Thursday, April 18, 2013

Wooden Flute COA

We stopped by the repair shop and found our repair technician, Rachel, working on something a little different -- a Handmade Custom Grenadilla flute.  Not that a grenadilla flute is that unusual, but we see her repairing and adjusting metal flutes most frequently.  This particular grenadilla flute was in for a C.O.A.

So, are there many differences between a C.O.A. on a wooden flute and a metal flute?  Well, not really.  As for mechanics, wooden flutes are currently available only with an offset G and would not have a C# trill -- but those are really the only differences with the mechanism.  Additional adjustments that would be performed with the wooden flute is that the bore is oiled, and the tenon cork is replaced as needed.  When we stopped in to see Rachel, she was in the midst of some small adjustments, including replacing felts and adjusting spring tension.  She had already replaced the tenon cork and was now making minor adjustments to the cork's width.  To do this, she placed the flute on a mandrel, cut a small strip of fine grit sandpaper, and sanded the cork.  Other than tenon corks and bore oil, there really aren't many differences to steps performed in a C.O.A. on a wooden flute.  However, because the body of the flute is wooden, Rachel did mention that it is less likely to come in to the shop with damage to the body -- like small dents and dings that may happen to the body of a metal flute.  That being said, you still want to make sure to protect your wooden flute, even if it's body material is denser and more "ding resistant."  In terms of frequency, you would send in a wooden flute just as regularly as a metal one for a C.O.A, and you should be able to enjoy many happy years with your well-adjusted grenadilla flute!

Replacing a felt.  Same felt that is used on metal flutes.
Trimming the felt.
Checking spring tension.
Making sure to check everything thoroughly.
Making minor adjustments to tension with a spring hook.
Checking newly adjusted springs.
Sandpaper will be used for tenon cork.
Small strip of sandpaper has been cut.
Sanding the tenon cork.
Greasing the cork with some Chapstick.
Cleaning inside the top of the footjoint.
New cork fits perfectly.

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