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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 2:30 am 
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Hi everyone, has anyone tried using your bamboo to make anything? I know some of you have, especially tomato cages or trellises and the like.

Thursday I was at a friends house and he showed me a couple whistles and flutes he had. one of them was bamboo and I immediately thought "hey, I bet I could make one of those." I borrowed it, took a cane from my garage and eventually ended up with a hideous flute with a pentatonic scale: b4 (1 note below middle c on a piano), c#, e, f#, g#, and b5. I say hideous because I didn't get holes drilled right, and it required a bit of bodging to get it in tune-ish. so far the only tune I found that can be played on this flute is 'arirang', a korean song (much to my wife's delight). I'll post a picture once I get it back from my friend who borrowed it to show his wife. I learned a lot about flute making so the next one will be way better. I also learned that I suck at playing flute, though my old music degree did come in handy for once...

Next I think i'll try to replicate a specific kind of flute. Most of them I found are either pan flutes or asian flutes of different origins. They all seem pretty cool but I can't find any good dimensions of any of them online. I may have to find a book or something.

I'm also planning on building a trellis. I have a tentative design here:

Image

It's about 5'6" wide, lining up with plantings of a couple vines at the base of a big, boring, blank wall. It's also a little over 6' tall. It will require heat bending, but I've done heat straightening on some pretty crooked canes before so i'm hoping heat bending is similarly easy.

Any tips on building the trellis/flutes/other stuff? what else could I make? eventually i hope to get a good supply of canes every year and I'd like to have some ideas to use them.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 8:01 pm 
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I've made bird houses, boxes, shelves and clock faces out of bamboo.

http://www.bamboocraft.net/gallery/showgallery.php?cat=500&ppuser=2348&sort=2

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2014 2:45 am 
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Those are pretty awesome. Do you have any tips? How do you dry the bamboo without it cracking?


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2014 4:01 pm 
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Rufledt wrote:
Those are pretty awesome. Do you have any tips? How do you dry the bamboo without it cracking?


Basically just let it sit until it turns tan, if it is going to crack it will usually have done so during the drying. Cracking can be minimized by punching out the nodes with a long metal rod. If you do so make sure the end of the rod is flat, having a point on the end may seem like a good idea, but it really isn't.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2014 4:05 am 
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Here's the flute I made:

Image

I made it before the bamboo was fully dry, though, so you'll notice quite a lot of wrapping to stop the splitting. There's a lot of wrapping around some of the finger holes, too. I had to tune it a bit and since I didn't know what I was doing I ended up with overly elongated holes and a bunch of other problems. I learned a lot about making flutes, though, so the next one will be better. This one now has a few more notes, making it a B dorian scale with an additional C# on top. This can still play a pentatonic scale and my wife found a bunch of traditional korean music I can play on it. Well, I could in theory play on it, but as I mentioned earlier, I suck at playing flute. The next one will probably be a bit longer and bigger around if i have any bigger canes, plus I found a couple ways to drill a better, cleaner hole. A friend of mine has a bigger diameter bamboo flute with cleaner holes and it is MUCH easier to get a good tone.

I'll also try to get some details on actual flutes from somewhere and maybe try to replicate one of them. I'll probably have better luck finding music I can play if I have an actual popular instrument!


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2014 8:31 pm 
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I found some dimensions for a korean Daegeum. Well, my wife found them on a korean website. here's what it sounds like: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAPkh4JH ... oSk11HxLJP

Here's a picture:

Image

The top 2 are Daegeum(s?)

There are 2 different kinds, one for traditional 'court' music and one for folk music. I don't know which is which, but I found dimensions for the shorter of the 2. Doing some reading they are made from a bunch of different species of bamboo, canes tend to be around 1 1/4" in diameter, and they are around 70-80cm long. The gold looking thing actually covers another hole that has a membrane over it, creating a little bit of a buzz to the sound, kindof like a kazoo I would assume. It sounds like this allows it to be 'flute'-y sounding while still allowing for a sharper double-reed kind of sound if desired. Kinda cool. the 1 or 2 lowest holes are for changing the tuning, with the middle 6 being for fingering. I guess that picture only shows 1 lower 'tuning' hole, but i've seen some with 2.

The one cool thing I read is that they prefer 'double sided' bamboo. This is when a plant has a sulcus and branch on both sides of the same node, instead of just 1 side alternating. This supposedly happens when the plant is stressed and is very rare, but produces thicker cane walls which produces a more favored tone. I wonder if I could just use a thicker walled species, or perhaps use solid stem bamboo and the inner diameter could be drilled to whatever I feel like. It might be cheating, but I'm not selling them so I don't really care :wink:


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2014 1:15 am 
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I took the above photo, assumed the measurements I found elsewhere described the shorter daegeum, and figured out the dimensions of the other flutes proportionately. Then, I made this:

Image

That matches the measurements of the middle flute in that picture which is called a sogeum. I made it to the measurements, and THEN checked how it sounded. Turns out it actually matches quite well to the notes played on a real one! It's in Bb, covers 3 octaves and only skips a few notes. The holes aren't as clean as a pro-made one, but I did finish the ends and add wrapping to help prevent splitting:

Image

For some reason the non-used side of the node is fairly long, and has wrapping. I'm guessing it is to stop splits that start at the end from spreading into the usable part of the flute:

Image

The main problem I had was a hole that happened to line up with a node. I had to sand the node flat, then drill the hole:

Image

This is also made out of bamboo which hasn't dried fully to tan yet, so I don't know if it will last, but it does work and I'm very happy with it. I certainly don't have any canes of large enough diameter to attempt a daegeum yet, but I should probably try to learn to play this one first anyway.

I also found a picture of a daegeum that shows what I was talking about with the grooves on both sides of the node:

Image

It still looks like the groove is deeper on alternating sides of the cane, but the groove is still there.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2014 9:22 pm 
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If it helps I've found that Brad Point Bits drill very nice, clean holes in bamboo.

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The legal issues that will arise when the undead walk the earth are legion, and addressing them all is well beyond what could reasonably be accomplished in this brief Essay. Indeed, a complete treatment of the tax issues alone would require several volumes.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2014 4:55 am 
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thanks! i'll look into that.

Do you notice bamboo shrinking during drying? the wrappings on that flute were very tight and secured with ample superglue. Now the wrappings 'broke' free of the bamboo and appear quite loose.

That's my fault for using canes that aren't super dried, but it could also be the wrapping. I used artificial sinew, which is just sinew colored nylon. I used this stuff for a couple longbow strings and it streeeeches really bad. It takes days for it to fully stretch in (and it stretches wayyy farther than other materials), though it does always have a bit of dynamic stretch during shooting. For the record nylon is a terrible bow string. I suppose I could try to pre-stretch the nylon, but that seems like too much work to use a string I don't even care for all that much.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 3:46 pm 
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I'm not surprised by the bamboo shrinking while drying, most wood changes size as it loses/gains moisture.

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The legal issues that will arise when the undead walk the earth are legion, and addressing them all is well beyond what could reasonably be accomplished in this brief Essay. Indeed, a complete treatment of the tax issues alone would require several volumes.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2016 12:44 pm 
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Making things from bamboo is really a unique piece of art...


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