Tuesday, 21 February 2012

It has to be done...

The new keys are sort on the back burner for the moment, or at least for a few days this week. Have to make some money, and make sure the waiting list doesn't get out of hand.
I should have said that the idea with the new keys is a sort of a compromise between casting and fabrication, so I'm planning to cast the key shanks, but press the cups with a die, and then join the two.
I'm trying to figure out a way to give me an option here, of either soldering them on, or attaching them with some sort of thread or screw à la Hudson....which latter I find a very attractive style of keywork.
 But, for the moment, I have to finish a set of whistles, and organise delivery of two six keyed flutes which I finished recently. Then there's a couple of used keyless to be finished and sent to their new owners, one local, and one which will end up in Chile.
Amazing how the traditional Irish flute is a global instrument now. I think I've sold flutes in over 20 countries ( must check and get a correct figure) including recently to Mexico and Ukraine!


  1. Hammy,

    Hope you don't mind me commenting on your blog (PS Think its a great idea.)

    Have you considered carbon fibre for keys, would have good strentgh properties, might be interesting, probably cheaper than silver, would mold easily and could be cured at (domestic oven temperatures).


    Andy Flannery

  2. I happen to see often this flute you made to Ukraine as it was my friend who' d ordered it. It is an excellent flute, no doubt! Great work! I play the flute too, but mine is in mopane and obviously of a rudall type and differs quite significantly both in sound and handling.
    Though, the foreign climat of Kiev influenced my friend's flute and soon a crack developed in the head, approximately for the length of the liner inside but not further as the flute remained well playable. The crack seems to be stable, it widens and closes depending on the humidity but the flute works. As my friend is an active musician he couldn't part with the flute for long and he didn't go to any repairer to fix the problem. So this is a kind of sad news.
    But, I say it again, it is an impressive flute.
    I suppose, there are only two of your flutes around - one here and one keyless in Minsk, Belarus. The Irish flute mania has begun just recently.

  3. Hi Ganainm,
    Hope you don't mind if I answer both your comments here. What the owner of the Kiev flute should do is to wrap the head with plastic electrical tape, and also send it to me for repair, but I can understand that he can't afford to be without it.
    Climate can be a bugger, but what's probably more important is simply the piece of wood that's used for a particular flute.
    For example, you mention Mopane, and I agree it is a fine timber for flutes ( I offer it as an alternative to blackwood, as the closest thing available to cocus wood ) but there is a huge variation in both timbers, to the extent that it's perfectly possible to find blackwood that would be lighter than mopane, and vice versa. Design of the flute has a lot more influence on the sound than the timber, and the player has a lot more influence than any physical factor.