Knock Your Block Out

No photo for this one. My maple Moeck Rottenburgh Alto recorder (which I bought in, let’s see, around 1987?) was clogging and getting stuffy-sounding, so it was time for a cleaning. It’s old and stable enough that a full revoicing wouldn’t do much, I think, and really ought to be replaced.

I popped out the cedar block (with a drumstick) and gently scrubbed with a damp toothbrush, like I was told to do. Noticed a greyish tint on the upper surface of the windway, and what felt like longitudinal ridges which I figure was caused by the grain of the wood absorbing moisture at different rates.

So I sanded it.

It’s not a drastic as it sounds. I used 320, 400, and 600 grit on a NWSL sanding stick. Didn’t completely remove the ridges, but smoothed them out a bit. It seems to play fine. I don’t recommend trying this at home, unless you’re prepared to accept the consequences. (I made a soprano recorder once, and while it isn’t great, I’m not totally ashamed of it. Hey, where’s the link to it? Darn Rhesus monkeys, getting into everything…)