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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have this Brilhart Ebolin 3* mouthpiece that has a crack in it. Can it be saved? Should it be saved? Based on the serial I’m guessing it was was made sometime between 1954-1966. Looks like someone tried to glue it (poorly) at some point. It’s a cool piece and I’d like to see if it can be repaired. If you think it can or should any recommendations? Thanks!
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It might be saved to a degree by banding or wrapping the shank to reinforce it. Glue, alone, won’t cut it. The way that crack extends into the table is worrisome, however. Unless you have an emotional attachment to it, I would throw it away.
 

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I concur with Ed's assessment. If it was just the shank that was cracked, it would be worth banding it but since it extends through the table, I would not bother saving it (unless you are sentimentally attached to it).
 

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you, or someone else, could learn a lot by an attempted salvation. My advise would be - by whatever means necessary - remove all of the old glue. Then get yourself a rotary bur and grind a groove along the length of the crack both inside and out. Get yourself some JB Weld. Apply enough pressure to close the crack and fill the groove you created with the JB Weld and allow to fully cure. IF you know anybody with a lathe ask them to machine you a tight-fit collar for the shank and glue this in place. Sand the table flat, measure the bore of the Brillart and if necessary sand down the neck cork so the fit is comfortable and not so tight as to stress the shank. Good luck. If it works great, if not you'll have developed some new skills.

One thing to consider the crack opening. Trying to close this (suggested) is going to place a stress upon the plastic and it is this stress that needs the collar / metal band.
 

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Well it’s already got 1 foot in the trash bin. And I was about to type exactly what is mentioned above. No better way to learn than an already almost dead part.
Although I don’t think I would use a power tool to clean the crack. Maybe a jeweler saw. Depends on your experience working small pieces with a Dremel/Moto tool. @Hassles and I are both tool guys.
It needs to be open enough to get adhesive in. you also need to get any of the old adhesive out of the joint. My take on using a saw would also leave a rougher surface. That could better for bonding. JB Weld has good bulk/ body to fill the joint. In my experience I have seen it shrink some. Not sure if I would tape over the joint on the inside or on the table when filled. Then put a little extra on the opposite side. Lay flat & let shrink/cure then hand finish.
I’ve also had some luck gluing a split in half HR clarinet mouthpiece with E 6000. I dropped it on the floor and it broke right in half across the table. I picked it up went to the bench and put some E 6000 on it. wrapped it with a rubber band. Two weeks later I tried like heck to break it in half by hand. It wouldn’t come apart. This is a completely different scenario. Also I don’t think mouth exposure on these glues is an issue. Although something to think about.
Absolutely needs a metal band on the shank. I’m not insecure about the glue performing. It’s just added insurance. If it breaks again it’s toast.

If you don’t want to attempt this send it to me. No guarantees but I’ll give it my best work.
 

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You can make a metal sleeve out of a piece of brass tubing. If too small, belt sand the shank to fit. If large, use epoxy to fill the gap. I also use 2mm metal rings to band the end instead of a full sleeve. Size 12.5 on Amazon. They come from China. But I usually use the longer sleeve for long cracks like this. I do not worry about grooving and filling the crack. It won’t leak after sleeving.

 

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My suggestions (posted above) using a rotary bur to groove the crack was purely to provide a greater surface area for the adhesive, in this case JB Weld, to bond to which would created a greater / stronger bond between the two materials. IF I were to find myself repairing this "I" would also drill a tiny hole through the table at the end of the crack. The purpose of this tiny hole would be to prevent further migration of the crack eg: to prevent it spreading. The hole, like the groove and crack itself, would be filled with the bonding material (JB Weld). Once everyrhing was FULLY-CURED the table could sanded to restore its integrity and the sleeve / end-cap fabricated and attached. Mojo's post above offers some great advice.
 
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I have sealed some cracked brilharts by tightly wrapping the shank with very thin metal wire multiple times and coating the whole wrap with duco cement, like you use on the wrap of bassoon reeds. Even ones with cracks up onto the table
hmm, interesting - thanks for sharing.
 
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Bari: Yamaha YBS-62, Alto:1931 Martin Handcraft
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for all the tips! I think I’m going to try and tackle it myself when I get a chance and I’ll post an update.
 

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hmm, interesting - thanks for sharing.
Hmm, yeah a good wrap of thin armature wire bonded with epoxy would work. If the crack is big I would probably go with the JB weld. It cures hard unlike E6000. JB contains BPA but you’re not really in direct contact. Still JB is labeled as non-toxic. E6000 ?
@MojoBari I can see just squishing the crack back together. Then securing with a ring/band. Although it looks like the previous repair attempt may have left glue in the joint. It may not completely close up would be my concern. Then the ID could be fat to the cork. I don’t see leaks as a problem anywhere.
 

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My suggestions (posted above) using a rotary bur to groove the crack was purely to provide a greater surface area for the adhesive, in this case JB Weld, to bond to which would created a greater / stronger bond between the two materials. IF I were to find myself repairing this "I" would also drill a tiny hole through the table at the end of the crack. The purpose of this tiny hole would be to prevent further migration of the crack eg: to prevent it spreading. The hole, like the groove and crack itself, would be filled with the bonding material (JB Weld). Once everyrhing was FULLY-CURED the table could sanded to restore its integrity and the sleeve / end-cap fabricated and attached. Mojo's post above offers some great advice.
I would do it this way if I thought the crack would keep progressing. But once the shank is banded or sleeved, the crack stays where it is and does not grow or leak.
 

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Hmm, yeah a good wrap of thin armature wire bonded with epoxy would work. If the crack is big I would probably go with the JB weld. It cures hard unlike E6000. JB contains BPA but you’re not really in direct contact. Still JB is labeled as non-toxic. E6000 ?
@MojoBari I can see just squishing the crack back together. Then securing with a ring/band. Although it looks like the previous repair attempt may have left glue in the joint. It may not completely close up would be my concern. Then the ID could be fat to the cork. I don’t see leaks as a problem anywhere.
There is no way I know to get old glue out of the joint. Just clean it off the surface and band/sleeve it. Then pressure test it if you want. Put your hand over the end and eat the beak to blow through the window. Or do a reed pop test if you believe that is important. I would just play test it.
 

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Actually, if you use a fine jeweler's saw blade and cut carefully along the crack, you'll end up with clean surfaces, mostly free of the previous mystery glue; but with a gap that has to be filled.

Honestly, with the well documented as-molded taper in the ID of Brilhart mouthpieces, there's no way ANY adhesive in the crack will withstand the tremendous hoop stress caused by pushing a brittle plastic mouthpiece, with a 2 degree (more or less) draft on its ID, onto a cylindrical cork. No matter what you do, no adhesive will ever be able to do anything in this location than sealing the crack. Mechanical strength will have to be provided by a band on the shank; and then the ID needs to be reamed to a cylindrical form to reduce the hoop stress.

Consider this: if you are somehow magically successful at getting the crack mechanically held together with some super-adhesive, the brittle mouthpiece material will just crack in another location unless the hoop stress that causes it to fail is reduced (reaming the ID) and/or additional mechanical support is provided (a band on the shank).

For me, tightly wrapping small diameter strong wire around the shank and securing it from loosening with a coating, is a good solution to providing the aforementioned mechanical support. I've done that with another cracked plastic piece (not a Brilhart) and whereas I could previously see the crack opening as I pushed the piece on the cork, now I can't.
 
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