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Beginning repair tools & classes

edited December 2014 in General discussions
I know there are some great flute technicians on here who will have opinions on this! I'm looking at starting to learn some basic repairs on flute as our nearest music store is 3 hours away and they don't do a very good job; I'm constantly hearing local band students complain about their flute not working. I will definitely be going to a workshop or clinic on repair as soon as possible, but in the meantime the need is urgent for someone to take care of the most common problems. I've already started fixing a few of the really simple things - adjusting keys so they won't leak, etc. I have a couple of old near-garbage flutes to practice techniques on as well. So here are a few questions for discussion:
1. When looking for the tools you need to get started, would you recommend getting something like the Valentino repair kits meant for band directors or buying tools a few a time as needed?
2. What is the most valuable resource (aside from a mentor & tools) that you would recommend?
3. Is there a specific course/workshop/clinic that you feel is miles above the others out there? Because of our remote location I can't really try an apprenticeship route with a master technician, although I would prefer that for sure!


  • Hi rakabakal! I've been thinking about this comment for a day now. I think my best advice is to start small and keep it simple. So I dug all the tools out of my tool box that I use for basic flute disassembly and adjust & regulates. You can get all these basic tools from Ferrees or Allied. All you need is a screw block, two 9" swivel top screwdrivers (one small tip and one large tip), one small fine tip swivel top screwdriver for the adjustment screws, a 6" pair of smooth jaw pliers, a pad prick, feeler, action height gauge, flute & clarinet pad slicks, and a heat source. That's all I use for 95% of my school flute work. Forget dent work, body work, and soldering for now. Just practice basic adjust and regulate jobs. Is there a way I can contact you privately off the forum? If so I would gladly copy the flute section of Fred Kirchners book on band instrument repair and send it to you. He gave me a copy back in 1976 when I graduated from his school. He was a great repairman, friend, and mentor. Or if there was a way to post a picture here or send you a picture I'd take one of my basic flute tools.
    I've looked around and haven't found a personal message function or an add a pic option.
  • Thank you so much bigbandaxes! Now I know what to look for!
  • You can message directly by clicking on someones name.
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