Flutes are one of the smallest instruments in the woodwind family and like every instrument eventually need repairs due to daily use. There are many music stores that offer general instrument repairs, but few that offer professional repair services. This guide will discuss what it takes to overhaul flutes, their costs, and information about our repair courses.
After a period of time, it is important to overhaul your flute, since pads, corks, and felts become worn after use and need to be replaced. A complete overhaul is a procedure that helps restore the instrument to as new as possible. To overhaul a flute usually requires of stripping the instrument by removing all its pins, de-greasing and re-oiling its mechanisms, removing excessive mechanism movement, thorough cleaning and polishing, re-padding, re-felting, and re-corking along with the removal of small dents. There are additional repairs that include heavy tarnish removal, removal of serious dents, damage from accidents, joint fillings (other than normal adjustment), spring replacement, structural alterations, and re-plating.
Pricing depends on whether the instrument is a student or professional flute, along with what needs to be repaired. Professional flute repair services can vary depending on the materials used, as professional-level instruments usually require more attention than beginner level flutes due to the high-quality materials used to create and produce these instruments.
Individual repairs are an inexpensive option and can range from $20-$50 that include replacing head joint cork, refit tenons, solder broken ribs, solder joints (soft), polish and flush, replacing pads, soldering joints (silver), and fixing stuck head joints. If you are looking for specialty repairs, it is recommended to schedule an appointment to assess the work that needs to be done. For example, tenon damage is a common problem with older flutes that affect how the flute fits together. This particular repair involves having to round out the tenon and re-fit it to manufacturer specifications. Another specialty repair can be adjusting all of the spring tension throughout the instrument according to your playing style and preferences. It can cost more if gold springs are used. There are some individuals that request a key to be altered to accommodate a player that would not be able to play if not for these modifications. It is recommended to schedule an appointment with the repair technician so that they are able to measure the adjustments that need to be made to the instrument according to the player’s physical ability.
Lisa’s Clarinet Shop has expanded its services to include providing professional flute repair services that include mechanical overhauls and total instrument restorations as well as personalized setups and custom key work. You have a choice to either have your instrument in playing condition that includes fixing 3-4 mechanical issues or a complete overhaul that also includes a six-month warranty for student instruments and one-year warranty for professional instruments.
In addition to the professional flute repair services at Lisa’s Clarinet Shop, we will be offering a flute repair course in 2021 where you will be able to learn how to do basic repairs to your instrument. You will be able to learn services that include cork and pad replacements, head and foot joint refitting, spring replacement, and key alterations. If you enjoy fixing things and working with your hands, learning flute repair yourself could end up saving you money, and many trips to the repair technician in the long run.