You can send back your instrument for re-reaming after about 6 months to 1 year, if necessary.
I especially recommend returning boxwood instruments for re-reaming. Call, fax or e-mail me first before returning an instrument for service. In order to be absolutely sure, only send instruments using the registered mail (-insurance is not necessary, if you use registered mail-). Send your instrument in a crush-proof cardboard box (which you can buy in the post office).
- your coordinates: name, address, tel. nb. and e-mail address
- a note about any problems (tuning, response, voicing) you might experience or state what you would like me to do
- money or check to sent the instrument back to you by registered surface mail
Taking care of a new wooden instrument presents no problems providing you follow a few simple instructions. Each instrument is made of carefully chosen air-dried, quartered French or English boxwood or African blackwood. For larger instruments and many renaissance recorders I use maple. If you take good care of your new instrument it will last a lifetime.
In general avoid extremes of warmth and coldness. After playing don’t put your flute or recorder directly in its case or bag, but leave it to dry. If possible warm the headjoint (or the entire instrument) to body temperature, esp. when playing in a cold room (church, classroom etc…).
It’s usually not necessary to dry the bore and if you do be sure not to scratch the interior of the bore.
Assembling your instrument and care of the joints
Always use a rotating motion when (dis)assembling your instrument. Don’t push too hard or use excessive force. Joints may be cork-lapped or wrapped with waxed cotton threads. No air may escape from the tenons/sockets, but on the other hand the tenons must neither fit too tightly nor too loosely. Cork my be greased with vaseline and the thread windings may be waxed. You can remove some threads if the tenon is too tight or add some threads if too loose. Always use thin cotton thread, not dental wax which is usually too thick.
If the wax becomes sticky, use a little vaseline.
Breaking in a new instrument
Esp. new (boxwood) instruments must be carefully played in. The wood must get ‘used’ to the constant changes in humidity. Changes of sound quality and in response can occur during the playing-in period., which in general will take about 4 to 6 weeks. Gradually increase the length of you playing sessions f.ex. 5 minutes a day the first week, 10 min. a day the second week and so on. Any boxwood instrument shouldn’t be played for more than 2 hours a day (-plastic recorders and flutes are excellent for practising).
Oiling the bore of your instrument will prevent the wood absorbing the moisture from your breath. A new instrument can be oiled immediately, if necessary. Never oil directly after playing, but let the instrument dry thoroughly. Never play immediately after oiling your instrument.
Use either raw linseed oil (-historically correct-) or almond oil. It’s no use oiling instruments which are impregnated with parafine (and/or are lacquered or varnished). Use soft plastic brushes (-sold for this purpose-) for oiling. Remove block and key(s) of your recorder + end cork of your traverso. Using the plastic brush oil inside and outside of all joints. Prevent oil from getting on ivory/plastic rings, string joints, keyways and keypads. Put the plastic brush into the oil (not too much) and spread it evenly in the bore. You can also lightly oil the outside.
Leave each joint on a piece of newspaper, so that the oil not absorbed by the wood can flow onto the newspaper. Leave the joints for about 4 up to max. 12 hours. Then wipe the instru- ment clean (in- and outside). For recorders: no oil should touch the top of the block. Players who feel confident can remove the block and oil the block area or even the windway roof. Depending on how intensively you use your instrument, you can repeat the oiling 3 to 4 times a year.