Flute pad cleaning during COA

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HMannfan
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Flute pad cleaning during COA

Post by HMannfan » Thu Sep 18, 2014 11:25 pm

For you professional repairmen, do you routinely clean all the flute pads while you have a flute disassembled during a COA? If a pad/pads DO need to be cleaned, what materials and methods do you employ? Any comments about JLSmith's Pad Juice?

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JButky
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Re: Flute pad cleaning during COA

Post by JButky » Fri Sep 19, 2014 6:04 am

HMannfan wrote:For you professional repairmen, do you routinely clean all the flute pads while you have a flute disassembled during a COA? If a pad/pads DO need to be cleaned, what materials and methods do you employ? Any comments about JLSmith's Pad Juice?
If a pad needs to be "cleaned" it's more likely that it needs to be replaced. Clean pads? no...
Clean the tone holes? YES!

Pad Juice. Waste of money...
Joe B

HMannfan
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Re: Flute pad cleaning during COA

Post by HMannfan » Sat Sep 20, 2014 8:55 am

Thanks Joe. Looks like there are no dissenting opinions on this topic. If they look bad don't bother trying to clean them, replace them.

fluteguy18
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Re: Flute pad cleaning during COA

Post by fluteguy18 » Sat Sep 20, 2014 7:09 pm

Sorry I've been late to reply. I'm finally reaching the end of our busy season (student model instruments during the day, pro-line by night... I've got a lovely platinum alloy Burkart on my bench tonight).

Pad Juice? I'm starting to agree with Joe on this one. I'll use it occasionally if I see gunk on the pad skin, but usually it is indeed the tonehole that needs to be cleaned. It's more obvious on saxophone pads (oh the horror!). I use pad juice with a cotton swab (blunt/rounded end if it has a round end and a pointed end), wipe it on the pad, follow with a dry cotton swab and then let the remainder air dry. You can really get in and scrub on the toneholes (especially on the interior walls). If I'm in a hurry and it's not an actual COA then I'll cut blue shop cloth into strips to make applicators. I'll wet the applicators, place it between the pad and the tonehole, then open and close it several times, following with a dry one. Not a good solution, but often enough to placate a customer that is either tight on funds or undervalues my services (Yes! Instrument repairs actually cost money! :roll: ). :lol:

As of yet I've not seen a distinct advantage of pad juice over watered down denatured alcohol. I'll squirt denatured on the cotton swab and then follow with a squirt of water. Too much denatured dries out the pads, but diluting it seems okay for now...

By the way: Customer quote of the week: 'No, he won't be doing music in college. We want him to actually be able to get a job.'

Thanks. :|

mirwa
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Re: Flute pad cleaning during COA

Post by mirwa » Sat Sep 20, 2014 7:44 pm

I always clean the pads, I use alcohol and a soft cloth, I also clean the tone holes and the whole body

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flutego12
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Re: Flute pad cleaning during COA

Post by flutego12 » Tue Sep 23, 2014 9:23 pm

I only clean the pads when there's dirt or build up (guck as you say) on it, when the pad is too new to replace.

And I use Pad Juice fr JLS. - minimally applied from the applicator cloth which is gentle, lintfree yet provides enough "friction" to grab the guck.

- Only because I would like to think it's more organic and gentler on the fingers than the alcohol. It feels soapy to the touch and smells quite pleasant like the bubble blowing liquid we use to buy from the toystore (the one that comes in a bottle with a skinny mini magnifying glass applicator - good memories!). Does anyone know how to make it? :P

I wanted to avoid drying out the pads with alcohol as I didn't know what the pad tolerances were nor the required dilution strength to use. :?:

In this application, would there be any difference between using denatured versus rubbing alcohol?

Or course the flute body would have had it's bath as well, which takes care of tone hole hygiene. :mrgreen:
flutist with a screwdriver

TomJ
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Re: Flute pad cleaning during COA

Post by TomJ » Fri Oct 17, 2014 6:10 pm

I think I read somewhere that Straubinger pads are cleaned with Lubriderm. Seems to me this should work with regular pads too. Don't the both use the same skin?

mirwa
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Re: Flute pad cleaning during COA

Post by mirwa » Fri Oct 17, 2014 9:36 pm

Straubinger pads are a very debatable topic, I for one, do not think much of them.

fluteguy18
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Re: Flute pad cleaning during COA

Post by fluteguy18 » Sat Oct 18, 2014 6:46 am

They do indeed use the same skin. Haven't heard the lubriderm trick yet, (though all of my Straubinger training has been 'in-house' rather than through the official courses). Mirwa is right. Straubinger pads are extremely controversial depending on who you talk to. There was once a thread on here many years ago in which an all out war was waged about them. My opinion on them seems to change almost daily. At the moment I like them, but see some flaws in the design (skins tear too easily).

I'll try the lubriderm thing on a junker I have laying around. So far it's been subjected to many experiments (some successful, some not). At the moment though, I'm highly suspicious...

TomJ
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Re: Flute pad cleaning during COA

Post by TomJ » Sat Oct 18, 2014 8:18 am

I just located the source in an email from a couple of years ago. An experienced tech said he cleans them by rubbing gently with a touch of Lubriderm on a q-tip.

While I was looking for the source, I also found an article on the NFA website that suggests pads should be routinely cleaned during service. The author recommends a mixture of alcohol, water, and Lubriderm.
Here's the article: http://tinyurl.com/mosl8xj

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JButky
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Re: Flute pad cleaning during COA

Post by JButky » Mon Oct 20, 2014 11:08 am

TomJ wrote:I just located the source in an email from a couple of years ago. An experienced tech said he cleans them by rubbing gently with a touch of Lubriderm on a q-tip.

While I was looking for the source, I also found an article on the NFA website that suggests pads should be routinely cleaned during service. The author recommends a mixture of alcohol, water, and Lubriderm.
Here's the article: http://tinyurl.com/mosl8xj
And the problem with lubriderm is that it attracts even more dirt and is makes the pads sticky!!

The lubriderm was a desperate attempt to make the pad skin more soft (being organic skin) to keep them from tearing so much. It will make the skin more supple, but the skin tearing is not caused by the skin drying out (which any solvent used to clean the pad will also do, causing leaks). The lubriderm is just a magnet for more dirt and stickiness..
Joe B

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Zevang
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Re: Flute pad cleaning during COA

Post by Zevang » Tue Oct 21, 2014 10:54 am

Good points here! ;-)

I do clean pads during C.O.A. It makes easier when I do the adjustments.

I use just water. If this alone isn't capable of deeply cleaning a pad, so I just leave it alone and do the next one. Anyway the important thing is to remove the excess durty.

Cleaning often is a good way to find the smallest holes on the surface of the skin (I use carefully the tip of a needle to make sure). Also, when the pad is old and needs to be replaced you can imediately tell just after cleaning, they just melt on your hand...

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