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That Pesky DD Fife

It takes persistence to finish a musical instrument to the level that it really works.  After the failure of the first "DD" fife through having a bore that was not straight, I set out  to make some more, having learnt from the first.  I sorted out a long length of Matai that was from some demolition, possibly that of my own old garage that had stood where my present  workshop now stands.

This piece of timber was not quite as good as the first one.  Heart wood is the best wood from any tree.  This piece had only some heart wood.

I cut it into 4X 550mm lenths.

It looked to be good quality wood when cut.

Next stage....... holes.

I would be using two augers: - The bottom one is a Bosch Daredevil auger that is very fast but tends to clog.  It has two cutting edges. It will bore a straight hole.  It is not long enough.  The top one is also 13mm but is long enough.  It has only one cutting edge at the end.  These augers will not always drill perfectly straight.


The long auger shown as it has finished drilling.  Is the hole straight?

It is a very long auger and straightness is vital.  If it isn't straight?   Firewood!

This foto shows the long auger.

It is long enough by aboiut 100mm.

I drilled six blocks of wood:- four Matai, one Merbau and one Macrocarpa.   Two attempts with the Matai were not straght so they became 310mm blocks for "D" pipes.

I generated quite a bit of firewood though, when I trimmed the blanks so they could be put on the lathe.

This shot shows the 16mm auger which I used to ream out the holes.  13mm would only give a fife that would play in the upper notes of the normal range.

The Merbau on the lathe ready to have its collar turned so that it fits into the chuck properly and is centered.

The hole in one of the two matai had gone dangerously close to the edge.  Solution, cut a piece off the other edge and glue it on the other side.  The hole is now in the centre again.  The two pieces before gluing.

This foto is an attempt to show what a straight holw looks like.

The clamps are all in place gluing the extra piece onto the end.

This is what the result looks like on the lathe.

When the work is finished it is hard to see the joint between the pieces of the wood as they are both from the same piece of timber.  It has saved me from burning otherwise nice pieces of timber.

Cheers Chris the Pipemaker

1 Comment to That Pesky DD Fife:

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Nishan on Saturday, 15 September 2018 7:48 p.m.
Your blog is great. I read a lot of interesting things from it. Thank you very much for sharing
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