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Tarnish under lip plate

Taking care of your instrument

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Flatfive
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2015 3:08 am
Location: West Yorkshire, UK

Re: Tarnish under lip plate

Postby Flatfive » Wed Apr 27, 2016 10:14 am

The nasty man may have had a point about environmental factors... although he had no need to be nasty. Although I thoroughly dry and clean the flute after playing, both inside and out, I realised that I have never cleaned under the lip plate.
The ghost of the lines are still there... so they may be solder lines (although I still don't know what solder lines are... never found any answers via google). The tarnish may have attached itself to these lines after a full year of un-cleaning, but is now minimised.

Finding a good flute tech will be a good idea in any case. Although I live in a small village in the hills, there is (amazingly) a woodwind workshop only five minutes walk away... but they seem to specialise in saxes. There is also a very good shop in a nearby city (Woodwind Exchange in Bradford, if anyone from the UK is reading)... they are excellent, but the danger with that one is that I spent an awful lot of money there in my sax-playing days and I might end up coming home with a baritone or something.

Regarding the headjoint... after a lot of serious practice, I am now reaching a tone in the bottom and middle octaves which is approaching "heavenly" (by my standards at least) and I am now playing the top octave without bothering all the cats in the neighbourhood. Tuning and intonation are improving hugely and the whole thing is now playing with such ease that I'm also addressing the dynamics of playing with less stress. In short... right at this moment you would have to prise this headjoint out of my cold, dead hands and I'm not swapping it for anything.
Steve J

SylvreKat
Posts: 133
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2016 6:56 am
Location: KC metro

Re: Tarnish under lip plate

Postby SylvreKat » Thu Apr 28, 2016 5:34 am

I'm not sure I've ever cleaned under the lip plate, either. And I've never noticed discoloration. But then, I apparently live in an area non-conducive to tarnishing.

On your sax-specialist tech--give him a try. My repairman is a trumpet player, but is fully trained on most instruments (I say "most" 'cause I'm not sure he does, say, strings. Or pipe organs. Bagpipes. Gemshorns... :D ) I've almost always been totally pleased with his work. The one time I wasn't was in adjusting my picc's action, but that's as much because of me being particular rather than a failure on his part. He even created a set of pads from trumpet spit-valve foam for my nasty Artley that ate pads. So your sax-tech might actually be quite good with flutes as well.

I'm glad to read how much you're enjoying the head joint's responsiveness. A good flute really is a joy to play! But you should still contact TJ. They might have a suggestion for cleaning off that tarnish more permanently. You never know 'til you try!

>'Kat
Flutes:
1975 Gemeinhardt M2 in chrome nickel
1982 Armstrong 80
2006 Yamaha 584

Piccs:
1978 Artley piece of crap 15 P
1982 Gemeinhardt 4S
1980s (?) Armstrong all wood (no model)

Bass:
2006 Jupiter di Medici G0199

Plus many many flute-cousins....

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pied_piper
Posts: 1615
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 1:31 pm
Location: Virginia

Re: Tarnish under lip plate

Postby pied_piper » Thu Apr 28, 2016 12:46 pm

Tarnish is cosmetic and does not hurt the flute. If fact, I have seen several professional flutists whose flutes were badly tarnished all over. Look at some of Greg Patillo's earlier YouTube videos and you'll see that his flute was nearly black. What is important is the sound.

I've seen flutists who were fanatical about keeping their flute in a shiny, bright, new-looking state. Unfortunately, doing that requires the help of your professional flute technician. Here are some photos that show what happens to flutists who go a bit overboard with their do-it-yourself approach. This flute came to me with the complaint that keys were sticking and some notes were out of tune. Check the photos and you will see why...
IMG_1939.JPG
IMG_1939.JPG (189.26 KiB) Viewed 1587 times
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IMG_1940.JPG (206.21 KiB) Viewed 1587 times
IMG_1941.JPG
IMG_1941.JPG (246.7 KiB) Viewed 1587 times
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--

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Flatfive
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2015 3:08 am
Location: West Yorkshire, UK

Re: Tarnish under lip plate

Postby Flatfive » Fri Apr 29, 2016 1:17 am

Amazing photos. I assume the white stuff is some sort of liquid polish. I've used a tiny amount of wadding type cleaner under the lip plate, but all other cleaning is done with dry cloths. I only dry out the inside of the body and foot joint but don't go near the keys on the outside.
Thanks pp
Steve J

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pied_piper
Posts: 1615
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 1:31 pm
Location: Virginia

Re: Tarnish under lip plate

Postby pied_piper » Fri Apr 29, 2016 11:56 am

Yes, exactly. It was the leftover residue from dried liquid silver polish that had been applied far, far, too liberally. The polish in the tone holes was affecting intonation and it had been worked into some of the pivot screws and hinge rods causing them to bind.
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--

mirwa
Posts: 270
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2012 6:36 pm
Location: Australia - Perth
Contact:

Re: Tarnish under lip plate

Postby mirwa » Sat Apr 30, 2016 6:39 pm

Nice 8)


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