Replacing Flute Head Cork

Step 1
Remove Old Flute Head Cork

Remove the crown, exposing the mounting screw.  Using an old drumstick or dowel (with a hole drilled in the end to allow the screw to fit inside) gently force the mounting assembly and old flute head cork back through the flute head joint.  Don’t force the flute head cork through the crown end.

Once you have removed the flute head cork mounting assembly, take note of the length of the original flute head cork.  Then unscrew the retaining washer.  Remove the old flute head cork.  Sometimes it will come out easily, but sometimes it must be “carved” out with a knife or screwdriver. 

Removing the old flute head cork

Step 2
Thoroughly Clean the Flute Head Cork Assembly and Measure New Flute Head Cork.

Clean the flute head cork assembly thoroughly and be sure to remove as much of the old cork as possible.  Once you have removed all of the old flute head cork, clean the assembly with rubbing alcohol to prepare it for step 3.  Measure the length of the new flute head cork and compare it with the length of the original flute head cork.  This does not have to be exact, just close (within .25”.  Trim the replacement flute head cork with a razor, if necessary.

Step 3
Apply Contact Cement

Apply contact cement to one end of the replacement flute head cork and the end of the mounting assembly where it will meet the replacement flute head cork.  Allow to dry for about ten minutes.  Do not apply contact adhesive to the retaining washer.

Applying contact cement to the mounting assemblyApplying contact cement to one end of the replace flute head cork

Step 4
Install New Flute Head Cork

Install the replacement flute head cork on the mounting assembly.  Be sure to take note of the areas that have contact cement applied.  The new flute head cork must usually be screwed on.  Move slowly and be sure to keep the flute head cork straight.  Replace the retaining washer.

Installing the new flute head cork on the mounting assembly

Step 5
Insert New flute head Cork Into the Flute Head

Apply a liberal amount of cork grease to the replacement flute head cork and insert the mounting assembly into the flute head.  Be sure you insert the assembly through the bottom of the head joint (opposite the crown and mouth opening area).  Make sure the screw is facing toward the crown area.  Using the drumstick or dowel, tap the assembly until the screw is almost to the end of the crown side.  Be extremely careful to avoid hitting the flute head joint, which would cause extreme damage to the flute head joint.  Replace the crown loosely and move to step 6.

Inserting the new flute head cork

Step 6
Adjust the Position of the New Flute Head Cork

The cleaning rod supplied with most flutes has a mark near the end that is used to position the flute head cork.  Insert the rod through the bottom of the flute head joint and look through hole in the lip plate.  The mark on the cleaning rod needs to be in the middle of the hole.  Adjust the crown as necessary by turning it. 

Checking the head cork locationFlute cleaning rod