Repair Procedures & Charges

“I have known John Lagerquist as an esteemed colleague and as a flute repairman for over 25 years. His expertise as a technician stems from a thorough knowledge of flute mechanics and is coupled with his status as a highly talented flutist and piccoloist with the Washington Opera Orchestra at the John F. Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C.

“Through the years, I have used the Lagerquist Flute Service frequently and recommend it to my students as the repair shop of choice in the area. I am very pleased with the expert craftsmanship as are my students and my professional colleagues. I have only the highest praise for John and Lagerquist Flute Service.”

Thomas Perazzoli (ret.), Assistant Principal Flute,
National Symphony Orchestra, Washington, D.C.

An Overhaul

  • The flute is carefully inspected as it is disassembled
  • Worn key hinges and loose bearings are corrected
  • Ribs and tone holes are checked for solder flaws and repaired as needed
  • The flute is washed in a mild acid-detergent bath and hand polished
  • Tone holes are checked for absolute flatness and proper edge-shape
  • Key-cups are then adjusted over the holes in the proper plane to determine an ideal and uniform amount of pad protrusion
  • Length of spuds on all closed-hole keys and grommets on the open-hole keys is corrected as needed

The flute is now ready for padding. All of these steps are performed regardless of the type of pad used. These steps are absolutely necessary when using Schmidt or Straubinger pads.

  • All corks and felts are replaced(trill and D# corks are usually kept unless they are beyond saving)
  • Springs are replaced as needed
  • Tenon fit is standard, as is a new head-stopper

Time: Averages twelve hours on flutes of recent manufacture. Older flutes often take much more. Piccolos usually take a little less time, but not in all cases.


In some shops, buffing is a standard part of an overhaul, especially at the factory where they have a separate buffing department.

At Lagerquist Flute Service, flutes are not buffed unless absolutely necessary, as in the case of dent or scratch removal or very severe tarnish. It is too easy to damage tone-holes at the buffer, and on older hand-made flutes that are already very thin, further metal removal is not recommended.


This is the minor form of the overhaul.

  • Cleaning and oiling is standard
  • Pads are replaced as needed
  • Other mechanical adjustments, as well as corks and felts, corrected as needed

Time: Usually ranges from two to six hours. Two to three hours is typical.

Clean, Oil, Adjust (COA)

This should be done at least once a year, if you are using the flute constantly; COA should be done more often.

Time: Clean, Oil, Adjust can often be done in an hour.

Typical Charges

Prices range from $800 for C foot flutes with closed holes and adjustment screws to $1,200 and up for French model flutes with B foot, including Schmidt pads.

Price can vary considerably with the age and condition of the instrument. All other procedures are billed at the rate of $80 per hour. These include soldering, dent and scratch removal, bearing adjustment, key swedging, tone hole soldering and refacing, embouchure carving, lip plate or head tube replacement, straight to conical pivot conversion, make new steels, make new head stopper, upgrade antique head stopper, clean oil adjust, and others.

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