Carbon Fiber Slide for chitravenu

Ideas and innovations in Indian classical music
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uday_shankar
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#1 Carbon Fiber Slide for chitravenu

Post by uday_shankar » 26 Jul 2018, 13:35

Some experiments, which I had meant to do years ago, received a boost from forumite vayoo_flute's posts on carbon fiber flutes ...

Meant to post this link a couple months earlier but let it lapse..

In spite of the appearance that it seems to "work", it is not smooth enough and has very poor dynamic properties. The slip stick action is unmanageable with my current concoction of lubricants/sealants. But it has a nicer, warmer tone for sure... The lightness of it makes a difference.

Take a listen:

https://www.facebook.com/uday.shankar.9 ... 118688710/
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Vayoo Flute
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#2 Re: Carbon Fiber Slide for chitravenu

Post by Vayoo Flute » 27 Jul 2018, 03:18

Carbon fiber would definitely not be smooth enough to work as a slide, as it is fundamentally layers of carbon strands held together with epoxy-like material. I doubt that the dynamic range has anything to do with the carbon fiber slide as my carbon fiber flutes have an excellent dynamic range, one of the stronger points. In your case it probably has to do more with the lack of tightness of the slide.
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uday_shankar
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#3 Re: Carbon Fiber Slide for chitravenu

Post by uday_shankar » 26 Aug 2018, 19:08

Vayoo Flute wrote:
27 Jul 2018, 03:18
Carbon fiber would definitely not be smooth enough to work as a slide, as it is fundamentally layers of carbon strands held together with epoxy-like material.
Well not so fast ! There are a lot of youtube videos on how to polish carbon fiber, mainly in the context of automobile parts. Admittedly they are all molded carbon fiber, while the flat rectagular rods I use are pultruded. However, the epoxy is pretty much the same, so the same type of polishing works. I've used plastic polish grades 3 to 1 with some success. What it lacks in smoothness it compensates by the featherweight. That's a dream come true.

The bigger problem is the slight bowing in a 28 inch segment (that's the length of a chitravenu slide) of pultruded carbon fiber rod. So I'm testing if the bowing can be corrected by keeping the parts pressed between two flat surfaces for some length of time. Accordingly, I have a few slighty bowed slides sandwiched between two flat surfaces and with some weight added on top, sitting in my garage.

For flat surface, nothing works as good as a thick mirror (10mm). My bowed slides are sandiwched between two St. Gobain 3 ft X 3 ft X 10mm mirrrors set on a flat table. In machine shops, they have expensive polished granite flat tables to test out flatness of parts but a couple of thick mirrors stacked one on top of the other works admirably well for a fraction of the price (the granite slab table costs upward of Rs. 25000 whereas the two mirrors together cost about Rs. 1000).

The corresponding plain glass of the same thickness 10mm, is cheaper, but mirrors are made out of better quality float glass because any defects will show up very easily in a mirror as a distorted image. The human eye is extremely acute at picking up even the slightest distortion of one's own face. Therefore only the highest commercial grade of float glass is used to make mirrors.

Keeping my fingers crossed that the sandwiched slides undergo a permanent plastic deformation. The tone of the carbon fiber is very soothing to the player's ears. Apart from all the other advantages in being able to use them:

1) No longer have to treat the slide like a new born baby.. I had to evolve a usage protocol for glass slides, to prevent accidentaly breakage... each glass slide takes hours and hours to prep and can break at the slightest pretext.

2) Light. Really light...
Vayoo Flute wrote:
27 Jul 2018, 03:18
I doubt that the dynamic range has anything to do with the carbon fiber slide as my carbon fiber flutes have an excellent dynamic range
I said dynamic "properties", which is again the problem of sliding. Statically, i.e., when the silde is at a given position it generates a great tone, i.e., excellent static properties. However, since it doesn't slide as smoothly as glass, so the sliding tone suffers a little, i.e., not so great "dynamic" properties.

Watch this space...
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Sivaramakrishnan
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#4 Re: Carbon Fiber Slide for chitravenu

Post by Sivaramakrishnan » 15 Nov 2018, 16:31

Uday,
You must present a lecdem in the coming 'season'.
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