SPONSOR AD:BLUE LANDSCAPES   ~   Music from a Quieter Place | ROBERT THIES (piano) & DAMJAN KRAJACIC (flute)  >> LISTEN HERE

Why is my flute coloring around the toneholes and keys?

Flute History and Instrument Purchase

Moderators: Classitar, pied_piper, Phineas

chengerz
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Apr 16, 2013 8:22 pm

Why is my flute coloring around the toneholes and keys?

Postby chengerz » Sun Sep 29, 2013 8:26 pm

I have a six-month old Muramatsu EX which I love very much, and in the past few weeks I noticed some bronze-gold color start to form around the keys and toneholes. Is the plating wearing off or was it exposed to too much humidity (I sometimes leave it out if I know I'm going to play in the next hour or so)? It's purely aesthetic and doesn't affect my playing, but it already looks older than my Jupiter I got 7 years ago. For those of you who aren't familiar, the EX's body is nickel covered by silver plating. Also, the same thing happened to my old Sonare, but strangely hasn't affected my Jupiter. Could someone please explain this occurrence?

User avatar
pied_piper
Posts: 1736
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 1:31 pm
Location: Virginia

Re: Why is my flute coloring around the toneholes and keys?

Postby pied_piper » Sun Sep 29, 2013 10:19 pm

What you are seeing is simply tarnish. Silver will naturally tarnish, but sometimes environmental factors can accelerate it. To slow the appearance of tarnish, you can try using 3M silver anti tarnish strips in your flute case.

https://www.google.com/search?q=3M+silv ... ish+strips

Tarnish does not harm the flute, but many find it unattracfive. It can be removed by a flute tech during a COA.
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--

fluteguy18
Posts: 2306
Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2006 3:11 pm

Re: Why is my flute coloring around the toneholes and keys?

Postby fluteguy18 » Sun Sep 29, 2013 10:42 pm

PP is right on the money. And Muramatsu flutes typically tarnish more quickly than other high end flutes as well. Or at least they appear to do so. The tint of the silver is a bit darker in Muramatsu flutes and they appear to tarnish more quickly than flutes with silver of a lighter hue (like Miyazawa and Brannen).

chengerz
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Apr 16, 2013 8:22 pm

Re: Why is my flute coloring around the toneholes and keys?

Postby chengerz » Mon Sep 30, 2013 5:26 pm

Thanks guys. Where in the case do I put the anti-tarnish strips?

fluteguy18
Posts: 2306
Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2006 3:11 pm

Re: Why is my flute coloring around the toneholes and keys?

Postby fluteguy18 » Mon Sep 30, 2013 5:33 pm

Unless it came with a non-standard case you probably have a french style case (no handle, in a case cover with little velvet covered foam blocks to hole everything in place). I've seen people put them in the top part of the lid (and it lays on the keys when closed), but I personally put it under the flute on the flat velvet bottom. The piece of paper won't hurt it underneath it, but depending on the fit of your case it might not be wise to have anything laying on top of the keys. Some people fold it up and put it between the body and headjoint or footjoint (in the gap between). My only concern with that is that it might tumble around causing micro abrasions on the surface.

User avatar
pied_piper
Posts: 1736
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 1:31 pm
Location: Virginia

Re: Why is my flute coloring around the toneholes and keys?

Postby pied_piper » Mon Sep 30, 2013 5:42 pm

I do the same as FG18 and place them in the case bottom under the flute. You can cut them with scissors to fit. Replace them every 6 months or so.
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--

User avatar
cflutist
Posts: 447
Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2006 12:44 pm

Re: Why is my flute coloring around the toneholes and keys?

Postby cflutist » Wed Oct 02, 2013 8:29 am

I have been using these now instead of the 3M ones (that I buy from my jewelry supplier $4.10 for 20 of them).

Intercept Anti-Tarnish Strips - (2"x7")
The same technology used by NASA, the Guggenheim Museum & jewelry manufactures worldwide.

•Provides protection from tarnish for up to three or more years.
•Does not leave deposits on items it protects.
•Nontoxic, non-abrasive, and will not scratch or harm metals or gemstones.

Before placing item in pouch, be sure item is clean, dry and free of fingerprints and deposits.


Size - 2" x 7"


Sold in pk of 20

---------------------------
Technical info here:
http://www.interceptjewelrycare.com/how.htm

$6.25 for 20 of them here:
http://www.riogrande.com/Product/Interc ... x-7/401526

User avatar
pied_piper
Posts: 1736
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 1:31 pm
Location: Virginia

Re: Why is my flute coloring around the toneholes and keys?

Postby pied_piper » Wed Oct 02, 2013 8:10 pm

Thanks for the tip cflutist! I'll definitely check them out. Those cost less than the 3M product.
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--

mirwa
Posts: 271
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2012 6:36 pm
Location: Australia - Perth
Contact:

Re: Why is my flute coloring around the toneholes and keys?

Postby mirwa » Sat Oct 12, 2013 7:04 pm

You need to understand why your flute is tarnishing, from this understanding a applicable solution can be sought

Not trying to teach how to suck eggs.

But.

Silver is a soft metal which tarnishes to self protect, depending on its make up of alloying components this process can be exasperated or reduced. Silver tarnishes when exposed to sulphides. Sulphides are mostly found in air pollution, cars give of sulphides, lawn mowers give of sulphides all engines running give of sulphides, power plants burning coal give of dramatic sulphides.

Some instrument cases the interiors are made from petroleum based products so this creates sulphides as well while the case is still in its gasing off phase(hence the strips put in cases to combat this)

Some areas have strong magnesium ground water, this creates sulphides eminating from the soil.

In a high polluted area, a clean flute will start to tarnish within two hrs, 4-10hrs later it can be heavily tarnished, add in humidity, temperature and so o n and this can be accelerated again

Steve

mirwa
Posts: 271
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2012 6:36 pm
Location: Australia - Perth
Contact:

Re: Why is my flute coloring around the toneholes and keys?

Postby mirwa » Sat Oct 12, 2013 7:10 pm

The question is, when does it appear to tarnish the most, if it appears to tarnish when left in the caes, then you need strips to combat the sulphides being released from the case, if it appears to be tarnishing mainly when its being played, then surface protections like a wax and so forth need to be applied to prevent.

If its tarnishing when being left on a stand then the enviroment it is in, is highly polluted, you need to put a bag over it or store it in its case.

Once tarnish gets to the stage of black, its very difficult to remove as its now embedded into the microscopic layers and pores of the instrument


Return to “Flute History and Instruments”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests

cron