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#1 2010-07-18 11:03:16

Itamar Foguel
Member
From: Israel
Registered: 2009-09-13
Posts: 120
Website

Challenging repair

I just got a Flute from Japan that i got from ebay.
I aimed to get a badly damaged flute for a low price and to challenge my repair skills (and also my student budget limitation).

The flute i got has few very massive cracks from top to bottom, the joint is a tiny bit loose (it holds) and also the cracks go all the way to the joint.
on colse inspection it had a crack long ago that was repaired and filled near the root, the utaguchi was remade also with some kind of filler (maybe ji?)
it looked ugly and bumpy so i polished it , now its half white half black but its in good shape, replacing utaguchi is only cosmetical and can wait for some time in the future.
The Bore looks shiny and great, most cracks didnt got into the bore but it has a few leaks in it (tiny cracks in the urushi)
Also the lacquer at the tenon joint is a bit cracked and might need to be redone.

so i got a work plan but wanted to ask for your educated opinion about it.

1) high moisture environment for a night or 2 to try and close the cracks, if it doesn't close i also put a wet towel wrapped around the flute.

2) take off the rattan bindings if they interfere with the binding placing and do a topical binding every 2cm or so, hold it with a drip of ca.
( i also thought about doing inlaid binding since i already done it on another flute successfully but i think ill go with the topical type first)

3)take off carefully those plastic joint rings, make a thin channel and bind the join at both flute parts.
(on a later stage might replace the rings with silver rings or something more classy)

***Where should i start? at the joint fixing and binding or at the utaguchi? and also, should i bind the root end? (i think there are no leaks at the bottom half of the flute)

4)put back the rings and re lacquer the joint, im not sure what can i use other then Urushi (Which i dont have at the moment) for it, i got cashew but its not good for it, so what about high quality acrylic lacquer or some Parquet/Floor lacquer or Shellac?

P.S. Does other type of lacquers holds on old cured urushi or will i need to sand it off??

Thanks!

(and now some pictures)

http://shiomi1.web.infoseek.co.jp/nobuebay/7syaku6a.jpg
http://shiomi1.web.infoseek.co.jp/nobuebay/7syaku6e.jpg
http://shiomi1.web.infoseek.co.jp/nobuebay/7syaku6g.jpg
http://shiomi1.web.infoseek.co.jp/nobuebay/7syaku6h.jpg
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_84JkG7LVdYc/TEMXQSRSx0I/AAAAAAAAC60/avPK7oMPOQo/s640/DSCN0058.JPG
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_84JkG7LVdYc/TEMXQz7K4rI/AAAAAAAAC64/EHgI943uDGQ/s640/DSCN0062.JPG
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_84JkG7LVdYc/TEMXRV_S_0I/AAAAAAAAC68/0sPUnsP4K-w/s640/DSCN0069.JPG
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_84JkG7LVdYc/TEMXR_oArdI/AAAAAAAAC7A/JIw6BgK2Qis/s640/DSCN0066.JPG

Last edited by Itamar Foguel (2010-07-18 17:51:04)

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#2 2010-07-19 09:51:39

Itamar Foguel
Member
From: Israel
Registered: 2009-09-13
Posts: 120
Website

Re: Challenging repair

Im still waiting for the cracks to close (24 hours in the humid box so far), i also add a wet towl around the flute to help it, the cracks didnt close completely, its seems that the major and maybe only leak that is still opened is just above the first binding near the utaguchi, i wonder how can i close it and keep it closed. the bottom half is completely air tight by now.

Should i begin with the inlain binding at the joint or with the normal at the top and bottom of the flute?
Should i take off the urushi coated rattan bindings? maybe they hold the cracks from closing because the urushi holds to the bamboo?


*I know its not recommended to do repairs by yourself... but im trying to work carefully and with minimum changes to the original design of the flute and bamboo.

Unfortunately i also dont have the funds for a professional repair (i guess most have you have been university students once),
so what i need the most is just some advice,

i think i can handle the rest.

Thanks again

current state:
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_84JkG7LVdYc/TERdVovrgJI/AAAAAAAAC7Q/mCyWJJa4Tvg/s640/DSCN0063.JPG

Last edited by Itamar Foguel (2010-07-19 11:07:24)

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#3 2010-07-19 11:33:55

Yungflutes
Flutemaker/Performer
From: New York City
Registered: 2005-10-08
Posts: 1039
Website

Re: Challenging repair

Hi Itmar, looks like a complex repair. I would first determine if the rattan bindings are truly inlaid with cord bindings underneath. If not, they will have to be removed. Old inlays can often give way for different reasons, but if reinforced with external bindings will hold well again. Then make the joint snug next.

I won't be on the computer again for several days but will check in then, Have fun! Perry


"A hot dog is not an animal." - Jet Yung

My Blog/Website on the art of shakuhachi...and parenting.
How to make an Urban Shakuhachi (PVC)

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#4 2010-07-19 16:43:04

Itamar Foguel
Member
From: Israel
Registered: 2009-09-13
Posts: 120
Website

Re: Challenging repair

Thank perry, ive just took off one of the rattan strings, yes its an inlaid binding covered with ji, so now should i take off all the rattan and replace it with a normal topical binding on top and add extra topical bindings at the gaps?

now when all the cracks are almost completely closed with the moisture the only leak i found is just under the utaguchi,  not possible to bind it, sp maybe ill topical bind the inlaid binding there and fill with bamboo dust and ca the utaguchi area of the crack after the flute dries up?
The joint is now tight but i guess its due to the moisture.

so:
Remove the rattan, replace it with new topycal binding on top of the inlay.
Add more bindings with 2 cm gaps between them where there are no bindings.
after the flute dries, remove the joint rings, and make or replace the nakatsugi  inlaid bindings.
Put back and glue.
Lacquer the joint
fill the crack at the utaguchi.

corrections?

edit/update:

Ive removed all the rattan from the top half and replaced it with topical bindings, i also removed one of the joint rings, there is ji under and i guess that also an inlay so i put it back and glued it in place.
the joint rings turned out to be starling silver which is nice.

i let the top half dry outside the humid box for about 24+ hours, the crack opened a bit but its still closed and i can say that now the top half is airtight and i hope it stays that way. I did a binding next to the joint ring so the cracks at the joint are also closed now.

But the bottom half have leaks even with the cracks closed due to that old ji plaster  at the crack near the root (and maybe 1 or 2 more spots of air leak), guess ill have to bind it, let dry and add bits of fillers at the leaks when its dry, no idea of any better method hmm

Last edited by Itamar Foguel (2010-07-21 01:39:04)

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#5 2010-07-24 07:24:23

Itamar Foguel
Member
From: Israel
Registered: 2009-09-13
Posts: 120
Website

Re: Challenging repair

My bindings are tight and with a 35kgs strong nylon cord which is about 77pounds, and still as the flute loses moisture as the days passing the cracks do open, not as big as the used to be but still big, the joint is snug fit now and it produces sounds, but i still think the flute has few leaks at list in the bottom half and as i go down the scale the sound becomes weaker, ro can be barely produced.

Now is it possible to keep cracks as big and as old closed with bindings?
When the flute loses moisture it always shrink a bit and the bindings weaken at list a tiny bit.
I did the bindings as tight and wide as possible, but keeping those cracks closed seems like an impossible job sad

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_84JkG7LVdYc/TErX8h5iaiI/AAAAAAAAC8E/IFh5BDVPgpE/s640/DSCN0082.JPG
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_84JkG7LVdYc/TErYFh2mv_I/AAAAAAAAC8w/ElVRcGjfS7c/s512/DSCN0085.JPG
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_84JkG7LVdYc/TErX6lo7L5I/AAAAAAAAC8A/DM_rEA0xhJ4/s640/DSCN0081.JPG
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_84JkG7LVdYc/TErX4Pfh4nI/AAAAAAAAC9I/ZH3GfGwRgAA/s512/DSCN0080.JPG

Last edited by Itamar Foguel (2010-07-24 08:25:45)

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#6 2010-07-24 10:09:47

radi0gnome
Member
From: Kingston NY
Registered: 2006-12-29
Posts: 1030
Website

Re: Challenging repair

Do those braided nylon cords have much stretchiness? Maybe try mono filament (single thread and usually clear) fishing line. I found 50 pounds excessive. If you have to keep the shakuhachi in bag with a dampit it's not a bad thing.

Last edited by radi0gnome (2010-07-24 10:10:13)


"Now birds record new harmonie, And trees do whistle melodies;
Now everything that nature breeds, Doth clad itself in pleasant weeds."
~ Thomas Watson - England's Helicon ca 1580

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#7 2010-07-24 14:09:09

Itamar Foguel
Member
From: Israel
Registered: 2009-09-13
Posts: 120
Website

Re: Challenging repair

Hi radignome, Its an upholstery thread and it has some stretchiness but not as much as mono filament has, from what ive seen all the pro makers use similar threads.

I wonder now if it really possible to except this crack to close, because there is contact in the bamboo inside the crack but a big gap at the skin of the flute, will a stronger binding could keep it closed?

I wanted to let it dry back to normal humidity to see how good my bindings holds and also to let it stabilize so i could fill the leaking areas when i know there gona be minimal movement in the crack at the future. when i close all the holes and blow it feels like there are no leaks, i guess that they are very tiny, but i can hear the leaks in the sound.
the sound is harder to produce (i can barely play RO) but the tuning itself is mostly ok and they higher notes works fine.

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#8 2010-07-25 02:14:15

radi0gnome
Member
From: Kingston NY
Registered: 2006-12-29
Posts: 1030
Website

Re: Challenging repair

Itamar Foguel wrote:

Hi radignome, Its an upholstery thread and it has some stretchiness but not as much as mono filament has, from what ive seen all the pro makers use similar threads.

But they are better at it usually.


Itamar Foguel wrote:

when i close all the holes and blow it feels like there are no leaks, i guess that they are very tiny, but i can hear the leaks in the sound.

You can't tell that way, at least I can't. Pouring some water down the bore and trying it is usually a good way of determining if you've got leaks, it'll play much better when wet if it's leaking.

Itamar Foguel wrote:

the sound is harder to produce (i can barely play RO) but the tuning itself is mostly ok and they higher notes works fine.

That's kind of typical of a leaking flute.


"Now birds record new harmonie, And trees do whistle melodies;
Now everything that nature breeds, Doth clad itself in pleasant weeds."
~ Thomas Watson - England's Helicon ca 1580

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#9 2010-07-27 09:24:05

Itamar Foguel
Member
From: Israel
Registered: 2009-09-13
Posts: 120
Website

Re: Challenging repair

Even when the flute was in a humidity box it still had some leaks, not much but a bit, now when its dry it got many leaks, my bindings are still tight so im not sure if redoing them will solve anything, i wonder about filling the cracks (with CA or Cashew or some wood filler), i read somewhere that Ken says he fill cracks in some situations but im not sure about what should be done in this case, another option im thinking about is lightly sand the urushi in the bore and give it a this layer of cashew or acrylic lacquer but im afraid to alter the bore and the tuning that way, i also dont know if those coatings will hold onto the old urushi.

So alter the crack or the bore, thats the question ><

I wonder what the pro's would do with such a flute... i also wonder if its even possible to close any crack with bindings or that some cracks just cant be closed completely.

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#10 2010-07-27 11:25:34

Derek Van Choice
Member
From: Lake San Marcos, CA
Registered: 2005-10-21
Posts: 99
Website

Re: Challenging repair

Itamar...

I would avoid altering the bore in any way, other than maybe an extremely light wash after it is repaired, and even then.  Very, very small changes can alter the tone and playability in a big way.

I think, to really do it right, it should have all new inlaid bindings installed, wrapped at full force (just below the threshold of the string breaking), while the shakuhachi is wet and the cracks are as closed as they'll ever be.

Prior to filling over the bindings, you can wick some CA into the cracks from inside the binding channels, and then fill the cracks that didn't close with something more substantial (thin resin, etc.).

Once the binding channels have been filled and sanded flush with the bamboo skin, you might even do again what you have on there now, as extra exterior strength, or rattan for aesthetics.  A cracked root end has tremendous force... the more the merrier.

Have fun!

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#11 2010-07-27 16:38:28

Itamar Foguel
Member
From: Israel
Registered: 2009-09-13
Posts: 120
Website

Re: Challenging repair

Thanks for the reply Derek!

hmm... thats gonna be lots of work, but sounds like fun! i should do it on some day off work or something so the flute wont have to stay in the humid box for 2 long.

My upholstery thread is kinda thick maybe i should use something thinner for the inlaid bindings, and then that thread as a topical binding (since i dont have any new rattan strings at the moment anyway)

the root end didn't had any inlaid bindings, only topical.

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#12 2010-07-27 18:42:38

Derek Van Choice
Member
From: Lake San Marcos, CA
Registered: 2005-10-21
Posts: 99
Website

Re: Challenging repair

When I have a LOT of bindings to do, I often keep all of the other parts of the bamboo wrapped in several wet wash cloths (the binding areas I am not specifically wrapping at that moment), to help keep the cracks closed while it's out of the bag being worked on.

I actually like the binding string Mejiro sells, for its proper stretchiness, but I am using upholstery thread more and more these days.  It takes a lot of tension to snap it.  I still break the string every now and then, mid-binding... that's the amount of force that is needed, especially on dense bamboo, and "especially especially" down near the meaty root area--Spectra (Spider Wire) is almost tempting there, since it doesn't stretch, but I like that little bit of stretchy tension to really grip and tug.

I remember that flute being listed for sale and thought musingly "Man... that's a lot of work right there".  However, it is doable, and you'll be very proud of it when done.

smile

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#13 2010-07-28 01:19:26

Toby
Shakuhachi Scientist
From: out somewhere circling the sun
Registered: 2008-03-15
Posts: 405

Re: Challenging repair

Here's another way: car hose clamps. Humidify your shakuhachi so that the cracks close as much as possible. Slip a loosened car hose clamp just above or below the spot you want to bind, with a thin rubber strip between the metal and bamboo to avoid scarring. Screw the clamp until the crack is closed and bind tightly. Remove the clamp and presto!

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#14 2010-07-28 16:53:56

Karmajampa
Member
From: Aotearoa (NZ)
Registered: 2006-02-12
Posts: 574
Website

Re: Challenging repair

I'm not too good or experienced at binding, but I recently used a length of cord that is more organic rather than synthetic, I first soaked the cord overnight with the flute hoping the cord would expand a little and then contract on drying. I think this worked as the binding is a lot tighter than I was previously able to do.

K.


Kia Kaha !

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#15 2010-07-28 17:51:31

radi0gnome
Member
From: Kingston NY
Registered: 2006-12-29
Posts: 1030
Website

Re: Challenging repair

Toby wrote:

Here's another way: car hose clamps. Humidify your shakuhachi so that the cracks close as much as possible. Slip a loosened car hose clamp just above or below the spot you want to bind, with a thin rubber strip between the metal and bamboo to avoid scarring. Screw the clamp until the crack is closed and bind tightly. Remove the clamp and presto!

I tried that once and it caused a crack on the other side of the tube, that one didn't go all the way through to the bore though.


"Now birds record new harmonie, And trees do whistle melodies;
Now everything that nature breeds, Doth clad itself in pleasant weeds."
~ Thomas Watson - England's Helicon ca 1580

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#16 2010-07-28 18:58:07

Itamar Foguel
Member
From: Israel
Registered: 2009-09-13
Posts: 120
Website

Re: Challenging repair

i used hose clamp once to hold the loop and beginning of binding in place, its actually pretty good, gives you a very tight binding from the beginning and no hurting thumb afterwards.

I think that some of the cracks will have to be filled after the binding no matter how strong it will be, when the bamboo is wet it all closes up but when it dries back, the crack is very wide at the surface but only a hairline if any, near the bore, since we dont have a way to hold the surface of the bamboo together i think there is no way to prevent it from opening at list at the surface.


If it will work i hope tuning will get back to normal, itss been pretty much off scale since the leaks come back hmm

(now im already finding myself thinking how the hell can i remove that filled utaguchi so i can redo the insert with ivory...but thats still a little far ahead)

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#17 2010-07-29 08:44:52

Itamar Foguel
Member
From: Israel
Registered: 2009-09-13
Posts: 120
Website

Re: Challenging repair

Ive just got the flute out of the humid box again, when the cracks are fully closed it plays perfectly on pitch, only chi is sligthly sharp (but i guess its because its an old flute)

Now i just need to keep it closed. so i removed the inlaid bindings, the old thread is not synthetic for sure, now i wonder if only inlaid bindings will suffice or should i really need to add topical bindings on top of them, i think ill also enlarge the channels since the current ones are like 0.5 cm wide each and thats a little small.

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#18 2011-02-20 10:16:47

Itamar Foguel
Member
From: Israel
Registered: 2009-09-13
Posts: 120
Website

Re: Challenging repair

Well its been a while, i did all we said back then, binded fully, new bigger inlaid bindings and epoxy resin on top, then a bit of glue to close what was left opened.
It was still leaking somehow, and later on when it dried a bit leaking even a bit more... its very frustrating actually.
I might try redo it once again (third time) although i dont think my bindings were weak with Tuff cord number 7 and see whats up. or send it off to perry or someone else for inspection, but im rather sure i wont be able to pay for such a huge repair now anyway or if the flute worth the price... no way out situation i guess...

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#19 2011-02-20 15:34:01

Yungflutes
Flutemaker/Performer
From: New York City
Registered: 2005-10-08
Posts: 1039
Website

Re: Challenging repair

Itamar Foguel wrote:

Well its been a while, i did all we said back then, binded fully, new bigger inlaid bindings and epoxy resin on top, then a bit of glue to close what was left opened.
It was still leaking somehow, and later on when it dried a bit leaking even a bit more... its very frustrating actually.
I might try redo it once again (third time) although i dont think my bindings were weak with Tuff cord number 7 and see whats up. or send it off to perry or someone else for inspection, but im rather sure i wont be able to pay for such a huge repair now anyway or if the flute worth the price... no way out situation i guess...

Hi Itamar, if you want to send the flute to me, I'll tell  you what it needs. You just have to pay for return shipping.

Best, Perry


"A hot dog is not an animal." - Jet Yung

My Blog/Website on the art of shakuhachi...and parenting.
How to make an Urban Shakuhachi (PVC)

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#20 2011-02-20 17:34:45

Itamar Foguel
Member
From: Israel
Registered: 2009-09-13
Posts: 120
Website

Re: Challenging repair

Thanks Perry!
Ill check on the mailing costs, another option is that i send it to you with Mark in the summer when he goes to the US.

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#21 2011-02-21 09:58:42

Yungflutes
Flutemaker/Performer
From: New York City
Registered: 2005-10-08
Posts: 1039
Website

Re: Challenging repair

Itamar Foguel wrote:

Thanks Perry!
Ill check on the mailing costs, another option is that i send it to you with Mark in the summer when he goes to the US.

Please contact me directly. I won't be in NYC for most of the summer.


"A hot dog is not an animal." - Jet Yung

My Blog/Website on the art of shakuhachi...and parenting.
How to make an Urban Shakuhachi (PVC)

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