Friday, December 5, 2014

Cleaning a Tarnished Footjoint

Ever wonder how tarnish is removed?  Well, this week, we had a very tarnished flute in the shop for repair, and flute finisher Karl Kornfeld captured the process of cleaning the footjoint...

Footjoint disassembled before cleaning:
Dipping the footjoint in the ultrasonic cleaner:

How it looks after the ultrasonic cleaner:
Dipping footjoint in acid tarnish cleaner:
After the acid bath:
Applying metal polish:
Polishing Keys:
Finished keys:
Applying TarniShield: 

The clean footjoint body:


  1. Should I leave the tarnish shield for a while in the flute and then take it out???

  2. The manufacturer's instructions for 3M Tarni-Shield read:
    1. Shake well
    2. Apply liberally with soft cloth. For best results, rub thoroughly.
    3. Rinse with water, then let stand 2 to 5 minutes.
    4. Buff dry to high luster with soft cloth.

    The process may be different for other brands of tarnish preventers. Check the product labels or manufacturers' websites.

    The products are similar to car wax in that they leave a thin polymer coating that offers a little protection and makes keeping the instrument clean a little easier. They will NOT prevent all tarnish all on their own! You need to take care of your flute and wipe it down after you play.

    Karl Kornfeld, Powell Flutes Finishing Dept.

  3. that product contains the ultrasound machine? and acid, which is trademarked? (Sorry for the translation)


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