flute servicing
 

flute servicing

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flute servicing    08:56 on Saturday, February 15, 2014 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

grimuli
(11 points)

Hello! That's a "long time no see"...

For a while, few years, like 2 or 3, I stopped the soprano flute, having earing trouble, esp. playing the 3rd register, and I came to alto flute, much softer.
But now things are a bit better and I'm back on my miyazawa soprane... and back on this forum to say hello - that's a pleasure - and seek for your help!

I decided to start 2014 doing a new musical experience. So I bought for a little money one of the cheapest 2nd hand flute I could find on the net, (but not too old and antique) and now I'm the happy (?) owner of a... Stagg 77FFL, sorry.
Well, I was surprised by the sound! warm and pure, accurate pitch, sounds better to my ear than my 30 years old student yamaha flute I still have (but not comparable to the miyazawa of course)

There are air-leaks and I've to press strongly to get it playable. So first of all, I unmounted everything, cleaned it all (was black of oxydation), and did my best to shim some pads and adjust the screws for plates heigh, using cigarette paper as a sensor. The cork is okay. Now it's better but still difficult to play, pads are dry or damaged and air certainly leaks.

I bought a set of new pads, it's not very expensive, like 2 euro per pad, I had 2 possible choices, I took the best quality: the weaved ones, not the treaded ones.

I tried to set one new pad in place, shimming it to make it plane according to the chimney border, but... It didn't work, leaking more than ever, I put the old one back.
Now I need help and little advise! Is there anyone who had this experience, repadding as an amateur and succeeded?

Thanks very much
Roland

(PS I ordered the book "Servicing the flute" by JLSmith, I'll get it in a couple of weeks, maybe it will help)


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oops, text is all centered, bizarre-looking post, I clicked somewhere an unwanted icon I guess. Not a big deal.. I can't edit anyway.

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Re: flute servicing    21:57 on Saturday, February 15, 2014 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

jim22
(245 points)

You have the right idea, and the book is very good, but the precision required is immense. Cigarette paper is too thick. I use a short length of audio cassette tape glued to a bamboo skewer. You have to get the pad to seal with very even drag on the feeler with very light finger pressure on the key.

Figure on a couple hours per pad. Use a felt tip marker on the key to mark light areas, and shim to eliminate them.

Some people, on some flutes, (including me), will fit a pad and any necessary full shims, and then bend the key to level it to get the pad to seal. Then partial shims may be necessary to compensate for lumpy pads or toneholes that are not level.

There's quite a lot to do a decent job.

Jim

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Re: flute servicing    05:41 on Sunday, February 16, 2014 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

grimuli
(11 points)

Thanks Jim.
I still have some audio tapes to sacrify. Good thing to be prepared to spend a couples of hour per pad.
What do you use for shimming? I used some office supply eyelets cut in halves, thirds or quarters. The advantage is that they stick a bit and stay in place on the metal, inside, and are easy to manage with a tweezer when several layers are necessary. There're not really the right size, too small, but I didn't find any specialized shim product in flute-repair webshops. Maybe this plastic material is too thick too for the last fine adjustement.


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Re: flute servicing    20:08 on Sunday, February 16, 2014 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

jim22
(245 points)

I purchased paper flute pad shims available from several online vendors. I think I bought 17, 18, and 19 mm diameters, and .001, .002, .003, .004, and maybe ..008 inches thick. My approach on partial shims is to cut sections from a whole shim and glue the partial shim to a full shim. I mark the full shim so I can remove and install In the same orientation when adjusting the shims. I use a glue stick to adhere the partial shims.

Depending on the levelness of the toneholes and lumpiness of the pad, partial shims are controversial and highly time consuming. I have not figured out how to level tone holes reliably, so if I need to, I use partial shims. A good day is a flute with level toneholes and a nice flat set of pads.

Conventional wisdom is that to level the pads front to back, you choose full shims to adjust the pad thickness so that the front and back have the same feeler pressure. My experience is that the mechanism to hold the pad in the cup, washer and screw or snap or bushing, can only tolerate a small range of thicknesses. Too thin and the back of the pad is not supported. Too thick and the pad wrinkles badly. So I usually choose a good combination for fastening the pad and bend the key to achieve level.

I am also working up a theory that the hole in the cardboard backing of the pad sometimes needs to be opened up to make sure the back of the pad is supported by the back of the key cup and selected shims.

This is my limited experience, and others with much more experience will disagree.

Jim

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Re: flute servicing    14:21 on Monday, February 17, 2014 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

grimuli
(11 points)

I think I'll be able to find flute shims online in Europe, doing my google request in english instead of french... yes we're a bit !****!ed in some domains you know. :-(
Okay for partial/full shimming, I'll follow my instinct (limited for this task). But I won't try to twist the arm of the plate (bend the key).
Wrinkles... that's all I got when I tried to put a new pad. Probably it has to do with the pressure to respect when screwing the central screw - and perhaps proper shimming as well. I hope I'll find the clue in J.L Smith's book (otherwise I'll ask you again). Plus a try-error-correction gloomy sunday, that's the Must, I guess.
I'll keep you posted anyway.
Thanks very much for your explanations, I badly need help, indeed!
Roland


<Added>

what happened??? I wrote "retarded", I got !****!ed in the text??
Strange... is that automatic censoring?


   

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