New Batch of Pipes (6)

Took my time here with the rasp then the file than polished it off with some medium grit sand paper.
The Shakuhachi would work well as a drone (or no hole shakuhachi) at this point.


Lauren said...

Just tuned in. I can't believe you're willing to suck (okay, blow) on PVC while you shyakuhach!

Though making your own instrument is totally cool. Can't you snag some bamboo to work with?

With Great Chemical Concern

Anonymous said...

Chop wood,carry water.
Peace, Molly

Harry said...


I'm sure you know to be careful not to breathe in that PVC dust, right?



SlowZen said...

I appreciate your concern.
I use CPVC vice PVC, mainly because it is more recyclable.

The main health concern; and it is a big one, is in the manufacturing of the pipe itself. Because of the chlorine and other elements used and released into the environment.

Also in the construction of the flute it is important to take these safety concerns into consideration; particularly when using power tools that may burn the CPVC (although some say that CPVC is no more toxic than wood in a fire) and therefore release the toxins into the air. However the stabilized flute itself is probably about as dangerous to play than say walking on carpeting (Likely contains vinyl, which particles are released when you walk on it), sitting in your car (Likely contains vinyl), drinking water (because the pipes are often made from PVC or CPVC), and a number of other things you interact with every day.

I do where a dust mask, safety goggles and work in my garage which is a well ventilated area.

Hope that belays your concerns a bit.

I would love to work with bamboo, and you can pick bamboo blank up for about $12 a tube. Unfortunately specialized tools needed to work on bamboo for making a flute are expensive because they are mostly custom made and have to be shipped from Japan for ¥48000 + shipping. (ouch)


Yeah, pretty much.

Thanks for your concern.


oxeye said...

Hi Jordan,

$540 for the "Shakuhachi Making Kit for beginners" is a bit steep.. It's hard to see what makes it so expensive. Most of that stuff you could find in your local hardware store.

I think you could duplicate it for a lot less.

SlowZen said...

Hi Jeff,
Yeah I think your right, Hardest thing I think to find would be the bore rasps for shaping the interior of the bamboo. I might pick up a shak making book before spring and get some more data.


Lauren said...


Glad you have all the toxics concerns addressed. My gut reaction was more towards the taste.

Now I'm dreaming and designing where not invited, but could you make at least the mouthpiece in bamboo and work out a press fit (or glue) to the body?

I wish I could be there in person and suggest a 1000 annoying things while you work. I'm intrigued.


SlowZen said...

Hi Lauren,
Uh, well, you don't really "Taste" the flute. A sound is made by breathing over the mouth piece, a little bit like how you would make a sound blowing over a soda bottle.

Your comments and suggestions are quite welcome here and I am glad you are interested.


Yamakoa said...

Really interesting Jordan,

Can you play for us the iron flute with no holes!

Take good care,

SlowZen said...


Can you see the sound?

Taking care,

oxeye said...

I really love the google ad running on your blog.. ;)

"Visiting Jordan?
All the information you need is On the Jordan Official Tourism Site."

SlowZen said...

Careful, I am getting abrasive!
Save 45% On Abrasives
Grind & Cut Wheels, Discs, Belts Quality Same Day Ship On Stock Item

What fun!

I am a but sad there aren't more Shakuhachi adds on there. i liked the Mejiro link..

Thanks for looking!