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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2019 12:03 pm 
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Progress, good. We’re you wearing the wetsuit at all during the last week?


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2019 12:26 pm 
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Steve Bliven wrote:
Loren wrote:
Super glue lip plate, easy, cheap and completely reversible.

John Skelton plays a cocus flute, to which he is allergic. He used the super glue approach and it seems to work for him. Not as elegant as a silver lip plate tho....

Best wishes.

Steve


Not as expensive either :lol:

Yeah, IIRC I learned about using superglue as a lip plate because John had just recently done, or had it done to his flute about the time my new Cocus Olwell was giving me major dermatitis problems.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2019 8:08 pm 
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Here are instructions John Skelton posted a long while ago on the wooden flute list, that Loren kindly quoted here a long while ago. Did some digging.



From: john skelton

Date: Thu, Sep 19, 2002, 7:02am
To: woodenflute@woodenflute.com
Subject:Problems with Cocus Wood

Hello,

I have received several emails recently asking for my advice about Cocus Wood allergies. I thought that it might be helpful to some of you if I posted my thoughts and experiences on this list.

I received a new Cocus headjoint from Patrick Olwell about two years ago and played it with no ill effect for about six months. Then, I began to notice slight swelling and redness around my chin. I suspect that the shop finish had worn away and I was now in direct contact with the wood. Unfortunately, this happened at the start of a very busy time .... I was teaching at five summer schools back to back and was on tour in Europe for six weeks, in other words, I was playing six or seven hours a day for two and a half months. Consequently, I developed quite a serious reaction.

At the time, I thought that it was just a minor problem and that if I used loads of oil on the headjoint, things would sort themselves out. Wrong! By the end of the summer things were getting serious ( by this point I was using self adhesive plastic film around the embouchure). I stopped playing for several weeks until my chin and lip had cleared up. I started to play again (this time on an ebonite flute) and within minutes the reaction had started again.

After many experiments with various kinds of self adhesive plastic and paint-on finishes, I have discovered one technique that works (I have been using it for a while now, with no sign of a reaction). I have to thank Rod Cameron for suggesting this to me:

You will need to practice on some wood first (to get used to the glue and so on).

1. Clean the area you are going to finish with acetone (to remove grease and dirt).

2. Mask out the area .... the shape of your choice ( I used ordinary scotch tape .... make sure that the edges are well down, or else the glue will wick underneath).

3. Using a Q tip, paint the area with super glue. Do NOT use the gel type, use the 'runniest' you can find. Be careful that it doesn't run into the embouchure. Paint along the grain. This is where the practice is important. Some brands of Q tip lose their 'fluff' more than others, so find ones that stay together the longest. You probably won't be able to paint the whole area in one go (as the glue will start to set up and drag the Q tip) ... so do it in sections.

4. If you are not happy with the finish, rub it down with super fine steel wool and go over it again. (You'll have to remove the masking to rub down ).

5. When you are satisfied, (and the glue is dry) wipe over the area with acetone.

6. Make up a "polish" by soaking an area of paper towel with raw linseed oil (NOT boiled) and then squeeze a few drops of super glue on this. Use this mixture to rub down the area.

7. After this has dried, peel back the tape and oil around the rest of the headjoint (the tape will have lifted some of the old oil off). You'll have a clear finish.
I did not find self adhesive plastic to be much help. Eventually the edges begin to lift and these in turn irritate the skin. It's also quite difficult to lay it down smoothly without small bubbles and creases, which in time wear and cause irritation.

A silver lip plate would be a possibility (although I've seen a number of these plates that have lifted) but for the moment this works for me.

It would be very easy to dimiss the allergy (it only seems to affect 5 to 10% of people), but if you begin to show signs and ignore it (as I did) , you could become so sensitive, that any material against your chin would cause a reaction. Frank Claudy (who is a fine flute player as well as a doctor) was helpful in explaining this allergy to me. It seems that the biggest worry is that if you carry on ignoring it, it could turn systemic. You could then find your fingers covered in blisters! (or any other part of your body that comes in contact with your flute).

I hope that I haven't bored you 'non-cocus' people. I played an (old) cocus wood flute for twenty five years, so this has all been quite a shock!

Best wishes, John

PS I'm thinking of getting someone to make me a flute out of one of the enormous poison ivy vines that grow here. It couldn't be any worse, could it?


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2019 9:24 am 
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Good find Jim.

I ended up using a simplified and slightly modified version of John’s (Rod’s) method, which I think I also posted details of, but I haven’t tried searching for it. Perhaps when I have more time I’ll either do that or just explain it again, if someone needs to know. Certainly someone could just follow the directions that Jim was kind enough to dig up, and that should yield excellent results.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2019 12:05 pm 
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Loren wrote:
Progress, good. We’re you wearing the wetsuit at all during the last week?


I did wear it on 3 separate occasions to no ill effect thankfully. I've been playing the last few days in a row with some electrical tape below the embouchure and all seems well!

Jim thanks for posting that, I'll probably give that a go for a more permanent solution.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2019 4:20 pm 
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As someone new to the cocus "allergy" phenomenon, I am wondering whether anyone who suffers from wood dermititus has tried the Willows Invisible Lip Guards that Andro mentions above. Andro uses them for metal allergies on his Boehm flute. But has anyone tried them for wood dermititus? It would be nice if something like this worked rather than having to put superglue on the headjoint.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2019 4:49 pm 
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[quote="Terry McGee"] .... Have you considered putting a patch of duct tape or something similar on your side of the embouchure hole to isolate your chin from the flute?

I’d be real careful about using tapes. After years of using duct tape to wrap some of my small setting tools (I’m a goldsmith, and use to hold them in my mouth between operations) I developed a reaction to the adhesive. Hives and swelling of my lips, no fun.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2019 5:01 pm 
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crickett wrote:
It would be nice if something like this worked rather than having to put superglue on the headjoint.


I can see it potentially being a good choice for a flute you may not want to keep for a long time, but for a flute you plan to play regularly, why would you want to keep paying for disposable lip coverings that need to be replaced over time?

The nice thing about superglue is that it makes for an essentially permanent lip plate that can be completely and safely removed with superglue solvent if you eventually decide to sell the flute and the buyer doesn’t want the lip plate.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2019 5:04 pm 
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Electrical tape has some pros, it matches the color of blackwood and it is easily removed. Works great for shading the back D on chanters as well. Probably not a great long-term solution though.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2019 5:17 pm 
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Quote:
I can see it potentially being a good choice for a flute you may not want to keep for a long time, but for a flute you plan to play regularly, why would you want to keep paying for disposable lip coverings that need to be replaced over time?

You're right. This is a flute I want to play as my main flute. I guess the answer to your question is simply that I'm terrified about putting glue on my head joint. It is helpful to hear that it is removable.

When you went down this road, did you notice in (acoustical) changes from having the glue on the head joint?

Thanks for everyone's feedback.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2019 6:00 pm 
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crickett wrote:
Quote:
I can see it potentially being a good choice for a flute you may not want to keep for a long time, but for a flute you plan to play regularly, why would you want to keep paying for disposable lip coverings that need to be replaced over time?

You're right. This is a flute I want to play as my main flute. I guess the answer to your question is simply that I'm terrified about putting glue on my head joint. It is helpful to hear that it is removable.

When you went down this road, did you notice in (acoustical) changes from having the glue on the head joint?

Thanks for everyone's feedback.


A super glue lip plate will have zero affect on the tone or playability of the flute, you are painting on several very thin layers of Glue, just don’t get any in the embouchore hole or on the blowing edge.

That said, if it makes you uncomfortable, don’t do it, go with the stick-on’s. Perhaps over time your feelings will change, perhaps not, but no sense doing something that will stress you out.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 1:46 pm 
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The irritation has come back, though not as bad. I suspect the edge of the tape is now the culprit. Going to give the superglue treatment detailed above a go and then maybe get a lip plate down the road.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 10:22 pm 
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Gave the superglue coating a shot:

images

So far so good. Waiting for skin to get back to 100% before playing. Here's the glue I used: link

Went mostly well, except for trying to use a small brush instead of a q-tip to apply the glue. The bristles immediately glued together and were worthless. Duh! Q-tip is the way to go.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 11:08 pm 
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Just to add that I use tape, either scotch tape or clear packing tape.
I put a strip horizontally and just creasing my side of the embouchure hole.
I'm having no trouble (of course this may be just good luck and coincidence, but
I don't see how anything is likely to get through this stuff). Also the tape looks
OK, the wood shows through, and the tape
lasts for years. I've never had to replace any of it.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:21 pm 
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orflute wrote:
Gave the superglue coating a shot:

images

So far so good. Waiting for skin to get back to 100% before playing. Here's the glue I used: link

Went mostly well, except for trying to use a small brush instead of a q-tip to apply the glue. The bristles immediately glued together and were worthless. Duh! Q-tip is the way to go.


Looks a little rough, in terms of the surface finish, but not bad. More coats would smooth that out, and a little sanding, just stay off the edges of the embouchure hole with the sandpaper, obviously.

For others considering this, Thin superglue works well but does require multiple coats to achieve a smooth finish. Also, it tends to start drying quite quickly during the application process, which can make things more difficult. Standard viscosity superglue is harder to lay down in even coats, but achieves a smoot finish if you have the touch and gives you a slightly longer working time before the glue starts to dry and “smoke”, at which point you have to change applicators, re-apply the glue and begin again. DON’T BREATHE THE THE VISIBLE FUMES COMING OFF THE APPLICATOR!

As for applicators: I’ve used super glue a lot on flutes and I have found pipe cleaners make the best applicators for this sort of thing - they don’t drag, stick and leave attached fibers like Q-tips tend to do as the glue dries. Have a wire cutter on hand, apply the glue to the end of a pipe cleaner, about and inch or so, and start applying the glue. When the glue starts to smoke or drag as the glue dries, clip off the end of the pipe cleaner over a trash basket, just behind where the glue was applied, then reapply glue to the new end of the pipe cleaner and back to work. Repeat as necessary.

Also, I’d recommend going right up to the back edge of the embouchure hole and around a bit so you’re certain you have coverage a little beyond anywhere your face or lips might touch.

Finally, it makes sense to have good super glue solvent on hand to clean up any mistakes or over runs. Not all Cyanoacrylate solvents are the same, some are more harmful to the underlying surfaces than others. Golden West Super Solvent is excellent choice, I have used it many hundreds of times on various woods (after crack repairs etc) with no damage to the various woods. Some lightening of the wood may take place on dark colored woods, like Blackwood, but just rub some oil (linseed, almond, etc) and then buff a bit by hand and the dark color will return.


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