Last Updated on June 6, 2023 by Shanta Roy
Flute pads can get damaged after a long time of use. Besides, the duration of sustainability depends on how often they have been taken care of—you are supposed to change pads every 3 to 6 years.
Anyway, professional flute replacement can cost a variety of money ranges. It will cost you over 300$ dollars.People usually take their flutes to specialists, and any uncareful attempt can cause extra damage to your flute.
If you are willing to change your flute’s pads, you will need some specific tools, also suitable pads for your flute. And, we should make you aware, flutes are delicate instruments. It might look like the repair work could be easy, but actually not.
If you have done small flute repairs by yourself and are confident you will not damage the flute, you could try replacing the pad.
We will provide you with all the essential details and a guide for replacing the flute pads. Be very careful while following the instructions.
Tools You Need To Dissemble The Flute
- Number 4 blade screwdriver
- Smooth jaws
- Number 1 blade screwdriver
Guide To Dissemble The Flute
You need to separate all the parts of the flute before you go on replacing the flute. Now, have a look at the steps below for dissembling the flute.
First, Place the flute on a table, and hold it lightly to work on it. Holding the flute directly in hand can impair the flute.
It can be harmful to you because the tool could slip into your fingers at any time. Hence, the table is a secure place, and the task can be quickly done this way.
You need to detach all the parts. Carefully twist and take them out. Once they are separated, start from the foot joint of the flute.
Use the number 4 blade screwdriver to remove the key mechanism. The keys are constructed in a couple of posts.
Search for the head of the screws in the edges of posts, then unscrew them. After unscrewing, you can take out the hinges rod from inside the posts with a smooth jaw.
Other Essential Details For Dissembling
You can disunite the key mechanism from other body and head joints of the flute in the same way. But there is one this that you need to be aware of.
The posts of the keys are set one above another in some of the joints. So, take a good look and figure out how they are set.
Use the number 1 screwdriver if there is any stuck pivot screw. Make sure you remember the right placement of the keys. You can also lookup the correct places of the key on the internet while assembling the flute.
You will see pins after you take out all the posts of the keys. Try not to touch them as they bend easily.
Tools You Need To Take Out The Old Pads Form The Keys
- Number 4 blade screwdriver
- Spring hook
- Paper shims
- Pad holder
- Flat washer
- Pad leveling tool
- Yellow Treated Pads
- 5 pads for trill keys and a C key
- 5, 18, and 18.5 for body-joint keys
- 19 or 19.5 for foot-joint
Guide To Replace Flute Pads
There are mainly three types of formation of the keys. It would be best if you chose depending on the formation of the key. We talk about it in detail when we reach the steps of pad removing and installing. Let’s start with the pad replacement process now.
We were hoping you could start with the keys with a flat washer on them. You will find screws in the middle of the washer that is holding the pad into the key.
Use the number 4 screwdriver to take out the screw. Once the screw is out, the washer will come out by itself immediately.
Next, use the spring hook to remove the pads from the keys. You will find paper shims in the shapes of the pads after pulling out the pads. The shims are going to come off like washers. You bring them out from the inside by shaking them with a little force.
The shims are used to set the pads at the right height. The washers and shims are not easily damaged. They generally last longer than the pads. But if you see any fault in them, you need to change them as well.
Now, take the keys that have a plastic pad holder on them. With the number 4 screwdriver, pull out the plastic holding from the middle of the pads.
They are not hard to take out; the screwdriver’s simple force should be enough to take them out. You should also do the task as gently as possible because you don’t want to strike the keys’ otter structure with the tools.
The plastic holder could be cracked after use, and you need to replace them too. Also, you might not find any paper shims under the pads now. We have mentioned that the manufacturer installs the shims to adjust the pad’s correct height inside the keys.
There are other kinds of keys that have a hole in the middle. Thus, pads have a hole in the middle. To take those pads out, you need the number four screwdriver again.
The pads are secured in the keys with grommets. You can pry out the grommets tenderly. While pulling them up, go around the pad. That way, you can take them out without damaging them. And, they should be out with slight force.
Make sure you don’t bend any of the sides of the grommets. You will find them in the market, but it’s best to preserve the original ones.
Now, we will start installing the pads. Since we don’t know the exact size of your flute’s keys, we have suggested different types of pads.
If you know the size, you can buy pads accordingly. And, if you don’t know the size, you can collect the pads we have listed. Then, you can place a pad into kay and if it fits.
Testing The Right Fitting
To test the right fitting, you can place one pad and turn the key. If the pad stays inside, then it’s the right fit. Also, pads need to be stuck in the keys nice and find. If it’s too tight, the pads’ skin will look wrinkled, and that’s not the right size.
Setting The Pads
While installing the pads, you need to check out the right height. You don’t use paper shims right away. First, you put a pad inside the key and press it with your thumb and index finger.
The pad should be out 0.35 millimeters. If you can’t measure it in millimeters, there is another process to measure it with paper.
Fold a piece of paper once, and hold it beside the pad. If the paper’s height and the pad match or even roughly match, that is the pad’s right height. If the height varies, you can try paper shims.
While installing a pad with the plastic holder, and grommets use a dowel to set them firmly. Press or tap the plastic holder and the grommets slightly with the dowel.
Ironing The Pad
This is the last step of installing the new pads. Put some water into the pad, then heat the pad leveling tool with the torch. You don’t make it hot too much. Hold the tool in front of the torch for a couple of seconds.
Next, run the leveling tool over the pads 1 or 2 times by avoiding the pads’ middle area as they have a holder there. After that, wipe the pad with a hand towel, and the pad will be stuck inside the keys properly.
Once the pad installation is completed, set the key posts with the hinges; also, remember to set the keys in the right places and follow the layers.