Hey look I know how to hold a pen


How I made My Putorino, pt.2

Sorry for the long delay, here’s part 2

Does it fit? Close enough DSC04205

11. Get out your hammer and chisels – mark the edges of the inside bore, and sounding chamber with a small chisel DSC04211

Do both sides the same DSC04213

12. The question of how to make the mouthpiece perfectly round — I had a lot of trouble with this, I’m not skilled enough to chisel it out perfectly, I hadn’t bought my dremel at this time, my hole saw was bent… in the end I used a piece of bamboo. More on that later.

Mark out the mouthpiece – I found that a NZ $1 coin was about the right size. DSC04221

13. If you have the skills, chisel out the mouthpiece – use a larger hammer driven chisel to roughly chisel it out, then the smaller hand chisel to get it real fine.

Hollow out the body to the best of your ability, trying to keep the wall thickness at about 5 millimetres

Take care, depending on the kind of wood you’re using, and your level of woodworking skill, it could be easy to break through the walls, or do a rough job. But don’t worry, that can be fixed later!



14. Mark the distal hole at the end, in the centre


15. If you’re happy with the inside, get your wood rasp and start scraping away at the outside. Setting it in a clamp could help, it did for me.



16. Get a ruler or tape measure and mark where the medial hole (mangai) should go, and drill it out, it should be a little above where the sounding chamber starts. Mine is 2.5cm wide, and 1.5 cm high. Also drill out the distal hole. Mine is about 6mm, but traditionally they are smaller.




17. Next let’s work on the medial hole, the mangai. As you can see, I’ve made no shortage of mistakes and have had to fix up this area with wax and scrap pieces of wood after making the wall too thin and going through. Next, take a dremel drill, and start working on shaping the mangai, and making the walls near it about 2 mm thick.


18. If your internal bore is rough like mine, first you’ll want to take sandpaper to it, then take a dremel drill with a big round bit on it to the inside. DSC04398

Bind it back up, just with rubber bands, and cover the seams in pva. If, like me, you have done a rough job, and the walls are not exactly even, fill the holes in them with candle wax.

19. Ok, so, this isn’t playing at all, let’s make a bamboo mouthpiece for it. This piece is about 1.7-8 cm in diameter. Bevel the outside on a bench grinder, and shape the bottom half as well, so it will fit into the putorino body. DSC04401


Seal the mouthpiece, and bind it up, and we’re done!

Here are good instructions on how to bind a flute. http://www.flutopedia.com/binding.htm

You’ll need a lot of cord, I used 30 metres of cord on mine.





See me play it here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7HL-RodZtM

Let’s talk about putorino bores

Before we get started, let’s talk about putorino bores – the kind I used, where the “throat” transitions into the sounding chamber, type a, is the kind that mine is, and from what I have read, seems to mostly have been used for smaller instruments – to quote Bryan Flintoffs excellent book ‘Taonga pūoro – singing treasures’ (which I owe a lot to and have pored over) “smaller putorino hve an inner shape that follows the exterior curve. These small instruments do not have the mature male voice of long instruments, but they do produce very clear, crisp flute sounds.” I may be misinterpreting this, but to me this says “this kind of bore works well for smaller instruments that you intend to play as flutes.” The one I made is fairly large, 48 cm long, and has an unsteady voice when crossblown, and there is only a hint of a potential sound when vertically blown. The voice made by blowing across the medial hole is great, and can be overblown. I can’t be sure if the Kōkiri voice should sound like it does when I play it (as my family said – “like a strangled elephant”) but I attribute this to my lack of ability/poor construction of my Putorino.

Type b has a long throat that maintains the same diameter to the sounding chamber, and this is the kind which making instructions are provided for in Bryan Flintoffs aforementioned book. To quote “As a general observation, the bore narrows vertically while it widens horizontally before opening to the sounding chamber which begins a little before the central mangai. I also included a variant which seemed likely.

Type c, which has a tapered bore is also mentioned in Flintoffs book “In one of the few examples of an instrument that was in two halves and so could be observed properly, the bore in the top half tapered to nothing before the mangai. This would squeeze the sound down to the lower section then let it spiral up as it caverned out to the mangai.”

I think understanding how the bore of a putorino affects its sound and various voices is critical for makers, and I would love to experiment with these, and potentially other bores.

quotes here are from Flintoffs book ‘Taonga pūoro – singing treasures’ (2004)

How I made My Putorino, pt.1

Now, I don’t claim to know much about Taonga Puoro, but what I do know  is that when I saw some Putorino in the Auckland Museum this year, and saw that they were totally out of reach, it made me crazy, and doing a Richard Nunns workshop just spurred me on further. It’s great to see this renaissance of Maori traditional instruments in New Zealand, I’m glad to be living in a time when this is happening, and this is just my attempt at making a Putorino, the steps I took certainly shouldn’t be taken as being the right steps to making a Putorino, especially as they come in all shapes and sizes and no doubt would have been made in different ways, but this is a way that I found which can at least make something that to me, looks and sounds like a Putorino could.

This is just made from two planks of pine that I cut to 46cm length, 5.5ishcm width, and 2cm depth, and has a bamboo mouthpiece (1.6cm diameter)

1. The 2 planks of wood 

2. Cutting them to the same length, I used a backsaw with fairly fine teeth

3. And the same width 

Don’t try to take shortcuts, that will only end badly


4. Measuring the width, yes they match! yeah!

5. Drawing up the mouthpiece, I drew this up with 2cm diameter and left wall thickness of 5 mm – holding the two sides together with rubber bands makes taking measurements easier, and doesnt apply excessive force


6. Drawing up the outlines for the outside, I left it at 5cm at the middle, 3cm at the mouth, and 2cm at the bottom, and just drew up the lines with a ruler.




7. Drawing up where the sounding chamber should go, this one starts at 2cm from the bottom, and 1.5 cm down each wall from the mid point – leaving a wall thickness of 5mm



Insides DSC04196

Outsides DSC04197

8. Compassing up the top and bottom. 3 cm width at the top, 2cm at the bottom

9. Cutting out the body along the lines DSC04202

sorry guys

might have to take a break until I can pass this entrance test for an electrical apprenticeship
anyone know any good math tutors? hah

What if….?

and I got about 5 more metres of bamboo from kelmarna farm! oh yeah!

and I got about 5 more metres of bamboo from kelmarna farm! oh yeah!

Lost Pen, Right There! German Tourist

in the end it was in my mums car ;_;

in the end it was in my mums car ;_;

when lydia visited last year

when lydia visited last year

sure hope that guy managed to catch his flight

sure hope that guy managed to catch his flight

Free Pear

and we went to a dairy farm as well

and we went to a dairy farm as well

Rock Bottom, You Aint S’posed to do That

I never thought I'd have to go to WINZ.....

I never thought I’d have to go to WINZ…..

because the biggest worry in my unemployed mind is how you are breaking a minor law

because the biggest worry in my unemployed mind is how you are breaking a minor law

Chest Pains

we also volunteered at a rest home

we also volunteered at a rest home