With a metal headjoint, there is more room to work with when burnishing the tenon because the circumference is the same around the full length of the headjoint. However, with a wooden headjoint, the metal tenon has a smaller circumference than the wooden area So, there is very little room to work with between the end of the tenon and the top (where it meets the wood).
As Matt worked on fitting this particular wooden headjoint, he reminded us of one other basic rule of thumb for fitting both wooden and metal headjoints -- small steps. It's always better to make very small changes in very small steps. This gradual process takes patience and practice -- which is certainly worth it! Changes in the metal that are done too quickly and are too much of a change certainly would not give the finisher the desired result. In fact, it would most likely lead to something that is not reversible -- like taking off too much material! Once it's gone, it cannot come back... So, in the case of fitting headjoints (and flute making in general), careful, precise work is key!
|Carefully sanding the metal tenon.|
|Closer view -- headjoint spins rapidly as it is sanded.|
|Red lines outline the edges of the wood and metal, and the base of the wood. There is only a small area (the metal) that can be burnished.|
|Burnishing the metal tenon.|
|Another view of the burnishing process.|