Flute Care

All finishes dull with time and use.  The “enemies” of your flute are strong sunlight, heat, moisture, and mechanical damage:

You should keep all finished wood, particularly wooden musical instruments, out of the direct sunlight.  Direct sunlight coming through the house or car window can result in rapid and unequal expansion and contraction of both the wood and the finish on it, and cause cracks developing in both wood and finish.  Cracks in the finish provide additional points of entry for moisture, which causes more expansion and contraction.  Also the ultra violet rays in un-filtered sunlight will cause deterioration of surface finishes.

Heat and moisture (temperature and humidity) also cause rapid expansion of the wood, and the finish.  Human salvia is quite acidic, and will cause a breakdown of most surface finishes.  For this reason we suggest that you simply place the end of your flute against your lips when playing, rather than putting it in your mouth – The surface finish will last longer.

However the surface finish will eventually wear off of the mouth piece and over the finger holes of your flute.  You may notice the wood grain rising on the mouth piece in particular.  You can fix this by buffing the area with a little bit of #0000 steel wool, followed by an application of bee’s wax.  You may also return the flute to our shop for refinishing.  While there is no charge for the work, we will need to recover shipping costs.

Remember also that there is both moisture and heat in our breath.  This may become condensed in the slow air chamber of the flute, sometimes to the extent that the moisture affects the sound of the flute.  This is called “wetting out” and may be cured in many cases by pulling the block back to expose the hole leading from the slow air chamber, turning the flute upside down, and blowing sharply.  This should remove enough moisture from the slow air chamber so that you are able to continue playing.  Clearing the slow air chamber is also a good practice to follow whenever putting the flute away after playing.

Your flute is a fairly delicate instrument that requires at least some degree of care in transportation, handling, playing and storage.  We warranty defects in manufacture and will return purchase price for return of product for this reason with no question as long as there is no sign of abuse or mechanical damage.  We will also refinish and attempt repair of damaged flutes for the cost of shipping, plus a reasonable and agreed upon amount for repairs to damaged flutes.