Friday, June 7, 2013

Polishing Rollers

When flute finishers receive the "flute kit" of parts to finish a flute, B and C rollers are in there, already assembled on the mechanism.  The rollers are also polished and ready to go for the most part.  The finisher would, however, take the roller mechanism apart to clean the roller and polish the steel. Unfortunately, the roller can get scratched from time to time -- namely from springs.  So, does this mean that the rollers have to be scrapped?  Well, not exactly.  It's perfectly feasible for the finisher to remove scratches by polishing the rollers.

We caught up with flute finisher Karl Kornfeld to examine the process more carefully.  He begins by removing the roller from the mechanism.  He'll then start the polishing process by placing the roller on a steel in the bench motor.  The motor allows the steel (and roller), to spin very quickly.  While it is spinning, the first step is to smooth out the scratches with 600 grit sandpaper.  Then, the finisher will move on to a finer grit of 1200.  After everything is evened out with the sandpaper, it's time to polish.  A small buffing wheel is then attached to the bench motor, and tripoli grease is applied to the wheel.  The roller is buffed with this compound, and then rouge is applied to the buffing wheel to help with the final polishing.  Karl then takes a pipecleaner and dips in it a bit of alcohol to help clean the inside of the roller.  Just to make sure that the action is as smooth as possible in the mechanism, he also polishes the mechanism steel with 1200 grit sandpaper.  He oils the inside of the roller so that everything will work with ease, and then he's dine!  We've included videos along with photos this week to help demonstrate the process.  Enjoy!

Springs can scratch the rollers
Roller is removed from the key mechanism.
Roller placed on a steel.
Steel inserting into the bench motor -- ready for sanding.
Sanding starts with 600 grit sandpaper.
Finishing sanding with 1200 grit sandpaper.
Buffing follows sanding, and the roller is polished! (Buffing is featured in the video after sanding).
Cleaning any grease or rouge from the inside of the roller.
Polishing up the mechanism steel with 1200 grit sandpaper.
Oiling the roller.
Reassembling the key mechanism.

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