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 Post subject: Flute Materials
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:34 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 05, 2014 5:19 pm
Posts: 27
Location: Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada
No answer to the dilemma...
I am currently playing a Sweet "Shannon," my first flute. I chose the Shannon in order to get some experience in order to narrow down what I want in the long term. The Shannon is fine, and I will probably keep it.

What I want for a long term flute is a small holed Rudall and Rose design, with a fairly small bore. I do not play in sessions, and I am more a hobbyist than a serious musician.

The dilemma is what material to go with. I have played pipes for a couple of decades and love the feel (and the idea) of wood, but live in climate that is extremely hard on wood instruments. I am not sure I want all the maintenance concerns of wood, nor do I want to be worried about cracks.

There is a lot to be said for delrin. I know there is some debate about quality of sound versus wood, but my ear is not sensitive enough to discern the difference. My hesitation is because delrin is made from formaldehyde, which spooks me a bit. (I know the Shannon is Delrin.)

Some whistles are being made from dymondwood, but I have not found a flutemaker who uses it. Geoffrey Ellis makes flues from resin infused wood, but it apprears that he does not make the kind of flute I am looking for.

I would be very interested to hear any responses, advice, suggestions...

Thanks to all
David


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 Post subject: Re: Flute Materials
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 4:35 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2001 6:00 pm
Posts: 1967
Location: Detroit, Michigan
Sault St Marie's climate isn't that different from Detroit or southern Ontario where I grew up, and maintenance isn't that hard. Most modern wood flutes aren't going to crack, but in any case, good makers let their wood season long enough that it shouldn't be an issue. Lots of players have flutes that have not cracked in similar clients (a friend just helped sell an Olwell that's lived in Thunder Bay from 2012 to another friend in Ottawa, bradhurley here on this forum has several flutes in Montreal, and I know several flute players in Wisconsin and Manitoba, all with uncracked flutes).

However, there are good makers making out of Delrin, so that could be a possibility.


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 Post subject: Re: Flute Materials
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:45 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 23, 2017 6:49 pm
Posts: 364
Location: Wooster, Ohio
David, Are you looking for a flute with keys? If so, how many?

In regards to dymondwood, Rutland Plywood the producer of Dymondwood, lost their manufacturing facility in 2014 to a fire. And, as it is now, there do not appear to be plans to rebuild. That is to say that dymondwood would be a limited supply and you would be more likely able to find another material such as ebonite. (WebbWood is being marketed as an alternative to dymondwood; but I myself do not know much about it or its properties.)


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 Post subject: Re: Flute Materials
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2018 3:43 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2008 11:39 am
Posts: 234
What about ebonite? I'm interested in that. Not that I travel with instruments much or at all, but if getting blackwood across borders is going to be impossible, and if mopane becomes a similar issue, there is a body of thought that ebonite is an excellent flute material.

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 Post subject: Re: Flute Materials
PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2018 5:01 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 05, 2014 5:19 pm
Posts: 27
Location: Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada
Thanks for the replies. They add greatly to my body of information.


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 Post subject: Re: Flute Materials
PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2018 5:21 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 3:02 pm
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Location: Wheeling, WV
Just to add more options for you, Dave Copley makes a keyed delrin flute based on the Hawkes and Son design, but not that different from the R&R you're asking about, for $2235 (the top end model). You can check his flutes out here.

Pat

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 Post subject: Re: Flute Materials
PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:58 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2012 1:53 am
Posts: 10
Location: Sweden
Hello David
I make and send flutes to everywhere including Canada and I usually advise people to care for them like you would a pet. Don't leave it in a freezing car, on a sweltering window sill or anywhere you wouldn't want to be yourself for a longer time.

African Blackwood flutes don't need a lot of maintenance. The wood is dense, mature and the flutes like to be played often. At least weekly. I am in Sweden myself and the flutes are making out just fine.

I sent a flute to Iceland last year and the person there was also worried about the dry air affecting the flute. I offered to let him have the flute over four seasons and if it cracked or reacted to the dry Icelandic air, he could send it back and I would give him a complete refund (excluding postage costs). I will offer you the same.

There are entire woodwind orchestras in Reykjavik. I reckon if they are there then their instruments can take the climate. I found a bunch of woodwind groups in Ontario too.

Delrin is ok, but if you like the sound and feel of a flute made of wood, go for it. Delrin is plastic, fine plastic but plastic it is. You shouldn't have to deprive yourself of the wonder of wood tone because of where you happen to live.

If you're interested, take a look at www.adams.se/flute

Either way, thank you for bringing your question to the forum. A lot of people are worried about buying a flute because of the climate where they live. Wooden flutes are tougher than people think.

Best regards

Tim Adams Irish Flute Maker

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Adams Flute Maker
I make good Irish style flutes in African Blackwood for people from everywhere and all musical and non-musical backgrounds in the basement of my home in southern Sweden. They’re relatively affordable and you don’t have to wait forever.
www.adams.se/flute


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