Saturday, July 26, 2014

Building the White Gold Flute - Part 7

In our last post, we followed the white gold white flute into the polishing room, where we had a chance to see Alex and Galina. Galina was the finisher for this flute, so after the polishing was done, we spent time with her at her bench.  In the video below, you will see one of many steps in the finishing process -- hand shaping corks.

The finisher plays an important part in the process of bringing the flute to its finished, playable stage. We've written a two-part overview of their role in previous posts which you can read by clicking here for part 1 and here for part 2.  We've also written about many other parts of the finisher's role, including leveling keys and tone holes, undercutting tone holes, fitting keys, installing springs, and fitting the headjoint and footjoint.  One of the central parts to finishing the mechanism is padding and shimming, which you will see in the video below.

The photo below shows the flute as it looked after Galina finished it.  You'll notice that the blue protective tape is still on the keys. This is because the flute was on its way to testers for play-ins and play testing, and the tape protects the keys from any cosmetic damage during those processes.  If the testers find that the flute needs additional adjustments, it goes back to the finisher for the adjustments to be made.

Finally, a flute would certainly not be playable without a headjoint, so we met with JoJo as she brazed the riser and lip plate onto the headjoint and cut the headjoint to length, as you will see in the video below.  After this, the headjoint is sent to a "headjoint cutter," who is the person who hand cuts the headjoint to the shape and specs of the headjoint style (Signature, Soloist, Philharmonic, or Venti).

Music Credit:
Powell Artist Joshua Smith
Robert Schumann  - 3 Romances, Op.94: Nicht schnell 

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