Instrument Care

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Here are some tips concerning the handling and care of the instrument...

Before assembling the instrument you should make sure that corks are greased with cork-grease to enable an easy fit. The Tuning-slide is lubricated with a long lasting special grease and is not meant to be taken apart. This may be possible though, and it is not a problem to put it back together again. Transport with the tuning-slide apart is not recommended as dirt can get into the slide and clog it up.

The tenons are reinforced with brass rings to avoid cracks or damage by dropping (after all Flutes are round and roll off tables...), but the timber might still shrink and expand a little bit. If you find that it is very difficult to take your flute apart, although the cork is greased well, it might be that the timber expanded and the tenon is slightly too big for it's socket. In this case a repair-technician can help, it's not a major job and it's a common thing that happens. I can do this for you, if you prefer, but the postage and the time the instrument is in the mail should be considered as well as the difference in climate which is the cause in many of these cases.

After playing it is advisable to use a pull-through swab to remove the excess water. Too much water can cause the timber to swell and warp,this may cause cracks. Please note that cracks can also appear when the flute is too dry, so a bit of moisture in the bore mustn't be a bad thing. Somewhere in the middle lies the truth...
Treating the flute with bore oil can help prevent cracks. A lot of people use Almond oil, there are also special bore oils available from Music shops. Both work fine as long as the oil is used sparingly. The glue that holds the corks on the tenons can dissolve, when oil is used excessively. It is also recommended that the flute is played at first for short periods with slowly increasing lengths to avoid cracks. The moisture content in the timber should change slowly. Cracks are caused by tensions within the wood that can build up when the inside of the instrument is very wet and the timber swells up more than the dry outside. Especially during winter in central-heated environments this difference in humidity is dangerous for the instrument. Try to keep the flute in the case and keep it in a humid enough atmosphere.

The outside is coated with varnish. Wiping with a soft cloth probably with some furniture polish or furniture wax is the appropriate care and should help to keep the appearance of the instrument. However, the moisture around the blow hole and the fingers wear off the varnish after a while. This is normal and doesn't affect the playability, it's the patina of usage. Bore oil around the blow hole and the finger holes helps to preserve the colour of the timber and prevents it from fading.

If your flute has plain brass rings it is best to wipe them from time to time to keep them from becoming dull. A careful treatment with brass polish can help to prevent that. Silver-plated rings are best treated with ordinary silver polish when necessary.

I hope that this helps you to keep your instrument in good shape and that it brings you and others a lot of joy. If you should have questions, please contact me and I will do my best to answer them.