You have played hours, and then again hours. Or maybe you did not even play all that long. Now you stop and want to take your traverso apart. Oooooh jeeeeh, no go. The head is so stuck to the right hand joint that force does not get them apart.

There are three issues here:
- do not use force,
- leave the flute for quite a number of hours, maybe it needs a day,
- then it will go apart again.

Now, what next and how do we avoid this happening.

There are two different possible reasons for this happening. The first is the thread the second is the wood.

Lets first look at the easy one, the thread. This is an issue that traverso players have be used to dealing with. The thread has to be adapted often if you play more then the minimum. Wood swells. So after two hours you probably have to take some thread of, otherwise the head gets stuck on the left hand joint. But if you stop and go on the next day leaving the thread off the tenon may be loose. Then the tenon leaks air and the flute does not play. I regularly get a player at an exhibition saying this traverso does not play any more like it used to. Just a bit of thread on one or more tenons and, unbelievable it plays again like it used to! So putting thread on and taking thread of when necessary is very important. The golden rule is NO WOBBLE NO FORCE.

Now let us look at the wood. This is much more difficult. Sometime the wood swells so much that it is the wood itself that is stuck together. So the tenon of the left hand joint, usually the end is swollen so much that it touches the wood of the inside of the head tenon. First of all one has to leave the flute such that the swelling at least decreases a bit and the two can be taken apart. This is always possible. But to prevent this from happening all the time we have to change the left hand joint a bit. In my workshop I do this on the lathe fo course. However, it happens to you out there somewhere so there is no lathe. So this is not so easy. The thread has to be taken of first. Then take a piece of 120 sand paper in the hand such that it is a tube that can contain the left hand joint tenon. Put the tenon inside the sandpaper tube. Now the tenon has to be turned while pressing the sand paper on it. It is especially the outer edge that probably has swollen most that has to be thinned a bit this way. it has to be thinned such that it is just a bit loose in the head tenon. In numbers, about .5 mm gap. If you have a brown stained flute you could stain with a felt pen. Then the thread has to be renewed with sufficient cork grease.

The next option always is to send the flute to me if it is a flute I made. All repairs are free of charge except sending cost. But please contact me first before sending. Normally I send back within a week.

Of course this is only good for the wood problem, the thread problem is up to you.




Simon Polak: Early Flutes

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