Head Joint Stopper Stuck

Flute History and Instrument Purchase

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MissyHPhoenix
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Location: Hammond, LA, USA

Head Joint Stopper Stuck

Post by MissyHPhoenix »

The cork/stopper in my headjoint will not move. I was told that I could "un-stick" it by dipping the head joint into boiling water. Is that kosher????? I do NOT want to hurt my flute! I would take it to the local repairperson but have been advised that he is not that good with flutes; i.e., my friend took her Gemeinhardt in when the crown was loose and now hers doesn't move at all!

Help please!!!
Missy

Why Be Normal????

Claiken
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Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2005 7:59 pm

Post by Claiken »

someone in my band was telling me she soaks her headjoint every so often... that idea had me quite puzzled too!
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fluttiegurl
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Post by fluttiegurl »

Unless it is in the wrong place, it should not move easily. A loose cork will cause a leak and not so pleasant sound. :?

If it is in the wrong place, have it checked out and moved for you. I don't know that soaking it would necessarily hurt anything, but I question why you would want to.

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pied_piper
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Post by pied_piper »

Dipping the headjoint into boiling water may indeed help to loosen it by expanding the metal slightly. BUT - Please remember that the headjoint is metal and metal conducts heat quickly. That will make it difficult to hold with your bare hand and using a glove or mitt to protect your hand may not give you a secure grip on the headjoint. So, the danger here is not that the hot water will harm the headjoint, but rather that you could drop it and damage it.

A good repair shop will have a tool that is used to aid in removing the headjoint cork while not harming the headjoint itself. The tool is basically a special plastic (Delrin) rod that is used to push out the cork. It has a hole in the end of the rod that the crown screw slips into to prevent bending it. It is sized to perfectly fit into the cork end of the headjoint and allow the repair technician to push out the cork.
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--

fluteguy18
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Post by fluteguy18 »

I wouldn't go any further down this road. Unless your headjoint cork is in the wrong place, it should not be moved. The cork should fit very tightly, and should not move without a great amount of effort.

If you boil your headjoint, you are risking the possibility of water getting between the cork and the face plate on the inside of the headjoint tube. This will result in the cork starting to deteriorate.

I wouldn't worry about it at all. If it is in the wrong place, then have someone [a professional technitian] move it for you. I do not advise doing this on your own until after you have recieved training in flute repair, and only after you have the proper tools to do so.

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MissyHPhoenix
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Location: Hammond, LA, USA

Post by MissyHPhoenix »

Thank you all very much for the info. I decided to go the safe route and took it to a recommended repair-person to help me. Lo and behold, he did have the right tool for the job and had it out in less than a minute!

The reason I took the cork out is because I was trying a new headcork that I saw, advertised to improve the tone of your flute -- and I'm very happy with it. If anyone is interested, the name of the product is the "Perforamance Flute Plug" from Leithold Music. I got it for my Yamaha Allegro, which already had a very nice tone (I simply like gadgets!!) and I was VERY impressed with the quality I'm getting from the flute now! :D My daughter even came in when I was practicing and asked what was different -- she said my tone was richer, deeper than before. Needless to say, I'm a happy little fluter.
Missy

Why Be Normal????

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pied_piper
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Post by pied_piper »

About a year and a half ago, I bought one from Leithold for my Muramatsu flute. I figured that for about $25, it was worth the gamble. I, too, found that it improved the tone - made it seem a bit freer and more open. I found that the effect was slight, yet noticeable. Anyway, I've kept it installed and been very happy with it.
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--

Claiken
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Post by Claiken »

so, besides a cork being stuck, could someone tell me why someone would soak their headjoint on a regular basis? im still confused... i didnt think that was normal flute mantainence
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fluteguy18
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Post by fluteguy18 »

You would only soak your headjoint regularly if you had absolutely no idea that it was bad for your headjoint.

Just don't do it. Flute is a woodwind instrument. It is bad if it gets wet. Brass instruments need soaking and cleaning every once in a while.


KEEP YOUR FLUTE DRY!!!!!

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