Wood Types

Every wood has unique characteristics that have to be in balance for flutemaking, most importantly being tonal quality and durability. The woods listed below are well-balanced choices and I handpick every blank to ensure the finest pieces are used for my flutes. For stock availability and pricing, please get in touch.

The woods on this page:

 

Walnut

Walnut trees originate from Gaul. Native tribes see the Walnut as a symbol for clarity and focus, and a beginning of new projects.

The wood of the walnut tree is dark gray/brownish with beautiful markings and has a tight grain that can be shaped and polished very easily.

Walnut has an average density, so as a flute it is really fit for any type of key. Its timbre is clear and present, with a distinct raspy character.

Maple

Maple is a fine grained wood of considerable hardness. It has a very clear tone that is velvety and robust, especially fit for midtone and higher flutes.

The basic color of Maple is white or cream colored, with the grain markings being a rich brown.

It is sometimes referred to as Curly Maple due to the ripples in the grain pattern, that create a three dimensional effect that appears as if the grain has “curled” along the length of the board.

Padauk

The brilliant Padauk tree is an exotic hardwood tree found in Asia and Africa.

Padauk wood is very strong and durable and has excellent rot resistance. It has a very bright red/orange color, that evolves over time into a warm brown color with beautiful natural drawings.

Padauk is popular for instrument building thanks to its aesthetic characteristics and its exceptional stability.

Cherry

The pristine Cherry wood comes from a tree of the Rose family. In Roman mythology the Cherry tree comes under the dominion of the goddess Venus and symbolizes sensuality.

Cherry wood has excellent acoustical properties making it one of the most preferred woods for Native American style flutes. Its sound is clear and pristine, but also soft and round at the same time.

Cherry is renowned for its color and aging process. It starts out light pink and darkens over time to a rich reddish hue with a lustrous patina.

Chestnut

Chestnut trees are a symbol for trustworthiness and reliability, providing stability and kindness during difficult times.

The wood is lightweight and thanks to its high tannin content has a very high decay resistance translating in high durability, making it excellent for Native American flutes.

Chestnut wood sounds very resonant on a Native American flute and has a natural, rough character.

Red Cedar

Cedar is the grandfather of the Native American flute. According to legend the first flute was made from the branch of a Cedar tree, and today Cedar it is still the most commonly used wood for Native American flutes.

The wood of Cedar trees is very soft and light creating a very warm and full voice. Cedar wood is also exceptionally durable thanks to the natural preservatives it has.

Red cedar wood is reddish to pinkish brown, often with random streaks and bands of darker red/brown areas.

Ash

The healthy Ash tree is said to grow from the underworld to the heavens, connecting the three realms. Ash wood is mostly famed for its resilience and strength.

Ash has a golden brown color with rich and deeply figured grain patterns.

The sound of Native American Style Flutes made from Ash wood is very clear, lucid and full bodied, with a certain depth and hollow quality.

Juniper

Juniper trees are an evergreen tree growing berry-like cones (called Juniper berries) that are used in purification rituals.

The Juniper tree can live for 1,000 years old and provides a white softwood with strikingly colorful orange and purple adorations.

Juniper has qualities very similar to red cedar but is even more durable, making it an absolute perfect wood for flutemaking. The only downside: it is very hard to find.

The voice of the wood is also similar to cedar: full bodied, at once soft and mellow as well as clear and pristine.

Olive

Olive trees are native from ancient Greece and symbolize longevity, healthiness and growth. Some grow older than 1000 years.

The wood is hard and has a rich color, prized around the world for its appearance its density and texture.

Olive trees grow in a very twisted and irregular way that gives the wood beautiful and contrasting grain markings. The wood also has a very distinct and fruity scent to it.

Even though the wood is hard, the sound is soft like milk: sweet and full. An exquisite choice for making a Native American flute.

If you want to see what flutes I have available in stock take a look at my flute store. For custom orders, just send me a message using the contact page.

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