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Pad replacement advice

Taking care of your instrument

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WeekendFlutist
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2018 5:44 pm

Pad replacement advice

Postby WeekendFlutist » Fri Apr 13, 2018 10:26 am

Hello everyone,

For us do-it-yourselfs and hobbiest, does anyone have any online resources on how to replace pads, that they are willing to share?

Clearly it's not something for the faint of heart or those without untested patience.
It's just that I've done two flutes now with good results. I think they would have turned out better in less time if I had found a better detailed instructions. In fact the pad replacement kit that I bought was surprising lacking in detail and came with shims way too thick. I found myself cutting shims out of news paper and reusing the old ones where I could.

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pied_piper
Posts: 1724
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 1:31 pm
Location: Virginia

Re: Pad replacement advice

Postby pied_piper » Sun Apr 15, 2018 4:15 pm

Well, learning to replace pads in a flute is not as easy as one might think. There is a lot more to it than simply removing the keys and swapping the pads. Flute manufacturers use different size pads so there is a good chance the pad "kit" you bought online may not have all the right sizes you need for your flute. Flute pads come in different diameters and different thicknesses. Did you measure the thickness of the pads in your flute before you ordered them? If you bought the kit on eBay, there is a good chance they are not the best quality and that makes the job of installing them that much more difficult. Did the kit include pad shims? Probably not. If not, you'll need to buy some of those too. Did your kit include an assortment of cork and/or felt in various thicknesses? You need that too. You need appropriate tools. Did your kit include a feeler gauge to check the pad coverage after each has been installed? Typical hardware store screwdrivers may not fit or can damage the screw slots. This goes on...

To learn how to put pads in a flute, I suggest that you get this book which provides a reasonably good overview of the process, supplies, and tools needed to successfully repad a flute.

http://www.jlsmithco.com/books/servicin ... -j-l-smith
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--

rossaduc
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2018 12:34 pm

Re: Pad replacement advice

Postby rossaduc » Sat Aug 11, 2018 2:22 pm

Funny I recall as a young flutist, I repadded my flute first try with success. Used rolling papers to cut shims, used a real block of solid shellac to float in the pads. It is no as hard as som make out. Why? Well if it is not right easy to figure out what to do about it, reshim it. Even the best overhaul specialists do a lot of their work trial and error. Sure you do it alot you get very methodical and likely save a bunch of time, but for those of us just doing our own instrument or just replacing a couple of moisture damaged pads, the extra time is not that big a deal. James Phelan's book has been the reference for most everyone for 40 plus years, I believe I have one of the original copies around the house somewhere. Good luck

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pied_piper
Posts: 1724
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 1:31 pm
Location: Virginia

Re: Pad replacement advice

Postby pied_piper » Sat Aug 11, 2018 4:50 pm

A person who is technically astute and good at working with their hands may be able to successfully repad a flute if they have good instructions to follow. The problem is that often people with little or no mechanical ability think "How hard can it be? I just unscrew the pads and put in new ones" So often, they will think all they need is a small screwdriver, a bag of pads ( with no consideration for the correct size or thickness and not understanding the shimming process) and of course they fail. I've seen DIY flute repads where they used pads that were too thick and the keys would not fully close. Then they bring it into a shop wondering why it doesn't work. They want a tech to "adjust it" and get mad when they are told it can't be adjusted because they used the wrong thickness pads and they all need to be replaced... again...

You obviously did your research starting with Phelan's book (I agree it's a great book) and followed his guidelines. That was a formula for success.
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--


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