how to play just yet.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Sorry, I had not seen the link to Youtube.

    Here I attach a wav (very poor) I did with the Windows Sound Recorder. I think it must function here. I tried to convert your Youtube to MP3 but something went wrong.

    MP3 or WAV are easy to build today, you can do it using a notebook or desktop PC, digital camera, digital recorder, a digital player / recorder, tablet PC, etc,etc.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    How do you attach a wav file? That would be better than posting a youtube link. :)


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Using "Upload Image". As simple as this!


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Wish I had known that sooner, that was easy! ;P
    Thanks Rimar.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Gosh, how did I miss this when you published it?

    Well done!