ABOUT THE FLUTES
Return and repair policy – I have a 30 day return policy if you are not satisfied with your flute. I will repair or re-tune your flute at no charge. They policy is you pay for the shipping to me and I will pay the shipping to return it to you.
How much time does it take to make a flute? I get this question frequently and it totally depends upon the amount of carving and finish work is done. Typically a simple flute made of one wood will take about 8-10 hours. A more complex one can take 20-30 hours.
Flute Voices – Basically the smaller the flute, the higher the voice. Large flute create very low voices.
There is much more to the voice of the flute. In generality a true Native American flute has a breathy quality. The trend seems to be towards making flutes that are more orchestra instruments capable of playing the chromatic scale with more volume and clarity having few harmonics. Again, neither is good nor bad, they are all different and it is always a personal choice in what you prefer. New flute players often say, “I like the lower toned flutes.” I encourage new players towards the higher flutes to begin with because they require less breath control and due to their size the fingering is often easier. Once one becomes familiar with the flute they can expand into the lower flutes with success, rather than frustration.
Woods – I use all kinds of woods from the softwoods of white pine, spalted maple, cypress, cedar, redwood, poplar, bass, mahogany, sassafras, to the hardwoods like, yellow and red heart, maple, zebra, morado, tigerwood, rosewood, and others. The relationship to the material a flute is made of and the voice is relatively minor, compared to how the flute is crafted. This also depends upon how much experience you have in playing flutes. An ear that is tuned the various flute voices will detect the difference more readily than a new player. In general the harder the wood, the bright and crisper the voice. A softwood has a softer sweeter voice. Neither is good or bad, just different.
Flute Finish – I have researched a number of different finishes and use only two because of the low toxicity – shellac and Crystalac. Shellac is non toxic and contains alcohol which evaporates upon drying. I usually dip the flutes in shellac to seal the slow air chamber and add richness to the wood color and grain. Then I finish with with six to eight coats of Crystalac. Crystalac is a finish which is used on toys for toddlers. It has the lowest toxicity of any finish I have been able to find. It dries quickly, water-based, and has no odor. It also takes a french polish very well.
French Polish – once the finish is applied I polish it with a paste made of mineral oil and pumice for a stain finish. For a high gloss finish I follow it up by polishing with a paste of mineral oil and rottenstone.
All flutes ship with a flute sock, for protection.