Saturday, June 20, 2015

Torn Pads from Polishing -- Part II

Arrows point to three keys with torn pads.

We had a flute come in to the shop that had not one. not two, and not even three -- but four torn pads.  Three of the pads were in a row, and the fourth was on the back (next the thumb key).  What was the cause of this mass number of torn pads? Well, the owner did not mention that there were any torn pads, so s/he may not have even known.  However, after an inspection by our technicians, it looked as though the pads had been torn by repeated swipes of the polishing cloth. Given that the pads were torn on the front edge, it's fairly safe to conclude that the tears came from either repeated long strokes of the cloth wiping the tubing and catching the pads, or it could have been from attempts to clean the sides of the tone holes with too much cloth.

In a previous post titled "Torn Pads from Polishing," we discovered that there is definitely a safe technique and approach to wiping your flute, and you should try to stay away from the tone holes.  Whereas the intentions of cleaning the outside of the flute with a cloth are good, the gesture could cause damage if the cloth is not controlled and if too much cloth is used. Click here to review the "Torn Pads from Polishing" post, which also includes photos of how best to use the cloth for polishing.

Close-up on torn pads.
Fourth torn pad
The right amount of cloth to use.
Using a cloth against sides of tone holes puts you at risk for rubbing against pads and tearing them.  Don't do this!


  1. If you close the key before polishing it will be OK. (I think....)

  2. Holding the key(s) closed will actually make it harder to avoid hitting the pads when cleaning near the toneholes. Best advice is to be cautious when cleaning your flute.

    Karl Kornfeld, Powell Flutes Finishing Dept.


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