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'click' less / silent pewter foot joints
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Author:  Calum Stewart [ Sat Nov 24, 2012 12:24 pm ]
Post subject:  'click' less / silent pewter foot joints

Are there any makers / repairers, flute owners out there, that have ever seen a way of making regular pewter plugs for low C and C sharp keys, silent?

I've talked to a couple of makers about their experiences with hard rubber replacements, or exchanging the metal rings on the flute (by which the pewter plugs seal against) for another material.

The old school pewter plug mechanism is a great thing, but the click gets on my nerves after a while! The boehm footjoint system is brilliant IMO, but not everyone makes these, and old flutes of course don't have them.

In the process of re-tooling, and just wondering what options might be.

Thanks in advance :)
Calum

Author:  Terry McGee [ Sat Nov 24, 2012 7:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 'click' less / silent pewter foot joints

Calum

I have repaired a missing Eb pewter plug by making a silver cup, riveting it through the loop that formerly held the plug, and putting a thin leather pad in it, sealing onto the silver ring in the wood. That worked fine, but of course Eb is easy, as it is normally closed. Convincing two normally-open keys to close in synchronism is always a challenge, but the approach may well work.

I have oft wondered about delrin plugs, but never got to try them. That would have to be quieter than pewter.

I have used aluminium to replace totally mangled pewter plugs. My reasoning was that it too is a soft, grey metal (although not as soft or grey as pewter). It was only isolated in the first half 19th century, so wasn't available commercially at the time our flutes were being made. The replacement was totally successful, but of course it still clicks!

Terry

Author:  an seanduine [ Sun Nov 25, 2012 2:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 'click' less / silent pewter foot joints

Terry, I wonder if one could make up replacement plugs from Britannia Metal, as it can be formed to shape by spinning? Of course it can be cast as well, and is less toxic than traditional pewter. It would certainly be historically accurate, dating from the early 1840's.

Bob

Author:  jemtheflute [ Sun Nov 25, 2012 8:39 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 'click' less / silent pewter foot joints

I think people have tried repairing damaged/leaky pewters by gluing thin leather onto them, and that would also silence them, but should entail significant adjustment of the mechanism to achieve adequate clearance/venting. Besides, what'd be the point on a new-build? Just go for flat-cup keys and standard clarinet pads. They work just fine on nach-Meyer grasshopper foot keys which rarely have pewters. The problem with getting pads on open-standing keys to seal and with sagging was primarily with "elastic balls/purse pads" in salt-spoon cups, especially on larger tone-holes. You can have a perfectly good and reliable English style grasshopper foot key mechanism with modern pads. Of course, you wouldn't need receiving plates and tone-hole rims would need to be suitably cut. It would feel/play and almost look like a C19th English foot but won't clack. With linked C/C# keys the adjustments would be a bit finikier than on unlinked German style keys, but no more so than getting pewters perfectly co-ordinated, nor than correct regulation of a Böhm foot mechanism.

Author:  Calum Stewart [ Sun Nov 25, 2012 9:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 'click' less / silent pewter foot joints

Thanks for responses everyone. Jem, that is a great idea and the thought hadn't crossed my mind at all. It would require a little bit of rejigging, on a flute with existing pewter style foot, but I ask myself if there would be any major ethical problems doing this on an older flute
It would certainly be less obtrusive that having a boehm style key system replacing the pewter system!

Author:  LorenzoFlute [ Sun Nov 25, 2012 9:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 'click' less / silent pewter foot joints

You could have a new footjoint with your favourite system to replace the original one, so you can keep that one safe...

Author:  dunnp [ Sun Nov 25, 2012 1:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 'click' less / silent pewter foot joints

What's the new flute? Iffin you don 't mind telling!

Author:  oleorezinator [ Sun Nov 25, 2012 1:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 'click' less / silent pewter foot joints

Would a few applications of silicone sealer thinned
with turpentine work. A couple of coats might take
the click out of it.

Author:  Casey Burns [ Sun Nov 25, 2012 9:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 'click' less / silent pewter foot joints

You might simply try sticking a tiny drop of fine machine oil (something thin, not too viscous) on the contact surfaces between the pads and and the pad seats. These were meant to be oiled with a small drop of fine oil, possibly spermaceti.

Not only will this quiet them down a bit when they strike, it will also help seal them in terms of making the C# and C speak easily.

Casey

Author:  MarkP [ Mon Nov 26, 2012 2:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 'click' less / silent pewter foot joints

Silly question maybe, but is it definitely the pewter that's clicking, or the C# key on the ferrul, or the C key on the C# key? If the cork silencers are worn you'll get more click from the latter and easily fixed. Probably a red herring but worth checking.

Author:  Clinton [ Mon Nov 26, 2012 3:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 'click' less / silent pewter foot joints

I have wondered if castable neoprene would work. It comes in different densities/hardness and can be cast into plaster of Paris molds. I would think that a threaded post, perhaps with a disc base, could be cast into it to fix through the key mount.
http://www.chicagolatexproducts.com/

Neoprene can also be machined.
http://www.acmerubber.com/machined.htm

Clinton

Author:  Javier Vila [ Sun Jan 26, 2020 2:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 'click' less / silent pewter foot joints

[Thread revival. - Mod]

Casey Burns wrote:
You might simply try sticking a tiny drop of fine machine oil (something thin, not too viscous) on the contact surfaces between the pads and and the pad seats. These were meant to be oiled with a small drop of fine oil, possibly spermaceti.

Not only will this quiet them down a bit when they strike, it will also help seal them in terms of making the C# and C speak easily.

Casey


Interestingly, Art music flutist Lisa Beznosiuk seems to use this trick when performing on 19th century flutes https://youtu.be/8Q0l_K1ZrnY

Author:  Javier Vila [ Sun Jan 26, 2020 2:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 'click' less / silent pewter foot joints

Calum Stewart wrote:
Are there any makers / repairers, flute owners out there, that have ever seen a way of making regular pewter plugs for low C and C sharp keys, silent?

I've talked to a couple of makers about their experiences with hard rubber replacements, or exchanging the metal rings on the flute (by which the pewter plugs seal against) for another material.

The old school pewter plug mechanism is a great thing, but the click gets on my nerves after a while! The boehm footjoint system is brilliant IMO, but not everyone makes these, and old flutes of course don't have them.

In the process of re-tooling, and just wondering what options might be.

Thanks in advance :)
Calum


Hi Calum, I was wondering if you finally found a solution to this problem? The clicking can be quite annoying if the tune has many low Cs or C#s.

Regarding makers, Chris Norman is now making flutes (following up on Rod Cameron’s work) with cup-shaped foot keys which I guess don’t click Image http://www.chrisnorman.com/flutes-made

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