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 Post subject: Sealing the holes
PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2021 9:50 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 25, 2009 4:44 am
Posts: 204
I wonder if anyone else has this problem - I'm having to press my fingers hard down on the holes to get a seal when playing. Seems like the pads on my fingers have dried out (I think they need repadding :) ) I'm using hand cream which helps a bit - so any advice?

I've been playing for some time but this is a recent problem probably age related.


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 Post subject: Re: Sealing the holes
PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2021 10:58 am 
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Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2012 7:12 pm
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Location: Pacific Northwest USA
Age probably has something to do with it. I've noticed in the last year or so as I get into my later 60's, the skin on my fingers are developing persistent crack-like lines that show up more in Winter when the humidity is low. The underlying flesh also isn't as flexible as it used to be. It takes longer for an indentation like the impression of a flute finger hole to disappear. Then again, maybe that's a good thing for sealing? I dunno.

One thing I've been doing in addition to hand cream after washing dishes, is applying a tiny swipe of cork grease on my fingers before playing. Not enough to feel greasy or waxy, just a tiny bit of lubrication. I use the same stuff -- D'Addario "natural ingredient" cork grease -- as a protective outer coat on the flute barrel, so there are no issues with something on my hands that the flute won't like. Maybe it helps a little with sealing the holes, and I also like the way it improves "stiction" with my lower hand thumb pressing against the flute.

Also, should go without saying, but don't let your home's humidity drop too low in Winter from heating the air. I use room humidifiers, so it never drops below around 40 rh even during a cold snap. It helps keep your skin from drying out.


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 Post subject: Re: Sealing the holes
PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2021 4:12 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 12, 2004 4:12 pm
Posts: 2293
Location: Malua Bay, on the NSW Nature Coast
I often wonder about Nicholson's approach - flattening the top of the tube around the two sets of fingerholes. Intuitively, you'd think that it would be easier to seal onto a flat surface than a round one, especially as our fingertips are curved in the other direction.

Interestingly, my Prowse Nicholson original only features the flat on the right hand holes.

Image

Do you sense a difference between your two hands, Gromit?


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 Post subject: Re: Sealing the holes
PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2021 5:44 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 25, 2009 4:44 am
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Quote:
-- D'Addario "natural ingredient" cork grease


Thanks Conical bore I'll try the D'Addario cork grease (thought they only made guitar strings) - yes I've got the same indentation problem that you describe.

Terry - Interesting about the flattening around the fingerholes. I have more of a problem sealing the right hand holes F#, E & D. So perhaps Mr. Nicholson and Mr. Prowse had old codgers like me in mind.


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 Post subject: Re: Sealing the holes
PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2021 6:31 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 12, 2004 4:12 pm
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Location: Malua Bay, on the NSW Nature Coast
It is interesting that we go to a lot of trouble to provide our keypads with the best possible guidance and seating surface, but leave our poor fingers to find their own way to the holes and seal holes that curve away in the opposite direction! Here's a key hole that Potter put on an 1851 model Clinton flute:

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 Post subject: Re: Sealing the holes
PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2021 5:22 am 
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Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2009 1:17 pm
Posts: 99
Location: Lancashire, UK
Are you playing a large hole flute?

If so perhaps the time is right to "down size". I find my medium hole Rudall and Rose so much easier to seal.


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 Post subject: Re: Sealing the holes
PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2021 6:42 am 
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I have an early Chris Wilkes purchased new in 1990. It looks pretty much the same (hole wise) as Terry's Prowse Nicholson but without the flattening around the fingerholes. I think the answer is what I'm doing - using cream/grease on my finger's before and during playing.

Thanks for the advice folks


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 Post subject: Re: Sealing the holes
PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2021 12:38 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 2:55 pm
Posts: 455
Location: BC., Canada
I have the same problem with the right hand fingers so raise my elbow. That works until next time when i forget to elbow up ...

Best wishes all,

Keith.


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 Post subject: Re: Sealing the holes
PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2021 2:48 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2001 6:00 pm
Posts: 16993
I've heard that the Old Timers licked their finger pads before playing.
Don't knock it till you've tried it.


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 Post subject: Re: Sealing the holes
PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2021 4:14 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 12, 2004 4:12 pm
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Location: Malua Bay, on the NSW Nature Coast
Heh heh, keeps the immune system working at full capacity too!


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 Post subject: Re: Sealing the holes
PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2021 4:21 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 25, 2009 4:44 am
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Old & young timers


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 Post subject: Re: Sealing the holes
PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2021 4:26 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 2:55 pm
Posts: 455
Location: BC., Canada
Wet fingers make my flutes slippery!

Big or small holes don't seem to make any difference.

Fortunately the problem doesn't arise often anyway.

Best,

Keith.


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 Post subject: Re: Sealing the holes
PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2021 4:44 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 12, 2004 4:12 pm
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Location: Malua Bay, on the NSW Nature Coast
A little experiment to investigate and give us some numbers.

I took a newly made Pratten keyless body, plugged the bottom end and attached the top end to my Magnehelic Flute Leakage Detector.

8 Magnehelic set up point for open air

4 Dry hands, holes lightly covered

2 Dry hands, holes firmly covered, (also Magnehelic recommendation for maximum permissible leakage in a whole flute)

1 Fingers licked then lightly covered

0.5 Fingers cork greased then lightly covered

0.4 Dry hands, squeezed hard

0.2 All holes bunged

0 Cork greased fingers squeezed hard
0 Magnehelic tube squeezed off

Playing with the cork grease felt awful, but wiping fingers and flute with a rag after seemed to retain the benefits without the goupiness.


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 Post subject: Re: Sealing the holes
PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2021 9:05 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 2:04 am
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Location: Mercia
In a previous discussion someone mentioned highland pipers running their fingers down the side of their nose to get a light greasing.


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 Post subject: Re: Sealing the holes
PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2021 2:40 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2005 5:55 pm
Posts: 388
Location: Coos Bay Oregon
As mentioned earlier as I get older, and my skin gets drier, it gets harder to seal the holes. I have the same problem with trying to swipe my phone and touch screens. Moisturizer is my friend. I never used it but I do now, especially when playing the pipes.


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