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PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 7:48 pm 
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jim stone wrote:
Grenaditte is light stuff. It needs virtually no care. And it sounds woody.
There are Boehm flutes made of it and maybe before long we'll see
more simple system flutes too (with keys, perhaps).


According to Guo, it's the same density as blackwood, so about 1/3 denser than boxwood close to double something like maple.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 9:41 pm 
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To bring the theory and potential down to the real world -- are there any currently available synthetic flutes made following 19th Century Rudall or Pratten designs, including wall thickness, that are the same weight as wooden flutes, or lighter in weight?

I have a bias for wood on aesthetic/historical grounds, but I could be convinced to think about a keyed synthetic flute in the future, if it wasn't any heavier than what I'm playing now as an 8-keyed cocus wood flute. Because this one is heavy enough.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 4:10 am 
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I might have posted this before, a company in England that makes composite substitutes for ebony and rosewood

https://www.rocklite.co.uk/

Apparently made from wood fibers and some sort of resin matrix.

The fingerboards get raves from guitar makers, although I haven't tried one. They make blanks for pool/billiard cues, so I guess they could make blanks for flute making.

Carbon fiber would be hell on tools, I'm thinking, but it's light.

Has anyone ever experimented with making conical flutes by forming them around a mandrel, like a Clark whistle? Lots of guitar makers now use "double tops," which are two layers of spruce around a core of Dupont nomex honeycomb. Alleged to have an outstanding stiffness to weight ratio. I wonder if you could lay up layers of material around a mandrel and then drill it.

Possibly a very very dumb idea, I realize


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 7:43 am 
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PB+J wrote:
I might have posted this before, a company in England that makes composite substitutes for ebony and rosewood

https://www.rocklite.co.uk/

Apparently made from wood fibers and some sort of resin matrix.


That does look to be something worth evaluating as a flute material. Their website shows pre-made pieces that would be too thin for flute making. I just sent them an email asking about availability of rod or square stock in the right sizes. Will post the reply on this thread.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:15 am 
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PB+J wrote:
Has anyone ever experimented with making conical flutes by forming them around a mandrel, like a Clark whistle?


This made me think of Carbony flutes and whistles. I'm not sure of their specific process, but here's what I found on their site:

We begin by fabricating high quality Carbony™ carbon-fiber bodies to serve as the foundation for our instruments. This step is done with precision molds guaranteeing interior bore dimensions that are precise and repeatable. The exterior of each instrument is then hand shaped, drilled, and crafted using our lathe and other typical woodworking tools. Final fitments, including trim and/or mouthpieces, are added to finish and customize the instrument.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:23 am 
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PB+J wrote:
I might have posted this before, a company in England that makes composite substitutes for ebony and rosewood

https://www.rocklite.co.uk/


Interesting stuff. I just sent them an email inquiring about it. At a glance it seems that they manufacture exclusively for luthiers, so it is not in a form that is useful to woodwind makers. But they might do custom dimensions. I'd be curious to try some out. Same with Grenaditte, though I believe that is a proprietary material that Guo created and I doubt it is commercially available to other makers. But I don't know that I'll find anything I like better than the ebonite, but I'm always open to trying something new.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:19 am 
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chas wrote:
MadmanWithaWhistle wrote:
There are all kinds of materials one could use that are lighter than wood. Carbon fiber composites, resin-stabilized woods, and phenolic laminates are all quality potential wood alternatives. If I were to order a keyed flute, I would likely just send my own material of choice as rod stock, as long as I can confirm it turns and polishes more or less like wood.


I agree that these are viable alternatives to wood, but they're not lighter, assuming you mean lower density. Carbon fiber is around 2, phenolic around 1.4; the resin always adds to the density of whatever wood it's stabilizing.



Sorry, that should read "lighter than delrin"


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 6:37 pm 
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MadmanWithaWhistle wrote:
chas wrote:
MadmanWithaWhistle wrote:
There are all kinds of materials one could use that are lighter than wood. Carbon fiber composites, resin-stabilized woods, and phenolic laminates are all quality potential wood alternatives. If I were to order a keyed flute, I would likely just send my own material of choice as rod stock, as long as I can confirm it turns and polishes more or less like wood.


I agree that these are viable alternatives to wood, but they're not lighter, assuming you mean lower density. Carbon fiber is around 2, phenolic around 1.4; the resin always adds to the density of whatever wood it's stabilizing.



Sorry, that should read "lighter than delrin"


Thank for the clarification.

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