Voicing: New Plugs

Recorder plugs can be damaged and require replacement. Damage may occur a number of ways. Occasionally the wood splits or splinters leaving the surface scarred. Sometimes a heavy build-up of mold can penetrate the wood and cause damage which cannot be removed without taking the plug dimensions beyond optimum parameters. Sometimes the plug shrinks, or, more likely, has been previously adjusted too low. Inserting foreign objects in the windway, such as blotting paper, can change the shape and dimensions, or dig in and cause the same kind of damage a split or splinter does. And some plugs from the 1970s were made with a ceramic insert which can chip or fracture from the pressure exerted by the sides of the windway on the ceramic.

All of these conditions may require that a new plug be fitted to the instrument. This involves purchasing or building a plug, fitting the plug in the instrument, voicing it, and carving the beak to match the instrument.

If I can use a ready-made plug this is a relatively simple operation and I charge a flat rate for this service. If I have to hand build a plug, this can take several hours and I charge by time.