How to adjust headjoint fit to body

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bpiraino
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How to adjust headjoint fit to body

Post by bpiraino » Tue Jan 12, 2010 4:58 pm

Hello,

I just obtained a Powell Philharmonic headjoint to upgrade my Sonare flute. The headjoint is in great shape but it fits too loose inside the Sonare body and will not stay in position. What suggestions do you have for my getting it to fit more tightly?

Thanks,

Arianna
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Post by Arianna » Tue Jan 12, 2010 7:08 pm

Cheap way: use plumbers tape. They can also put something in the barrel from what I understand.

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pied_piper
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Post by pied_piper » Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:28 pm

The teflon plumber tape suggested by Arianna is a good TEMPORARY fix. The right way is to get it resized to fit your flute. Any good flute repair shop can expand the headjoint tenon (within reason) so that it fits properly.
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--

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Zevang
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Post by Zevang » Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:53 pm

Agreed. Plumbers tape can get it going but not ideally.
A good technician can do the job, but make sure that the headjoint is adjusted, not the body...

Arianna
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Post by Arianna » Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:57 pm

really, the head is adjusted? I have heard so many different things on that. My headjoint maker adjusted the head (but, then again, he made it, so who am I to complain). But, I heard from a local Powell dealer that it is better to adjust the body.
Just realized I can gain some good knowledge from this thread :)

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Zevang
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Post by Zevang » Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:09 pm

Well, alghough I'm not a technician, I have two of them, and they are good. I've heard exactly this from them. I imagine that, logically thinking, a headjoint is easier to work than trying to modify the tannen of a body.
Besides, you always can adjust ANY headjoint to a flute, but not the contrary.
I really don't believe a dealer could understand better this matter than a technician, but, they must have their reasons for telling you that.

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pied_piper
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Post by pied_piper » Tue Jan 12, 2010 10:03 pm

The only time it might be better to "adjust the body" is if there is a gross difference in size. In that case the barrel (receiver) on the flute can be replaced with a size closer to the headjoint. This is NOT a trivial operation. Another possible way to "adjust the body" is to have a thin sleeve soldered into the barrel. The problem with both of those options is that the original headjoint will no longer fit the flute.

If your new Powell headjoint is a close fit but not tight enough to keep it from slipping (which is how you described your situation), it is far easier, simpler, and less costly to simply have the headjoint tenon expanded. If you do that, you have the option of using either headjoint interchangeably on your flute. A slight expansion of the tenon will not hurt the headjoint nor will it alter the playing characteristics as long as the work is done by a flute specialist with the proper tools. IMO, that's a far better option.

When I was headjoint shopping, I got several on trial and used the teflon tape for the trial period. In the end, I bought a 14K gold headjoint for my flute and simply expanded the tenon by about .002" for a nice snug fit. It took about ten minutes to adjust it for a proper fit...
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--

bpiraino
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Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2009 4:17 pm

Thanks for the suggestions

Post by bpiraino » Wed Jan 13, 2010 12:08 pm

Thanks for the suggestions. I'll try the temporary fix first and then send the body and headjoint in for adjusting the size of the headjoint tenon.

fluttiegurl
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Post by fluttiegurl » Wed Jan 13, 2010 12:47 pm

I have a headjoint that I play on two different flutes (long story). I have been playing with teflon tape for the past three years and have no issues with it. The only problem is that every tim eI switch flutes, I have to take the tape off and redo it later.

I have asked several techs about this and all have told me that as long as the tape seals teh haed, there should be no difference. I have even contacted the headjoint maker and was told the same thing.

Just remember that if you resize the headjoint, it may not be able to be refitted again to another flute. Just something to think about.

miyazawagirl
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Re: How to adjust headjoint fit to body

Post by miyazawagirl » Wed Jan 08, 2014 11:26 am

Hi! I've been testing new head joints on my miyazawa heavy wall and all of them are way too small. I've had some weird results with the taping. With the scotch tape, I had a soaring upper register in the headjoint I most want, but the lower register was unresponsive. I retaped with the teflon and the upper register became stuffy but the lower register boomed. As in - wow. I'm not sure what the solution is here. Maybe try some copper fitting strips?

az1983
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Re: How to adjust headjoint fit to body

Post by az1983 » Fri Jan 10, 2014 6:47 am

@ miyazawagirl, funny you say that about the copper fitting strips. I just purchased some of this to take with me to TMEA next month to try headjoints.

http://www.jlsmithco.com/New-Products/C ... ING-STRIPS
www.cantabileflutequartet.com www.defproject.org

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pied_piper
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Re: How to adjust headjoint fit to body

Post by pied_piper » Fri Jan 10, 2014 8:20 pm

While the copper strips are removable, don't be surprised if the flute vendors are reluctant to allow you to apply it to their headjoints.
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--

fluteguy18
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Re: How to adjust headjoint fit to body

Post by fluteguy18 » Sat Jan 11, 2014 9:21 am

If you're visiting the CN booth at TMEA, I know for certain she won't let you use them. She and her staff are adamant that they only use plumbers tape for headjoint testing. The main reason is because there isn't any adhesive that would then later have to be removed. (Even if you don't feel anything after you pull the copper strips off, there is still residue that must be removed to prevent grit getting into the barrel). If you purchase a headjoint, they're happy to fit it in whatever way you prefer (though they never replace the barrel). She usually has a fairly large booth at TMEA, but I'm not sure what she will be doing this year. She doesn't have as many staff this year, so she may elect to do a more streamlined booth, but I don't know for sure.

miyazawagirl
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Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2014 2:58 am

Re: How to adjust headjoint fit to body

Post by miyazawagirl » Sun Jan 19, 2014 8:50 pm

Well, I opted for the Garner headjoint in Niobium. I mentioned to them I was having fitting problems and they sent me the copper tape free of charge with some pretty thorough instructions. It's not 100% perfect (I'll be shipping it out for a final fitting soon) but WHAT A DIFFERENCE. I think it might have something to do with the way the sound resonates against the metal vs. the rubbery plumbers tape. Just a heads up, CN charges $1000 more for the same headjoint on her website than other affiliates. If you are planning a big purchase, do your homework and make sure the price is good.

If you can't use the copper tape, I did find success with the scotch tape but had to get creative (a few pieces vertically and a few more around the base) for a good seal. Not great but good enough to learn the capabilities of what you are testing.

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