Screws

Basics of Flute Playing, Tone Production and Fingerings, Using Metronomes, Scales, Tone, Studies, etc.

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Bo
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Screws

Post by Bo » Tue Mar 22, 2011 5:17 pm

I don't want to touch them nor would I dare to :lol: , but I am just curious as to how they work, I mean how you tune the flute with the screws...
Does anybody know?

Thanks! :D

fluteguy18
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Re: Screws

Post by fluteguy18 » Tue Mar 22, 2011 8:21 pm

You don't tune a flute by adjusting the screws... the screws are used for adjusting the height of connecting levers so that the mechanism works properly.

'If it ain't broke, don't fix it!'

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Bo
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Re: Screws

Post by Bo » Wed Mar 23, 2011 1:03 am

Ah, thanks! :)
Somehow I thought they were for tuning because when I bought my very first flute I touched the screws in the first few days :oops: :oops: (I think I didn't get the right tone, having had the flute for only 2 days), and I messed it up. The notes then sounded completely different, so I thought those tiny screws were something like the tuning pegs of the guitar. I have never touched them again...

PS: 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it!'
So true... I am trying to convince my dentist of this wisdom, but she won't listen. :x

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Zevang
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Re: Screws

Post by Zevang » Wed Mar 23, 2011 12:16 pm

Bo, there are nothing awkward about those screws.

For instance, let's see what happens to the mechanism when a screw is in action. Take for example the A keys (first octave). There are two keys responsible for doing this note, but you only have one finger available for that. So the screw is responsible for regulating the amount the "second" key will go down (or not so down) to make a perfect closing of both.

If you turn the screw a little to the right, it will go a bit down and will cause the second key to go further a bit down. At the contrary, if you turn it a little to the left (counter clockwise), it will raise the screw a bit and the support pad of the second key will be pressed a bit less, causing the second key to go down a bit less. The commitment here is that the screw is in a position so that both the primary (where your finger goes) and the second (the one the goes down "automatically") keys make a perfect match when closed, avoiding any leaks of air that produce the "different" sound you noticed in your previous experience with changing the screws positions.
BTW, all screws that might exist in a flute have this very same function (except for those that hold the rods in place...). There are flutes that simply don't have ANY screw. You might be thinking "what to do when a flute like this stop working?". That's why we have good technicians... :-)

It's just to help you get rid of this sensation of doing something very wrong, which it's not. You just need to learn how to use it in your favor and when it's really needed. Sometimes it can help you spare some money.

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Bo
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Re: Screws

Post by Bo » Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:48 pm

Thank you. :D
I guess I am only scared because of my first experience... But I will get over it one day. It would be nice if I had a friend here or someone watching me while I am adjusting the screws, but unfortunately I don't know any flutists here at the moment (I mean not personally).

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Zevang
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Re: Screws

Post by Zevang » Wed Mar 23, 2011 6:29 pm

... I meant "There is nothing..." :-)

Anyway, with a webcam and MSN or even SKYPE it can be arranged if you want to, since there is no flutists around.
If I can be of any further help in this regard please let me know.

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Bo
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Re: Screws

Post by Bo » Wed Mar 23, 2011 8:09 pm

Thank you, Zevang!! :D
I will let you know if I have a problem. It is working fine for the moment, I was just curious about the mechanism. :wink:

A funny thing I noticed is that the tone changes with the weather. Actually probably not so weird, it is a fact with the guitar for example that the weather affects its sound. Maybe it is the same with the flute?
The weather is Australia is particularly crazy. Hot weather, then diluvial rain. Humidity in particular probably has an effect on it I think?

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pied_piper
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Re: Screws

Post by pied_piper » Wed Mar 23, 2011 8:14 pm

Bo - If you want to learn how to adjust your flute or to do other minor repairs, like replacing pads, consider ordering the book "Servicing the Flute" by Jeff Smith. Jeff Smith explains everything in an easy-to-read, step-by-step fashion and he includes lots of pictures to provide further guidance. There are other books that go into more complicated repairs but this one is great for someone to learn the basics. It's only 41 pages, but it's packed with good information. It's available from J.L. Smith, Co. and I highly recommend it. ($18.50 USD)

http://www.jlsmithco.com/BOOKS/SERVICIN ... JEFF-SMITH
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--

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Bo
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Re: Screws

Post by Bo » Wed Mar 23, 2011 9:39 pm

Thank you!
I think they might have in a shop in Sydney too (where they really have a wide range of books), I will have a look next time. :P

wkzh
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Re: Screws

Post by wkzh » Wed Apr 13, 2011 11:06 am

Point of note: DO NOT use a screwdriver that does not fit EXACTLY into the slot. If you do so, you'll damage the screw and, well... things get messy. Technicians will file down a screwdriver until it fits exactly, don't try using some random screwdriver to do the job.

I learnt that the hard way :(
The flute family: probing the lower limit of human hearing and the upper limit of human tolerance.

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Bo
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Re: Screws

Post by Bo » Wed Apr 13, 2011 11:44 am

Oh, I've got a nice set of precision screwdrivers, so when the moment comes I think one will do the job... :D

wkzh
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Re: Screws

Post by wkzh » Wed Apr 13, 2011 1:15 pm

Precision screwdrivers aren't good enough. You need precision screwdrivers that are modified to fit the job perfectly.
The flute family: probing the lower limit of human hearing and the upper limit of human tolerance.

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pied_piper
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Re: Screws

Post by pied_piper » Wed Apr 13, 2011 1:45 pm

wkzh wrote:Precision screwdrivers aren't good enough. You need precision screwdrivers that are modified to fit the job perfectly.
Really good precision screwdrivers are available in sub mm increments from 0.8mm up to 4.0mm. Such screwdrivers do not usually require filing for a proper fit. Proper selection is key, however. For most C flute work, sizes below 2.0mm are common.

http://www.wihatools.com/200seri/260pico.htm
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--

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Bo
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Re: Screws

Post by Bo » Wed Apr 13, 2011 5:21 pm

Thanks for the link. :)

I looked at my set of screwdrivers... They are all mixed up in the box anyway, but these are the measurements

1/32" = 0.79 mm I think
3/64" = 1.19 mm
5/64" = 1.98 mm
3/32" = 2.38 mm
1/8" = 3.175 mm
9/64" = 3.57 mm

They are also "slotted". I was lucky. I paid 4 dollars for the whole set!

wkzh
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Re: Screws

Post by wkzh » Thu Apr 14, 2011 1:52 am

piedpiper wrote:Such screwdrivers do not usually require filing for a proper fit. Proper selection is key, however.
Yeah, that's the problem, "usually".

I think I'd rather buy a screwdriver that has a nice handle rather than one that has a perfect fit, then file it down.
The flute family: probing the lower limit of human hearing and the upper limit of human tolerance.

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