Sun Dog Flute Works is located on the west slope of the North Cascades mountain range near Seattle. We make American Indian style flutes from quality local woods – mostly yellow cedar, native cherry, big leaf maple, alder and western red cedar from Washington State and British Columbia. We also make a limited number of flutes from more exotic hardwoods.
Many of our flutes are made from salvaged wood, or wood from small mills that specialize in the harvesting of old trees that need to be removed for various reasons. Some wood comes as “left over” from friends who are cabinet makers, or who are remodeling historic buildings. Most of the hardwood we use comes from similar sources in the Hawaiian Islands.
We have a small shop, and only a limited number of flutes are available at any given time. We do not have the tools necessary to make the larger bore, lower key flutes, so we concentrate on the mid-range (7/8 to 1 inch) and higher (½ to ¾ inch) keys.
Each flute is hand crafted, so no two are exactly alike. The woods used in making the various components are unique to each flute. As a result, each flute, even though made from pieces of wood from the same trees, will have subtle differences in tone.
The flue block (also called the “totem” or “bird” or “saddle”) is mated to the individual instrument when the flute is first given voice. Most blocks will interchange within a common bore dimension (in other words, the block from a 1 inch bore flute will generally fit our other 1 inch bore flutes, but may not fit one of our flutes with 1/2 inch bore). We produce a limited range of flue block styles, mostly reflecting the traditional American Indian bird, animal and simple “saddle” shapes. We are also aware that many people like to personalize their flute with a distinctive block, and we are happy to work with any one who has a special design in mind.
All wooden components are finished in their natural color – No stain or paint is used unless specifically ordered. Flaws in the wood (whether natural or due to previous use) may be filled with contrasting materials (wood, stone, shell, acrylic chips) which are then sealed and finished. These repairs serve to highlight the individual character of the flute.
Both interior and exterior surfaces are sanded and sealed. The interiors are sealed with a cyanoacrylate based finish. The exterior surfaces first sealed with a sanding sealer prior to the final sanding, followed by a coat of the cyanoacrylate based finish. Finely the exteriors are buffed and waxed. While the both sanding sealer and finish have volatile drying agents, this dissipates as the sealer and finish dry. All the products used in the manufacture of the flute are safe to put against your lips and mouth in their finished state.