The flute is one of the world’s oldest instruments and exists today in versions ranging from the Western classical concert flute to the multi-bore Native American flutes to the bamboo Asian flutes. In this article, you’ll learn how to make a simple flute out of PVC pipe. If you don’t have a drill, you can make the holes with scissors. Be sure to wear the dust mask and safety glasses any time you are cutting, sanding, or drilling the pipe.
Cut 15 9/16 inches of 3/4 inch PVC or CPVC pipe and cap one end with a standard end cap, using a small amount of plastic pipe cement. Let the cement dry completely.
Holding the pipe under running water, sand one end of the flute to remove any jagged edges and roughness. PVC dust is dangerous, so the water helps keep it from getting in the air.
Drill a 7/16-inch hole through the cap, making the mouthpiece.
Mark the following lengths from the top of the tube, not including the cap, at: 6 7/8 inches, 8 inches, 9 1/8 inches, 10 3/4 inches, 11 1/2 inches, 12 3/4 inches and 15 9/16 inches.
Drill 3/8-inch holes on the marks. To make playing easier, you can place the holes at 9 1/8 inches and 11 1/2 inches a little to the left of the other holes as you’re looking down the flute from the mouthpiece.
Holding the flute under running water, use a dowel inside the flute to knock any partially attached bits of plastic away from the holes. Sand any remaining rough edges. Your flute is ready to play!
Always wear a dust mask and safety goggles when working with the PVC or CPVC pipe.