Flute tarnish
 

Flute tarnish

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Flute tarnish    19:09 on Monday, February 13, 2012 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Watcher
(57 points)

I've had my Muramatsu EX for about 15 months now. After the first year, it had a small amount of tarnish on it, so I had fluteworld polish it while it was getting a basic service. It is now tarnishing at a much faster rate, and looks much worse after 3 months than it had after the previous 12. Has this happened to anybody else? Is it possible that something fluteworld did increased its susceptibility to tarnish? Curiously, it seems to tarnish where I don't touch it - the points of contact with my fingers remain bright and shiny.

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Re: Flute tarnish    21:44 on Monday, February 13, 2012 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

superrune424
(80 points)

D you polish your flute every day? I've never heard of this. My EX never tarnishes.

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Re: Flute tarnish    11:22 on Tuesday, February 14, 2012 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Zevang
(491 points)

Neither does mine. It's two years old and it shines as it was brand new.
There are some factors that could make it easier to your flute to tarnish.
Constant polishing is the first. The best is to remove the finger prints and skin oil after using the flute, but not polishing it.
The weather where you live, if there is too much moisture, could affect too. If it's by the see, well, the salt combined with the moisture are killers.
And lastly, your sweat may be of such an alkalinity that could also induce tarnish.

Where your fingers keep contact with the keys will always be clean, because this contact cause thrust and therefore sort of a cleaning process when you play.


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Re: Flute tarnish    12:50 on Tuesday, February 14, 2012 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

cflutist
(175 points)

Here is my unscientific observation about tarnish.
I have multiple flutes/piccolo in the same house (meaning the same environment as to air pollutants, humidity etc.).
I've noticed that my Haynes (all solid silver), the solid silver keys of my 14K Brannen, the solid silver keys of my wooden piccolo all tarnish quite easily.
However, my Emerson Alto Flute (solid silver body, plated keys), and my Gemmy camping flute (solid silver body, plated keys) look brand new even though they are about 10 years old? I do see that they also plated the body (even though it is stamped solid silver) to match the keys.
Does anyone know why some of my flutes tarnish while others do not even though they are all stored in the same house?

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Re: Flute tarnish    13:56 on Tuesday, February 14, 2012 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

jduncmusic
(22 points)

I've noticed the same thing and have no explanation thus far besides that perhaps the other alloys contained in the silver are different from make to make (maybe even flute to flute within the same make?). Here's a little info from wikipedia on sterling silver:

"Sterling silver is an alloy of silver containing 92.5% by mass of silver and 7.5% by mass of other metals, usually copper. The sterling silver standard has a minimum millesimal fineness of 925.

Fine silver (99.9% pure) is generally too soft for producing functional objects; therefore, the silver is usually alloyed with copper to give it strength while preserving the ductility and beauty of the precious metal. Other metals can replace the copper, usually with the intent to improve various properties of the basic sterling alloy such as reducing casting porosity, eliminating firescale, and increasing resistance to tarnish. These replacement metals include germanium, zinc and platinum, as well as a variety of other additives, including silicon and boron. A number of alloys, such as Argentium sterling silver, have appeared in recent years, formulated to lessen firescale or to inhibit tarnish, and this has sparked heavy competition among the various manufacturers, who are rushing to make claims of having the best formulation. However, no one alloy has emerged to replace copper as the industry standard, and alloy development is a very active area."

All that said, Gemeinhardt's aren't even sterling silver. To my knowledge those made in recent years are something more like coin silver- less pure, therefore less expensive (I may be wrong- someone correct me if I am!). So I would guess that these will probably tarnish completely differently than most of the others that are sterling? Just a thought...







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Re: Flute tarnish    14:00 on Tuesday, February 14, 2012 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

jduncmusic
(22 points)

Wondering too if plating is made with more additives to reduce the rate of tarnishing...

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Re: Flute tarnish    14:12 on Tuesday, February 14, 2012 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

cflutist
(175 points)

To totally confuse us, the Muramatsu EX has a plated body/keys and a solid silver HJ. So why is that flute tarnishing?

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Re: Flute tarnish    14:29 on Tuesday, February 14, 2012 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Watcher
(57 points)

To answer previous questions, I've never polished my flute, save for sending it to Fluteworld the one time.

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Re: Flute tarnish    14:37 on Tuesday, February 14, 2012 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

cflutist
(175 points)

@Watcher,

Curious if Fluteworld has an explanation for your tarnish?

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Re: Flute tarnish    16:37 on Tuesday, February 14, 2012 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

superrune424
(80 points)

Ask them how EXACTLY thy polish your flute and WHY they do those steps.

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Re: Flute tarnish    20:25 on Tuesday, February 14, 2012 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Watcher
(57 points)

I just heard back from Fluteworld - they offered to sell me some anti-tarnish polishing cloth. I confess to being a bit disappointed with that answer.

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Re: Flute tarnish    22:45 on Tuesday, February 14, 2012 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

jim22
(245 points)

Two thoughts...

My Amadeus came with a small sheet of paper in the case that is supposed to be anti-tarnish, treated with a chemical. I think you can buy these.

You might try using some cream type silver polish in the easy to access areas. Be very careful to keep it out of the mechanism and off the pads. I wouldn't use it anywhere between the keys. I think that type of polish leaves a protective film, maybe a a wax or polymer, which protects the silver from tarnishing.

Jim

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Re: Flute tarnish    23:30 on Tuesday, February 14, 2012 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

cflutist
(175 points)

I've got two of those anti-tarnish strips in each case ... they DON'T work as far as I'm concerned. You're supposed to change them every 6 months too.

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Re: Flute tarnish    02:51 on Wednesday, February 15, 2012 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

contra448
(686 points)

To totally confuse us, the Muramatsu EX has a plated body/keys and a solid silver HJ


Whether it's plated or solid silver the surface is still silver so will tarnish.
In fact most solid silver instruments are plated as well because the body silver is not as pure as the plating & does not keeep its shine as well.

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Re: Flute tarnish    09:47 on Wednesday, February 15, 2012 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

cflutist
(175 points)

Contra,

If all silver tarnishes, how do you explain that my Haynes and the keys of my Brannen (and the keys of the picc) easily tarnish, while the Emerson Alto and the Gemmy do not (they still look brand new after 10 years)?

Perhaps it is because Haynes and Brannen do NOT plate their instruments? Maybe that's the answer?

Then you might say that I don't play the Alto or my Gemmy often, but I don't play the Haynes often either (it is my backup flute).

   





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