Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Finish "Shine"

We recently caught up with flute finisher Karl Kornfeld as he was in the final stretch of finishing a Powell Conservatory.  All adjustments had been made, it had been played in, play tested, and it was ready to go.  But there was one more step -- the final "shine."  Before a flute goes out to its new owner, it gets one final round of polishing.  The polish that is used also contains an anti-tarnish "shield," so the flute is being protected from tarnishing while it is being shined!

The keys are polished and protected from tarnishing even before the flute comes to the finishers.  However, the flute goes through several testing steps, so the final polish really helps to give the flute that extra layer of protection and shine before it is sent to its new owner.  The polish is applied to the flute keys, body, and headjoint.  It is not applied to the tone holes, because there is a possibility that it would get on the pads -- which you certainly do not want.  Karl applies the polish to the keys with a dry Q-tip and uses a toothpick to remove any excess polish from the rings in the keys.  The keys are then polished by wiping them with a cotton pad.  Karl also uses a cotton pad to apply polish to the flute body and headjoint and to polish the body and headjoint as well.  The polish can dry to powdery finish, so Karl gives the flute a quick "dusting" of pressurized air from an air hose before and after it is placed in the case.  Finally, it is all shined up and ready to go!

A bit of polish in a small cup and a Q-tip -- ready to polish the keys.
Applying the polish to the keys.
Removing excess polish from ring.

Polishing keys with cotton pad.
Applying polish to body with a cotton pad.
Wiping off polish from body.
Body is polished and shiny!
Wiping off any excess polish from body with a Q-tip.
Polish is applied to headjoint.
Wiping off polish with a cotton pad.
"Dusting" with a burst of pressurized air.
Flute is ready to go!

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