These flutes and whistles are made in the workshop using various machines including a lathe and a selection of hand tools. Some of the metal tools specifically required for flute-making need to be made on the metal lathe first since these kinds of tools can not be bought. The main example of this are the metal reamers which are made of high quality tool steel and are used for accurately cutting the irregular profile of the flute bores and which need to be turned and milled on the lathe for each model of flute. The inside of the whistle mouthpieces are also cut using reamers made on the metal lathe. The metal tuning slides for the flutes are made from metal tubing which is drawn down to exact size using a hydraulic press and sets of precisely sized metal slugs and dies which themselves are also made up on the metal lathe.

Once the bore of the flute and the joints have been cut and turned, the outside of the flute needs to be turned down to the right diameter to give the correct chimney height for the embouchure hole in the head and the toneholes along the body.

The final stage of voicing the embouchure hole and tuning of the toneholes by undercutting is done using hand tools, along with an electronic tuner for guidance but the ear must be the ultimate judge.

Of course there’s far more to it than this…