Making a family of butternut Native American-style flutes has been a delight.
I call the butternut flutes a family because they came from the same slice of wood.
Even within the same slice of wood, there are some differences in the coloring and grain. At the Harp Gathering, I sold some of the butternut flutes and it was fun to watch people select the color and grain that most appealed to them. The keys of flute remaining are in F#, E, and D minor and you can find a few of them for sale in my Etsy store. Very warm and clear.
Butternut is a very cooperative wood and enjoyable to turn — it is also called white walnut. I am also carving some cats from smaller pieces of the butternut that remain after making the flutes. Truly enjoyable wood.
Because of the great sound butternut creates, it is used in a number of musical instruments. My mountain dulcimer has a butternut soundboard. After trying about a dozen dulcimers, I selected this butternut soundboard for its tone.
My favorite key of flute is the Em and the tone of the butternut is stunning. You won’t be surprised to read I have kept an Em butternut for myself!