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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:43 pm 
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Here you are:

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As you can see, I've got the head off too. An end view:

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jemtheflute wrote:
Nice looking bit of cocus!

Yes, that's really what decided me to buy it - it looks and feels so good, even if it ends up as more of a decoration than a practical musical instrument. It would be nice to get a tune out of it though, even if only for my own pleasure.

First though, I have to get the rest of the keys off without cracking anything, and the end of the head. And then get it back together, but that's another bridge entirely!

Fiona

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 3:23 pm 
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Nice wood and good looking embouchure hole.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 12:28 am 
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jemtheflute wrote:
A medium guage knitting needle


Can nobody spell around here? [heh heh]

Live by the sword, die by the sword ...

:D

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 3:40 am 
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Agh. :tomato: :oops: Pass the "falls on own sword" emoticon. (Anyone got one - there oughta be one!)

On topic:
Well done anoia - good (and safely made) progress! No cracks, either. Now you need to soak/scrape/unravel away the old thread from both tenon and socket. The embouchure does look to be in excellent condition - often these old "fifes" (they aren't really Fifes, rather Band Flutes, but they often get called that - see plenty of old threads here via the search tool....) have been mangled there by attempted penknife modification and/or, being cheaply and carelessly made, had really casual, rough and erratic original cuts. Of course, until you get it back playing you won't know what the internal intonation is like, but if it is OK, you should have an extremely nicely playable little toot. It looks well made and should speak very well. Even if it is HP and not useable in company/ensemble, it should be a pleasure to play solo, not just an attractive ornament.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 4:02 am 
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Next tip. Don't be tempted to use the knife-lever method on the crown cap - it can work, but you are very likely (he said from rueful experience) to snap/chip off bits of the crown along its grain around the edges - the wood is too thin to take the stress well (they're often chipped anyway....). Best thing is to push it out with the cork from down-tube. Put your wooden spoon handle or dowel (you need a wider one here - the thin one might just push through dessicated cork but not be strong enough...) up the tube and push firmly. The cork may just push easily, or crumble, or it may be pretty stuck. If things are very resistant, put the free end of your dowel/spoon push-rod vertically on a firm surface (e.g. kitchen work top), grip the head with both hands, the upper one cupping the crown to catch it when it pops, and use your body-weight through your arms to force the head down on the push-rod. Push the cork up to the crown (if it is separate) and then continue until it pushes the crown out ahead of it. Sometimes pulsing your push-effort can help free a very recalcitrant case, or going horizontal and pushing the butt-end of the push-rod against a wall or door frame can let you use more body-weight/effort. With a bit of luck, you won't need to be so extreme.

If the cork comes out intact and sound, you'll be able to re-use it. If not, we'll deal with that later.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 6:46 am 
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(Sorry, prepared a reply then got distracted by jam making and lost it.)

A Progress report:
I have got the top off by following your instructions. Part of the cork is stuck to the inner wall so I will obviously have to replace it, but otherwise it looks fine.

The thread is coming off well. What should I look out for to replace it? It looks like linen or fine hemp - something natural with very long fibres.

I still haven't managed to shift the remaining 3 pins for the keys. I've tried holding the body upright and tapping as hard as I dared using a jewellers' screwdriver and a very small hammer. It is marking the pin, but not moving it. Can I try heating the post or getting some WD40 into the joins? My son says I need a thing like a "vice based olive destoner", but I don't know how he thinks I should make it!

Thank you
Fiona

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 7:01 am 
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Could I just point out, before you mark the pins any more, that, on my piccolo, the "pins" are in fact screws? Which means that tapping them will only damage them. Is there a very tiny slot as on a normal screw head? I had to use a magnifying glass to see it on mine.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 7:34 am 
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It's a good thought, but I don't think so. The freed one is certainly unthreaded, and the ends of the others look similar - one end fairly smooth, flat. and circular; the other end with a slight shoulder on one side, so that end is flat but D shaped. On two the D end is 0.5 mm proud; on the third it's the other end. The one that moved I pushed from the D end, and it has a slight curve so that might be causing trouble.

Fiona

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 8:14 am 
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I already thought from your original photos that the axle-pins were just the push-fit type, not screws, or I'd have counselled accordingly.

Right, a vice method would be best if you can, but even if not, try this: file/grind the point off a smallish round nail to make a suitable size pusher that won't damage the pin-end. Set the pillar you're not approaching with the pusher against something firm but not blocking the pin from coming out. This can be tricky - if possible get a waste piece of hardish wood and drill a small hole (wider than the pin) near enough to an edge to be able to rest the flute body along the side of it with the pillar supported by the wood and the pin over the hole. You want to support just the pillar/axle assembly of each key in order to keep the stresses limited to them and avoid stressing the pillars' fit into the body (they're just screwed into shallow threaded holes in the wood).

If you have a suitable vice, you can use these made-up tools in it (you seem handy, so I'm sure you'd work out how), or perhaps a screw G clamp could be used to apply pressure. If not, put all on something firm. You'll probably need extra hands. Then use your blunted nail and the hammer to tap the pin out until you can get the end with pliers. A drop of penetrating oil or WD40 on the pin before-hand (while you make your tools) might well be helpful and won't harm anything. Be careful not to unintentionally enlarge the hole in the pillar with your nail-pusher by going too far. Whatever pressure method you use, go slowly and keep a good eye and ear out for anything going awry.

As for the stopper cork, just clean out the residue stuck to the tube wall for now. We'll deal with making a replacement in due course. I take it it wasn't attached to the crown, which is just a wooden button? As to the lapping, yes, the old stuff looks like the traditional loose-spun yellow hemp. No need to get exactly that. I have a pre-written Word doc. on thread lapping which I can e-mail you if you like.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 8:49 am 
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Well!

While I was potting the jam I wasn't watching the children - the one that suggested the vice has just handed the body back to me with the pins loosened "by the application of leverage" - it involved a vice, a nut to support and a screwdriver. :o The pillars seem to be fine. :D Still can't completely remove them, as the pliers I have have no grip at the end, but progress is definitely happening.

Yes, the cork was loose. The crown is mushroom shaped with a tiny tuft at the centre of the stalk where it was taken off the lathe which stuck about 1mm into the cork, though whether that was deliberate it's hard to tell. It looks as though the cork was originally held in place by a strip of gummed paper.

Fiona

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 9:31 am 
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Useful child! See if this genius can (with suitable admonishments of care) get them right out? Just be careful not to go twisty-stressing the one pillar (and its wood socket) the pins are left in. Using the support system I suggested, once the pin end is clear of the first pillar, you can put a flat blade across it and press/tap on that to drive it on out of the other pillar. Your budding engineer can probably think how to effect that in the vice.

The paper around the cork will doubtless have been an old attempt to get it to seal once it had shrunk with age. No need for such on new cork!

Thinking ahead, once the pins are out and you have cleaned them and their holes in the pillar heads, if they are still over-tight, just very slightly rub them down with fine grade wet & dry paper until they'll go in fairly readily. Don't worry if they end up a tiny bit loose - the pressure of the spring up against the axle tends to hold even quite loose ones in place and they rarely work out, though a snug push-fit is optimal. A twist of wet & dry or a very fine needle file through the pillar head holes might help too.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 11:38 am 
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All out! Thanks to Andrew, (who I shouldn't really call a child now he can vote, but, well, you get in the habit) and you. The perfect combination of untrained exuberance and someone who knows what they are doing. And a pencil sharpener, which he used as a support.

Yes please to the thread lapping document - it looks as if you can get my email address from the forum?

Now to get cleaning... I may have to take it on holiday with me, as we are in Northumberland from the end of the week. Oh well, I've got a couple of days, and it's not as if there's anything else I should be doing. (*)

Fiona

*This is a lie. The flute is more fun though!

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 12:39 pm 
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you can hide your email address, not a bad idea

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 2:41 pm 
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Well done both. Sounds like you've engaged his interest. I hope he'll want to share playing it in due course! Cleaning won't take long.

Lapping doc on its way by e-mail.

If you can get it all cleaned up before you go away, if your Northumbrian holiday takes you anywhere near Hexham, you may be able to solve the problem of getting four odd size pads of the right sizes by visiting Arthur Haswell - I can't vouch he'll carry the right stock, mind (you need clarinet pads!), so best to phone in advance. Otherwise you'll have to find a helpful local woodwind tech (most will carry extensive/relevant stock, but may not be all that understanding about non-modern, standard instruments) or mail order from Windcraft (click that link, then Clarinet, then Pads - Premium Deluxe Leather) - or, as you're only an hour or so from them, visit them in Maidenhead. You'll also need some shellac or a stick of sealing wax. The problem with mail ordering is getting the right size - measuring the key-cups isn't that accurate a guide! You may also need to adapt the pads if they're too deep, in which case spares to allow for ruining one or two may be needed.

The pads you need are the leather covered clarinet ones - use the Premium quality. Flute pads, whilst more suitable in some cases regarding thickness (i.e. they are thinner than the clarinet pads) are all "skin" covered - Goldbeater's Skin as used on Bohm flute pads - and they aren't really suitable on wooden flutes, especially if the tone-hole edges are at all sharp. They'll work, but won't last. The ideal would be leather covered felt on card, 2mm thick, but no-one seems to make such commercially at present.

I'm afraid you can't just go on the outer diameter of the key cups for choosing your pad sizes. 1mm less then that should be close, but you can't count on it. I advise you to buy enough pads at the size you think you'll need from measuring and then as many again the next size smaller (minus 0.5mm - the pads come in 1/2mm steps). Even then, you may find some aren't right. Buy at least one extra in each size too. Problem is, the antique key cups just aren't that regular (not perfectly round, inner hollow not concentric with outside shape.....), and because they were mostly cast, the depth of the cup can be very variable and uneven - you may well need to thin pads as described on Terry McGee's website (or I think I've written about how to do it on C&F) or even grind out some more of the metal (it is usually quite thick). Very often the 3mm thick pads just won't do as they are and you have to adapt them, especially for the very short keys where tone-hole clearance can be an issue - the G# and short F especially.

The wind tech sources won't be much help with the stopper cork. For that you'll just have to trim and file/sand down a piece of good quality wine cork - not a terribly easy job! Large size hole punches like these are helpful if you can borrow one just a little wider in diameter than the bore of the head (probably not worth investing!). You need a finished cork about 2cm long which fits snugly (airtight but not jammed fast) into the head bore and has a flat, smooth, straight-cut down-tube surface. Grease it well before test insertion when you get it near size and when it is ready to use. If you like you can seal the down-tube surface with superglue and sand that smooth. We'll deal with positioning it when you reach that stage.

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Last edited by jemtheflute on Tue Aug 09, 2011 5:34 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 2:54 pm 
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I have been following this thread. All I can say is kudos to Jemtheflute. Wow, nice of you to help with this.

:D

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