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 Post subject: flute and whistle swab
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:18 am 
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I recently got a flute with a relatively small opening at the foot end. All my mops were too big so I would mop it out with a bit of rag on the end of a chopstick. I found "chenille craft super colossal pipe cleaners" on amazon and they do the trick for the whole flute. They are lint free and not absorbent so they mop the moisture out and dry on their own relatively quickly. I bent one in half and gently twisted it around itself to make a nice headjoint mop with lots of fluff on the end. (all my commercial flute mops end up with a pointy end at the top so I'd have to wrap something around a stick to get up there.) Their one downside is the wire upon which the polyester is wrapped is deliberately flimsy since they are meant to be bent to shapes for children's crafts. Because of this you have to gently feed it into the flute rather than ram it in like a commercial swab.(which is fine-- I shouldn't be ramming stuff into my flute anyway) The fibers also compress upon themselves nicely so they slip through my smallest whistle.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 5:21 pm 
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Here's what you need and all your problem will be solved http://home.nethere.net/roger45/index.htm
I have been using the flute flag for years. It's an elegant design that works well for conical bore flutes and fits right in the case. When the two pieces of the handle are screwed together it is long enough to swab out a flute without taking it apart. That doesn't matter for most, but I play 3 or 4 hour gigs with my band and need to swab several times mid-gig. This guy makes several different styles. The one for the Boehm flute has a larger diameter delrin handle so you need to be sure to the get the kind with the small skinny handle.
The piccolo ones I'm sure would work well with a whistle. I haven't tried that as I use a fuzzy swab thing that is part of a pistol cleaning kit
Clark


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 7:26 pm 
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busterbill wrote:
I recently got a flute with a relatively small opening at the foot end. All my mops were too big so I would mop it out with a bit of rag on the end of a chopstick. I found "chenille craft super colossal pipe cleaners" on amazon and they do the trick for the whole flute. They are lint free and not absorbent so they mop the moisture out and dry on their own relatively quickly. I bent one in half and gently twisted it around itself to make a nice headjoint mop with lots of fluff on the end. (all my commercial flute mops end up with a pointy end at the top so I'd have to wrap something around a stick to get up there.) Their one downside is the wire upon which the polyester is wrapped is deliberately flimsy since they are meant to be bent to shapes for children's crafts. Because of this you have to gently feed it into the flute rather than ram it in like a commercial swab.(which is fine-- I shouldn't be ramming stuff into my flute anyway) The fibers also compress upon themselves nicely so they slip through my smallest whistle.




Nice! I made one like that with a chamois and a chopstick. I thought I'd invented something. LOL It does work well. But since mine was a chamois scrap it stayed wet for awhile. The synthetic in this product would probably do the trick.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2018 12:58 pm 
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Location: Pacific Northwest USA
Chopsticks are great for ad-hoc solutions, at least for flute. I've got a routine now where I use a longer than normal cooking chopstick and a sheet of paper towel: "Viva" brand, more like cloth than usual paper towels, and it doesn't leave any lint behind.

I fold and twist one sheet of the towel tightly around the smaller end of the chopstick to swab out the lower extension and middle section. The sheet is folded over the tip of the chopstick and wrapped tightly, so there is no exposed wood to scratch the inside of the flute. Then I remove the towel and fold/wrap it more loosely around the larger end of the chopstick for swabbing out the head joint. That's the end of the sheet that wasn't used before, so it's dry and very absorbent. Then a quick wipe around the embouchure hole area on the outside with the now-damp towel on the end of the chopstick, to clean off any residue from beer, chip crumbs, whatever.

I dispose of the sheet of paper towel, so it's a fresh one every time I swab out the flute. This probably sounds like a more complicated process than just using a commercial flute swab, but with practice I can can do it pretty fast. And I like not having to rinse out and dry a flute swab. There is nothing transferred from one swab-out to the next, so no chance for any mold or other critters to develop. I just have to remember to pack the chopstick and a few extra paper towel sheets folded up in my flute bag.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2018 12:28 am 
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clark wrote:
Here's what you need and all your problem will be solved http://home.nethere.net/roger45/index.htm
I have been using the flute flag for years. It's an elegant design that works well for conical bore flutes and fits right in the case. When the two pieces of the handle are screwed together it is long enough to swab out a flute without taking it apart. That doesn't matter for most, but I play 3 or 4 hour gigs with my band and need to swab several times mid-gig. This guy makes several different styles. The one for the Boehm flute has a larger diameter delrin handle so you need to be sure to the get the kind with the small skinny handle.
The piccolo ones I'm sure would work well with a whistle. I haven't tried that as I use a fuzzy swab thing that is part of a pistol cleaning kit
Clark

For a mere $30 or $50! I'm in the market fer a bridge too!

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