Sunday, December 14, 2014

Should They Stay Together?

A few weeks ago, we discussed the seal on piccolo headjoints and what steps to take if you think the headjoint is not sealing properly (click here to revisit that post).  Now that we understand how the seal is created, and how the headjoint and tenon fit to create this seal, we can address another topic -- leaving the headjoint on the piccolo in the case.  There are lots of cases out there, single or combination cases, that allow you to place the piccolo, fully assembled, in the case. Most single cases, including cases for Powell Signature and Custom piccolos, have one section for the body, and one section for the headjoint -- and there is a good reason for this!

Powell's repair technician, Rachel Baker, reminded us that when you assemble the piccolo, the (tenon) cork compresses to create the seal.  When you disassemble to the piccolo, the cork has a chance to expand and "breathe" a bit.  If the piccolo is kept assembled in the case, then the cork stays compressed.  Rachel told us that a cork that is continually compressed would then need to be replaced twice as often. So, technically, yes, it would be okay to keep the piccolo assembled in a case, but it is most definitely not recommended by our repair technician.  Help give your piccolo's tenon cork a longer and healthier life by using a case that keeps the piccolo headjoint and body apart in separate sections.  Sometimes separation is not such a bad thing...

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: