Wood Flute Maintenance / Flute Care

Wood Flute Maintenance / Flute Care

So I have a wood flute (Copley blackwood), and I’m wondering if anyone can supply a brief checklist of maintenance guidelines.

The humidity it’s stored at I know is important - I try to keep it above 40%. Is that the right level?

Also, should I be oiling the flute? How regularly? What type of oil should I use?

I usually try to swap condensation out of the inside of the flute after playing; is this the right thing to be doing?

Any advice for the care of the cork?

Any and all other advice welcome, there doesn’t seem to be an aggregated list of flute care tips on this site.

Thanks
Seamus

Re: Wood Flute Maintenance / Flute Care

It’s usually best to follow the maker’s advice for flute care.

Dave Copley recommends the following for his wood flutes:

Swab the flute after every use
Apply cork grease to tenon joints when they feel dry or don’t slide smoothly
Humidity between 60 and 80%
Oil the flute once a week for the first month (when it’s new) and then once a month after that.
Recommends woodwind bore oil (from a music store) or unscented mineral oil (from a pharmacy)

I’m keeping my 6 key Copley in a small rubbermaid container with a guitar humidifier and a the little humidity gauge that came w/the flute. I’ve got the level around 60%—my house is around 40% currently. Will probably drop more in the next week or so as the heat is on more!

I generally use cork grease every time I put the flute together as well.

I use the commercial bore oil, but have used almond oil in the past—I think both work fine.

—Jeff

Re: Wood Flute Maintenance / Flute Care

Hammy Hamilton is releasing DVD-ROM with Wooden Flute Maintenence.
probably you’ll find there most, if not all, answers.

Posted by .

Re: Wood Flute Maintenance / Flute Care

you just beat me to it by a few seconds, padre 😉

Re: Wood Flute Maintenance / Flute Care

This is well worth buying. You can learn something no matter how long you’ve been playing the flute. Good instruction on thread lapping tenons, among other things. Used once and the DVD pays for itself in shipping alone. Great Xmas present to give to yourself or to your sweet tooter.

Re: Wood Flute Maintenance / Flute Care

We haven’t heard from you for a while Vanessa. I see you have hand problems - hope that resolves for you. Does it affect your daily life much? Was it flute playing brought it on or just aggravated it? Take care.

Posted .

Re: Wood Flute Maintenance / Flute Care

Thanks for asking, wounded hussar… as my hands got worse and typing became increasingly difficult I turned to the shadowlands of lurking on this board rather than contributing 😉… at this stage I’m after the third operation… not sure about the outcome yet… as to daily life… to be honest it’s certainly a challenge especially since my husband has a disability himself and we are now both dependent on a lot of outside help… but then always good things come out of bad things… I’ve learnt a lot… gained new perspectives and this experience has also deepened my appreciation for many things I might have taken for granted before… also my love for the flute even though at this moment somewhat bitter-sweet has also been a wonderful motivator… it’s our dreams that keep us going, isn’t🙂… as to what caused it: two decades of doing the work of a care assistant and taking stupid risks complicated by the onset of arthritis in the thoracic spine which then moved into shoulders… on top of that as I took up the flute I was so over-enthusiastic that I consistently overdid it… I played and practiced day after day for hours and hours on end because I loved it so much… and I ignored all the warning signs with the end result that I lost almost all function in both hands… so my advice to any learner flute players here… pace yourselves… don’t overdo it no matter how tempting it may be!!!!

Re: Wood Flute Maintenance / Flute Care

Vanessa. I was just starting on flute (and lurking here) as you stopped posting and your comments then are a reason that I *have* been pacing myself. Taking a break if anything feels sore. Good luck.

Re: Wood Flute Maintenance / Flute Care

Thanks, David… nice to know something good came out of all this and that someone could benefit from my rocky journey… so enjoy the flute and continue to listen to your body🙂… thanks again!