Flute Care and Maintenance

Flute care

Once your flute arrives there is a little amount of maintenance you will need to do. The flute will need to be played and does require time to break in. Its important to not over play the flute or else it can cause tonal problems. Moisture from your breath sits in the SAC (Slow Air Chamber, which is the small chamber near the blow hole) which can cause “wet out” and could eventually cause the flute to split in serious but rare circumstances. If moisture is building up its time to reseal the flute. Since wood is an organic material, moisture will want to create expansion. Also keep your playing time to 45min to 1 hour a day to avoid excessive moisture build up.

 Flute Anatomy 

Anatomy of the Native American Flute

Resealing the flute:

I would recommend doing this a couple times a year if you are playing frequently. However if you play less often I would recommend doing it once a year. There are multiple times of oils and sealers. I use Shellac, but you can also use Tung Oil or Walnut Oil. I use Shellac because it is fast drying

  1. Remove the bird from the top of the flute by untying the leather.
  2. Once removed take a small amount of sealer and poor it into the small air chamber (Chamber closest to the breathing hole).
  3. Keep a finger over the blow hole to prevent sealer from spilling out! You only need a small amount to just coat the chamber and the blow hole channel.
  4. Rotate the flute around to make sure the entire chamber is covered.
  5. Allow for it to dry and apply another coat.
  6. Last apply a small amount of sealer to the ramp leading to the splitting edge).


Applying wax finish to flute body

The outside of the flute will eventually become thirsty and want to be rehydrated. You can use multiple finishes. I use Odies Oil then apply a natural wood wax to the outer. This helps protect the flute and hydrates the outer.

  1. Remove Bird from the top of the flute.
  2. Apply wood wax to the outer
  3. Avoid applying wax on the nest where the bird sits. You do not want to get wax in the air chamber hole
  4. Once wax is applied, allow at least 2 hours of cure time
  5. Wipe the wax off with a paper towel
  6. Make sure to remove wax build up in the finger holes.