Help, My M&E flute head joint stopper came out

Help, My M&E flute head joint stopper came out

I have a question, last week I noticed my flute going sharp in the higher register and the stopper was loose. Last night a a session the stopper on the head joint came off. Know there is no sound coming out of the flute. Obviously it make a noise, however I cannot play any notes. I did not notice anything else that came off with the stopper, I put teflon tape on it to make it snug again, however still nothing. I added a bit of cork in the stopper & again no change. I dont want to glue anything just yet as I may be missing something that I am not aware of. I live in a rural area & no one in about 1.5 hours drive can work on this flute, boehms yes but keyless no.

Is there anything that I am fundamentally missing??? Any help would be grateful.

Thanks,

Jess

Re: Help, My M&E flute head joint stopper came out

I’d give Michael a shout, but as a rough guide, as I understand it, the inside surface of the stopper should be 1.5 times the diameter of the flute at the hole.

Posted by .

Re: Help, My M&E flute head joint stopper came out

Thank you Calum, will do

Re: Help, My M&E flute head joint stopper came out

*I mean, the inside surface of the stopper should be that distance from the hole…amazing how these things make sense in your head…

Posted by .

Re: Help, My M&E flute head joint stopper came out

That 1.5x distance sounds long to me, I’ve generally initially set my corks at 1x the diameter from the center of the hole, but it’s been a while since I’ve had to make a cork adjustment.

Re: Help, My M&E flute head joint stopper came out

Michael Eskin is correct.

Posted by .

Re: Help, My M&E flute head joint stopper came out

Time to haul out the cork position thread, again:

A good starting point for the tuning cork is one head tube diameter back from the center of the embouchure. This will be around 19mm or just under 3/4 inch for most flutes. It is worth buying a 5/8 inch diameter dowel from the hardware store and making marks from 15 to 25 mm from one end (or 5/8 to 1 inch depending on your preferred units). You can use the dowel to move the cork and measure its position. The final adjustments should be made by playing and checking the tuning between the first and second octaves (assuming you will not be playing much in the third octave). If the upper octave is flat relative to the lower, then move the cork towards the embouchure a mm or so and try again. If the upper octave is sharp, move the cork away from the embouchure.

The cork only makes minor difference to the low octaves, so use the slide to get best general low octave tuning with the cork at the nominal (19mm) position. Check the relationship of the three D’s and make adjustments to cork position to optimise that. Readjust slide if necessary afterwards to correct any changes in the low octave (unlikely). Now check the tuning over the range of interest (the first two octaves or more if you use more). You may need to readjust the cork position if it has created any problems there. You might also need to readjust it if overall response is weakened.

Kevin Krell

Re: Help, My M&E flute head joint stopper came out

FWIW, 1X the diameter as a distance of the cork-stopper face to the center of the embouchure is a good starting place. You may have to shade slightly one way or t´other depending on the flute´s design. Pitching historical flutes to A=440 can require some shading to help both resonant response and quirky intonation. Michael Cronnolly has stated in the past that he has followed an historic R&R design, so this could offer some insight.

Re: Help, My M&E flute head joint stopper came out

Snap! Thank you Kevin.

Re: Help, My M&E flute head joint stopper came out

Thank you everyone, I was incorrectly using the word stopper when I should have said end cap perhaps ( after reading the thread) Thanks so much for the information, after a couple hours of staring at the damn thing I decided to blow through the head joint from the bottom and realized something was blocking it, duh. The cork had slid half way between the embouchure hole and the opening.

So now my question is.. after adjusting the cork, do I need a bit of something to keep it in place, ie cork grease? Also should the end cap need a bit of something to keep it in place. I have put some Teflon tape (plumbers tape) around the lip of the end cap to make it a snug. It is loose without some thing keeping it there & I’m wondering if this was the catalyst for the cork sliding.

Thanks

Jessica

Re: Help, My M&E flute head joint stopper came out

If the cork is correctly placed and firm, the end cap serves no functional purpose. Affix it in whatever manner suits, provided you can get it off again. Plumber’s tape should be fine for the cork. Otherwise, take it to a music shop and have it replaced. Cheap and off your to- do list.

Posted by .

Re: Help, My M&E flute head joint stopper came out

Here’s a fun assignment: There are a number of sherries and tawny ports that come in 750 ml bottles with nice natural corks attached to the small plastic tops. Empty a few until you get one. They generally have a nice firm fit in a 19 mm headpiece. A sharp blade to cut off the plastic and you win the prize 🙂 .

Re: Help, My M&E flute head joint stopper came out

Any band instrument repair shop can replace a cork for you, inexpensively. Just tell them the distance from the centre of the embouchure hole to the cork should be about 19mm, not the 17.3mm which is the distance for a silver flute.

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Re: Help, My M&E flute head joint stopper came out

But you would also need to tell them the diameter of the cork is going to be about 19mm not the 17mm or so they are used to. They might not have access to anything that diameter. And you definitely won’t want the 4mm hole up the middle for the Boehm flute’s stopper adjusting screw!

I’d just go with the easy workaround of wrapping enough teflon tape around the existing stopper to make it stay put.