Loose Screw: Did I mess up?

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WalterSK
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Loose Screw: Did I mess up?

Post by WalterSK » Thu Oct 09, 2014 11:57 am

On my Sankyo CF410 Artist flute's foot joint, I noticed that the screw in the bottom of the long rod was extending out of the rod by about 1/8th inch. The other screws in the rods on the flute all had their heads flush with the ends of the rods. Having had a screw actually work its way loose and fall out of my student flute, I was afraid that might happen with the Sankyo.

What I did was very gingerly test the resistance to turning the other screws, and then tightened the loose one to have the same resistance. It also appears to be screwed in to the same position relative to the hole in the rod. I tested all of the keys and they seem to depress with the same pressure on them as always.

Is what I did OK? And is it recommended to put a very slight dab of clear nail lacquer on the end of the screws in the rods, or do I just keep observing them in case they work loose again?

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JButky
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Re: Loose Screw: Did I mess up?

Post by JButky » Thu Oct 09, 2014 12:49 pm

WalterSK wrote:On my Sankyo CF410 Artist flute's foot joint, I noticed that the screw in the bottom of the long rod was extending out of the rod by about 1/8th inch. The other screws in the rods on the flute all had their heads flush with the ends of the rods. Having had a screw actually work its way loose and fall out of my student flute, I was afraid that might happen with the Sankyo.

What I did was very gingerly test the resistance to turning the other screws, and then tightened the loose one to have the same resistance. It also appears to be screwed in to the same position relative to the hole in the rod. I tested all of the keys and they seem to depress with the same pressure on them as always.

Is what I did OK? And is it recommended to put a very slight dab of clear nail lacquer on the end of the screws in the rods, or do I just keep observing them in case they work loose again?
Give it a good crank to make sure it doesn't loosen up any more. No adhesives anywhere..PLEASE!!!!>>>

If you crank it down and a key binds, it means it's not fit exactly correct. The screw's shoulder or post facing are not squared if you tighten at the very end and it causes a key to bind. You shouldn't be afraid to be able to give it a good hand tightening. The friction of the screw's shoulder aginst the post face is held by friction imposed by the mechanical screw threads being tightened. So if you tighten and it's not binding and of the keys, all is good and as it should be!
Joe B

fluteguy18
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Re: Loose Screw: Did I mess up?

Post by fluteguy18 » Fri Oct 10, 2014 6:18 am

Definitely no adhesives. If it keeps backing out, take it to a qualified technician and they can sort out the problem.

HMannfan
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Re: Loose Screw: Did I mess up?

Post by HMannfan » Fri Oct 10, 2014 8:15 am

Joe B,

I've noticed this problem on a couple of different flutes where the B flat key on the left hand section and the F# key on the right hand section will bind when the rod screws are fully tightened. I read in Thorp's manual that a common cause of this condition is the head of a pillar that has been moved forcing the rod out of line causing the rod to bend ever so slightly when it is fully tightened. Since this involves the the most susceptible pillars at either end of the flute, I'm assuming these end pillars have probably experienced an inadvertent blow. He states that the correction for this condition involves the use of a pillar facing cutter. Is this how you resolve the issue? What does a pillar facing cutter look like, and how is it aligned to recut the pillar face?

Thanks,
Mark

WalterSK
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Re: Loose Screw: Did I mess up?

Post by WalterSK » Fri Oct 10, 2014 11:47 am

JButky wrote: Give it a good crank to make sure it doesn't loosen up any more. No adhesives anywhere..PLEASE!!!!>>>

If you crank it down and a key binds, it means it's not fit exactly correct. The screw's shoulder or post facing are not squared if you tighten at the very end and it causes a key to bind. You shouldn't be afraid to be able to give it a good hand tightening. The friction of the screw's shoulder aginst the post face is held by friction imposed by the mechanical screw threads being tightened. So if you tighten and it's not binding and of the keys, all is good and as it should be!
Many thanks. I'll try, very carefully.

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JButky
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Re: Loose Screw: Did I mess up?

Post by JButky » Fri Oct 10, 2014 4:31 pm

HMannfan wrote:Joe B,

I've noticed this problem on a couple of different flutes where the B flat key on the left hand section and the F# key on the right hand section will bind when the rod screws are fully tightened. I read in Thorp's manual that a common cause of this condition is the head of a pillar that has been moved forcing the rod out of line causing the rod to bend ever so slightly when it is fully tightened. Since this involves the the most susceptible pillars at either end of the flute, I'm assuming these end pillars have probably experienced an inadvertent blow. He states that the correction for this condition involves the use of a pillar facing cutter. Is this how you resolve the issue? What does a pillar facing cutter look like, and how is it aligned to recut the pillar face?

Thanks,
Mark
It can be from the pillars being bent slightly, The LH side is most often just not fit at all (student flutes) pro flutes usually have this fit very well. The RH side can be a bent pillar toe'd in or the pivot not fit correctly either.

It could be many things. Facing pillars is a last resort once you've determined the Pivots are correct and the shoulders on the steels are square. Typically a blank steel with a cutter on it replaces the steel with the keywork mounted on it. Cutter slides square along the steel and cuts the post. But if you are just doing a little trimming, I usually see where the steel shoulder is contacting first and file the offending spot on the pillar.

You need to determine though which scenario is causing the binding. Steel Shoulder not square to the pillar means the steel will arch slightly when you tighten it at the very end causing the binding. Misfit pivots mean they are going in too far causing binding and need to be re dressed. And also the obvious is to check first to make sure the pillar is not bent...
Joe B

HMannfan
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Re: Loose Screw: Did I mess up?

Post by HMannfan » Fri Oct 10, 2014 8:37 pm

Thanks Joe.

When you refer to misfitting pivots and say "they are going in too far causing binding and need to be re dressed," by "re dressed" can I assume you mean the pivot needs to be cut shorter and re pointed? When I tighten the rod screws, it has seemed to me that the threaded tube it pivots with appears to get pushed away slightly from the intervening pillar, which would indicate to me that the rod screw pivot point was too long. Does that make sense? In the past, I have simply backed the screw out slightly to alleviate the situation, but I worry about the screw not being tight. I'd like to be able to address this problem properly, and your instruction is greatly appreciated. It sounds to me like this is something that needs to be done on a lathe?

The flutes I work on are student model flutes that usually just need some (or all) new pads and corks, and to have the key closings regulated. I do this all for free and do not claim to be a professional repair person. If a flute needs more specialized repair, I suggest they send it to one of the shops in Portland since we don't have anyone here that can repair them. I have played flute for many years, and now play pretty well. I can tell by touch, sound, and feel if a flute is playing well. I also have a Magnehelic that I use to check pad seating, as well as my eyes and my feelers. I also have their flute teachers play the instruments before returning them to the students. It's better than nothing, which is what we have now.

Mark

mirwa
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Re: Loose Screw: Did I mess up?

Post by mirwa » Fri Oct 10, 2014 10:52 pm

The biggest thing with repair, is identifying the problem

Too many people just go straight in and cut shape bend modify without really thin king what they are doing

If you have a key that binds when you tighten the screw then stop and assess

Does the key fit between the posts neatly, that is no end play, if it doesnt you need to fix, swedging or mini teflon washers or cutting and relocating a post, whatever is needed to make sure it fits neatly between
When you fit a screw does the keywork move up and down as you are tightening, this means the screw is bent or the hinge tube is bent or the post is at the wrong angle to its other mounting post
When you insert the screw does the hinge work still have sideways movement, this means the hinge tube is too large or the screw point is worn fix or replace
When you insert the screw it binds the keywork, is the hinge tube damaged internally, is the screw going to far in, you need to shorten the screw or fix the hinge tube or space the screw out with an insert under its head
When you insert the screw does the keywork have resistance in its movement, the posts could be not square to each other, the ends of the keywork may have burrs, the screw may have damage, the keys may be bent, they may just simply have dirty or solidified oils in the mechanism or nothing at all

There are lots and lots of reasons why keys and screws dont work, but the most important thing is to stop take the time and identify why its really happening

Having trained apprentices and seen other peoples work, I do believe 70 percent of flute repairers out there do not do this, to that end probably 50 percent or more should seriously consider not repairing flutes, as some of the stuff I have seen is abominable IMO.

A flute that has been repadded by someone and wont play a month later is a true indication they should not be doing flutes

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JButky
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Re: Loose Screw: Did I mess up?

Post by JButky » Sat Oct 11, 2014 6:42 am

HMannfan wrote:Thanks Joe.

When you refer to misfitting pivots and say "they are going in too far causing binding and need to be re dressed," by "re dressed" can I assume you mean the pivot needs to be cut shorter and re pointed? When I tighten the rod screws, it has seemed to me that the threaded tube it pivots with appears to get pushed away slightly from the intervening pillar, which would indicate to me that the rod screw pivot point was too long. Does that make sense? In the past, I have simply backed the screw out slightly to alleviate the situation, but I worry about the screw not being tight. I'd like to be able to address this problem properly, and your instruction is greatly appreciated. It sounds to me like this is something that needs to be done on a lathe?
Mark,

On student flutes this is most often the case. To keep costs down, they simply don't fit this steel correctly. They turn it until it binds and then back off on it until its free. There's nothing to hold the steel in place (steel's shoulder against the post face) so it wriggles out or tightens up. Refitting the pivot end is what is usually done. You don't technically beed a lathe to shorten, a bench motor and file can get it done for you, UNLESS, you go too far.. Then you'll need a lathe to cut the shoulder back.

On the RH side, alot of flutes have non headed pivots. On these you must tighten until binding, loosen just until it works free and then add a little loctite or nail polish to the screw. Headed screws should be fit properly.

Then there are those flutes that have steels that end in pilots and not pivots (cylidrical rather than tapered points) These need to be fit between posts, Shortening the point end will generally do nothing. If there is binding, the keywork is usually too tight between the posts. Too loose is obvious!

See Steve's excellent advice...
Joe B

HMannfan
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Re: Loose Screw: Did I mess up?

Post by HMannfan » Sat Oct 11, 2014 8:45 am

Thank you Steve and Joe for your instruction and advice. It is always greatly appreciated. It provides both guidance and perspective. The guidance is in where to look and what to look for. The perspective is in what I can reasonably expect to be able to do given what skill I may possess.

The particular instruments that I am referring to have steels with a threaded pivot on one end and a screw slot in the other. There is no shoulder on the screw slotted end. Tightening this steel until it stops creates friction and interferes with key action. Loosening it slightly reduces the friction and allows the keys to open freely. That's all it amounts to.

It seems to me, that is all I should be doing except adding a drop of loctite or nail polish to the screw to help keep it from moving. Any other work by me would be ill advised.

No, it's not a perfect fix. But, the student gets back a flute that otherwise plays very well, where before hand it played very poorly, or not at all. And no, it does not stop being playable in a month, three months, or six months. I tell the teachers to personally play their student's flutes occasionally and to encourage their students to have their flutes checked out every six months. The student often cannot tell if something is going wrong with their instrument, but the teacher should be able to.

So far, most of the flutes I have worked on have been instruments a parent played in high school. Most have seen little or no repair in years. The parent encourages their child to take up playing an instrument, yet gives them an instrument that they have little chance of being able to play at all because it is in such poor condition. The instrument plays poorly, the child gets discouraged, their self esteem takes a hit, and they quit trying to play at all. I take the flute, repair it, and return it to the student in very good playing condition. They are encouraged because the flute plays much more easily and sounds much better. Is this a perfect scenario? No. But it is a vast improvement for a student whose parents cannot afford to ship the flute to Portland and spend $150 for an overhaul. Even if they did, I doubt the repairman would take the time to refit the screw rods on a 10 or 20 year old student flute!

I've played flute for over 55 years. I remember what it was like as a child playing an old, worn out flute because that's all my parents could afford and repairs were mostly out of the question. The difference was, I could not be discouraged. I loved playing the flute too much. So, with all due respect, I'll continue to do what I can for these students.

Mark

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JButky
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Re: Loose Screw: Did I mess up?

Post by JButky » Sat Oct 11, 2014 9:52 am

HMannfan wrote:
The particular instruments that I am referring to have steels with a threaded pivot on one end and a screw slot in the other. There is no shoulder on the screw slotted end. Tightening this steel until it stops creates friction and interferes with key action. Loosening it slightly reduces the friction and allows the keys to open freely. That's all it amounts to.

It seems to me, that is all I should be doing except adding a drop of loctite or nail polish to the screw to help keep it from moving. Any other work by me would be ill advised.
If you are going to do that. Put the loctite on the threads only, And LET IT DRY first. Then reassemble. You don't want loctite or nail polish anywhere near the hinge tubes on the LH side...

The shoulder is where the major steel diameter ends and the threads before the pivot begin. There's sometimes a very small portion that is not threaded between the shoulder and the threads..
Joe B

HMannfan
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Re: Loose Screw: Did I mess up?

Post by HMannfan » Sat Oct 11, 2014 1:41 pm

Thanks Joe.

I'll be sure to follow your advice.

Mark

WalterSK
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Re: Loose Screw: Did I mess up?

Post by WalterSK » Sat Oct 11, 2014 6:28 pm

Success! I turned the screw until it felt firm, then checked all of the keys, which appear to function smoothly. I also think the screw is tight enough so that it won't work itself out, but each time I put the flute into the case I will eyeball all of the screws, just in case. It had taken about 2 months, 2 hours a day of playing to get the screw loosened this time.

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