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boxwood keyed flutes?
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Author:  jim stone [ Mon Jan 27, 2020 11:39 am ]
Post subject:  Re: boxwood keyed flutes?

There is a famous Sam Murray boxwood flute, known affectionately as 'The Banana.' On the other hand I have a Casey B boxwood C flute that remains straight as an arrow, after 15 years.

Author:  chas [ Mon Jan 27, 2020 8:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: boxwood keyed flutes?

gwuilleann wrote:
Thanks everyone for your input. I live in South Korea, where winters are dry and summers are humid. I've never had any problem with blackwood flutes so far.

Besides warping, I'm concerned that the wood might swell and shrink as the humidity changes, and that the keys might not seal well as a result. I hear this is a common problem. I know that the maker I'll get the flute from treats boxwood but I don't think he seals the bore as Casey does. I guess I should just ask him and see.


I live in the mid-atlantic US, which is pretty much the same. I've had quite a few boxwood flutes. I have one that ovalled, but the others, including a low-flute set from Casey and a keyed Olwell have been fine. The long-F on the Olwell was just a little sticky after a few months, but I consulted with them, and sanded the keyway a little (really little), and it's been fine. I've had several keyed antiques, a one-key Cameron, etc., and not a problem. The one that ovalled was not from one of the highly regarded makers, although it's a flute that I absolutely love.

ETA: it's really simple to keep a flute humidified in the winter with a plastic container and cigar humidifier, so that really should be a non-issue.

Author:  gwuilleann [ Wed Jan 29, 2020 1:35 am ]
Post subject:  Re: boxwood keyed flutes?

Thanks everyone, it's reassuring to also hear from people who don't have problems with boxwood. I think I'll take my chances...

Author:  kenny [ Wed Jan 29, 2020 4:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re: boxwood keyed flutes?

I have a very old boxwood flute which hasn't been played for some time now. I would appreciate any advice on bringing it back to "playing condition", and especially as to which oil it might be best to use. Thanks.

Author:  Caspermilktoast [ Wed Jan 29, 2020 12:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: boxwood keyed flutes?

I had a Murray 8 key in boxwood. I wouldn't say banana but definitely took a bit of a curve in winter. I have never had any sort of issue with blackwood.

Author:  chas [ Thu Jan 30, 2020 8:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: boxwood keyed flutes?

kenny wrote:
I have a very old boxwood flute which hasn't been played for some time now. I would appreciate any advice on bringing it back to "playing condition", and especially as to which oil it might be best to use. Thanks.


What I'd recommend: humidify it for several days. Oil the bore lightly with almond oil. If it has keys, cut little squares of plastic wrap and slip between the keys and body till the oil is absorbed. Play for 5 minutes once or twice a day. If it absorbs the oil quickly, oil again after a few days. Gradually increase playing, and for the first few months oil it when it looks dry, up to once a week.

Author:  pancelticpiper [ Tue Feb 04, 2020 7:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: boxwood keyed flutes?

For many years I played a boxwood flute by Rudall & Rose at their 1827-1837 address and every piece was totally straight.

It was a typical 8-key flute, sterling blockmounted keys, and ivory cap and rings. Lovely both in appearance and tone.

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