New to posting here, but I have been reading things and searching on things here for a few months now. I had a question to those of you who have replaced pads on your flute. My question I guess would be, who do you recommend to order pads from? Can you find pads locally at a music store, or is it an online only deal?
I'm just looking for run of the mill pads, I don't need any gold, or synthetic stuff, just basic. Also, when you order the pads, do they come with any paper shims, or is that something you would have to order separately?
And for those who are curious, I'm re-padding a Yamaha 225s, and a Gemeinhardt M2.
I have no experience with this what so ever, I have been researching, and actually found a GREAT manual online for free, studied that. Have taken apart both flutes numerous times, watched any and all YouTube videos that deal with taking apart or building flutes etc for over a month now. I have studied everything lol
I have 2 flutes to practice on, they both NEED new pads, and I do not have the money to get someone to do it for me. I am a SAHM of 4 kids 5yrs and under, and after 830pm, I have a lot of time to kill, and I have a mind that needs to learn. I used to take apart and rebuild old sewing machines for my own happiness. I like taking apart stuff, and fixing things.
If you have any negative comments, keep them to yourself, I have read some pretty mean stuff to people who wanted to repad a flute, and it seems like everyone is generally against it. I can see that, and understand why. I took a billion pictures with my phone as I took my flute apart the first time lol I sat there for 20mins, scared to even put it back together, and it took me about 3 hours to take it apart, polish and clean, and put it back together, had to figure out why it didn't play right, realized I forgot to hook a spring, then realized a spring was out of alignment and had to figure out how to get it bent right, then my keys wouldn't press down at the same time, or one would seal poorly (I don't know the proper names for the keys, but the keys that press down the others keys) so I had to adjust the screws on that. Its a VERY tedious process, but I loved it! If you are not slow going, and very careful, yeah, you could easily mess up your flute. Its something that takes a LOT of patience, a lot of observing to see how it all works, especially when adjusting the screws, and a lot of time. Having the right tools helps too
Anyways, figure I'd throw in the back story there as well, so people can get an understanding of where I am coming from. If any of it comes off as rude, please don't take it that way. I love my flutes, and I LOVED playing when I was younger, and I love learning.
So yeah, sorry for the novel, but figured I'd get it out of the way LOL
Thank you! Sorry for the extra question, but are the plastic shims better than paper? Common sense in my head says yes, seeing as how humidity wouldn't affect them like paper, but then I would think thin sheets of plastic would be more brittle, which would have draw backs too...Or does it really not make a difference in the end? I suppose paper would be easier to work with for partial shims if needed...But I do know from what I have read, that you want to avoid partial shims if you can.
Thank you again! I really do appreciate all your help
You're in for a good adventure. I'm on about my eighth flute, also an M2. I'm using 2.7 mm pads from musicmedic.com, and paper shims from jlsmith.com. The pads Joe recommended may be easier to get to seal since they are softer. It takes me up to a couple hours per pad. If you search this forum you should find threads from when I was getting started. Another forum to check is saxontheweb. There are a couple good books and several web articles you can learn from, one book by phelan and burkart, and one by reg thorp.
There's lots to buy and learn. You will not save money on the first two flutes, but it's very rewarding. I've actually started doing simple maintenance and repairs from paying clients. It's a little late tonight, but if you read my old threads and have questions, I'll be online off and on.
Paper shims are fine, you can go with the plastic if you want. Those Valentinos paper shims are quite nice. The plastic shim has no advantage or disadvantage for a felt pad. You have to use them with cushion within a cup style pads because the plastis seals against the back better.
The concept that a hard pad is better is false. It's all in how you install it. The luciens are standard issue in many felt pad equipped pro flutes. You don't really need anything fancy for any flute. What's important is how it is installed. The more high tech the pad is, the more it can be prone to a failure rate.
The B38s I was thinking are soft (I haven't tried them yet). The Lucien pads I have tried, and they are nice and flat, but quite firm, maybe more so than the musicmedic pads. For a student flute with miserable toneholes, would the B38s be easier to deal with?
I'd LOVE to learn to level toneholes, but that might be the subject of another post. Is the JLSmith tonehole mandrel/Steele ball kit effective? I'm good at leveling keys, but have yet to level a tone hole. I spend way too much time shimming.
If the tone holes were miserable I would level them to whatever degree would be possible and then pad. Shimming miserable tone holes is just not worth the effort without leveling out the tone holes. Once you get to that point B38 or Lucien deluxe doesn't matter. The setup (key geometry) and a level tone hole makes the job pretty standard. Again, the pad doesn't matter. The key geometry and associated components need to be within a certain range. If they are not and you don;t correct them, You are going to have a head banging migraine.
That whole procedure is beyond the scope of an internet forum. You can do it, but you will do a lot of soul searching about continuing again when you have bad geometry and wavy tone holes.
Prep is everything. Correcting tone holes and setting up all components in the geometry if out of whack makes padding infinitely easier.
But that's what hands on courses are for. It's so much easier to see, explain and do, than just explain.
You guys are my heroes right now! Thank you for all the information on finding these things, and sharing your opinions and experiences
I have now found out, that paper shims are gonna be my killer on buying. LOL I think, so far in measuring, I have 6 different sizes between the flutes where shims will be needed. I'm not even gonna ask what leveling tone holes is all about, sounds very important, and very VERY tricky, more so than just padding a flute. So I will wait to venture to that land after seeing how this all goes!
My boyfriend bought me digital calipers as my birthday present yesterday! So I have been measuring like crazy! And after I get measurements, gonna measure a couple more times just to be safe! My dad, and many other folks always say measure twice, cut once, I figure with flutes, measure 3 times, and order pads once! LOL
I think I will order pads through musicmedic, I found if you order the pads separately, its cheaper by a couple dollars than ordering a set, and I plan on getting a couple extra of each size (or a few more if its a common one!) so if I do butcher a pad or more, I will have some spares. I'm sure I'll kill a few by accident, but its all about learning, and if I don't, I'll have some spares on hand if I do any more flutes after these two are done.
You guys have been an awesome help. I'll probably be MIA for a bit while waiting for supplies to come in, I'll have to order shims first, then the pads, and cork pieces. A lot of the cork bumpers (the super tiny pieces have come off, i can see the old shellac from where they were.)
Also, is shellac the way to go with putting those on, or is there a better glue/adhesive?
Bummer, I just typed out a long reply and it vaporized. Here's a short one...
Music medic offers a small assortment of sheet cork that's perfect. I use rubber contact cement. Larger bumpers (D#, trills) I sculpt from larger chunks of cork and glue on with hot glue. I bought pellets, maybe from jlsmith.
When I started I ordered one pad of each diameter of 2.7mm from music medic. Then use those to test fit and order the sizes you need. The fit should be snug but not to tight. Forcing in a pad that is to big results in wrinkling and damaging the pad if you need to remove it for shimming.
I put in one pad from instrument clinic today. The tone hole seemed pretty flat, and the pad went in and sealed right away as soon as I leveled the key. I love when that happens. I really could use a just couple breadcrumbs about leveling rolled tone holes.