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Hi, I have a problem removing the head screw from a Yamaha flute. The head screw rotates next to the cork and reflective plate. It spins but I don't know how to extract. any solution. Thank you
 

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Hi, I have a problem removing the head screw from a Yamaha flute. The head screw rotates next to the cork and reflective plate. It spins but I don't know how to extract. any solution. Thank you
First, unthread the crown then re-thread it a couple turns.

Then push down on the crown to loosen the cork assembly (pushing toward the body of the flute, if the head joint were installed in the flute.

Then stick your cleaning rod down there alonside the threaded stud and push the cork assembly out the big end of the head joint. DO NOT TRY TO PUSH THE CORK ASSEMBLY OUT THE SMALL END OF THE HEAD JOINT.

To re-install, drop the cork into the big end, use the cleaning rod to push it into place till the notch on the rod is centered in the embouchure hole, then thread the crown back on and LIGHTLY tighten it.

Why do you want to remove the cork assembly? I go decades without removing mine. You can swab the head joint just fine without removing it; just wad up some of your cleaning cloth and stuff it in there ahead of the rod. (I find that a standard man's white cotton handkerchief is the perfect size and shape for a flute cleaning cloth (for the standard C flute).
 

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If I understand it correctly the cork is so loose that the entire unit turns so the cap can't be unscrewed from threaded rod. If this is the case an "off the top of my head" solution would be to find a wooden dowel that just fits inside the headjoint and then using contact cement or some other adhesive, glue a piece of rubber sheet to the end and when dry, trim it to a circle shape on the end. Insert the rubber end of the dowel into the headjoint and hold it firmly against the "front plate" to prevent it from turning as you turn the crown to unscrew it from the threaded rod.
 

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New cork, don't want leaks there.
A BIG +1. The headjoint cork has simply compressed and NEEDS TO BE REPLACED, period. Doing anything else will be akin to putting a band-aid on a severed artery. There's been a lot of talk here on the forum lately about neck tenon fit on saxophones. Headjoint corks on flutes are just as, if not more important. Take it to a tech and have it replaced. Doesn't take long at all. I will say that IF you choose to extract the cork (don't know why you would) do NOT pull it out of the top of the headjoint (where the end cap is). A flute headjoint is tapered. When the new cork is inserted, it's put in from the "bottom-up" and should also go out that way.
Hope that helps!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
If I understand it correctly the cork is so loose that the entire unit turns so the cap can't be unscrewed from threaded rod. If this is the case an "off the top of my head" solution would be to find a wooden dowel that just fits inside the headjoint and then using contact cement or some other adhesive, glue a piece of rubber sheet to the end and when dry, trim it to a circle shape on the end. Insert the rubber end of the dowel into the headjoint and hold it firmly against the "front plate" to prevent it from turning as you turn the crown to unscrew it from the threaded rod.
exactly that is the problem thanks
 

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This usually works:

By pulling on the crown, or by pushing from the lower end of the head with a dowel, displace the cork a few mm further from the embouchure hole.
That will make the cork tighter in the tube, and make more friction between the cork and the end-plate which will help you.
Now, while pulling outwards on the crown (to maintain that end-plate friction) unscrew the crown.

If that does not work try heating the crown to soften any corrosion or thread locker that may have been used there, and repeat the unscrewing attempt, preferably while still hot.
(Not too hot or you could melt soldering inside the crown of some models - not sure with Yamaha.)

If that still does not work, then displace the cork even further from the embouchure hole. Eventually either the whole assembly will come out the top end of the tube or the nut-washer at the top end of the cork will jam inside the tube, enabling one to apply even more friction as described above.
However be very careful doing this last process with a sterling silver head or any other that is likely to have soft metal. The not-washer may stretch the tube locally to a wider wider diameter - most unsightly and pretty much impossible to correct.
 

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This usually works:

By pulling on the crown, or by pushing from the lower end of the head with a dowel, displace the cork a few mm further from the embouchure hole.
That will make the cork tighter in the tube, and make more friction between the cork and the end-plate which will help you.
Now, while pulling outwards on the crown (to maintain that end-plate friction) unscrew the crown.

If that does not work try heating the crown to soften any corrosion or thread locker that may have been used there, and repeat the unscrewing attempt, preferably while still hot.
(Not too hot or you could melt soldering inside the crown of some models - not sure with Yamaha.)

If that still does not work, then displace the cork even further from the embouchure hole. Eventually either the whole assembly will come out the top end of the tube or the nut-washer at the top end of the cork will jam inside the tube, enabling one to apply even more friction as described above.
However be very careful doing this last process with a sterling silver head or any other that is likely to have soft metal. The not-washer may stretch the tube locally to a wider wider diameter - most unsightly and pretty much impossible to correct.
Ouch! I have replaced a head cork, but never again. The symmetrical sanding is a pain, worse than the cork on a sax neck.
 

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Ouch! I have replaced a head cork, but never again. The symmetrical sanding is a pain, worse than the cork on a sax neck.
In the shop sanding the head cork is typically done by carefully chucking the screw in the bench motor, and holding an "emery board" against the spinning cork. If one doesn't have access to a bench motor, and electric drill held in a vice is a workable substitute.
 

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In the shop sanding the head cork is typically done by carefully chucking the screw in the bench motor, and holding an "emery board" against the spinning cork. If one doesn't have access to a bench motor, and electric drill held in a vice is a workable substitute.
Makes sense.
I still will have it done if needed, probably not for years since all my flutes were overhauled fairly recently.
I'm thinking of selling my Altus.
 

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Flute head corks can be quite tight. And this is highly desirable on a flute played by anybody who fiddles with the crown.
I have a choice of 2 diameters. I seldom sand.
If it too tight to get in, I give it a trace of grease.

I do not subscribe to the notion that a tight fitting cork somehow dampens vibrations, affecting the sound.
No, the sound is made by a vibrating air column and any acoustic "coupling" with metal or cork parts of the flute is so minute (as scientifically measured) as to be inaudible to the human ear.
Many discussions and presentation of evidence elsewhere in this forum.
 

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Flute head corks can be quite tight. And this is highly desirable on a flute played by anybody who fiddles with the crown.
I have a choice of 2 diameters. I seldom sand.
If it too tight to get in, I give it a trace of grease.

I do not subscribe to the notion that a tight fitting cork somehow dampens vibrations, affecting the sound.
No, the sound is made by a vibrating air column and any acoustic "coupling" with metal or cork parts of the flute is so minute (as scientifically measured) as to be inaudible to the human ear.
Many discussions and presentation of evidence elsewhere in this forum.
If one can move the cork by mistake it's too loose.
 

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I do not subscribe to the notion that a tight fitting cork somehow dampens vibrations, affecting the sound.
No, the sound is made by a vibrating air column and any acoustic "coupling" with metal or cork parts of the flute is so minute (as scientifically measured) as to be inaudible to the human ear.
Many discussions and presentation of evidence elsewhere in this forum.
But-but-but..

I paid all this money for a special crown with a special semi-precious stone inlaid, because it was supposed to give me a sparkly tone. Surely the person who sold it to me at an enormous profit couldn't possibly have been stretching the truth!

There's a particular flute dealer that I generally respect highly, but who participates in that nonsense, which makes me conflicted about continuing to patronize that shop.
 

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He's selling them what they want. If he doesn't sell them someone else will.
The problem I have is the writing of specious claims as if one believes them.

If I go to a flute dealer and ask about the differences between Miyazawa and Muramatsu, or two different headjoint cuts for example, I'm hoping to get some kind of honest answer. How can I ever trust the honesty of someone who will turn around and claim that

"each material of which the flute crown is made vibrates at a different rate and thus affects the sound; one may want to switch crowns when playing with different groups..."

???

[I didn't quote directly due to possible copyright; believe me the actual language is even more extreme than my paraphrase]
 

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The problem I have is the writing of specious claims as if one believes them.

If I go to a flute dealer and ask about the differences between Miyazawa and Muramatsu, or two different headjoint cuts for example, I'm hoping to get some kind of honest answer. How can I ever trust the honesty of someone who will turn around and claim that

"each material of which the flute crown is made vibrates at a different rate and thus affects the sound; one may want to switch crowns when playing with different groups..."

???

[I didn't quote directly due to possible copyright; believe me the actual language is even more extreme than my paraphrase]
Medieval mentality.
Superstitions.
As I wrote in another thread;
I tried 6 heads made by Dana Sheridan from various material combinations and they sounded virtually identical to me, a tribute to his consistency.
I picked the least expensive, all silver and bought it from him at the flute convention.
He sized it for me there no charge.
 

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So you are why he did not have one of the basic ones for me to buy. Grr. I had to buy one with a gold riser, which i regard as making zero difference.
 
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