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 Post subject: Putty Tuning
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 9:24 pm 
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Alright, adding putty or plastecine or whatever maleable material you choose to smooth the hollow part under the windway of the mouthpiece seems like a fun project for a few of my whistles that seem a bit scratchy. Maybe with a bit of effort and some time invested I can try to smooth them out a bit. Anyone have any good images and tips on performing this task?


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 Post subject: Re: Putty Tuning
PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2018 4:20 am 
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I saw a picture of someone using a pencil with a blob of BluTac on the end that was pushed into the head, whistle body removed, & said to add a little extra until it was flush with the edge of the hole vertically down.

(I'm tempted to give it a try sometime as well, just to see if it really makes that much difference.)

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 Post subject: Re: Putty Tuning
PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2018 5:26 am 
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I just make a little ball of poster putty and push it in with an Allen wrench/hex key. I start out trying it flush with the end of the cavity, and try to make it even. Sometimes it sounds better if there's less putty in there.


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 Post subject: Re: Putty Tuning
PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2018 10:40 am 
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Sounds like a bit of trial and error. I'll give it a go.


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 Post subject: Re: Putty Tuning
PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2018 11:02 am 
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I just did this to an old C Generation my sister in law got in Ireland in the 1980s. Used hot water to loosen the glue, removed the head, cleaned it, and then made a pea size ball of Duco poster putty and inserted it using a hex wrench. The cavity was about 1/2 filled. The whistle was less prone to "cracking" or breaking, but still tended to be a little rattly. So I filled the cavity all the way. The whistle is now much smoother playing, but also has a different tone that I like less--a little less bright, a little less sharp, a little less airy. If I wanted to continue messing with it, and did not have a very large pile of papers to grade, I'd try taking a little bit out.

I also think it probably matters what material you use. It would make sense that a very sound-absorptive material like poster putty would have a different sound than, say, a material that cured harder like epoxy. I have a lot of shellac on hand, for wood finishing. It cures hard and could be relatively easily removed since it dissolves in alcohol. I could drip it in with an eyedropper till it got to the level I wanted


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 Post subject: Re: Putty Tuning
PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2018 12:33 pm 
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PB+J wrote:
I just did this to an old C Generation my sister in law got in Ireland in the 1980s. Used hot water to loosen the glue, removed the head, cleaned it, and then made a pea size ball of Duco poster putty and inserted it using a hex wrench. The cavity was about 1/2 filled. The whistle was less prone to "cracking" or breaking, but still tended to be a little rattly. So I filled the cavity all the way. The whistle is now much smoother playing, but also has a different tone that I like less--a little less bright, a little less sharp, a little less airy. If I wanted to continue messing with it, and did not have a very large pile of papers to grade, I'd try taking a little bit out.

I also think it probably matters what material you use. It would make sense that a very sound-absorptive material like poster putty would have a different sound than, say, a material that cured harder like epoxy. I have a lot of shellac on hand, for wood finishing. It cures hard and could be relatively easily removed since it dissolves in alcohol. I could drip it in with an eyedropper till it got to the level I wanted


Interesting. The epoxy would be self leveling and leave a smoother finish I would think.

I have a Gen Bb and Waltons D I was going to experiment with. Knowing that I could remove the filler would be pretty important since I'll probably screw it up a bit at first.


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 Post subject: Re: Putty Tuning
PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2018 1:22 pm 
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Polara Pat wrote:

Interesting. The epoxy would be self leveling and leave a smoother finish I would think.



Yes, but I'd be a little concerned that the heat of curing epoxy might affect the shape of the windway. Not at all sure on that--anyone had a problem with it?


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 Post subject: Re: Putty Tuning
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2018 1:23 pm 
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The poster putty fix worked so well on the Generation and Feadog whistles I had been using, that I just automatically did the same for the Dixon Trad I purchased. It was one of the old design, narrow window models and it lost some of its complexity and character with the putty installed. I was glad I used the poster putty rather something more permanent. It only took a pair of tweezers to yank it back out.

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 Post subject: Re: Putty Tuning
PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2018 1:31 pm 
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Because I'm a nerd, and was looking for any distraction from grading papers, I tried this with Shellac. I wanted something that would fill the cavity but be hard and reflective, and also reversible. Shellac dissolves in alcohol (hardware store alcohol, i think called "meths" in England and ireland) is fine
.
So this is a generation in D from the 1970s. It had a bad tendency to sort of break and rattle. Putting putty in the cavity smoothed that right out, but changed the tone in a way I didn't like--made it too smooth. I used an eyedropper to put shellac in the cavity and waited for it to dry, then did it again, then again etc. It's maybe 1/3 full.

The whistle is more stable but still has the whistle sound I like. It also got more "airy" which I don't completely understand: it might be a small coating of shellac in the space under the windway.

Anyway the thing I'm deciding to take away from this is that I would probably prefer to fill the cavity with something that cures hard, like maybe water based polyurethane or epoxy.


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 Post subject: Re: Putty Tuning
PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2018 3:57 pm 
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Where exactly do you place the putty?

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 Post subject: Re: Putty Tuning
PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2018 4:24 pm 
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Rather than type it again... :wink:
Quote:
I saw a picture of someone using a pencil with a blob of BluTac on the end that was pushed into the head, whistle body removed, & said to add a little extra until it was flush with the edge of the hole vertically down.

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 Post subject: Re: Putty Tuning
PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2018 4:39 pm 
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So I didn't invest too much time in this but I tried a bit of green plastecine in the head of my D Waltons that usually lives in my van. At first I added too much and it sounded really flat and for some reason I couldn't make a clean C natural no matter what finger position. I took half out and smoothed it as much as possible and it sounded better. Still a bit of a crackle but it does sound better. I might mess with it a bit more over some eggnog.


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 Post subject: Re: Putty Tuning
PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2018 4:48 pm 
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AuLoS303 wrote:
Where exactly do you place the putty?


Under the "beak." It doesn't always make them sound better, and it's worth trying varying amounts of putty


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Image

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 Post subject: Re: Putty Tuning
PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2018 5:35 pm 
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Interesting, so you basically reduce the cavity size in the fipple by a tiny amount. I gather that the putty is biologically safe, in case you have to suck out any moisture after playing for a while...

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 Post subject: Re: Putty Tuning
PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2018 6:36 pm 
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I think the theory is you are reducing turbulence back there.


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