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The next stage is to modify the boxwood's natural yellow color to an appropriate shade of orange or brown, depending on the model (for ebony and exotic woods, we skip this part). For this process Cathy is suited up like the brain surgeon she might have become had she not been a flutemaker, not to protect the flute from germs but to protect herself from nitric acid and its fumes. Then the pieces will be soaked in a warm bath of raw linseed oil for several days. After the oil is dry, we drill the embouchure and toneholes in the tube sections, and fit the keys.

Key sawing

Here Cathy demonstrates another of her skills: sawing keys from a sheet of flat sterling silver with a fragile jeweler's saw. After the keys have been forged and filed to their final shape, the scrap silver is collected and sent back to the foundry for recycling.

Continue the tour . . .

Text and images copyright © 1997,1999, 2001, 2008 FOLKERS & POWELL, Makers of Historical Flutes
PO Box 148, Hillsdale NY 12529-0148 USA
TEL: +1 518 828 9779