Leveling rolled tone holes

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HMannfan
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Leveling rolled tone holes

Post by HMannfan » Sat Jun 21, 2014 6:26 pm

Can I safely use Ferree's flute tone hole refacing tool on rolled tone holes? If not, is there an alternative method to accomplish the same result?

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Zevang
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Re: Leveling rolled tone holes

Post by Zevang » Sat Jun 21, 2014 7:02 pm

I think JLSmith has a good tool to accomplish that.

mirwa
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Re: Leveling rolled tone holes

Post by mirwa » Sat Jun 21, 2014 7:34 pm

Yes you can but go very very gently.

As Im sure you are aware, the edge of the roll is thinner than the wall itself, I strongly advise against refacing rolled tone holes, it is far better to work the rim up or down and you can get it pretty close

HMannfan
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Re: Leveling rolled tone holes

Post by HMannfan » Sun Jun 22, 2014 10:38 am

mirwa,

Would you mind explaining your method to "work the rim up or down"? This must be a fairly common procedure since so many flutes have rolled tone holes, or am I wrong? If you have explained this procedure before, just point me to the link.
Many thanks.

Mark

fluteguy18
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Re: Leveling rolled tone holes

Post by fluteguy18 » Sun Jun 22, 2014 5:54 pm

There are several methods and tools that you can use to bring the edges of a tonehole up or down. First you have to determine why exactly the tonehole is unlevel in the first place. Is it damaged or is the matter of being un-level a result of poor manufacturing? If it is damaged, then there are a plethora of options depending on the kind of damage that has happened. I will only bring to the table your options of bringing a tonehole to level if it is a result of poor manufacturing (which is almost every drawn tonehole in existence).

When a tonehole is drawn, the edges are rolled down to create a surface that is flat and uniform (in theory). Most of the time however the roll is uneven and causes a tonehole that appears to be flat but in fact... is not. You have to check it with something that is truly flat (there are a variety of special gauges you can use, but often times a leak light paired with a plug gauge will tell you what you need to know). Most of the time the high spots in a tonehole are caused by a rim that hasn't been rolled completely. Your first option here is to use a tonehole roller. It's basically a mandrel that you put through the body that has holes threaded into it. You align a threaded hole in the center of the tonehole you desire to level, then attach the leveler (a flat donut that has a screw through it). You put the donut on top of the tonehole, twist the screw, and then gradually tighten. The donut applies pressure and continues to roll the surface of the tonehole downward. Just be careful that you don't collapse the tonehole.

You also have the option of bringing up the low spots if you can't bring the high spots down through rolling. This method involves using a threaded dent ball on the end of a long steel rod that has been chucked in a vise. You place the dent ball under the low spot of the tonehole, apply downward force on the flute body and have someone else gently strike the rod with a mallet. The operative word here is 'gently.' It's better to go too lightly and have to do it again than to do it too much.

These two methods will get it close and then lastly you would choose to file the tonehole (you have to use three levelers for this, a flat one to level, and then a convex and a concave one to bring the rim bevel back to an acceptable diameter bc flattening widens the high spots). I always try to bring the tonehole down as far as possible before trying to bring it up from within. I generally don't like doing anything that might change the bore of the instrument if I can avoid it. That however is a personal preference thing. I can usually roll the tonehole close enough and then file if I have to finish it off.

HMannfan
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Re: Leveling rolled tone holes

Post by HMannfan » Sun Jun 22, 2014 10:07 pm

Thank you fluteguy 18 for that excellent explanation. It clears up a lot of confusion for me. I have not seen the tonehole roller in any list of tools on the sites that I can access. Might I find them on the Allied site?

A repairman with whom I work one day a week will allow me to buy any tools or supplies I need though his repair shop. His primary business is stringed instrument repair, and he has several people working in his shop, but he also does all the Baroque instrument repairs for the Ashland Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Oregon. He spent many years making recorders and repairing all kinds of Baroque instruments as well as playing them in the Ashland Shakespeare Festival. He is teaching me how to repair Baroque flutes and recorders and helping me with my "modern" flute repair whenever he can. Modern flutes are not his forte though, so I come here for advice when I need to.

Thanks again fluteguy 18.

Mark

mirwa
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Re: Leveling rolled tone holes

Post by mirwa » Mon Jun 23, 2014 2:06 am

Nice response above

4 positions in reference to moving the tone hole rim, we can't use north south east west so......

HJ (head joint side) FJ (foot joint side) Bb ( rear thumb lever side) GL ( g# lever side)

If a leak exists on Bb or GL sides then you have to lower the tone hole rim, this is because the wall stiffness is too hard and solder / draw position of the tone hole is imporoperly placed to be able to raise.

To lower I use a 6mm thick acrylic plastic flat ring and hit it with a hammer supported internally with a mandrel.

If a leak exists on HJ or FJ sides then the tone hole can be raised, to raise it you need to modify a steel bar and a drill hole into the bar big enough to fit a ball bearing that you have laying around, 6mm is a good size, you place the hole into the tone hole area and then drop the ball bearing in, then simply move the mandrel against the edge that needs to be raised, the ball bearing will lift lightly that area, j l smith sell these bars already made up.

I think it's a misnomer personally about the distortion of the body tube, as the tube is distorted from the drawing, or the soldering etc, a ball lifting and edge 1/1000 of an inch is IMO inconsequential

HMannfan
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Re: Leveling rolled tone holes

Post by HMannfan » Mon Jun 23, 2014 1:09 pm

Thank you Steve (mirwa),

You anticipated a couple further questions that had arisen in my mind since reading fluteguy 18's posting, and answered them nicely.

I went to the JLSmith website and found the tool you referred to. Maybe I'll just have a hole drilled in my body mandrel for a 6mm ball bearing. Save myself some money for now.

I was questioning whether such a small amount of distortion of the body tube could have an appreciable effect on the flute's sound. I'm grateful you gave your opinion.

After looking closely at the rolled tone hole on the instrument in question, I noticed that there is very little space between the bottom edge of the roll and the body of the flute at the center line of the tone hole on the head to foot axis. It would seem to make the prospect of rolling the tone hole further problematic as there is very little space to accommodate the edge.

I had been looking for something that would show me how out of level the tone holes were, and fluteguy 18's suggestion of using a plug gauge solved that problem nicely as I have several. What a surprise I got when I checked a couple tone holes on the flute I'm working on! Yes, I know, you guys have been harping on this forever, but I still had my doubts. Well, I don't any more! I don't know how to insert a picture of one of these tone holes or I would. They appear to be high at the highest point of the body under the hole (center line of hole) and low elsewhere. No wonder I'm having so much trouble fitting pads!

Thanks again to you all. I'll let you know how I make out, but it will take some time to get the tools together.

Mark

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JButky
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Re: Leveling rolled tone holes

Post by JButky » Mon Jun 23, 2014 3:59 pm

Here's a picture of one. This one is not too bad, but you get the idea...
yamaha tonehole.jpg
yamaha tonehole.jpg (225.13 KiB) Viewed 7097 times
Joe B
Joe B

HMannfan
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Re: Leveling rolled tone holes

Post by HMannfan » Mon Jun 23, 2014 4:27 pm

Thanks Joe,

Yes, that is just what I see only worse.
P1530097.JPG
P1530097.JPG (127.36 KiB) Viewed 7094 times

HMannfan
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Re: Leveling rolled tone holes

Post by HMannfan » Thu Jun 26, 2014 8:09 am

When using the steel bar and ball bearing to raise the tone hole, how do you proceed? Do you start at the points that have to be raised the least and work your way to the middle (the point that needs to be raised the most)?

Where the tone hole chimney is longest, it would seem that you are putting more pressure outward on the body tube than you are pushing upward on the tone hole. Comments?

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JButky
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Re: Leveling rolled tone holes

Post by JButky » Thu Jun 26, 2014 10:31 am

HMannfan wrote:When using the steel bar and ball bearing to raise the tone hole, how do you proceed? Do you start at the points that have to be raised the least and work your way to the middle (the point that needs to be raised the most)?

Where the tone hole chimney is longest, it would seem that you are putting more pressure outward on the body tube than you are pushing upward on the tone hole. Comments?
IMO the "body tube destroyer" should only be used in worst case scenario where extreme damage is present and there is no easy way to make a damaged body caused tone hole level. I would not use that tool for general leveling of tone holes. What that tool actually does is distort the body tube to make the tone hole level. Not for general leveling of tone holes.

You have to control the flute body when manipulating the steel ball where you need it to go. You are using it as a burnisher basically, but the burnisher is not moving; you are moving the body tube over the steel ball.
Joe B

HMannfan
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Re: Leveling rolled tone holes

Post by HMannfan » Thu Jun 26, 2014 2:00 pm

Well Joe,

I can see that there are definitely differing opinions on the use of this tool. How do YOU go about leveling rolled tone holes if you don't mind my asking?

Mark

fluteguy18
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Re: Leveling rolled tone holes

Post by fluteguy18 » Thu Jun 26, 2014 6:19 pm

Joe: I'm glad to see that you and I are in agreement. The 'body destroyer' indeed. :lol:

You can do it either way, strike the mandrel with a mallet, or you can burnish with the mandrel from the inside. Either way you're distorting the body tubing and I don't like it. I've only ever raised the low spots on one occasion thus far. It was when they were teaching us this method at school and the instructor saw that I had obvious objections to it. Naturally I was his first choice to do it and demonstrate for the class. :roll:

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JButky
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Re: Leveling rolled tone holes

Post by JButky » Thu Jun 26, 2014 8:53 pm

HMannfan wrote:Well Joe,

I can see that there are definitely differing opinions on the use of this tool. How do YOU go about leveling rolled tone holes if you don't mind my asking?

Mark
The industry standard is to use an abrasive on a flat to level a tone hole. As in all things, you can do it well or you can do it badly. Unless you are brutally aggressive in technique and choice of abrasive, dangerous thinning of the rim is not an issue when you have developed a good technique. And don't forget to reprofile the rim.

I use simple tools, leak light and flat gauge to check the tonehole (see previous picture) a really overused X fine hone for leveling, and a headjoint scraper for reprofiling (yes I do it by hand for better control of the rim and feel for what is happening there). Some worn overly used 3600 micro mesh for final polish at the very end.

Made the gauge-scrap brass, Bought the hone - $10 keychain knife sharpener-broke off the key part kept the rest, made the headjoint scraper. Inherited the leak light. Total cost out of pocket for me @$20 for nice tone holes..

When leveling toneholes, you should quote clint eastwood "A man's got to know his limitations"... That's the best advice I can give 8)
Joe B

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