Flute plans are available from some museums, but the range available illustrates that most of the work so far in drawing up instruments has been carried out by the makers of baroque and early classical instruments, rather than the makers of flutes suitable for Irish music. The drawings are often lacking in detail too, and there are no images or other information which the maker ideally needs if they can't have the flute in front of them.
Consequently, I'm often asked for information on later flutes from people who want to try making. You'll understand that I can't afford to give such information away - it represents many days of work gathering, presenting and distributing it. But it seems unnecessary to force everyone down the same path - find a good flute, measure and draw it up - especially when some of the best old flutes aren't easy to come by. So, I'm now offering a package of information which should be enough for you to make a top class flute (assuming you have access to the equipment and skills required).
R.S. Prattens Perfected
One of the most popular flutes and one not well represented in museum collections is the RS Pratten's Perfected. Coming out just after Boehm introduced his cylinder flute, it is a big-bored, big-holed instrument with excellent performance and tuning very adequate for playing Irish music (but capable of even further improvement if desired). I have Boosey's No 8626 and this is the instrument featured in the plans.
The plan package
The 9-page package of information includes:
I believe this is the most comprehensive package of information available - that is certainly the aim. Lots of people have purchased the plans and no omissions or ambiguities have been reported. Any problems will be promptly corrected and purchasers will get updates as they occur.
I recommend anyone attempting to build an instrument should join the flutemakers list where nitty-gritty advice on flute-making matters can be found. Remember to check out the Flutemakers archives first before asking the same old questions everyone asks!
Although the flute design is well past any copyright restrictions, the drawing and information I supply is my intellectual property and is covered by the usual rules of copyright. Needless to say, I'll take a very dim view of anyone who voids the copyright by passing or selling information contained on to anyone else. The dim view will certainly include receiving no further updates or other assistance.
As you can imagine, I'll need quite a few purchasers to cover the amount of work involved. I hope that will happen over a period but it won't if people ignore the rules. I can imagine that if this does work, other makers might do the same with other interesting original flutes in their possession, which is to all our benefit. Obviously, I and other makers can only afford to make more plans available if we can cover the costs involved.
Thanks to Belgian flute maker and collector, Luc Verhoeven, for his painstaking preparation of the detailed drawings.
And to Californian flute player, Dave Ogden, for permission to include additional information from his Boosey Prattens No 7008.
The flute plan package costs AUD $100. (Convert that to your currency)
On the practical level, I can handle MasterCard, Visa, or PayPal, and deliver the plans as an email attachment in Microsoft Word, or in .pdf format. Contact me for advice on easy ways to send money. The package will be delivered immediately on clearance of payment.
Plans for other instruments
The Pratten's plan package is the only one I've prepared to date, but other packages are possible. Talk to me if there's something you'd like and I'll look into the possibilities.
Flute Making Tuition
I'm working up to offering on-line tuition for flute makers, amateur and professional. Talk to me if interested.