Friday, June 13, 2014

Building the White Gold Flute - Part 2

We're in week 2 of our white gold NFA Custom flute's journey to being completed.  When we last saw the flute, it was in raw material form -- body tubes and components in the body and stringing kits.  As the body and stringing kits were being assembled in the materials department, the body tubes (center and footjoint), were sent over to Powell production team member Jason Sherman.  Jason's role is to drill very small holes in the tubes.  Each hole is the center of what will actually be the full tone hole.  As with the entire process, accuracy is key.  In order to drill these holes precisely, Jason programs a CNC (Computer Numeric Control) to drill the holes into their exact locations on the tubes, as you will see in the video below.  He repositions the tubes a few times during the process to drill offset holes as well as holes on the side and back of the tubes.

Footjoint after initial holes were drilled.
After the holes are drilled, the body tubes go back to the materials department and are placed in the body kit.  The body kit is then picked up by the body maker, Alex Shtyrkov.  We spent a few days with Alex as he prepared each and every tone hole to be brazed to the body.  Before the tone holes are brazed on to the body, they must be prepared to fit the tubes exactly.  Alex goes through each tone hole, fitting them and shaping them by hand.  Once they are ready, he attaches them to the body to prepare for brazing.  The tone holes must be secured so that they do not move during the brazing process.  Securing the tone holes requires the use of small fixtures that go through the initial center holes that were drilled by Jason.  Alex secures each tone hole, and then prepares them for brazing, which we will see next week...

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