Friday, August 29, 2014

Not All About Looks...

This week, we stopped in the repair shop and had an interesting discussion with our technician, Rachel Baker, about pinned mechanisms.  Although the pins on a flute with a pinned mechanism are very small, they do "poke out" a bit, and some people simply do not like the look of this.  So, she has had customers ask if the pins could be made to be flush with the mechanism.  Whereas this look may be more aesthetically pleasing to some, making the pin flush with the mechanism would actually create many problems...

The pins in a pinned mechanism extend just slightly above the mechanism so that they can be removed (for repair and maintenance).  For instance, during a C.O.A., the repair technician must take apart the mechanism as part of the process, so s/he would need to easily remove the pins (follow this link to read our previous post on the C.O.A. process).   If the pins are flush with the mechanism, the repair technician would not be able to remove them.

Flute finisher Matt Keller also spoke with us about pins from the perspective of the finisher.  He explained that because pins are pushed into place, pushing the pin all the way through could damage the top of the key.  Pins are also tapered so that they stay in place.  The taper begins at the area of the pin that extends from the key.  This placement helps create stability.  If the pin were to be pushed down to become flush, the area around the top of the pin could loosen.

So, as you can see, the look of having the pin flush against the key might be appealing to some -- but it's position helps the mechanism function properly and allows your repair technician to safely remove the pin for repair and maintenance.

Red circle around the pin in position

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