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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2018 2:49 pm 
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I've decided to hang onto this Nicholsonized Rudall, Rose and Carte (#6078) and am purchasing it, instead of trying to sell it for my friend John. Its a lovely specimen with great playing properties and all intact, just needing some minor restoration etc. Eventually I might make copies of this one, blocks and all - though that will take some tooling up and practice3. Its rare that I do something like this!

Casey

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2018 3:34 pm 
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Darn, another one off the market.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2018 3:33 am 
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Casey Burns wrote:
I've decided to hang onto this Nicholsonized Rudall, Rose and Carte (#6078) and am purchasing it, instead of trying to sell it for my friend John. Its a lovely specimen with great playing properties and all intact, just needing some minor restoration etc. Eventually I might make copies of this one, blocks and all - though that will take some tooling up and practice3. Its rare that I do something like this!

Casey


Have you shown us an image of this beast, Casey? Damn, I'm drooling on the keyboard again....

#6078. So around 1854?

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2018 11:08 am 
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See below, Terry.

I've been slowly measuring this flute with an eye towards reamer making. A conversation over breakfast in June with Robert Bigio in Vancouver has me rethinking how I will approach reamer making for copying this. According to him, the Rudall, Rose and Carte flutes and their predecessors were all reamed with several different straight taper reamers in combination, instead of reamers with various bumps and grinds. Robert apparently has in his possession many of the reamers they used along with other tooling.

This one when I tighten up the pads and open the two foot joint keys (these are a little stuck in their mortises and need service) this thing plays like a dream.

You can see in this image the cutout for the left hand forefinger. Not visible is the square of shark skin for the thumb placement on the right hand. These are the "Nicholsonized" features. Also, note that the case, while it fits, is actually for another Rudall and Rose flute. I like the engine-turned illustrations on the label.

I left the image at full size so that you can look at it closely.

Casey

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2018 11:18 am 
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Thank you Casey. I was wondering what this flute looked like. It looks like there is not much that needs to be done for it.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2018 12:16 pm 
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Its a great specimen for sure!

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2018 9:56 pm 
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Do you think the carve out was original? I have never seen that on a Rudall before.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2018 3:53 pm 
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left-hand excavations were not unheard of on Rudall&Rose flutes, the distinction of Nicholson flutes of Clementi and some (later) by Prowse.

I have a very very early R&R (no serial number from the 7.Tavistock address) in which there is the left-hand excavation as well as a small indentation for the right thumb, another Nicholson feature.

I have owned several R&R flutes over the years (and have two others in possession) that have this feature as well.

And I had another at one time that Pat Olwell used as the model to make the indentations for my own flute.

So.....they do exist in fair numbers.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 5:34 am 
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Woah. "I left the image at full size so that you can look at it closely." I'll say. Almost as good as being there, Casey! Good on you!

I wonder if this is as wide as Chiff & Fipple has ever been pushed? I visualise moderators clinging to restraining ropes as Chiff & Fipple tumbles headlong through space and time, leaving Earth orbit, possibly to end up plunging into the sun....

(Sorry, moderators, it's been a long day....)

"According to [Robert Bigio], the Rudall, Rose and Carte flutes and their predecessors were all reamed with several different straight taper reamers in combination, instead of reamers with various bumps and grinds. Robert apparently has in his possession many of the reamers they used along with other tooling."

It would be interesting to press Robert on the dimensions of those reamers, and graph them against the measured bore of this flute to look for correlations. I'd expect some constraining at the tenons (because of the thread), and maybe some shrinkage overall, but you would hope to see correlations in the body sections proper.

"this thing plays like a dream". Gorgeous. Now, from the images, it doesn't appear to be a large-holed flute. I'm thinking more the dimensions of Chris Norman's #742, which is similar to what I based my "Rudall Refined" model on. Discussed at http://www.mcgee-flutes.com/RR742.htm Hole 5 around 8mm (5/16"). But, is that a mistaken interpretation?

And, if it is a "small holed Rudall", of which they seemed to make a lot, it's later than I thought we see such instruments. Big difference between #742 and #6078 when the top number is somewhere a bit north of #7000! Interesting.

It's all interesting. One day we may get close to understanding what they were up to back then!

Interesting that the case was intended for Rudall & Rose #4908 (circa 1844), but seems to work pretty well for Rudall, Rose & Carte #6078 (circa 1854). I guess it's only 10 years, but it was at a time of considerable change.

Now, turning to the Nicholsonian features, Casey, how do you find them, comfort wise? I had a play with some of these way back but wasn't convinced. But I wouldn't rule out returning to the topic. Anything we can do to improve player comfort and safety deserves our closest attention.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:38 am 
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Terry McGee wrote:
Woah. "I left the image at full size so that you can look at it closely." I'll say. Almost as good as being there, Casey! Good on you!

I wonder if this is as wide as Chiff & Fipple has ever been pushed? I visualise moderators clinging to restraining ropes as Chiff & Fipple tumbles headlong through space and time, leaving Earth orbit, possibly to end up plunging into the sun....

It's good to see the detail, but best through linking to the full-res. from a smaller image sized for the forum.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 1:14 pm 
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Terry McGee wrote:
I wonder if this is as wide as Chiff & Fipple has ever been pushed?

If we've had bigger, it wouldn't be by much. Normally of course it would be a nuisance, but this is different.

Terry McGee wrote:
I visualise moderators clinging to restraining ropes as Chiff & Fipple tumbles headlong through space and time, leaving Earth orbit, possibly to end up plunging into the sun....

Chiff & Fipple: Come for the flutes, stay for the trippiness.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 1:40 pm 
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Robert published an article on reaming flutes that discusses these Rudall & Co. reamers:

On Reaming Flutes
Robert Bigio and Michael Wright
The Galpin Society Journal, Vol. 58 (May, 2005), pp. 51-57

By the way - I saved that image to a smaller size, but it appears that the C&F stores the first instance on the page. Oh well - I tried. Enjoy it at its magnified glory!

Casey

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 3:48 pm 
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.... available for download at: http://woodwindshelp.weebly.com/uploads ... flutes.pdf

If you look at the graph of bores on page 55, you'll see some steps in some of the bores at around 180mm and 315mm. The authors attempt to explain these away: "The steps between the sections on flutes 264 and 281 were caused by the maker inserting the reamer further into the wood", but if that were the case, the bores wouldn't line up elsewhere!

I think it's clear that the two flutes with the big steps (#264 and #281) were suffering bore strangulation at the tenons, due to overtight thread wrapping. They are of ivory, whereas #241 (the unbroken trace on the graph) is of lignum vitae, and shows no compression. These are very old flutes that will have had loose thread tightened many times over their lives. The directions of the steps are consistent with tenon bore compression.

Note that there is no sign of tenon compression up at the top of the bore an any of the flutes. That's because Stanesby put his tenon on the end of the head, and socket at the top of the LH section. I imagine if we examined the head bore of the ivory flutes, we'd find compression there too. Indeed that would be very instructive, as the head bore is normally a simple cylinder.

Note that one of them has limited data given at the top of the bore because of damage. That damage is likely to be a crack in the socket there, leading to an apparent expansion of the bore.

Anyone interested in the topic of bore strangulation by thread wrapping can find my study on the topic starting at:
http://www.mcgee-flutes.com/wrap-survey.htm


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 8:15 pm 
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Thanks for posting the link to this article! I think it provides convincing evidence that flute bores were produced by using reamers.
This was the author's claim and I think he proved it quite convincingly. I think we need to be careful not to read too much more into
it than that though.

Regarding the question of whether the reamers were straight or not, the article shows that the bores they produced were not precisely
straight. Even each section of the bore that was claimed to be produced by a separate straight reamer was not precisely straight. There
is an assumption (stated as such) that the maker of the reamer intended it to be straight, but did not have access to precision machining.
But this leaves open the question of whether the resulting flute sounded good because of the error or despite it. Really, it doesn't matter
for modern makers because we do have access to precision machining and can reproduce the variable bore profile of the nice sounding
flute quite accurately. Hence, we can produce a copy of the instrument that also sounds good, which is the main goal, isn't it?

Its actually not too difficult to make a reamer that has an irregular profile. However, even if you can produce one you may still choose to
make several smaller reamers instead. Reasons for doing this are that the small reamers are easier to use, cut better, catch less, and
are much less stressful to make, in the sense that a mistake in machining at the late stage of milling the cutting edge does not waste as
much work on a small reamer as it would on a large one. Basically, using multiple small reamers instead of a single large one allows the
reamers to be constructed incrementally, and once each piece is finished, the work you put into making that part is "safe".

Also, if reamers are hardened to make the cutting edge last longer, there will be much less warping of a short reamer than a long
one. Warping basically ruins a reamer because it prevents it from cutting a bore profile that matches its own dimensions.

On the issue of thread strangulation, I do not agree that the most obvious steps in the graphs are evidence of this. I'm not saying that
bore compression due to thread wrapping does not exist, I'm just claiming that the abrupt steps in the graphs are due to something else
entirely. My take is that these steps simply coincide with the ends of each section, and that the reason there is an abrupt step is because
the bore diameter at the end of one section simply does not precisely match that of its adjacent section. This happens if you insert a reamer
too far, or not far enough in either section. In practice it is difficult to get the insertion exactly right. Note that this problem can occur
regardless of whether the bore of a multi-section flute is reamed using a single reamer or multiple reamers, because with a single reamer
you also have to decide how far to insert it into each section, and if you go too far you enlarge the bore of that section too much causing
a step in bore profile as you go to the adjacent section.

I do see slight evidence of bore compression on the left hand tenon of 264, and the right hand tenon of 281, and that might be due to
thread wrapping, but that is a much more subtle effect than the steps themselves.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 1:59 am 
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I have a number of reasons to be confident we are seeing strangulation:

- if the three bores were made pushing the reamers in to different degrees, we'd expect to see three parallel graph traces, never meeting. But the three traces are intertwined, and tend to agree in the mid-points between the ends of each section. Those are the points we would expect to see least impact of strangulation. That suggests to me the reamers were inserted to the same degree.

(I don't think it's hard to get the degree of penetration of the reamer consistent. As you see in the article, you just make a mark on the reamer and insert it up to that mark.)

- the deviations are greatest at the tenons and sockets, where we would expect if strangulation were to be involved.

- the directions are what we expect to find. Tenons are always squashed, sockets are always expanded.

- we do see some impact of strangulation further into the flute from the tenons or sockets, but it is reduced. Which makes sense. It's further from the point of strangulation, and the timber there is much thicker than at the tenons.

- we see a marked difference between the two ivory flutes and the lignum vitae one. The lignum vitae flute does not show signs of strangulation. Its trace sails serenely through the middle of the expansions and squashings shown by the ivory flutes. We know this stuff is legendary - the most dense and strong timber traded. Used for the propeller shaft bearings in submarines. Used by the English police force for its truncheons (ouch!). If any timber could withstand strangulation it would be lignum vitae. It would appear ivory is considerably less strong.

- finally, note the similarities between the distortions of the Stanesby ivory flutes and the Richard Potter boxwood flute I studied in the second of my series on strangulations:

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