Friday, November 7, 2014

Signature Piccolo Mechanism

Last week, we visited with Signature flute and piccolo stringer Ranjana Ranjana as she was building the pinned Signature flute mechanism.  We also had the chance to speak with her about the Signature piccolo mechanism, which (just like the Signature flute) is pinned.  Why is it pinned and not pinless? Well, it is actually quite simple -- there is not enough room for a pinless mechanism on a piccolo!  As you can imagine, everything is very small on the piccolo mechanism, and there is simply not enough space to create the bridges that a pinless mechanism requires. So, both Signature and Custom Powell piccolos have pinned mechanisms.

As for the process of building a pinned piccolo mechanism, it is basically the same as building a pinned flute mechanism. Ranjana must insert the pins and cut them to length -- making sure that the mechanism components fit and function properly. In the photo below, Ranjana is holding the right hand section of a Signature piccolo mechanism that she was building.  You will see a red arrow pointing to one of the pins that has been inserted but not yet cut to length.  There is a red circle around one of the finished pins (it is at the top of the mechanism, all the way to the right of the red arrow).

Close-up on right hand section.

Just as she does with the Signature flutes, Ranjana solders mechanism components -- including some additional parts for the piccolo keys.  In the photo below, we see a comparison of left and right hand sections in different stages of the building process. The right and left hand sections at the top of the photo were in an early stage, and the sections at the bottom of the photo were further along. We've added red arrows to the sections in the bottom of the photo to point out elements that Ranjana would be finishing on the sections at the top of the photo.  As you can see, the bottom sections have a few more components for the keys, a few pins, and a spring catch.

Once the mechanism is fully done, it will look like this!

The Signature piccolo is made from grenadilla wood and has a sterling silver mechanism.  It is available either with or without a split-E, and the standard headjoint options are the Classic and Wave style headjoints.  Follow this link for more information on the Signature piccolo.

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