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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 4:32 pm 
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It's really nice here. Not humid but less desert than one might expect.
Always running the humidifier when central heating is on.

By the way, I've at last moved to a place where I can wear a cowboy hat.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:58 pm 
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Location: Pacific Northwest USA
Nanohedron wrote:
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...

It is indeed very flute (and pipes) friendly out here for most of the year. The risk is when we get one of the brief, deep cold fronts pushing down from Canada, and the outside temps drop into the mid to high 20's F. Then the forced air heat in our house starts running almost full blast (it's an old, leaky house) and that can pull the indoor relative humidity down below 30%.

So it's more a question of not being too complacent, and having the means (room humidifiers) to handle those infrequent conditions. This year has been very mild. I don't think I've seen the outside temps drop below 38 deg. F out here on the coastal Olympic Peninsula this whole Winter.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 4:05 pm 
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One point in favor of a lined head joint is hygiene. A textured, dark, moist surface, like the inside of a wooden flute, is a great place to grow mold. Because the flute is black and the mold is black, the mold is invisible. When I grab a breath I'm sure that some of the inhaled air comes from inside the flute. When I start coughing, I know mold has started to grow and it's time to wash the flute in distilled vinegar.

Elemental silver is toxic to bacteria and mold and not toxic to people. I have a sterling silver-lined head joint and barrel for aesthetics and to suppress mold. The silver can't prevent mold on the cork or body, but I believe that it helps. Asthmatic or mold-sensitive? Get a lined head joint.

The copper and nickel in German silver also are antimicrobial. Maybe it's my body chemistry, but I've played sterling-lined head joints for more than 30 years with little or no tarnishing.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 4:47 pm 
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ryarbrough wrote:
Asthmatic or mold-sensitive? Get a lined head joint.

The copper and nickel in German silver also are antimicrobial. Maybe it's my body chemistry, but I've played sterling-lined head joints for more than 30 years with little or no tarnishing.

Interesting point about mold. I wonder if oiling an unlined headjoint every so often with something non-organic like mineral oil would suppress it?

Also interesting about lack of tarnish on your silver headjoint liner. Mine was already tarnished just lightly, enough to gray down the surface, when I bought it secondhand. I wonder if it would be worth trying some silver cleaner to remove it, next time I oil the rest of the flute. FWIW, the stopper on this flute is a metal disk, so I suppose that's more hygienic than bare cork.

This is great... now we're giving beginners something new to worry about, at the other extreme from a dry flute crack. :D


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 4:50 pm 
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Already there seems to be a rush toward plastic fifes....

Best wishes.

Steve

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 5:16 pm 
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ryarbrough wrote:
One point in favor of a lined head joint is hygiene. A textured, dark, moist surface, like the inside of a wooden flute, is a great place to grow mold. Because the flute is black and the mold is black, the mold is invisible. When I grab a breath I'm sure that some of the inhaled air comes from inside the flute. When I start coughing, I know mold has started to grow and it's time to wash the flute in distilled vinegar.

Elemental silver is toxic to bacteria and mold and not toxic to people. I have a sterling silver-lined head joint and barrel for aesthetics and to suppress mold. The silver can't prevent mold on the cork or body, but I believe that it helps. Asthmatic or mold-sensitive? Get a lined head joint.

The copper and nickel in German silver also are antimicrobial. Maybe it's my body chemistry, but I've played sterling-lined head joints for more than 30 years with little or no tarnishing.

Thank you for the insights! I might have remembered the antimicrobial effects of copper and nickel, but I'm not beset by allergies or sensitivities, except for Dalbergia spp. contact itself. I didn't realize silver had antimicrobial qualities as well.

As to irritant life forms inside the unlined head, I would have thought that thorough and regular swabbing should keep you ahead of the game. If you play daily, swabbing before you put the flute away ought to suffice, but maybe I'm a bit...earthy. But here's another thought: We know that a lot of exotic hardwoods are packed with oils and resins that are toxic to the things that would make a meal of them. I wonder if anyone's ever done a study as to whether these toxins affect molds and microbes as well.

FWIW, I never got mold inside the flute body that I could see, and you know that would be inoculated. I'm thinking swabbing-out might have had no small part in that. But again, I'm not sensitized to it.

I'm wondering about the vinegar, ryarbrough; I don't think I've heard of that before. Wouldn't it be hard on the wood? And did you play unlined before you went to silver?

Steve Bliven wrote:
Already there seems to be a rush toward plastic fifes....

I wonder, are they dishwasher-safe?

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