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PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2017 12:55 pm 
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Where I worked, any mostly or fully completed instrument sections that were not up to snuff got put in the bench vise and crushed. 80% of what we made was made from very old English boxwood, the likes of which will never be seen again, or at the very least, not in our lifetimes. Good motivation not to screw up.


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PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2017 2:50 pm 
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If you're actually going to work some Ebonite, it might be worth asking the manufacturers for working/tooling advice, and also investigating the experience of the pen-making fraternity who use it regularly and turn it far thinner than will be needed for a flute. Also, I believe it may be possible to order it from the German source as predrilled or preformed (cylindrical) tubing rather than rod stock? Certainly worth asking the Q.

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PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2017 4:21 pm 
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jemtheflute wrote:
If you're actually going to work some Ebonite, it might be worth asking the manufacturers for working/tooling advice, and also investigating the experience of the pen-making fraternity who use it regularly and turn it far thinner than will be needed for a flute. Also, I believe it may be possible to order it from the German source as predrilled or preformed (cylindrical) tubing rather than rod stock? Certainly worth asking the Q.


An excellent suggestion :-) Interestingly enough--and at least this is true with Delrin--tubing can be more costly. With Delrin it is about twice as much money for the same length of material. But I would definitely talk with some pen turners. I make the wall thickness on my head joints a little under 2mm, but that is after reaming, of course.

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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 8:39 am 
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Herbert Neureiter in Germany manufactures a complete Boehm system flute from emerald green marbled ebonite...

https://www.musik-neureiter.at/en/manuf ... lutes.html


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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 9:41 am 
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I contacted SEM in Germany yesterday and asked a bit about ebonite. They were very prompt and helpful and responded directly.

They sent me a catalog, price list, instructions on machining and finishing and a whole pile of photos of their ebonite being used for various projects including woodwinds of different types. They say their ebonite is not at all brittle (which is a comfort) and that reaming it, drilling it, etc. is no problem. They also offered to send me a free sample pack of colors and a few pieces large enough for me to experiment with. Pretty good customer service :-) So I gratefully accepted and I'm looking forward to checking it out.

There is no getting around the fact that it is costly. Their really beautiful marbled pieces cost about $200 per meter for 32mm diameter stock. That takes a bit of an adjustment in my thinking, admittedly.

However, given the recent CITIES regulations complicating things (i.e. my own pig-headed resistance to any form of red tape) I'm inclined to give it a shot. I pay a lot extra but I don't have to worry about shipping it anywhere, and the customer never has to worry about permits or anything of the kind if they want to move about with it.

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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 9:41 am 
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Peter Otto wrote:
Herbert Neureiter in Germany manufactures a complete Boehm system flute from emerald green marbled ebonite...

https://www.musik-neureiter.at/en/manuf ... lutes.html


Ah, yes, I'd forgotten about those, having seen the website some time in the last year or so. Thanks for the reminder.

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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 9:44 am 
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Nice one, Geoffrey. Keep us posted! :)

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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2017 12:23 pm 
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jemtheflute wrote:
I'm still waiting for someone to realise the marketability of flutes (including Böhm) in marbled Ebonite........
http://www.ebonite-arts.de/upload/36226 ... KB.JPG.jpg
Imagine the beauty of a keyless flute in one of those.

Wow those ARE beautiful! Imagine a clarinet in that!

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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2017 12:30 pm 
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On that site that Peter Otter linked to what are the set of holes near the mouthpiece on this flute for? Never seen that arrangement before!

https://www.musik-neureiter.at/en/manuf ... 5736839124

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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2017 12:33 pm 
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AuLoS303 wrote:
On that site that Peter Otter linked to what are the set of holes near the mouthpiece on this flute for? Never seen that arrangement before!

https://www.musik-neureiter.at/en/manuf ... 5736839124

Not sure what you mean. All I see is a flute site's webpage. Could you be more specific?

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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2017 12:36 pm 
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Ebonite flute. I'm linking rather than showing the image here because it's pretty wide:

https://www.musik-neureiter.at/fileadmin/user_upload/_processed_/csm_Ebonite-Floete-smaragdgruen_002_32923667d5.jpg

I'd guess some kind of inset decoration, but think they spoil the appearance of an otherwise beautiful flute.

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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2017 12:44 pm 
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Peter Duggan wrote:
I'd guess some kind of inset decoration, but think they spoil the appearance of an otherwise beautiful flute.

I've never seen that before either, so decoration is all I can come up with, too, unless there's some sort of esoteric and probably inessential function as regards the stopper.

I agree with your aesthetic assessment.

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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2017 12:57 pm 
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Not decoration. According to the description they are perforations in the cavity behind the stopper for the purpose of "tuning" the instrument.

I try to resist too much snap judgment on this sort of thing, but that does have "marketing gimmick" written large on it. I'm not saying that it has no measurable effect at all--Robert Bigio perforates the crown on some of his head joints for the purpose of enhancing natural resonance in the cavity. In fact, I do the same thing but for a different reason. I found that because I use o-rings on the stopper and on the crown itself, when I insert the crown into the head joint it can create enough pressure to actually move the stopper! This definitely happened on some Irish flutes and it took me awhile to put two and two together. Having the hole in the crown releases and air pressure. Plus if it has any good acoustic effect, so much the better.

But my instinct is that multiple holes in the head joint above the stopper is going to have such a limited effect that it won't justify the serious eyesore that it creates! It gives an otherwise lovely head joint a set of Frankenstein neck bolts that jar on my delicate personal aesthetic :-) If you have to do it, leave off the metal grommets for heavens sake!

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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2017 12:59 pm 
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There's info about those holes somewhere on the website. Another feature that's supposed to improve tone/response, but I "pass" on whether it does or there's any reason to think it might be able to.......

I agree with Geoffrey's opinion!

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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2017 1:02 pm 
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Thanks, guys. That's a totally new one for me. :)

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