Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wooden Flute

Wooden flutes are certainly a different instrument in many respects.  At Powell, we offer a wooden Handmade Custom with either a B or C foot and with a silver or 14K gold mechanism.  The geometry of the tone holes would not leave enough room for an inline G or the C# trill, so those options are not available.  There are many differences between the wooden and metal flutes mainly due to the wooden body.  The wooden flute has longer key arms, ribs that are screwed into the body (obviously, soldering is not an option), and thumb keys that have a different shape and design than they do on our metal flutes.  As with our metal custom flutes, the wooden custom is available with a pinless mechanism

Care of the wooden flute is certainly different since wood must be broken in carefully.  For the first two months, the flute should only be played for 20 minutes at a time with a four-hour resting period between playing.  In the first month, the flute should only be played twice a day.  In the second month, the flute can be played three times in a day.  After six months, the duration and frequency of playing can gradually be increased.  To prevent cracks, the flute should be thoroughly swabbed out, and the headjoint should never be left to accumulate standing moisture.  Pure pressed almond oil may be used to increase the moisture resistance and improve the appearance of the wood -- although application of this oil to the bore should be done by an authorized repair technician.

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