How to make yellow flute pads

Some flutes come with yellow colored pads installed instead of the traditional white pads. There’s no difference between yellow and white pads other than the color. So instead of buying yellow pads, I just use McCormick’s yellow food coloring to stain my white pads yellow. It matches the pads pretty much perfectly right out of the bottle and you can dilute it with water to get exactly what you want if you’re picky. Simple, cheap, easy. 0005210007107_300X300

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Fitting a flute headjoint when normal methods won’t work.

headjoint

So I had a flute come in with a loose headjoint. Normally, I would be able to get a mandrel or expander and get in the headjoint and expanded it to fit snugly into the receiver. The problem with this headjoint was that the end fit snugly but once you had it all the way into the receiver, it started to wobble. I could take an expander and bulge the metal outwards farther up the tube towards the lip-plate and that would probably make the joint fit, but I can’t do that because that would destroy the tapper of the tube which is a no-no and would cause acoustic problems. A better option is to add material to the outside of the headjoint to make it fit securely which is what I did. Using paper thin brass sheet, I measured and cut a strip that I then attached to the tube with contact cement. Next I used micro mesh to sand down the brass until it fit properly into the receiver. Finally, I trimmed and removed the excess sheeting with a razor blade so when the headjoint is fully inserted into the flute, you can’t see the brass strip. If I ever want to undo this repair, all I have to do is apply heat and the glue will release. If I really wanted to be extra fancy, I could have even silver plated the brass strip but the acid in the plating solution may have released the glue and rendered the whole effort pointless so I let it be this time. Maybe I’ll experiment on one of my own flutes later just to see if the glue will hold.

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