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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:09 pm 
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Trying to remember the maker, but I vaguely remember someone who puts a thin layer of cork between the liner and the wood of the head to allow for wood expansion/contraction without cracking. Am I hallucinating again?

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Last edited by Steve Bliven on Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:12 pm 
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My impression from playing lots of flutes is that the fully lined headjoint can help the flute project better.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:38 pm 
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No, you're not hallucinating, Steve. There is an excellent maker who uses a cork lining to separate the metal tubing from the wood. It's the one, the only, Terry McGee.
Paul


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:39 pm 
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Steve, I think you are referring to Terry McGee's Improved tuning slide.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:41 pm 
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hpinson wrote:
Question for the flute makers about a lined head joint and cracking. Could not the metal lining tube just be slotted from stem to stern, to give the lining the ability to move a little as with wooden headjoint contracts and expands? Or is that what is meant by a 'partially lined head'?

I am not a maker, just a player, but I think common sense tells me that you want a smooth bore in the headjoint, without any roughness or slots.

When my flute starts to sound a little weak and "fluffy," it means water drops are building up in the headjoint and main body. A quick blast of air with the tone holes closed blows it out, annoys everyone around me, and it sounds normal again. There is also anecdotal evidence here that flutes sound nicer right after a good oiling to smooth the bore.

And by extension, maybe... just maybe (and I'm not endorsing this view necessarily)... a full metal-lined headjoint gives us the smoothest bore of all in the critical headjoint section. No wood for the grain to be raised with moisture. A slotted headjoint would defeat that, with a varied surface that would break up the vibrating standing wave in the flute. Or something like that.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:17 pm 
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I really like playing with a barking style. Do you think a half lined headjoint might be problematic, because of a bit less focused sound?


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:31 pm 
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ertwert wrote:
I really like playing with a barking style. Do you think a half lined headjoint might be problematic, because of a bit less focused sound?

I really doubt it - IF the headjoint's interior is well-finished. If you go back to pmcallis' post on the previous page, he talks about sitting in on a blind comparison where neither he, nor even Pat nor Aaron Olwell themselves, could tell which heads were lined and which were unlined when switched on any given flute - and all three often guessed wrong. So that's something of a revelation as to how much auditory difference a lining really makes. Judging by the fact that Pat and Aaron were doing the playing, I'm willing to assume there was at least some bark involved.

Whichever way you go, I think you'll be fine.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2019 4:45 pm 
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Want to add that if you take appropriate care of a fully lined head joint flute, the same care that would be required for an all-wood flute or partially lined, the chances of its cracking are minimal. You've got to humidify all of these things if the humidity where you keep them is low. Fully lined lined head
joints are more likely to crack, but the risk remains quite low. Also if a crack should occur sooner or later, it's repairable. Not a big deal.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2019 5:17 pm 
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jim stone wrote:
Fully lined lined head joints are more likely to crack, but the risk remains quite low.

Only so long as you humidify (which you've already said, of course). Living as I do where relative humidity drops to as low as 10% in the winter, I can't agree with your risk assessment as a blanket statement. I've had both a cittern and flute crack because they weren't humidified, and it didn't take long.

Provenance, or at least shop conditions, may have some bearing. An instrument made in a relatively arid climate will probably be least adversely affected by arid conditions, so long as the unworked wood has lost all the moisture it's going to lose beforehand. My instruments that cracked were of wood stored in relatively humid environs and built in the same, so while spring and summer in my patch were perfect for them, fall and winter were a real and just cause for concern. Even if your flute's well-humidified, it's not unusual at all for rings to fall off during Minnesota winters. I know one local fellow who stores his wood and builds his instruments in a year-round dry space, and it is entirely so that his instruments will stand up to local winter conditions. If you're humidifying around here you have to be on it like a crow on roadkill, because those sponges dry out faster than you might think.

jim stone wrote:
Also if a crack should occur sooner or later, it's repairable. Not a big deal.

One fellow I know has seen fit to just leave it be. It opens in the winter and closes in the summer ... a very living and organic cycle. Besides, the crack only runs along the rear of the embouchure cut, so the flute plays equally well either way.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2019 8:31 pm 
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Right. And the point is these humidifying measures, which are adequate to keep lined headjoints from cracking, are precisely what you will do to all wood and partially lined flutes, which can also crack (like the cittern). I've had two flutes crack in 17 years. The first was because the maker used a defective piece of wood for the barrel, which he kindly replaced. The second was because I foolishly allowed the humidity in my room to fall to 35, and an Eb flute (a good one) cracked opposite the embouchure hole. I still can play it because the head joint was lined. I'll get it fixed some day.

I think when we focus on a possible difficulty like this one, we may exaggerate its likelihood. Just saying. Of course, all bets are off in Minnesota.....


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:36 pm 
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jim stone wrote:
Of course, all bets are off in Minnesota.....

You have no idea.

jim stone wrote:
I think when we focus on a possible difficulty like this one, we may exaggerate its likelihood.

Last I recall, your location is muggy Louisiana, isn't it?

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2019 11:12 pm 
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I was born and lived most of my life in South Florida, then moved up here to the USA Pacific Northwest 20 years ago. Florida is always VERY humid but we just lived in 60% rh air conditioning year-round. The PNW climate is naturally humid with mild winters, where the heating doesn't dry out the house too much.

One year I accompanied my wife on her skiing trip to Whistler BC in the dead of winter (I don't ski, just hung around the Village). I brought a guitar and a small digital hygrometer that said the hotel room was down in the low 20% rh zone. It was my beater guitar, an old '70's Guild when they were built like tanks so it shrugged it off. But that was a lesson in how low the humidity can get in some areas!

I've come to the Irish flute fairly recently in life, with many years taking care of wooden guitars and my wife's fiddle and piano. So I've known about this for a while, and our house and practice room is carefully controlled for humidity. If not temperature... which does vary a bit on a daily cycle in the winter because the heating bills would kills us otherwise. But it's nothing like the USA or Canada midwest.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 1:56 pm 
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Conical bore wrote:
So I've known about this for a while, and our house and practice room is carefully controlled for humidity.

I have to say I'm a bit surprised at this. I was under the impression that west of the Cascades, the PMW never lacked for instrument-friendly humidity even in winter. An uilleann piper's paradise, I've heard it said...

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:49 pm 
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Hey, I left Louisiana 20 years ago.
I lived in St. Louis for 18 years. Now I live
in Taos NM. Fewer gators than New Orleans.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 3:09 pm 
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Taos? Well, that's pretty dry.

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