The key to good renovation is accuracy

Over the years Chris has built up a large database of information about old flutes and especially those made by messrs. "Rudall and Rose". He can measure bores at any point in their length down to .01mm and has stored this information together with sound files in databases. Using shadowgraphs and measuring microscopes he has recorded information regarding key shapes and sizes, threads, and all manner of items for all periods of production of the firm of "Rudall and Rose" as well as information on some other important historic flutes. This information enables him to reproduce keys, blocks and even the pin positions on blocks as well as most other important particulars should the need arise.

Chris's shadowgraph.

This device allows parts to be projected onto a screen either 10 or 50 times full size.  Tracings of the parts can be made and then later used as comparisons for new keys/items. Alternatively the tracings can be used with a  pantograph to actually cut out the 2D shape.

Shadowgraph being used to measure exact pin position before block replacement.


Over the years Chris has built up and constructed many jigs and fixtures specific to flute repair.

Early 19th century walking stick flute repair.

Repair example 1

A very early Rudall and Rose boxwood barrel in "tired" condition.

It was decided to remove all of the wood from the inside of the barrel leaving just a thin veneer that new but well seasoned boxwood would be attached to. 

The new inner wood is turned down very accurately allowing it to cool between cuts to maintain accuracy

The new boxwood insert is glued in place. Note that it is made so that new wood wraps completely around the bottom.

Finished repair after making a new ring and top tube then finally, staining.

Repair example 2

Here a Rudall Carte Boehm flute has been badly damaged.

A tricky repair because of the thin nature of the body and tenon. It was decided to machine out the broken area with a bevelled top that would provide support for a new cocus wood section . Carbon fibre was then laid around the tenon using a form mould. 

Here the gap is being machined out ready to accept its bevel.

New Cocus wood insert securely attached. Next, the tone hole was machined flat to allow the attachment of a circular piece of cocus wood.  Later, a new pad socket was formed from this using a custom made cutter.

Machining the key seat.

Finished repair after staining.

Repair Example 3

With this flute the Pewter plugs had deteriorated very badly. The screws were in bad condition as were the plates which showed signs of buffing-so spoiling the seatings. Boxwood flutes can suffer from rusting screws, which if not dealt with, can cause the flute to split. For that reason as well as their poor condition, a complete set of new screws were made. The few intact original screws were measured using the Zeiss microscope shown at the front of this section. From the observations taken, an exact copy of the original screws could be made, which turned out to be of Holtzapffel thread form.

The plates once off, were flattened, refinished and new seats machined into them. The keys were reworked and new pewter plugs made.

The finished section with blued screws , as if it had just left the factory.