Workbench Disaster: Lipplate LIFT OFF - Qs on REATTACHMENT

Taking care of your instrument

Moderators: Classitar, pied_piper, Phineas

Post Reply
User avatar
flutego12
Posts: 554
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2012 2:51 am
Location: Southern Hemisphere, Earth

Workbench Disaster: Lipplate LIFT OFF - Qs on REATTACHMENT

Post by flutego12 » Sat Mar 08, 2014 11:40 pm

Recently scored a rather reputed continental flute of some age

The lipplate was hugging the headjoint and following advice from a great US flute restorer via another flute authority, I found the courage to "adjust" the edge of the lipplate to separate it from the hj tube wall. Easily done enough to my surprise (which was shortlived) as I then discovered that the headjoint no longer plays as sweetly as it did before, lost it's nimbleness and became a bit of a slug.

Furthermore, the lipplate became bouncy on its solder. I was convinced it was mounted on bubblegum. Wasn't hard to lift off since it wasn't playing already. Well there wasn't any bubble gum but I'm really buggered. Hope I didn't wreck the thing. Photos below

:oops:

Feeling foolish, I'm hoping for some solid advice on the science of lipplate reattachment and the drivers of sound quality in the process. :oops: :oops: :oops:
Can reattachment be done by a repairer or will the flutemaker be able to do that magic that the repairer can't?

ZEVANG...(help!) Did you do that Landell headjoint building course in the end? Really gutted here and wonder if you might have some advice.
Heavy hearted D.U.
Attachments
LIPPLATE OFF.jpg
LIPPLATE OFF.jpg (58.91 KiB) Viewed 4964 times
flutist with a screwdriver

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

Re: Workbench Disaster: Lipplate LIFT OFF - Qs on REATTACHM

Post by mirwa » Sun Mar 09, 2014 6:17 am

I give you credit for doing things, but really, sometimes you have to understand why your doing it rather than blindly doing what someone else advocates.

Its a very simple repair

To fix, you need to remove all the old solder from both the lip plate and the mouth pipe, once clean, flux and tin both pieces, then sweat them together.

Steve

fluteguy18
Posts: 2311
Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2006 3:11 pm

Re: Workbench Disaster: Lipplate LIFT OFF - Qs on REATTACHM

Post by fluteguy18 » Sun Mar 09, 2014 9:48 am

Oh dear.... :roll: :lol:

Okay. Mirwa has it right on, but I'll give you a bit more detailed instruction. Don't adjust the lip plate ever again if you don't have to do so! I recently had a scare with my Miyazawa headjoint but I was able to fix it (whilst measuring the dimensions of the embouchure hole with my calipers I accidentally put a scuff on the blowing edge... it polished out without changing it too much thankfully). In full honesty I don't recommend that you do this yourself, but I'll give you instructions anyway since the headjoint is about trashed anyway. Might as well turn it into a learning opportunity since it won't ever be the same again. What happened is that you compromised the solder joint when you flexed the lip plate.

First you need to get rid of the excess solder. You're going to have to heat it up so that the solder flows (turns liquid and it gets bright and shiny). While it is molten you simply wipe it off with a rag wrapped around your finger. You have to get ALL of it off.

While you have it apart, you might as well clean it. Degrease it with a dish soap and water solution, scrub with a soft tooth brush, and rinse. Then briefly soak in a silver dip/pickle (Tarn-X *diluted with water slightly* or Ellanar, or similar). Then rinse again and air dry.

Next ensure that your tubing is still round. It looks to me like you pulled up part of the tubing around the hole when you pulled it off. If it isn't round you'll have to put it on a mandrel and hammer/burnish the out of round parts back into place. Degrease the area with denatured alcohol to ensure that the joint will be extremely clean.

Using copper wire wrapped around the riser (like in this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHSu0trGkRg) secure the lip and riser assembly in place. Take extra care to ensure that it is properly aligned. Then you simply flux and solder the two back in place. After that you repeat the wiping process to remove any extra solder protruding into the hole. After that you need to 'finish' the work by lightly sanding the joint to make it perfectly smooth (if there are any rough spots and the grit needs to be extremely fine... well OVER 600/800), and buff/polish by hand. If there is a lot of material then you need to go back and wipe or resolder. It either isn't aligned properly or you didn't wipe away the excess enough.

But really, in all honesty this should be done by someone who has experience if you want to have any chance of using it again. You're effectively altering the undercut of the headjoint which will have dramatic consequences on the upper and lower registers (one will improve and the other will worsen). You're also adjusting hole placement which will affect the tuning of the instrument as well. I think you can probably figure it out, but it won't ever be the same again. You've jumped into the deep end here. 8)

User avatar
flutego12
Posts: 554
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2012 2:51 am
Location: Southern Hemisphere, Earth

Re: Workbench Disaster: Lipplate LIFT OFF - Qs on REATTACHM

Post by flutego12 » Sun Mar 09, 2014 10:29 am

mirwa wrote:I give you credit for doing things, but really, sometimes you have to understand why your doing it rather than blindly doing what someone else advocates.

Its a very simple repair

To fix, you need to remove all the old solder from both the lip plate and the mouth pipe, once clean, flux and tin both pieces, then sweat them together.

Steve
It was the great P Rabinov who suggested it. He perhaps did not know that I'm a solder virgin.
I had not expected this old dame's lips to crack like this.
I take comfort in hearing it's a simple repair. However, I've learnt my lesson - off it goes tomorrow to the Dr.
flutist with a screwdriver

User avatar
flutego12
Posts: 554
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2012 2:51 am
Location: Southern Hemisphere, Earth

Re: Workbench Disaster: Lipplate LIFT OFF - Qs on REATTACHM

Post by flutego12 » Sun Mar 09, 2014 10:34 am

fluteguy18 wrote:Oh dear.... :roll: :lol:

But really, in all honesty this should be done by someone who has experience if you want to have any chance of using it again. You're effectively altering the undercut of the headjoint which will have dramatic consequences on the upper and lower registers (one will improve and the other will worsen). You're also adjusting hole placement which will affect the tuning of the instrument as well. I think you can probably figure it out, but it won't ever be the same again. You've jumped into the deep end here. 8)

NOooo. What do you mean I'm effectively altering the undercut of the headjoint which will affect U /L registers ... won't ppl like David Shorey will be able to fix it?
I dont want modern tuning, I want the original tuning. Oh :oops: :oops: :oops: :cry: :cry: :cry:

Are you saying even the BEST RESTORER will not get it back to original tone quality or did you mean me? :x

PS I must however Thank You for your most detailed and helpful spiel on the solder repair.
flutist with a screwdriver

fluteguy18
Posts: 2311
Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2006 3:11 pm

Re: Workbench Disaster: Lipplate LIFT OFF - Qs on REATTACHM

Post by fluteguy18 » Sun Mar 09, 2014 12:59 pm

Even the best won't be able to get it back to where it was... *exactly*. If someone is truly gifted at it they might be able to get close, but it's such a complex part of the instrument that it's practically impossible. I will try to explain some very basic principles without going in too deeply.

The embouchure hole is a multitude of cuts and angles. There are at least 9 planes/surfaces you are adjusting. You also have at least 8 different angles that you are adjusting (some of which are parabolic and have a radius to compound the problem). You are also adjusting the height of the riser (the new solder may not be the same alloy as the old, nor will it be exactly the same thickness between the joint, and it won't have flowed the same way). Because it is an older flute it may be only marginally more simple if it predates Albert Cooper designs. While it is a very simple repair to perform, it is an extremely difficult one to execute perfectly simply because of the precision required. Because you flexed the lip plate it is going to be more difficult to undo and put it back where it was.

I think that it can probably be repaired quite well, but it won't be the same as it was. It could come back better or worse. It won't become 'modern' though so don't worry about that.

User avatar
JButky
Posts: 389
Joined: Fri Mar 27, 2009 8:21 pm
Location: Mt. Juliet

Re: Workbench Disaster: Lipplate LIFT OFF - Qs on REATTACHM

Post by JButky » Tue Mar 11, 2014 2:53 pm

Looks similar to a repair I did for a customer..

See here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jbutky/set ... 217921485/
Joe B

User avatar
flutego12
Posts: 554
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2012 2:51 am
Location: Southern Hemisphere, Earth

Re: Workbench Disaster: Lipplate LIFT OFF - Qs on REATTACHM

Post by flutego12 » Mon Apr 14, 2014 5:12 pm

JButky wrote:Looks similar to a repair I did for a customer..

See here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jbutky/set ... 217921485/
Like as two peas! Should have paid attention when dad was soldering in his workshop. But because it was lead solder being used then, he always shooed us away.
flutist with a screwdriver

User avatar
flutego12
Posts: 554
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2012 2:51 am
Location: Southern Hemisphere, Earth

Re: Workbench Disaster: Lipplate LIFT OFF - Qs on REATTACHM

Post by flutego12 » Mon Apr 14, 2014 5:29 pm

[Newsflash] Humpty dumpty has been put together again & is back on the wall. 8)
=D

Love the restored flute. It's a true to form french flute. Even if it's only good for solos and niche ensembles. A=435-438Mhz-ish? (TBConfirmed)

Thank you to all abroad & Steve who advised on its rescue and all who conducted the rescue locally. :wink:

It is lookin' good and sounding even better, compliments to mark & gary on the flute tree team. I'm attempting to post the photo release but have forgotten how to reduce the page weight. :|


OK here goes. Exporting...
Attachments
lebret lipplate soldered.jpg
lebret lipplate soldered.jpg (245.7 KiB) Viewed 4865 times
flutist with a screwdriver

User avatar
flutego12
Posts: 554
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2012 2:51 am
Location: Southern Hemisphere, Earth

Re: Workbench Disaster: Lipplate LIFT OFF - Qs on REATTACHM

Post by flutego12 » Mon Apr 14, 2014 7:12 pm

sorry not a meaningful photo, will try again later
flutist with a screwdriver

Post Reply