Choice of leather for a traverso key pad

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skap
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Tell us something.: My area of interest is baroque one-keyed flutes, I have found some useful information on this forum: it seems that many users own baroque flutes.
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Choice of leather for a traverso key pad

Post by skap »

What type (and thickness) of leather would be recommended for the key pad of a traverso ?
I have made the key expecting a thickness of around 0.5mm which, I can see now, is rather
exceptionally thin. The only leather I can find in this thickness range is sheepskin leather.
I see one on the internet, 0.4mm, it is described as very soft, smooth, having a velvety backside.
I was going to fasten the pad with melted natural bee wax (the resulting thickness can be
adjusted somewhat). Are there any inconveniences to use this kind of leather ? I could go for a
thicker leather and bend the key, if that is what's recommended, but then the choice becomes wider
and I will be even more lost. Will appreciate any help.
rykirk
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Re: Choice of leather for a traverso key pad

Post by rykirk »

I'm not sure what the common thickness would be if there is one, but mine is about 1mm, maybe 1.2mm. My only thought on going very thin is it would have less cushion or squish to it and in addition to wearing faster may be less likely to make a good seal. Purely hypothetical tho. If you can't find leather in a thinner size easily couldn't you buy thicker and shave it down to the desired thickness?

I have a one foot square sheet of 1mm red plumbing rubber that I bought to cut replacement blow pipe flapper valves for my pipes. I figure that should give me a lifetime supply of hard wearing flaps and keypads when it comes time to replace it.
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skap
Posts: 34
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Tell us something.: My area of interest is baroque one-keyed flutes, I have found some useful information on this forum: it seems that many users own baroque flutes.
Location: France

Re: Choice of leather for a traverso key pad

Post by skap »

Thanks, rykirk. Yes, there's the question of "squish", but I was more worried about the achievable flatness
after fastening it with melted wax.

In fact, at some point, I forgot why I chose 0.5 mm. Now I realize it is dictated by the flute's design. I doubt that
the original pad was thicker than that. So that comforts me more or less. Will order some sheepskin leather offcuts.
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