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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2019 6:26 pm 
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So, I bought a cheap piccolo off of eBay on a lark a little while back, and have been working on it and a flute I also bought on eBay. The piccolo had the usual crack in the head (away from the embouchure) and barrel. I took the liner out, sanded the bore, and filled the cracks with a mix of the dust from the sanding and superglue. I also took the keys off and plugged the holes with blu-tack.

I can fairly easily get the 2nd octave B, A, G, and F# to sound, and they sound clear and sweet. E just barely comes out, and D is a no-go. The first octave does not sound at all, not matter how I fiddle with embouchure, etc.

Should I try to re-fill the cracks, since perhaps they may just not be completely sealed? I have not replaced the cork in the head, because it seems to be sealing fine, but maybe that could be causing this issue? The cork on the single joint also seems to be sealing fine, but I could replace that if need be. I just don't see any open leaks anywhere, and yet I can't get the damn thing to play!

I have played a number of piccolos, so I'm fairly certain the problem is not with me. In fact, I took out my polymer Dixon piccolo just to make sure my embouchure was OK, and could play it fine.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2019 2:19 am 
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Location: Surrey/Hants border, England
Maybe tape over all the holes, to see where you may be loosing the air from(?).

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2019 2:22 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2007 7:19 pm
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Location: Hood River, Oregon, USA
Does it pass the suck test? I.e., If you suck through the embouchure hole with all the keyed holes blocked with blu-tack, finger holes blocked, foot blocked, does the vacuum hold? If not, maybe it has a leak in the tuning slide. Is there much play in it? Or maybe the head liner is not adequately sealed inside the head tube, i.e. a leak at the embouchure between the head liner and head tube.

Or perhaps if the barrel crack extended through the socket maybe it is being forced open again when the tenon is inserted? Replacing the tenon cork or wrapping plumbers tape around the tenon would make this even worse if the socket is not adequately supported. Did the supporting ring fit tight after the socket repair? Is it glued in place?

Or maybe the tenon cork is not sealing tightly enough. Does plumbers tape on the tenon help?

It probably would be a good idea to replace the stopper cork, just in case that is leaking. And double check that it is in the right place. Experiment to see if it plays better with the cork pushed further out from the embouchure.

Also, did you clean and polish the bore of the head and body? It doesn't take much dirt in there to affect a piccolo.

Is the blu-tak firmly in place, but not too firmly, i.e., you should make sure it is not protruding into the bore. Again, it doesn't take much to choke off the bore of a piccolo.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2019 9:51 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2013 7:15 pm
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Thanks for the tips! After further examination, I think it's either the head liner/tube or the cork in the head, since the head very much does not pass the suck test. Since I couldn't get much out of it even before taking it all apart, I'm inclined to think that the cork is the problem. I'm going to replace it and take the liner out to re-glue it, just to be on the safe side.

I'm using Gorilla Glue for the liner as I've seen mentioned on here, is that the preferred method?


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2019 11:51 pm 
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Location: Hood River, Oregon, USA
I don't have much experience with Gorilla Glue. The few times I have used it (but not for head liners) it was a bit difficult to clean up because of its tendency to expand and foam up as it cures.
I've had good success with G-flex epoxy from West Systems. The challenge with gluing in a head liner is to make sure that you have full coverage of both surfaces (inside the head tune and
outside the liner) but not to get any glue on the part of the liner that is part of the tuning slide, and not to get excess glue build up in the recess in the head where the outer part of the
tuning slide fits. Wiping a layer of vaseline on the slide part of the head liner is one way to avoid getting glue stuck to it which would interfere with the slide. You have to clean excess glue
out of the slide recess before it cures, or make yourself a tool that allows you to grind it out later. I do the latter by cutting teeth into the end of a metal tube that is large enough to fit
over the liner, but still small enough to enter into the recess in the head. Oh, and be sure to clean any excess glue from the embouchure hole before it cures.


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