The Flute Ferret

Has your playing gone a bit off recently? Do you think "is it me or is it my flute?"

Chances are that your flute is leaking, but how would you know?

Send in the Flute Ferret!

This will tell you for sure which pads need attention. You can then either fix them yourself or take the flute to a repairer knowing what you want done.

It is well known that most flutes leak slightly around the pads from time to time, reducing focus, resonance and power. Top pros can often compensate with embouchure changes or extra finger pressure, but they shouldn't have to. The problem has always been that those small leaks are very hard to find by traditional methods, if not impossible. Try finding a leak going around the underside of the pad with cigarette paper - it can't be done! And don't forget that an open hole key can leak between finger and key, especially if the skin is rough or damaged, while the pad itself may be perfect!

This simple device is really easy to use and will find the smallest leaks anywhere on your flute. With a bit of practice you can tell not only how serious the leak is but what might be causing it, ie whether the pad is torn or incorrectly seated or even leaking around its underside. Unlike other leak detectors on the market which test only the overall air-tightness of the flute with all keys closed, the Wessel Flute Ferret examines each pad individually. You can even use it to test for perforated tone hole to body soldered joints.

The principle of operation is as follows: a plastic bobbin goes down inside the flute and is pneumatically locked in position under a suspect pad. A tiny air pressure, less than 0.05psi, is then applied, using the mouth, and its decay due to leakage measured with a simple water gauge.

No flute maker or repairer should be without this gadget

  • No other leakage detection method is as reliable, informative and easy to use. Suitable for all metal and wooden flutes with standard bore.
  • Will accommodate small imperfections in bore such as non-circularity and minor dents.
  • Full instructions supplied.

How to buy

Price: including postage to all countries: £106, no VAT (Sales Tax) 

Please contact me to find out approximate delivery time. After you have received my reply come back to this page and press the Buy Now button below to make your secure payment online.

Photo - Ferret

The water gauge should be mounted vertically on a wall. Here you see the bobbin to the left and its inflator syringe on the right.