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Flutes etc. Flute Repd hints

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
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A friend's asked me to repad her flute. Any hints/things to watch out for? Pad recommendations? Does pad colour make a difference - or is it just cosmetic?

All comments gratefully accepted.
 

old git

Tremendous Bore
Messages
5,545
Have watched Ian McLaughlin working whilst Griff was Griffing a sax. Pads appear to be retained by screws, levelling is done with small sections of paper, very accurate records are kept of the low angles with frequent checking of the results and that means the mechanism is taken down and reassembled many times. Not sure if this is typical of all flutes or whether some have pads floated on shellac. All I know is an incredible admiration for his skill and patience and I would hesitate to even try re-padding on a water pipe quality flute.. Watching him and Griff going about their business, is musical heaven.
 

daveysaxboy

Big ruff Geordie bendy metal blower
Messages
3,312
A friend's asked me to repad her flute. Any hints/things to watch out for? Pad recommendations? Does pad colour make a difference - or is it just cosmetic?

All comments gratefully accepted.
Tell her to go to a woodwind tech,saves all the hassle,a flute would be lots of it.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Thanks Bill,Davey. Davey, just one problem - no cash.... And I may just get more of these jobs when I do a good job... I was promised an instrument that was so bad I couldn't make it worse....
 

daveysaxboy

Big ruff Geordie bendy metal blower
Messages
3,312
Thanks Bill,Davey. Davey, just one problem - no cash.... And I may just get more of these jobs when I do a good job... I was promised an instrument that was so bad I couldn't make it worse....
I understand.You never no ya might have magic fingers and do a great job which like you say may get you more work.Go for it then.All i can say to help with my not so much tech work is be slow and put each piece in an order ,then you dont get lost with the many bits and bobs.Ya no ya can do it,
 

Taz

Busking Oracle
Messages
3,662
I recon that you probably thought of this too Kev, but take loads of photos and if you take it apart, put the bits into those self zipping plastic bags.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Judging from what I've read and OG's comment, I think I'm going to be photographing confetti...

The mechanics/reassembly aren't a problem - it's easier than a sax, although smaller and finer. There are a lot less keys than a sax. Was just those pads.... Especially the ones with holes in them.
 

old git

Tremendous Bore
Messages
5,545
Good luck Kev, it is a holey as well. The only flute key I would be confident of re-padding would be first finger, left hand.
 

Stephen Howard

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,982
Repadding a flute is very much an art - much more so than repadding a sax or a clarinet.
The pads aren't glued in, they're held in place by a screw and a washer...or in the case of an open holed flute, by a little push-fit grommet.
The principle, however, is much the same: A level cup with a flat pad in it will seat against a level tone hole providing you get the thickness of the pad right.
Trouble is, flute key cups are often less than flat, as are the tone holes - and as are the pads.
There's often not a lot you can do about the tone holes as they're usually of the rolled type - so no filing to make them level. The cups are small and tough, so can't be levelled with ease...and because you're working on a much smaller scale than a sax the slightest anomaly is going to result in a leak.
So you have to resort to shims to ensure the pad is of the correct thickness and to take up any discrepancies in level.

In short it's nightmare - and open hole pads are even trickier. I don't want to discourage you, but I think it's only fair to warn you that fiddling about with tiny bits of paper for hours on end as you try to eliminate the inevitable leaks will take years off your useful life.

Regards,
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Thanks for the sage words. Fom what I've read elsewhere, it looks as if a flute will really try my patience. Sax is OK, can do something, put it to one side, and then get back to it when I'm in the mood again. And each time there's good progress. But it's beginning to look as if the rate of progress on flutes will drive me nuts.... Still, I must do at least one, even if it's only to prove you right.

But some of the pads are seated on Shellac, aren't they?
 

stefank

Member
Messages
366
I've played around with a few plateau key flute and have had a reasonable amount of success, but my venerable open hole Muramatsu I leave to the experts.

I recently purchased (eBay) a 1960s student Artley, following a major scare in which I thought I had left the aforementioned Muramatsu (purchased new in 1977) at a pub gig a few months ago. It arrived with a new looking set of pads, most of which were not properly seated. After about three hours mucking about, making and fitting lots of paper shims, I had everything bar low C# and C operational, at which point I took it to a technician mate and gave him a few dollars to tidy up the fine details. There comes a point when you need the proper tools and loads of experience.
 
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