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Discussion Starter #1
I had the cork stopper in my headjoint replaced less than a year ago and this summer it came loose. I moistened it a bit with water and put it back in, that seemed to work for a while, the cork absorbed the humidity and swelled but now it's loose again.
Does anyone know of a way to keep it from drying out again? I'm thinking maybe cork grease.
 

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Distinguished Technician & SOTW Columnist. RIP, Yo
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Perhaps start with a tighter fitting cork. They are available in a variety of diameters.

Boiling a cork may restore its diameter a little.

Some technicians put paraffin wax over the cork, position the cork in the head, then heat the head to melt the wax, presumably to seal the cork in the tube.

I don't think many technicians would attempt to re-use a loose cork. A well-sealing cork (and that means at the embouchure hole end of the cork) is very important for a flute.
 

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I spoke to my flute tech today and he said to soak it in hot water for 5 minutes as a temporary mesure, he will replace the cork. He was surprised and so was I, I've been playing flute for 25 years and this is the first time this has happened.
 

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These corks need to be really large when being installed. I use a steel rod to get them in when they are new. I usually find that they rarely last more than 5 years. Still cheap at under a dollar.
 

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If for whatever reason you can't get a new cork, I find that wrapping the cork with plumber's teflon tape works well. It seals well yet it can still slide back and forth for adjustment like a new cork. I did this to my first flute, an old student Artley from the 1970s, about 5 years ago and it still plays just fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I dipped it water again and now it's holding.
I have a different tech for my flute and another one for sax/clarinet, the flute one isn't as close by so I don't see him as often. I'll try the teflon tape thing if it happens again before I can see him.
Thanks for the info.
 

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daigle65 said:
I spoke to my flute tech today and he said to soak it in hot water for 5 minutes as a temporary measure, he will replace the cork. He was surprised and so was I, I've been playing flute for 25 years and this is the first time this has happened.
I boiled a batch of undersized corks which I bought. They turned oval. MORE likely to leak, because the smaller 'diameter' was less than the metal end of most crown cork assemblies.
 
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