Questions about repair/technician work

Taking care of your instrument

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Questions about repair/technician work

Post by Erectoplasm »

I've always been involved with music. Flute was my start and I spiralled from there. That being said, I also love fixing things and working with small intricate parts. Ive been considering buying broken flutes on ebay to start experimenting with repairs and trying to fix them. What tips could you give someone who is just starting out on repair type projects. And also, say I had 2 broken flutes from 2 different makers. Would I be able to use parts from one brand on another? Or are there small differences that prevent making frankenflutes?

Thanks in advance!

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Re: Questions about repair/technician work

Post by pied_piper »

First, buy yourself a good book about band instrument repair. That will be the best way to get started.
If you are only interested in flute repair, get this one: ... -j-l-smith
If you want to repair all of the woodwind instruments, get this: ... manual/63/

Second, as you mentioned, practice on some old clunker flutes. However, stick to name brands. Check the Fluteland FAQ. It lists most of the well known brands. If you buy unknown brands, you'll end up fighting design defects and soft metal so you have two strikes against you starting out.

Third, generally parts from one brand flute are not interchangeable with a different brand or even different models of the same brand.

Fourth, ask questions as you did here in your message.

Fifth, never try to do a repair unless you are confident that you are able to do so without damaging the instrument.

Sixth, Buy pads, glue, other parts and supplies from a reputable company: JL Smith, Ferrees, or Votaw Tools.

Lastly, once you have a clunker flute or two and before you attempt any repairs, take one completely apart and then reassemble it. Do that 4-5 times. Then, you will better understand the flute mechanics.
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."

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