Friday, January 24, 2014

Separation Anxiety

Last week, we looked at a few notes our repair tech, Rachel Baker, suggested for customers to make before sending their flute in for repair.  Of course, we realize that it can be difficult to part with the flute, even for a short period of time.  A bit of "separation anxiety" is understandable.  In fact, if you have ever felt worried about sending your flute off to the tech, we are here to help put your mind at ease.

We asked our tech what issues seem to concern customers.  She said it's not repair, but rather three main things: damage in shipping, temperature problems, and the flute getting lost.  We'll explain a bit more below:

1) Damage in shipping:  Customers may worry that their flute could get damaged in transit, but Rachel assures us that when she receives flutes, they make it here just fine.  She said that if you are carrying your flute around in its case, and it is fine in daily transit within the case, it should be safe for the longer journey.  Also, if you make sure to package it carefully and properly for shipping, it should be extra safe and secure.  You can read more about packaging your flute for shipping in a previous post at  If there are any problems with the case not fitting the flute securely enough, a case fitting would be done as part of the repair process.

2) Temperature:  This is definitely a valid concern, especially for those sending wooden flutes and piccolos.  Wooden instruments are particularly vulnerable when it comes to drastic changes in temperature and humidity.  If you can send your wooden flute or piccolo when the weather is more temperate, that is certainly best.  But, we know that emergencies happen and schedules don't always allow for customers to send their instruments in a mild season.  If our repair tech receives an instrument that has been shipped, and the temperature outside is very cold, she always lets the instrument warm up to room temperature gradually and carefully before beginning work.  If you receive your flute back from repair on a cold day, you will also want to take it in and let it warm up to room temperature before you play it.  Same can be said for metal flutes.

3) Lost packages: This is probably one of the greatest fears customers have -- and rightly so!  Pro flutes are very expensive, and more importantly, a musician's instrument is worth much more than any dollar amount.  So, customers should always have their instruments insured.  Many instrument insurance policies will also cover shipping.  If you have a policy, take a look and see if you can get shipping covered (if it is not already).  Also, make sure that your Powell flutes are registered.  We also have a previous post (on our Flute Builder blog) about registering your flute:

Of course, if you have any other questions or concerns about shipping your instrument to Powell, don't hesitate to contact us!

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