Restoring a Flute

Taking care of your instrument

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Joined: Fri Oct 25, 2019 9:53 am

Restoring a Flute

Post by EmmaP »

Hello! I just joined this forum and I’m really excited to learn more about flutes in general. I have a question and I’m hoping that someone out there might have an answer.

I am an intermediate flute player (been playing for seven years, first chair in my high school’s audition band, and hoping to make our district honor band as well as the state honor band) and am interested in learning more about how a flute works. I’ve spent some time digging and have come across a manual (written by a flutist gaining their doctorate in musical arts at Ohio State University) describing how to take apart a flute in a safe manner, replace pads, and oil a flute. I would like to purchase an older flute and restore it to be my marching flute (because I have been marching with my Yamaha Allegro, which I know is horrible, but the season is over so that’s good). My question is how do I go about cleaning the flute (the C in COA) itself? I’ll probably end up disinfecting it with rubbing alcohol, but I know when you take a flute into the shop to be cleaned they put it in a bath (with the pads removed of course). Does anyone know what kind of bath this is? I plan on removing any tarnish with a silver polishing cloth. Any tips or information that someone could give me on restoring a flute would be much appreciated!

Thank you, and have a wonderful day! :D

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Re: Restoring a Flute

Post by pied_piper »

During a COA, some pads may be removed for re-shimming, but they are not normally removed for cleaning. That would dramatically increase the cost of a COA. The keys are removed from the body. Some shops dip the body in silver cleaner and others simply hand polish. If the pads are removed, the shims must be kept with the pad and the radial orientation of the pad and any shims must be returned to the EXACT position as before removing them.
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."

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