Frequently asked questions
I ship within 7 days of receiving your order, because I ship orders on my days off from my full-time job. Please allow extra time if ordering over holidays and weekends. Custom order flutes are shipped when they are finished.
Playing and caring for your new flute
It is a good idea to have a break-in period for your new flute. Limit your playing to five minutes the first time you play it, and gradually increase the time to 15-20 minutes over a period of days. This will allow your flute to become accustomed to being played on a regular basis.
Sound block / fetish placement:
The sound block should be tight on the flute at the edge of the sound hole opening or slightly behind it. If the flute doesn't play correctly it is usually because the sound block is not tight or it is in the wrong position!
Playing your new flute:
Cover all of the finger holes (but not tight) and blow gently. Lifting your fingers from the bottom to the top to play different notes, and increasing your breath pressure as you lift each finger. If the flute makes a squeaking noise, it is because the hole is not fully covered with your finger. Follow the chromatic scale below to play different notes on your flute. The chromatic scale also shows finger patterns for flutes made by other flute makers.
Flute care, maintenance, and storage
Wetting out is caused by moisture from your breath when playing, and it condenses into droplets. This happens with all Native American style flutes. Your warm breath will cause the air to condensate in the flute over time. Also, the moisture in your mouth will transfer to the flute, so it is a advised to swallow often while playing.
When your flute is wetting out it will make squeaking sounds, and the moisture can be easily removed. I put a towel on top of the flute next to the sound block, and blow into the mouth hole for a few seconds. This will usually remove the condensation. If not, remove the sound block and wipe off the accumulated condensation. Reassemble your flute, and continue playing up to 15-20 minutes total.
You can minimize wetting out by warming your flute first by holding it in your hands, and also by gently blowing in the finger holes before playing. Also, it is a good idea not to play your flute when the room or air temperature is cold.
Do not play your flute in extreme temperature changes—warm room to cold outdoors—as this can cause your flute to crack.
After you have finished playing your flute, remove the sound block and wipe the sound block and the area under the flute (flue) with a dry towel to remove any accumulated moisture from your breath. I like to wipe the bottom of the sound block and flue area with a small amount of Spirit World flute wax, and buff with a clean towel. This provides a protective film for your flute, and reduces wetting out. Let your flute dry out overnight, and reassemble it before storing it in your flute bag.
My flute wax is made primarily from bees wax, lemon oil, and natural ingredients. Please contact me for a detailed list if you have an allergy concern.
Clean the flue and sound block periodically with a few drops of lemon or tea tree oil on a cotton swab to keep your flute from creating bacterial growth. Growth can occur when the flute sound block is not removed and allowed to dry. If growth does occur, place 4-5 drops of lemon or tea tree oil on the affected area and wipe with cotton swab for a few seconds to neutralize the growth. Then, wipe the flute surface with Spirit World flute wax to protect it, and wipe with a clean towel.
Pouring a small amount (about a teaspoon) of hazel nut, almond oil, or other edible tree nut oils in the slow air chamber through the mouth end will aid in keeping the flute sealed against moisture. I finish the flute with multiple coats of natural tung oil, so edible tree nut oils are compatible. Additionally, you can add a few drops of tea tree oil or lemon oil to help prevent bacterial growth. After pouring in any oil, cover the mouth hole and flue, and turn the flute to coat the inside of the slow air chamber. Then, turn the flute on end (mouth hole down), drain out the excess, and wipe clean. Do this at least twice per year, and once a month when you play the flute daily.
It is recommended that you oil the bore (the area where the finger holes are located) in the same way approximately twice a year, based on how often you play the flute.
I have a detailed YouTube video on how to clean and maintain your flute, and the video is listed below:
The best way to store your flute is in warm open indoor air. It can be stored on a flute stand or in the carrying bag that it came in with the end left open after it has dried overnight with the sound block removed. Please display it indoors in a place that is not near a window with direct sunlight.(Direct sunlight or excess heat from a heater/radiator/hot car can cause the flute to crack.) *For flutes made from Flame Box Elder store them in a flute bag or away from light; as light will cause the colors to fade over time. In addition, do not store your flute in a place where it can be damaged or stepped on.
Wood and woodwind musical instruments like moderate temperature of 70 degrees F, and humidity between 35%-55%. This helps to prevent cracking.
Flute warranty is void when the flute has not been properly maintained or stored, and is damaged from accidents.