Caution Abrasive 3M Anti-tarnish Strips

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Sterling-Canvas
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:10 am

Caution Abrasive 3M Anti-tarnish Strips

Post by Sterling-Canvas »

I discovered a series of unsightly vertical (partially circumferential) scratches running longitudinally along the head-joint base length of two relatively expensive flutes, one brand new $4k Yamaha and another pristine $3k Gemeinhardt. I was stumped as to the source of these menacing scratches as I'm vigilant about keeping my flutes in pristine condition being careful with handling, cleaning and storing these cherished instruments. Then I noticed a correlation between the length of scratching and the length of 3M anti-tarnish strips which I place beneath the head-joint in each french style case. Sure enough, the culprit is the 3M anti-tarnish strips.

BE FOREWARNED these 3M anti-tarnish strips are abrasive and will impart significant scratches in your cherished sterling flute requiring pro-polishing restoration. Solution: place the 3M strip in a folded single layer of Kleenex type tissue. This will not inhibit the anti-tarnish absorption properties of the activated charcoal strip while keeping your flute safe from ugly scratches.

frugal flutist
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:27 pm

Re: Caution Abrasive 3M Anti-tarnish Strips

Post by frugal flutist »

Hi Sterling-Canvas,
Thanks for the warning! I have been leery of those strips. I was afraid the edges might abrade my pad edges. So I usually put them loosely over the Head joint. In one flute case, I did put one under my Head joint, as you describe, but had not used that flute since. So there was no damage, from daily withdrawal and replacement. I tried twisting a coin silver Head joint's shiny tenon end, inside the strip to see if it would polish or abrade the the finish. Sure enough after two turns the tenon was dulled. Confirming the abrasive potential of the strips. ( I'm confident I can polish that haze away.) I'm wondering if I could put a layer of lace material, in the top of the case to keep the strip from touching the flute directly. Maybe a lace envelope?

When you get your Head joints polished, please let us know what that cost these days, and the results. I'd bet they will look like new.
Good luck!

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pied_piper
Posts: 1898
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 1:31 pm
Location: Virginia

Re: Caution Abrasive 3M Anti-tarnish Strips

Post by pied_piper »

I used to use 3M strips but I switched to Intercept Anti-Tarnish strips. In my opinion, the Intercept strips are far superior to the 3M ones. The 3M strips have to be replaced about every 3-6 months but Intercept lasts longer and does a better job of preventing silver tarnish. These are made from a softer plastic type of material that is similar in feel to the plastic found in sandwich bags. They are not the coarse paper like 3M. I keep Intercept strips in the case under my professional flute and have never had them leave any marks, scratches, or abrasions on my sterling flute nor on my 14K gold headjoint. Another big plus is that they are much cheaper than the 3M strips. They can be purchased online at Rio Grande which is a jewelry supplier. I'm not related to them but I am a satisfied customer. 20 strips are $6.25. 20 strips will last for years! Try them, you'll like them!

https://www.riogrande.com/product/inter ... x-7/401526
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--

Sterling-Canvas
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:10 am

Re: Caution Abrasive 3M Anti-tarnish Strips

Post by Sterling-Canvas »

Thanks @pied_piper for the Intercept anti-tarnish information. Will definitely use that source next.

Thanks @frugal flutist for providing the validation on this 3M paper issue. My local music store is closed for the planned-demic so no access to their flute shop. I was able to get these abrasions pro-polished out by a local craftsman at no cost. All is good now and my hope is to spare others this inconvenience.

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