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 Post subject: [HELP!] Blocked tenons
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 12:37 am 
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Hi, I have a problem with my keyless flute: after playing it for two hours (i play it regularly for an hour a day if I have to study, and fro two-three hours when I have sessions at the pub or trials with my band).
Two days ago the tenon between the body and the head is blocked. I don't know if it is a "mechanical" block (the wire) or a "dimension" block and I have only to wait that the wood reacquire the original dimension.

How to unmount my flute without break it?


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 12:51 am 
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It sounds like the wood may have swollen from the moisture, and you should let it dry before disassembling. Have you been swabbing it out during long playing sessions, and has the end grain of the tenon or socket been sealed (to prevent/slow moisture absorption)?

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 1:41 am 
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kkrell wrote:
It sounds like the wood may have swollen from the moisture, and you should let it dry before disassembling.


It is normal to have to wait days?

kkrell wrote:
Have you been swabbing it out during long playing sessions,


No, never.

kkrell wrote:
and has the end grain of the tenon or socket been sealed (to prevent/slow moisture absorption)?


Don't know. How to check it out (apart from ask to the maker).

Thanks a lot for your help!


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 5:02 am 
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chiep

Is only one socket-tenon joint jamming, or more than one?

Do you know what timber the flute is made from?

The tenons normally have a central section fitted with cork or thread. Which do you have?

Is the flute by an easily-identified maker, or is it a more generic flute?

If an easily-identified maker, have you contacted them?

You seemed to respond that you don't routinely swab out the moisture. This could be the problem, although there might also be contributory factors.

Unless somebody else has a better suggestion, I'd recommend:
- you avoid playing it until you can get it apart.
- you pull it apart as much as you can,
- you leave the pieces out in a nice airy place, but not in the sun
- you try to pull it apart each morning, and each evening. Rubber washing-up gloves will increase your traction. Be careful to limit your action to pulling in line and twisting. Be careful not to "bend" it.
- when you get it apart, you look closely at the wooden shoulders on each side of the tenons. Can you see any shiny bits that suggest that this is where the wood swelled and jammed?
- when you get it apart, come back to us for more advice on how to maintain it.

Best of luck!


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:52 am 
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Terry McGee wrote:
Is only one socket-tenon joint jamming, or more than one?


Only one gives me this problem (two times in a year).

Terry McGee wrote:
Do you know what timber the flute is made from?

Yes it is ebony, I have to ask the maker for details.

Terry McGee wrote:
The tenons normally have a central section fitted with cork or thread. Which do you have?

Thread.

Terry McGee wrote:
Is the flute by an easily-identified maker, or is it a more generic flute?

If an easily-identified maker, have you contacted them?

Yes, but I haven't yet a reply from him, but I'm anxious for the health of my instrument. :D

Terry McGee wrote:
You seemed to respond that you don't routinely swab out the moisture. This could be the problem, although there might also be contributory factors.


I swab it out every time I stop my study, or session, or trials with the band. I do not swab it during the playing session, but I do it as soon as I stop playing.

Terry McGee wrote:
Unless somebody else has a better suggestion, I'd recommend:
- you avoid playing it until you can get it apart.
- you pull it apart as much as you can,
- you leave the pieces out in a nice airy place, but not in the sun
- you try to pull it apart each morning, and each evening. Rubber washing-up gloves will increase your traction. Be careful to limit your action to pulling in line and twisting. Be careful not to "bend" it.
- when you get it apart, you look closely at the wooden shoulders on each side of the tenons. Can you see any shiny bits that suggest that this is where the wood swelled and jammed?
- when you get it apart, come back to us for more advice on how to maintain it.

Best of luck!


Thank you so much for the help!!! :thumbsup:


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 6:26 pm 
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Since the tenon is threaded, when you get access to it, check that the thread is tight, not shifting around, and is of course not built up too high. You'll have to decide whether to rewrap with moisture-resistant thread, or grease the thread sufficiently to block absoption of too much moisture that might cause the thread to expand.

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A non-profit 501c3 charity/educational public benefit corporation
Wooden Flute Obsession CDs (3 volumes, 6 discs, 7 hours, 120 players/tracks)
http://www.worldtrad.org


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 4:33 am 
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I had similar but less severe problem. In the end I took all the thread off and it was then obvious that wood was touching wood. The tenon had gone slightly out of round as the flute 'aged'. There were probably the shiny patches that Terry describes. It was easily fixed and has not recurred.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2018 12:36 am 
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My flute is blocked yet.
Is it plausible to have to wait so long? It is blocked by Tuesday evening.

:swear:


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2018 12:37 am 
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kkrell wrote:
Since the tenon is threaded, when you get access to it, check that the thread is tight, not shifting around, and is of course not built up too high. You'll have to decide whether to rewrap with moisture-resistant thread, or grease the thread sufficiently to block absoption of too much moisture that might cause the thread to expand.


I think I will rewire all the tenons with a moisture-resistant thread as soon as the tenon unblocks. What thread can I use? Maybe silk? Other options?


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2018 12:55 am 
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What is the weather doing there at the moment, cheip? If it is very damp or humid, it will prolong the problem. Do you have somewhere that is a bit warmer and drier you could put the flute? Above the back of the refrigerator? Be careful here if the flute has a metal tuning slide - too dry could cause it to crack around the slide.

If the head has a metal slide, remove the head from the barrel to allow air to move more freely into the flute. Indeed, if you have a small fan you might be able to set it up to blow air into and across the flute, which should improve drying. If you have sensitive kitchen scales, you could measure how much weight the flute is losing. 1 gram = 1mL of water!

Can you rotate the one that is jammed, or is that impossible too? (Sometimes the thread pack gets stuck to the inside of the barrel section, but comes loose from the trough in which it is normally housed. Then it rotates freely, but is difficult to get apart.)


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2018 1:32 am 
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Terry McGee wrote:
What is the weather doing there at the moment, cheip? If it is very damp or humid, it will prolong the problem. Do you have somewhere that is a bit warmer and drier you could put the flute? Above the back of the refrigerator? Be careful here if the flute has a metal tuning slide - too dry could cause it to crack around the slide.

If the head has a metal slide, remove the head from the barrel to allow air to move more freely into the flute. Indeed, if you have a small fan you might be able to set it up to blow air into and across the flute, which should improve drying. If you have sensitive kitchen scales, you could measure how much weight the flute is losing. 1 gram = 1mL of water!

Can you rotate the one that is jammed, or is that impossible too? (Sometimes the thread pack gets stuck to the inside of the barrel section, but comes loose from the trough in which it is normally housed. Then it rotates freely, but is difficult to get apart.)


The place where I live is a bit humid, but nothing special at the moment. The head was unmounted from the barrel from the beginning (I always unmount my flute when I do not use it). Can I maybe try with sachets that are inside the bags to remove moisture?
The barrel can't rotate.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2018 2:01 am 
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Terry McGee wrote:
Is only one socket-tenon joint jamming, or more than one?


News: also the join between the foot and the second part of the body is blocked.
I've not played the flute form the moment I experienced the block between the barrel and the body.
Can I think I live in a more humid place than I thought?


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2018 5:59 am 
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chiep: Can I think I live in a more humid place than I thought?

Check out the local weather bureau site for your typical humidity. Is there any reason to believe where you keep the flute is more humid than outside?


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2018 9:03 am 
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The flute finally unlocked.
I put some grease on the tenons and played it for 15 minutes and nothing locked.

I think I will rewire the tenons, what kind of thread should be used to resist to humidity? Maybe silk? Better options?


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