The Flute Ferret
Has your playing gone a bit off recently? Do you think "is it me or is it my flute?"
Chances are that your flute is leaking, but how would you know?
Send in the Flute Ferret!
This will tell you for sure which pads need attention. You can then either fix them yourself or take the flute to a repairer knowing what you want done.
It is well known that most flutes leak slightly around the pads from time to time, reducing focus, resonance and power. Top pros can often compensate with embouchure changes or extra finger pressure, but they shouldn't have to. The problem has always been that those small leaks are very hard to find by traditional methods, if not impossible. Try finding a leak going around the underside of the pad with cigarette paper - it can't be done! And don't forget that an open hole key can leak between finger and key, especially if the skin is rough or damaged, while the pad itself may be perfect!
This simple device is really easy to use and will find the smallest leaks anywhere on your flute. With a bit of practice you can tell not only how serious the leak is but what might be causing it, ie whether the pad is torn or incorrectly seated or even leaking around its underside. Unlike other leak detectors on the market which test only the overall air-tightness of the flute with all keys closed, the Wessel Flute Ferret examines each pad individually. You can even use it to test for perforated tone hole to body soldered joints.
The principle of operation is as follows: a plastic bobbin goes down inside the flute and is pneumatically locked in position under a suspect pad. A tiny air pressure, less than 0.05psi, is then applied, using the mouth, and its decay due to leakage measured with a simple water gauge.
No flute maker or repairer should be without this gadget
- No other leakage detection method is as reliable, informative and easy to use. Suitable for all metal and wooden flutes with standard bore.
- Will accommodate small imperfections in bore such as non-circularity and minor dents.
- Full instructions supplied.
About Wessel Flutes
The business was established in 1983 and originally known as "Webb & Wessel" after his joint work with John Webb. Stephen Wessel flutes are designed to be ultra-lightweight. By using stainless steel that is 25% lighter than silver, but about three times harder, he allows his mechanisms to be thinner and lighter. He uses resin inlaid key cups by "scooping out" the steel key cups and inlaying it with black plastic. This process reduces the weight of the mechanism further. These features make the flute very responsive, instantly playable and with a large palette of tone colours. Stephen Wessel flutes are beautifully made, with strong keywork, which feels comfortable and secure. Each handmade flute is made individually here in England.
Item DetailsManufacturer: Wessel Flutes
Category: Flute and Piccolo Maintenance Equipment