Good shafting takes practice.

Take it from me.  I’ve been at this a while now, and quality tube doesn’t just grow on trees.  You need to know what you’re doing, and there’s no substitute for practice, whether you’re working a good shaft, or blowing that big honker in front of a room full of wide-eyed witnesses.

For today, let’s concentrate on splitting technique for elderberry, my second favourite hornwood.  I’ll assume, if you’re reading this, that you are, like me, spending most of your waking hours locked in a small studio surrounded by tools, woodchips and horn projects, just waiting to learn that next technique that will help you build a better wood horn.

So, your elderberry stave has been burnt out end-to-end, the cuts painted, and the whole thing cured for two years in a dry, dark spot on your balcony.   Now you’re at that critical stage – splitting.  I hope you cured more than one stick, because the learning curve is a bit steep, and it may take a few tries to have a successful crack travel down the centre.  Anyway, have a look at the pics.  They should help.

Okay, so you’ve actually read this far down and it’s not because you’re secretly making a wood horn in your shed, is it?  (if you are, seriously, tell me. There’s like one other woodhorn maker in Canada, and he makes alphorns and doesn’t want to talk about it)  But if you’ve come this far, and you don’t know it, the people who play these instruments are having a big show this Saturday away down in Gastown in lovely Vancouver, at the Ironworks.  8pm – midnight.  You should come.  LFM Record a show show flyer

Caution:  Children will be traumatized by this show.  Further, they will be asking difficult questions about the monkey puppets that you will be hard pressed to properly answer.  Better you should just get a sitter and have a little mommy and daddy time out on the town.  Thanks for reading.


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