please HELP :(

Flute History and Instrument Purchase

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sonicapogee
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please HELP :(

Post by sonicapogee »

Hello

A few months ago ,I bought a Trevor James tj-10x from ebay ,used.Unfortunately ,the instrument is in non playable condition ,looking more like a relic :( . I asked in a shop for the repair costs and they told me 80euros... :(

I payed 56 euros for this including posting ,so sending it back to seller wasn't really a good idea for me because I would to pay the posting from Athens ,Greece to UK,and that would be like 30 euros or maybe more.
As a result my desire to play the flute faded....

I would like to ask if trying re pad the instrument myself ,and attempt some adjustments would ne worth the time.Of course I have no clue about flute repairing ,but I found some videos on youtube that show a complete flute dissasemple and assemble procedure in detail.

I can provide some high resolution photos of the instrument if you want to see its general condition.
My question would be what set of pads I need for it ? how many ?
also what other parts I would need ?


what should I do with Tj10x ? I cannot afford paying 80 euros... plus this price wont include re pading.... for a complete service I was asked to pay 180euros, I m sure I will not pay that kind of money (quite honestly I'd rather pay a for a new cheap chinese flute & risk it)

Best regards
"Going on,means going far.Going far ,means returning" Tao Te Ching
My personal web site:
http://twinauras.webs.com/

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pied_piper
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Re: please HELP :(

Post by pied_piper »

I can't tell you whether you are capable of doing the repairs yourself or not, but I can give you some insights into what you will be facing if you decide to do it yourself.

First - Are you mechanically inclined? Do you regularly take intricate machinery apart and (successfully) reassemble it? If not, don't attempt it. A flute is a complex piece of relatively delicate machinery. All of the pads must seal 360 degrees around to a tolerance less than the thickness of a human hair...

Second - Are you an experienced flutist? If not, how will know when you have fixed it or not?

Third - Do you have (or will you buy) the necessary tools and supplies? Here's a partial list of the needed tools and supplies along with the approximate cost (in US$):
- Precision screwdriver set - $30+
- Alcohol lamp or small torch and fuel - $10-$50+
- Digital calipers to measure pad thickness and diameter - $25+
- Feeler holder - $5
- Adhesive for trill pads - $1
- Assortment of cork and felt for adjusting and silencing keys - $20+
- Replacement pads - $20-$40+
- Assortment of pad shims - $50+
- The best shops also use a Magnehelic Leak Tester (optional) - $425
These items would be a good start for a flute repad. More tools may be needed if there are problems with the machanism.

Regarding buying a cheap flute (regardless of country of origin), you might get a good one or you might get one that is no better than what you have now. Buying a good, working flute is really a "pay me now" or "pay me later" situation. You can't expect to get a reliable flute for under $100 any more than you can expect to buy a reliable car for under $1000...
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--

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FluteMonkey
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Re: please HELP :(

Post by FluteMonkey »

A Trevor James is a good brand of flute and it sounds like you bought this one for a bargain basement price. As long as the flute is structurally sound, then there is no reason that a qualified repair person can't bring it up to playing condition. Even with an 80 euro repair bill, if the repair tech is well qualified, you may end up with a fine instrument at a very sweet price.

Flute repair is not a do-it-yourself prospect. I encourage you to take it to a qualified repair tech.

Good luck.

jim22
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Re: please HELP :(

Post by jim22 »

I'm sorry it didn't work out for you. If you post some pictures I'll take a look. It will help if you start with a c# and play each half step going lower and let us know what notes play and which don't. As you get to a note that doesn't play, look for keys that should close together that don't quite. Look for a small screw to adjust to allow them to close together. If the keys dont move well and you are mechanicly inclined, you can take the keys off the instrument, clean the rods with pipe cleaners and wd-40, apply some fresh key oil, and reassemble. As long as you are careful, you probably wont cause more damage.

If you need to do anything more involved, you probably wont save money trying to do it yourself. You will need an assortment of pads, pad shims, some tools, and probably a good book. It should be a nice flute and be worth fixing.

Jim

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sonicapogee
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Re: please HELP :(

Post by sonicapogee »

; Dear Jim22

Thank you very much ,I really appreciate it you're offering help with this.
I just don't know where should I upload the pictures ....or I might even shot a video.....

I was enthusiastic about this flute and it was a great dissapoinment for me...I think if it sings again ,that would be great....

I'll upload photos or a video ,& I'll tell you

Best Regards
"Going on,means going far.Going far ,means returning" Tao Te Ching
My personal web site:
http://twinauras.webs.com/

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sonicapogee
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Re: please HELP :(

Post by sonicapogee »

this is a video of this flute here

http://youtu.be/7RKtDPmv9xw
"Going on,means going far.Going far ,means returning" Tao Te Ching
My personal web site:
http://twinauras.webs.com/

jim22
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Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 10:43 pm

Re: please HELP :(

Post by jim22 »

Nice work on the video! It looks like all the parts are there, all the springs look hooked up. I thought I saw the lower G not quite closing for the split E. I defineatly saw small adjusting screws on the key tops near the arms of several keys. These can be adjusted to get the keys to close simultaneously. I thing you need to make another video playing the flute. Start with a c# and work your way down one half step at a time. C#, C, B, Bb, ... so we can hear which notes play. I see a dent near the lip plate. Is that just tarnish there? There is no crack there, is there?

It looks like it could be a nice flute. Do you have a music teacher who could help you adjust it?

Jim

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pied_piper
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Re: please HELP :(

Post by pied_piper »

Ok. I watched your video. Mechanically, your flute does not appear to have any serious problems. All the keys seem to close and return as they should. I'm not certain if Bb key is opening properly. In some shots, it appears to be too close to the tone hole but you may have pressed the thumb Bb key. If not, that may indicate an unhooked or broken spring. Some keys normally stay closed, but I could not see those well enough to tell if there were problems with those. I hear some clicking when you move some of the keys and that is likely caused by missing corks or felts under the kicker (foot) of some keys. That will not keep the flute from playing. Clicking could also be a missing cork or felt that is used to adjust the key regulation and that could cause some notes to not play.

The dent in the headjoint may cause some very slight intonation problems but that would not keep the flute from playing either. One thing that I did see (at 01:19 seconds in the video and at 03:39) is that the screw for the thumb B key appears to be unscrewed slightly. If the screw is out far enough, it could cause the B key not to seat properly and leak. If so, that would cause problems with any note B or lower. If you have a jeweler's screwdriver set, find one that closely fits the screw slot. It should not be too large or too small. Gently screw it in (clockwise) until you begin to feel it get snug. Don't over tighten it, just tighten until you feel resistance. I took a second look at the video and I also noticed (at 00:09 and 02:14 seconds) that the screw on the G keys is not screwed in. That could cause the G keys to leak. Tighten both those screws and see if that helps it play better. Also, it looks like (at 02:50) the second (lower) G key is not completely closing when the E key is pressed. Your flute has a "Split-E" feature, but it doesn't look like it is adjusted properly.

From the video, it's difficult to tell if any pads need to be replaced. In the video, you sometimes moved the camera too quickly to really get a good look at where the pads seat (cover) on the toneholes. The pads appear to be a bit dark in color, but that could be a shadow - stronger lighting on the pads would make it easier to see them. If they really are quite dark, they may just be old and might need to be replaced. Even if the pads look OK, they may or may not be seating properly. You can assess whether each pad is seating AND sealing properly. To do that, you will need a small strip of thin paper. Cut a few strips about 1/8 inch wide and about 2 inches long. Glue or tape one end to a wooden match stick or other similar piece of wood or plastic. To test each pad, stick the end of the paper under a pad and into the tone hole below. Gently close the key onto the paper and while holding it gently closed, pull the stick slowly to pull the paper partly out. If the paper tears, you are putting too much pressure on the key. If you feel resistance, the pad is seating at that spot. Move the paper around the tone hole and test the resistance at about 6-8 places around the tone hole. In other words, looking at the top of the key, test at the 12 O'clock position, then 2 O'clock, 4, 6, 8, and 10 position. If the resistance feels the same at each position, the pad should be seating OK. If you find that there is much less or no resistance when you pull the stick, that means the pad is leaking. You'll have to do this procedure on every pad. This is tedious, but that is one method that a repair tech can use to assess the condition of each pad. Also look for any tears or holes in the skin covering of each pad. If you find any tears or holes, you have found a leak.

Use these inspection sheets to help guide you to annotate any issues. Let us know what you find...

http://www.musictrader.com/flutevisualinspection.pdf
http://www.musictrader.com/fluteinspectionsheet.pdf
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--

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sonicapogee
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Re: please HELP :(

Post by sonicapogee »

jim22 wrote:Nice work on the video! It looks like all the parts are there, all the springs look hooked up. I thought I saw the lower G not quite closing for the split E. I defineatly saw small adjusting screws on the key tops near the arms of several keys. These can be adjusted to get the keys to close simultaneously. I thing you need to make another video playing the flute. Start with a c# and work your way down one half step at a time. C#, C, B, Bb, ... so we can hear which notes play. I see a dent near the lip plate. Is that just tarnish there? There is no crack there, is there?

It looks like it could be a nice flute. Do you have a music teacher who could help you adjust it?

Jim
Thanks for your reply.
No there's is no crack... ,and when im using the head of the flute without any other parts attached ,testing to check if there are any isssues with it ,it does easily produces sound.This dent imo isn't so deep ,so the interior of the tube shouldn't be bent there ...No I don't have a music techer ,I need to learn basics myself.
"Going on,means going far.Going far ,means returning" Tao Te Ching
My personal web site:
http://twinauras.webs.com/

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sonicapogee
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Re: please HELP :(

Post by sonicapogee »

UNFORTUNATELY I will have to forget about this flute.

I inspected the instrument's pads and keys this morning.I used a cigarette paper to check all the pads by inserting the paper and closing they key ,then gently tried to pull put paper and feel some resistance indicating proper closing.

I was able to make adjustments using the screws behind the keys ,but unfortunately one of those is stuck.I think this screw is impossible to be unscrewed....and slight cosmetic damage has occured while trying to unscrew this...all I can say is the screwdrivers tip is bend now.......

I might take it to a technician sometime,but ,quite honestly I don't want to think of this flute really

thanks to everyone that tried to help....
"Going on,means going far.Going far ,means returning" Tao Te Ching
My personal web site:
http://twinauras.webs.com/

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sonicapogee
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Re: please HELP :(

Post by sonicapogee »

I tried once more and I was finally able to unscrew this screw...

still after trying to make adjustments so every pad to be closing properly,I m not able to pl aymore than 2 or 3 at best notes on this flute....
"Going on,means going far.Going far ,means returning" Tao Te Ching
My personal web site:
http://twinauras.webs.com/

jim22
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Re: please HELP :(

Post by jim22 »

What notes will it play? I expect it will play a c#, since that is mostly open keys. Then c should not be too bad. How is b?. B could be challenging. The thumb key should close the key under it as well as the inline key next to the c touch piece. That adjustment is by a small cork. If it is incorrect or missing, the inline key will not close.

A new cork can be cut from any scrap piece and glued in with contact cement. Put in a piece that is slightly too thick and sand it with a piece of sand paper until just right and the keys close at the same time. You would need to dissassemble the flute to do this.

Jim

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sonicapogee
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Re: please HELP :(

Post by sonicapogee »

hi again

I carefully inspected all pads ,and ,optically there is no signs of "damage" in the sense that some pad is worn enough not to seal .

The main issue I have found is that when I press the E key ,the G# only closes when a bit more pressure is applied to E key.
When I say closes,I mean firmly.When E key is pressed with the regular force , I am able to slide cigarette paper in the G# ,although its "closed"
I have tried to adjust this using the adjustment screws ,and this is the situation after my best efforts ,and I have been patient during this.
"Going on,means going far.Going far ,means returning" Tao Te Ching
My personal web site:
http://twinauras.webs.com/

jim22
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Re: please HELP :(

Post by jim22 »

It sounds like the split e is out of adjustment. I have only seen this on a Pearl flute, and the way I adjusted it was to bend the lever that pushes down on the lower g key. Also. Once you get it very close, there should be a thin cork or felt glued to the lever that you can sand to the right thickness.

But... most notes will play fine if this were the only problem. Please start at the top with c# as I suggested and let us know what plays and what doesn't.

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sonicapogee
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Re: please HELP :(

Post by sonicapogee »

hi again

The flute is [or I think so] now playable .All pads now sealing the holes ,& when the B key is pressed ,all the keys produce a note .
I suppose it should be normal for a completely new player as myself ,having problems or not beeing able to play some lower notes [?]
"Going on,means going far.Going far ,means returning" Tao Te Ching
My personal web site:
http://twinauras.webs.com/

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