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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2020 2:46 am 
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Is http://www.wilkesflutes.co.uk/index.html
Nice pictures of his work, look at the guilloché part, drool, and it stops there, he does not take any order...(a notable difference with
some others...)


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2020 3:15 am 
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Nice to see. What I think is wonderful about these days is that we have so many makers, all coming from different directions. Chris delights in the historical approach, others are pressing ahead with CNC, 3D printing and computer modelling. Were ever players given better choice?


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2020 3:43 am 
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I'm trying to figure out that roller on the boxwood flute. Is it going through to lift the extension on the long F?

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2020 5:31 am 
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Quote:
I'm trying to figure out that roller on the boxwood flute. Is it going through to lift the extension on the long F?


Well from the man himself, it is a mechanism that lets you play an F natural by simply straightening your right ring finger, and I quote "an automatic F natural devise" . Never tried it...


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2020 9:20 am 
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That new site is incredibly cool and I'm keen to see more of his workshop as he adds to that section. I'm totally charmed by the collection of machinery he has acquired and the skill needed to master it all. Amazing. There was a brief moment when I saw the photo of a bunch of machinery in a room with carpets on the floor and pictures on the wall (in the "workshop" section) and I was incredulous. I thought, "Does he seriously make flutes in a room with carpets? That's insane!". This was based upon my own experience in my shop which cannot by any definition be called "tidy". The god awful mess that is created by doing my daily flute making tasks makes the notion of carpets and framed photos unthinkable. Then I realized that this was probably a photo of the room where he displays some of his collection or does some delicate finish work or the like, because other photos on the site show something a bit more practical (tiled walls and floor, etc.). Personally I wouldn't dare post photos of my workshop when I'm deep into production--it looks like a sawdust and trash bomb had exploded, slaying many innocent people.

But I do like his mix of antique and modern approaches. I'm deeply intrigued by his bore measuring method, from which he claims a degree of accuracy that I assume to be a typo. He says he can measure a bore to .001mm. That's a thousandth of a millimeter. If my math is correct, that is just under 4/100,000th of an inch (or getting close to 1/20,000th). I would have been slightly skeptical had he claimed accuracy to .01mm (which is 1/10,000th of an inch, and a degree of precision that seems ridiculous when dealing with a wooden flute bore). I can only imagine a very sophisticated laser measuring system of some kind can produce the accuracy he claims. Mind you, I'm perfectly willing to be be schooled on the potential reality of this claim! If he can actually measure to a thousandth of a millimeter, that is truly impressive. But it is sort of a not-very-applicable sort of precision. I machine a lot of reamers for flutes, and as I've said before I work with a highly gifted machinist who taught me reamer-making skills, and a good machinist (who is working manually on a precision lathe) is going to be shooting for tolerances that are measured in thousandths of inches, not millimeters. Getting machining accuracy of .001" on a reamer is incredibly good. The notion of being accurate to .0001" is laughable and to .00003" defies reason.

This made me wonder if he accidentally hit the zero key an extra time when typing that number :-) But I will say that even if the maker cannot achieve that level of accuracy during the manufacture of the reamer, it doesn't hurt to have a super-accurate measurement to work from. The more precise the bore measurement, the more precise the reamer. But all of this presumes that the purpose of the bore measuring is to allow replication. That may not be his primary goal--it may simply be to collect accurate data in order to further research.

Nonetheless, color me intrigued!

P.S. I had to edit this because my original math WAS wrong :-)

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Last edited by Geoffrey Ellis on Tue Jun 09, 2020 1:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2020 11:50 am 
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Thanks! I didn't know that Chris has a new website. Very interesting indeed to see the mixture of steam-punky and high tech machines that Chris makes use of to create his flutes. I have a Wilkes flute in front of me now, from 2000, that has rose-engined silver rings and end cap.

Looking forward to see what historical flutes Chris will be offering for sale.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2020 2:35 pm 
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@ Geoffrey Ellis--
In fact, in the video that Chris posted in the section on guillouche, you will note that the French machinist (who properly considers himself an artist) says that the accomplished guilloucheur measures "in thousands of a millimeter." That this is possible is validated by looking at the tidy engraving on many an old pocket watch. E.g., "Your third thread is three thousands out."
That Chris accomplishes this artistry on a varying surface is testament to his genius. That he assembled his Rose Engine from bits and pieces -- and had to make many of the missing parts -- is humbling to we who are only mere mortals.
The website is lovely. And this is a wonderful clip: http://www.wilkesflutes.co.uk/guillouche.html

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2020 3:52 pm 
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Julia Delaney wrote:
@ Geoffrey Ellis--
In fact, in the video that Chris posted in the section on guillouche, you will note that the French machinist (who properly considers himself an artist) says that the accomplished guilloucheur measures "in thousands of a millimeter." That this is possible is validated by looking at the tidy engraving on many an old pocket watch. E.g., "Your third thread is three thousands out."
That Chris accomplishes this artistry on a varying surface is testament to his genius. That he assembled his Rose Engine from bits and pieces -- and had to make many of the missing parts -- is humbling to we who are only mere mortals.
The website is lovely. And this is a wonderful clip: http://www.wilkesflutes.co.uk/guillouche.html


That's a great video--didn't see it first time through. However, I'm still having trouble digesting that claim of accuracy. Not doubting that such accuracy is possible on analog machinery (that video in another thread on analog fire control systems for the Navy is testimony to what can be done), I'm sure it is. Also, my initial reaction was nothing to do with the guillouche, but rather the bore measuring. From the page on flute repair: "Over the years Chris has built up a large database of information about old flutes and especially those made by messrs. "Rudall and Rose". He can measure bores at any point in their length down to .001mm and has stored this information together with sound files in databases"

The idea of measuring flute bores with such accuracy is what staggered me. Again, I'm sure that high-tech measuring devices exist to do it--that's not surprising--but it is a bit surprising that a flute maker (as opposed to someone making high-precision instrumentation of some kind) would have and use such a device. I know that there are gauges and such used by machinists (gauge plugs for example) that are accurate to absurd tolerances. But even these precision measuring tools used by machinists (such as precision plug gauges) are only accurate to .0001". I wonder what tool Chris is using to measure the inside bore to that degree? Must be a laser device...hmmmm.

I think that most people who have never worked at machining can't appreciate how small ten thousandths of an inch is. So small that it's challenging to even measure it accurately. So when someone talks about looking at a guillouche through a magnifying device and observing that "Your third thread is three thousands out" sounds like hyperbole. I'm not saying that it IS hyperbole, merely that at first blush my eyebrows shot up and nearly left my scalp :-) That is 1/10,000th of an inch, or one-tenth the diameter of a human hair[/i]. That is simply amazing. But then I think of those cams and such manufactured by the Navy, or I think about precision watch makers, etc. and I'm compelled to admit that there are craftsman whose work carries them deep into the microcosm. And the detail on those engravings really is stunning.

But let me reiterate that my initial surprise had to do with bores.

In the case of Chris's claim that he measures bores to that degree of accuracy (greater, actually, since his claim to accuracy on that is three times as fine as the one proposed by the machinist gentleman in the video), that is what really amazes me. I'd love to know more about how he achieves it.

As a fellow maker, I'm deeply impressed with the skills he has cultivated and his dedication to his craft. Some of it just makes me scratch my head :-)

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2020 4:07 pm 
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Oh, the old accuracy was real. I was privileged to get my basic machining intro from an old tool and die maker. He pointed out some of the fine work done in the 1800´s on gunsmithing, accurate in some cases down to .0001 inches on lathes with composite beds, that is to say oak clad with cast iron. Of course the machines had ´slop´ and play. . .the artistry was in knowing how to use it.

Bob

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2020 5:36 pm 
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an seanduine wrote:
Oh, the old accuracy was real. I was privileged to get my basic machining intro from an old tool and die maker. He pointed out some of the fine work done in the 1800´s on gunsmithing, accurate in some cases down to .0001 inches on lathes with composite beds, that is to say oak clad with cast iron. Of course the machines had ´slop´ and play. . .the artistry was in knowing how to use it.

Bob


That is simply awesome. To get that kind of accuracy under those conditions...

I've machined things to .0001", but the painstaking slowness, and often the final dimension is achieve not by cutting but by using a superfine abrasive to remove tiny amounts of stock. Doing it on anything very large would be a remarkable feat.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2020 9:05 pm 
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There is a sort of romance and glamour to the stories of the early machinists. William Maudslay, generally credited with creating the earliest industrial screw cutting lathes, made a bench micrometer about 1807 accurate to .0001. He was reported to patrol his workshop with another micrometer nearly as accurate hung round his neck on a ribbon showing the British tricolor, called the Lord Chancellor, to settle disputes about measurement. There were said to be no appeals past the Lord Chancellor. The measuring thread for this micrometer was hand cut by Maudslay himself.

Bob

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2020 10:42 pm 
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an seanduine wrote:
There is a sort of romance and glamour to the stories of the early machinists. William Maudslay, generally credited with creating the earliest industrial screw cutting lathes, made a bench micrometer about 1807 accurate to .0001. He was reported to patrol his workshop with another micrometer nearly as accurate hung round his neck on a ribbon showing the British tricolor, called the Lord Chancellor, to settle disputes about measurement. There were said to be no appeals past the Lord Chancellor. The measuring thread for this micrometer was hand cut by Maudslay himself.

Bob


The thing that I wonder about is how they determined the accuracy of the micrometer in the first place? Obviously there has to be some objective reference that is agreed upon. Otherwise, how can he determine that it's accurate? It's a chicken or the egg thing that I wonder about. To know if it's accurate to .0001", then there has to be some fixed item to measure whose dimension is established in order to calibrate it.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2020 11:51 pm 
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Ok, what you are asking, Geoffrey, is at once both trivial and complex. It is in the realm of what is called metrication. We know with the metric system the length of a meter was derived from the painstaking measurement of a derived meridian, which in turn was drawn from a postulated (and idealised) circumference of the earth. English measure is a bit more messy. This pdf. gives some history :http://metricationmatters.com/docs/WhichInch.pdf In it they speak of the ´Iron Ulna´, so you know they were aware of the need for a single unique, theoretically unchangeable standard. Even the Babylonians had this part figured out.
Here´s my take. For quick and dirty but extremely accurate measurement in the shop we could reference an optical comparator.
We don´t need Einstein to bedevil us with ´bent light´, ´she´ll be right and straight enough for us mate!´. Now this is where trigonometry comes into play. When I was a pipefitter and had to make flange end pipes with pressure flanges capable of holding thousands of pound pressure, we would do ´lay downs´ on the shop floor projected out however many yards to calculate angles down to seconds to get complex pipe shapes that would fit that precisely. Same thing with measurements. This was the same process the Egyptians used to calculate the pyramids, and the Phoenicians used on David´s canal. Maudslay used projections and ratios to successively correct his original lead screw. Infinite approximations/refinements give theoretically infinite precision.

Bob

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2020 12:13 am 
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One of my favorite anecdotes to illustrate precision measure derived from gross measurement tools goes something like this: Sir Francis Chichester after pitch-polling on one of his Gypsy Moth ketches had to gap the ignition on a generator after amost all his tools went adrift or overboard. He had a straight edge one foot ruler similar to what we see in grade schools, and a copy of the bible on onion-skin pages. He took multiple measurements of one inch of pages, counted them, and averaged the number to determine the how many pages to give him a close enough thickness to gap the ignition, recharge his battery, and get out a distress call.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2020 5:55 am 
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Geoffrey Ellis wrote:

But I do like his mix of antique and modern approaches. I'm deeply intrigued by his bore measuring method, from which he claims a degree of accuracy that I assume to be a typo. He says he can measure a bore to .001mm. That's a thousandth of a millimeter. If my math is correct, that is just under 4/100,000th of an inch (or getting close to 1/20,000th). I would have been slightly skeptical had he claimed accuracy to .01mm (which is 1/10,000th of an inch, and a degree of precision that seems ridiculous when dealing with a wooden flute bore). I can only imagine a very sophisticated laser measuring system of some kind can produce the accuracy he claims. . . .

This made me wonder if he accidentally hit the zero key an extra time when typing that number :-)


For bore measurements, it says 0.01 mm now, so your speculation about an extra zero might be correct.

I agree that measuring a wood surface to 1 micron sounds like a bit much. Many wood surfaces will change by a micron with humidity, plus most aren't smooth to that level, so if you move 10-100 microns, your reading will change.

But a really good surface? A micron for the metal parts seems reasonable. Heck, with the right equipment people are doing sub-nm measurements over length scales close to a meter.

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