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Questions on plating a flute

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  • Questions on plating a flute

    Hi.. new here, and I figure this is the best place to figure out if my thinking is correct, and if so, how to go about this.

    I'm currently a beginning flute student using an inexpensive nickel plated flute for my lessons. My plan is to use this flute for at least a year before investing the money in a much more expensive intermediate flute. While my beginner flute plays just fine, the thin nickel plating is wearing through on a few of the keys, and showing some oxidation in other places.

    What I would like to do is replate the keys and lip-plate using something like the plug-n-plate gold, since gold would better resist the oxidation and tarnishing elements of the normal skin oils. Based on what I've read on your web page and in these forums so far, this is best done over a consistent base of nickel plating, rather than the brass that the flute is primarily made of. To this end, I'm assuming I would need both the nickel solution to replate the small areas where the original nickel plating has worn off, and then the gold solution to plate over the nickel (and, I'm assuming, separate pads for each element to use on the wand).

    I'm assuming, as well, that using the wand allows sufficient control of application that the flute would not need to be disassembled to do this? Additionally, would the gold plating applied this way hold up well enough to the kind of everyday "handling" that the lip plate and key pads of a flute will endure?

    Thanks for the help, and if I'm "heading in the right direction" with this, I'll be placing an order soon.

  • #2
    You CAN gold plate directly over brass. Plating over a nickel plate tends to give a brighter gold color, while plating over brass gives a richer gold color.

    Gold is very soft, so with constant use of your flute, it will wear away much more quickly than the nickel plate. Put a thicker layer on to make it last longer.

    You wouldn't have to disassemble the flue to plate it.
    Mike Caswell
    Caswell Inc
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