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Steve Deutsch Music - Vermont Flute Repair Workshop

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I went in June of '09 to northern Vermont to take Jon Landell's flute making class. Everything has a green lushness to it, and at the time I went, an almost jungle like humidity.

I went in June of '09 to northern Vermont to take Jon Landell's flute making class. Everything has a green lushness to it, and at the time I went, an almost jungle like humidity.

I went in June of '09 to northern Vermont to take Jon Landell's flute making class. Everything has a green lushness to it, and at the time I went, an almost jungle like humidity.

I went in June of '09 to northern Vermont to take Jon Landell's flute making class. Everything has a green lushness to it, and at the time I went, an almost jungle like humidity.

I went in June of '09 to northern Vermont to take Jon Landell's flute making class. Everything has a green lushness to it, and at the time I went, an almost jungle like humidity.

I went in June of '09 to northern Vermont to take Jon Landell's flute making class. Everything has a green lushness to it, and at the time I went, an almost jungle like humidity.

The shop is in this wonderful farmhouse not far from Burlington. Lathes, reamers, grinders, milling machine, all the machines and tools that Mr. Landell has assembled over the last 40 years to pursue the craft of flute making and repair.

The shop is in this wonderful farmhouse not far from Burlington. Lathes, reamers, grinders, milling machine, all the machines and tools that Mr. Landell has assembled over the last 40 years to pursue the craft of flute making and repair.

The shop is in this wonderful farmhouse not far from Burlington. Lathes, reamers, grinders, milling machine, all the machines and tools that Mr. Landell has assembled over the last 40 years to pursue the craft of flute making and repair.

The shop is in this wonderful farmhouse not far from Burlington. Lathes, reamers, grinders, milling machine, all the machines and tools that Mr. Landell has assembled over the last 40 years to pursue the craft of flute making and repair.

The shop is in this wonderful farmhouse not far from Burlington. Lathes, reamers, grinders, milling machine, all the machines and tools that Mr. Landell has assembled over the last 40 years to pursue the craft of flute making and repair.

The shop is in this wonderful farmhouse not far from Burlington. Lathes, reamers, grinders, milling machine, all the machines and tools that Mr. Landell has assembled over the last 40 years to pursue the craft of flute making and repair.

We began with tool making. The first project is to make a burnisher out of a file blank. The shape is sketched out.

First the shape is created on a grinding wheel and here I'm finishing the surface using a sanding wheel. The surface of a burnisher needs to be mirror smooth and to accomplish this finer and finer sanding strips are used going from 80 up to 1500 grit.

It is important to use the finished burnisher at the angle shown. Used carefully (everything with flutes is done carefully) dents and scratches are removed.

It is important to use the finished burnisher at the angle shown. Used carefully (everything with flutes is done carefully) dents and scratches are removed.

The next project is a making swedging pliers. This tool is indispensable to fine flute repair. Key tubing is squeezed and stretched to eliminate lost key motion. A flute pad should land in only one place on the tone hole.

With a thin spacer holding the plier jaws open, it is mounted in a vise and then a drill mounted in the milling machine is used to drill a hole in the pliers.

Reamers are made on a grinding wheel. These are used to ream out the insides of flute key tubing creating a smooth fit.

Reamers hardened by heating rods and then quenching in water. In this way they can cut efficiently.

Reamers hardened by heating rods and then quenching in water. In this way they can cut efficiently.

Reamers hardened by heating rods and then quenching in water. In this way they can cut efficiently.

This is a reamer made out of a sewing needle. This is used to ream out the holes for the pinning needles used on the A-Bb combination, trill keys and the right hand assembly.

This is a reamer made out of a sewing needle. This is used to ream out the holes for the pinning needles used on the A-Bb combination, trill keys and the right hand assembly.

This is the next project. To make a small burnisher-scraper.

This can be used to take away excess solder, in this case where the seam of the rib and the tube meet. It can also be used to shape the embouchure hole. DO NOT do this yourself if your not willing to waste a headjoint.

I start with a piece of drill rod.

I grind the approximate shape, and then finish by hand filing and finally buffing. The idea is to make the tools I need, learn the motions of file use, and finally to conceptualize how these ideas work with the end goals of flute making and repair in mind.

Here I'm learning how to use the lathe, I made a wood handle for the burnisher I just made.

This amazing tool is not much larger than a quarter. Landell made it to make the hole for the pivot screw that holds the top end of the A-Bb combination. A hole has been drilled through the piece on the left to accommodate the rod that the A-Bb keys will rotate on. The space in the middle lets him know how far he had drilled and how deep the hole is.

On the right is the drill he made that is held by an allen screw so it can be chucked up in the lathe and he can be absolutely certain that everything can be drilled on center.

Now we start the project I came for. I have an old Haynes flute made in 1923 that had a missing C# tone hole, missing C# trill key, the G# tone hole needed to be replaced. And that's just for starters! First the springs have to be removed.

The ribs have to be removed so additions posts can be made and silver soldered on to hold the C# trill mechanism.

When the ribs are soldered back on they are held with wire that is used in flower stores.

This machine is used to determine the diameter of the pieces to be made in three dimensions, using the 4th to determine the other three.

This measures distances and using a computer creates a picture of what needs to be done.

Using a jig to hold that little ball in place, three of these pieces need to be solder on to hold the C# in place. Landell eyeballed the angle these key posts needed to be soldered at and got it perfectly.

This is a jig made to solder the G# key assembly together. All angles must be perfect and held together so nothing moves. If anything does while soldering you have to start over.

This happened to me at the end of the day. The rib on the foot joint pulled from the body. When this happens on something this old, the rib is removed, old solder cleaned off, then wired to the tube and soldered back on.

This is a titanium headjoint, the same material used for aircraft wings for supersonic jets. Very light and very hard. The jig holding it is made by Mr. Landell.

Buffing a flute in preparation for an overhaul.

If you look closely there is a rod that is between the two posts, this helps to stabilize and hold while soldering these posts on.

Soldering the posts on.

We had to solder a post back that should not have come off. Here it is being lined up to solder in the right place.

This is one of Jon Landell's flute. In the center of picture is a very small ball bearing that he used in the king post instead of there being a friction fit with two surfaces constantly rubbing against one another. This is the way the F# and Bb are usually made, and Landell's use of a ball bearing is small but major innovation.

Preparing to resurface a new tonehole.

His focus and concentration is absolute.

His focus and concentration is absolute.

His focus and concentration is absolute.

I'm moving right along here.

Lining up the C# key cup in preparation for assembly.

The key is lightly ground down on a sander for that artistic finish.

The Master Jon Landell

The C# key being soldered on the tube.

The key is dropped in a pickling solution to remove the flux that was melted and crystallized while applying the silver solder.

After this the trill arm still and spring hook still need to be soldered on.

These are spring hooks that are cut from U shaped tubing. He applies silver solder to them before cutting them, they will be easier to solder this way.

Soldering the spring hook on.

A hole .035 inch needs to drilled for the spring. Note that Landell is holding the flute with the right while guiding the drill with his left. He did it perfectly.

Doing the final touchup.

Ahhh! The key is done.

And I leave beautiful Vermont till another day.