The silver ring has come off my flute

The silver ring has come off my flute

I was wondering if it made any difference whether
I should fix back it on with superglue or wood glue.
Advice appreciated.

FD

Re: The silver ring has come off my flute

Superglue is permanently permanent. Wood glue can easily be removed when necessary without doing damage.

Re: The silver ring has come off my flute

Often they aren’t glued on at all, they just stay on unless the wood becomes too dry. Try just putting the ring back on and humidifying the flute without any glue involved and see if that does the trick.
I know the ferrules on my chanter are a little loose at this time of year, as is the bottom ring on my flute’s footjoint. It’s just the weather.

Re: The silver ring has come off my flute

Please don’t glue the ring back on.

Wooden flutes can dry out, and when they do, they shrink. The metal ring doesn’t shrink, so it becomes loose. The loose ring is an important sign that your flute is way too dry. The danger is that a rapid change in temperature, or in hydration (ie playing the flute) will cause the flute to crack. One problem is that the rings are not just decorative-they reinforce the thin wood of the socket. The other problem is that the wood that surrounds the metal of the tuning slide (or the whole head) is also shrinking, but contacting immovable metal, so you can pick up a crack in the head or the barrel. While both problems can be fixed, they are best avoided.

Please find a lidded plastic box that will fit your flute. Put the disassembled flute inside, with the ring in place. Then add a plastic film canister (or similar) containing a damp (not wet) sponge inthe container as well, and put on the lid. This will raise the humidity slowly, causing the flute to swell again, and the ring to become fixed again.

If this has happened to you once, it is likely to happen again, so you should consider keeping your flute in this box at all times, remembering to remoisten the sponge from time to time. If you want to get fancier, you can buy a little hygrometer to put in the box. The ideal is in the range of 50-60% humidity. You don’t want the box so moist that you are growing mould.

If you search the Chiff and Fipple Irish Flute forum you can see many threads dealing with this issue.

Hugh

Re: The silver ring has come off my flute

Perhaps there is another?

Re: The silver ring has come off my flute

Which ring? Top ring (ie closed end of head joint) was loose on mine. Maker glued it back on for me. Seems to be fine now.

Re: The silver ring has come off my flute

Don’t use glue. Flutefly is right. Your flute is trying to tell you something. It’s too dry.

A good flute will not have the rings glued on (I can not tell of the cheep crap, perhaps they have glue somewhere). The rings and the wooden body of the flute will be make to a perfect match. If not humid enough the wood will dry and shrink slightly, first sign of this is loose rings.

Put the ring back and humidify the flute before you get more serious problems like big cracks through the barrel or headjoint.

Re: The silver ring has come off my flute

Obviously, there is only one correct answer here as you can tell by the diverse opinions…

FWIW, superglue is not forever and easily removable with the right solvent…which is why it’s often used in woodwind repair for sealing cracks (especially after re-reaming a head joint the repair can be nearly invisible).

Some makers glue, others don’t - I doubt it’s a judgment of the maker. I’d suggest contacting the maker and see how they suggest fixing it. But in the meanwhile, humidifying the flute is always a good, safe option.

Eric

Re: The silver ring has come off my flute

The flute is way too dry, that’s for sure. You should practice much more or more regular, hold the flute in a boy in between or may be oil it a bit(?).
To repair the ring just smear some wax to the flute and add the ring. It should be a tender wax, I use often the red wax which is used to seal lousy french cheese like “Baby Bel”.
Good Luck

Re: The silver ring has come off my flute

Ouch ! 😉

Ps Your Friend didnt show up last night .
See you soon.

Posted by .

Re: The silver ring has come off my flute

Yes, my sentiments exactly… I was going to say, “hum a few bars”… I just couldn’t bring myself to clicking on this because of the ‘potential’. It sounds like the title of a rude song, with not so hidden entendre… 😎

It is good to see that mainly sense rolled in, and mine would have been similar ~ talk to your maker… ( /\ ~ heh, heh, heh!!!)

Re: The silver ring has come off my flute

Thanks very much.

Hi Dphil, there wasn’t any guarantee that he might show up. How was the session? Couldn’t go as I was working late last night. Keep in touch. Ciara

Re: The silver ring has come off my flute

Interesting.

I’ve got a few loose rings on my flute as well. It’s an Irish import. I live in North Carolina.

I play the thing regularly, usually once per day for at least 30 minutes. Sometimes I have to skip a day or two.

I suspect that the flute is plenty humid given the different climate, and the rings are a sign of an inevitable adjustment process.

Then again, I could go home tomorrow and find a crack I suppose :(

Re: The silver ring has come off my flute

Two comments. If one asks: “How can a formerly tight ring come off the wood?”, it seems to me there are only two answers. 1) the ring got bigger or 2) the wood got smaller. The first possibility will only happen at high temperatures, so if the loose ring isn’t too hot to touch, then the wood got smaller.

Wormdiet asks implicitly if the wood can shrink even if the humidity is high. This is a reasonable question. Vancouver is humid all the time, doesn’t get too hot or too cold, and overall has a climate rather similar to Ireland’s. I play my flute every day, but I don’t take any special care of it other than oiling it when necessary, and have never humidified it, and it’s been fine. My baroque flutes don’t get played month to month, and yet both are fine thought completely neglected.

Yet a friend of mine living here has had the rings come off each of two Murrays soon after receiving them. I know he doesn’t humidify them, but I don’t know how his home is heated, or where he keeps his flutes (I hope it’s not over the heater…). So it’s possible that despite the high ambient humidity in Vancouver, that the local conditions in my friend’s place have lower humidity, so the flute dries out. Sam Murray suggested he put them in a plastic box with a bit of sponge in a film container (hence my advice). This seems reasonable to try first because it’s cheap, easy, and is very unlikely to do any harm.

Nevertheless, it’s still possible that the wood in my friend’s flutes though humidified and oiled, has shrunk. This would require a different fix, and for consulting the maker for their preferred fix is a good idea.

As an aside, there seems to be at least two schools of thought among makers. One school is to make sure the wood is properly cured and seasoned before working it, so that adjustments occurring after the flute is made are unlikely. The other is to assume that despite one’s best efforts, there will be changes in the wood after the flute is finished, and that it is normal to make fine adjustments later once the flute has stabilized. The maker of one of my baroque flutes included adjustments and re-reaming in the price of the flute, so they would seem to fall in the second school. The existence of two schools suggests there isn’t a universal answer.

I still argue that trying the humidification first is the wisest for the reasons given above.

Hugh


Hugh

Re: The silver ring has come off my flute

“ ~ the wood is properly cured and seasoned before working it, so that adjustments occurring after the flute is made are unlikely ~ despite one’s best efforts, there will be changes in the wood after the flute is finished, and that it is normal to make fine adjustments later once the flute has stabilized.”

Two schools, well, I wouldn’t have said so, unless we count the uninformed. Wood is ‘organic’ and porous. It never stops changing, the changes just become slower over time. Yes, the better workers in wood do allow for it to cure, but there is the economic interest and consideration of how long you let it cure. There is the practice with one very moveable wood, English boxwood, to shape it and drill it and do this repeatedly over time until it seems to stop making any significant moves, then you start forming it into its intended final use, in this case a flute. Even after this the wood continues to move and sometimes that can be significant, for example a boxwood flute that goes by the nickname of the ‘banana flute’…

Wood moves, and it doesn’t stop this process. Most older flutes in crosscut, regularly played or in museum cases, are no longer perfect rounds but oblongs. It is not unusual for the ‘jewelry’ to become loose or to contribute to cracking, it being of different material than wood and as a consequence reacting differently to changes in temperature, humidity or as naturally occur with the wood as it ages… But, that change from the round doesn’t mean, usually, that the widest point will ever increase. I’ve never seen that in many situations of measuring wood items. You can often get a pretty good guess of the original diameter of the flute, and the bore, but the widest measurement… Some flute makers try to compensate some for possible future movement, especially with internal metal fittings, like tuning slides, to leave some allowance for that inevitable future movement… Others do not…