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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 7:21 pm 
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Looked up and down the barrel, and could not find any marks to identify a maker or seller. I uploaded a close-up of the barrel to the link above to show the grain and color of the wood. At a distance, it looks black, but close up, it is a dark brown that is much more apparently brown when a bright light is shining on it. A bit of a reddish tinge as well.

Thanks for all the advice, tomorrow I will try taping up the tenon cork just to see if that will help stop the fuzziness, and I have a woodwind shop close enough to head over and see if they sell cork and pads.

As for the barrel and headjoint crack, I've seen multiple references online to the technique of removing the wood from the liner, closing the crack, re-reaming the wood, and fitting it back over the liner. Is this something I could accomplish without a lathe/reamer (perhaps just with sandpaper to sand the inside?), or should I try other methods like simply filling the crack with glue?


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:27 pm 
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I should add that, in regards to the provenance of the flute, I assume that it's German primarily because of the keywork, which looks almost identical to a number of Nach Meyers I have seen.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 11:19 pm 
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Be on the alert for this possible 'wrinkle': the bottom of the outer tube in the tuning barrel may be swaged into a flare, making removal a unidirectional proposition.

When you get to sanding, the dust will be rather reddish if it is not Blackwood. The dust from Blackwood will be quite dark gray.

Could you tell if there was any attempt at 'threading' the key axles? Or are they simply tapered pins, possibly split at one end?

Cocuswood was readily available to French and American makers during this period. The French called cocus Palisander.

Good luck with your project.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 6:54 am 
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After looking at your pictures again, I am inclined to agree with Bob that your flute may not be German. Looking at the G# key, most German flutes that I have seen have the key going transversely, or at an angle across the flute. It could be an American copy of a German flute, or even French, but I don’t have enough experience with French flutes to be able to say one way or the other. Looking at the close-up of the barrel, the wood doesn’t look dark enough to be Madagascar Rosewood. It could very well be cocus.

The adventure continues ...

John


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:11 pm 
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I've restored several flutes just like this one. I'm pretty sure the wood on your flute is not African Blackwood. It looks like cocuswood to me.
I think it is most likely American made, or at least made for the American market, and probably mass produced judging by how many of them
are around. Aside from the wood, some of the other small differences between it and a typical Nach Meyer are the embouchure cut, the inline
G# key, the indented/concave touches on the G# and Eb keys, and the ring on the end of the foot. How is the tuning? A lot of the Nach Meyer
flutes I've come across seem to be low pitch, whereas most of the flutes I've seen that look like this one are close to A=440, generally a bit higher,
which again might suggest an American provenance.

By the way, I should mention that I have been paying a lot more attention to some of these details since Bob called me out a year or so ago when
I referred to a flute in a video as a Nach Meyer when it probably was not one. I have learned to look more closely at these kinds of flutes since then,
so thanks Bob!

Quote:
As for the barrel and headjoint crack, I've seen multiple references online to the technique of removing the wood from the liner, closing the crack, re-reaming the wood, and fitting it back over the liner. Is this something I could accomplish without a lathe/reamer (perhaps just with sandpaper to sand the inside?), or should I try other methods like simply filling the crack with glue?


You can do this without a lathe, its just a little more tricky. You can wrap sand paper on some fat sections of dowel and mount them in an electric
drill, and use that to slowly ream out the head, frequently testing for fit. You'd extract the head lining first, using lots of heat to loosen the old glue.
This is generally the hardest part of the process, but its worth learning how to do. Then you clean the wood up and allow it to dry. You can then use
hose clamps to hold it together, ream the inside a bit using the drill and sandpaper to get some wood dust, then use that to
fix the crack seamlessly using the techniques described earlier. Then finish reaming the head joint, using several hose clamps to hold it together
securely. Finally insert and glue the head lining in place being careful to align the embouchure hole perfectly.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:36 pm 
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In the recording I posted, I am playing relatively close to 440 with the slide pulled out considerably. I'm guessing the intended pitch was higher, maybe around 445 or maybe even 450, although intonation at 440 is decent enough.

interesting to know that this is probably American, rather than German! Would there be any particular time period associated with this design? Maybe early 20th cen.?


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:43 pm 
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If I had to guess, from about 1880 to the start of WWI.
I rather like these flutes.
The nickle-silver seems a little finer than the run of the mill German flutes, the kind that were sold through Sears & Roebuck as 'good','better' and 'best'. Perhaps not quite as nice as the 'maille-chorte' metal on branded, atelier produced French flutes.
These flutes would have been sold through Music Shops, and sometimes branded to the shop name. My grandfather, as a young man in Portland, Maine purchased something very like one of these flutes before the turn of the century.

Bob

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 9:38 pm 
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So, some experimenting with tape and tenons today, and was able to get a much stronger set of lower notes by assembling the flute and taping over every joint. Fooling around with different combinations, there is a definite problem with the crack in the barrel, as once I taped over the joints where the barrel meets the head and the middle of the body, the notes started sounding clearer. There is also a hairline crack in the right hand body piece, extending around one inch from the tenon that joins into the left hand body piece, 90 degrees or so away from the holes. It doesn't go near any of the holes, and is so small as to be imperceptible, so I'm not terribly worried about filling it (should I be?).

Now that I know that the barrel is the main culprit for the weak notes, I'm going to have to work up the courage to do the whole remove-from-liner-and-re-ream thing. What is the best easily procurable heating method? Some sort of steaming contraption?


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 10:47 pm 
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Quote:
There is also a hairline crack in the right hand body piece, extending around one inch from the tenon that joins into the left hand body piece, 90 degrees or so away from the holes. It doesn't go near any of the holes, and is so small as to be imperceptible, so I'm not terribly worried about filling it (should I be?).


Yes, you should fill it! Even a small air leak here can weaken the lower notes. The integrity of the socket is compromised by a crack like this, and even though the crack looks tight it can open when a tight fitting tenon is inserted. The socket ring is really what is holding the socket together when you have a crack like this, so its important for that ring to be fitted and glued securely. Ideally, you would do this before filling/gluing/sealing the crack. Even more secure would be to line and strengthen the socket from the inside, but this would be a much more involved task.

Quote:
Now that I know that the barrel is the main culprit for the weak notes, I'm going to have to work up the courage to do the whole remove-from-liner-and-re-ream thing. What is the best easily procurable heating method? Some sort of steaming contraption?


I use a heat gun for this and blow the hot air down inside the metal head liner. The metal conducts the heat quickly. My heat gun has two settings. I usually use the lower setting, but even with that if you heat for too long you can start to burn the wood, so keep an eye on that. You are going to have to get the tube pretty hot to melt the glue, and even then it probably won't slide out very easily. But don't worry too much, these flutes can stand up to a lot of heat. Wear some gloves so you don't burn yourself though. I usually find that the liner is easier to extract via the crown end of the head.

The barrel lining will be harder to remove, because its end has probably been bent over inside the socket, which is difficult to reverse. The other end of the liner (the outer part of the slide) is often thicker, due to an external nickel liner, so the wood is trapped between these two wider diameter sections and will not slide off. This being the case, its often easier to just fill and glue the crack with the liner in place. In other words, do not ream the barrel. This way the socket will end up being the same size as it originally was. From a structural perspective this task is a similar to mending the socket in the right hand section of the flute. The integrity of the socket is what matters most, and its really dependent on the ring, so make sure this is glued firmly in place, then fill and glue the crack.

You should be able to make these crack repairs invisible on cocuswood like this. Fill the cracks with dust from the reamed head, pack it in with a knife blade, ensure that its proud of the surface, soak in extra thin CA glue. Once cured, sand down to the surface level, finishing with 0000 steel wool. Make sure you remove all surface traces of the CA glue (except in the crack itself). Finish with pure tung oil (wipe some on, leave for a while, wipe off ALL the excess, let dry for a day, repeat). Finally, apply your wax finish of choice or do some french polishing.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:02 am 
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paddler wrote:
Quote:
There is also a hairline crack in the right hand body piece, extending around one inch from the tenon that joins into the left hand body piece, 90 degrees or so away from the holes. It doesn't go near any of the holes, and is so small as to be imperceptible, so I'm not terribly worried about filling it (should I be?).


Yes, you should fill it! Even a small air leak here can weaken the lower notes. The integrity of the socket is compromised by a crack like this, and even though the crack looks tight it can open when a tight fitting tenon is inserted. The socket ring is really what is holding the socket together when you have a crack like this, so its important for that ring to be fitted and glued securely. Ideally, you would do this before filling/gluing/sealing the crack. Even more secure would be to line and strengthen the socket from the inside, but this would be a much more involved task.



I phrased that poorly. I will absolutely be filling the crack, I was saying that I’m not worried about it being a complicated process to do so. I probably won’t do the whole lining thing, but will definitely do the rest!


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