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Discussion Starter #1
w00t !!! Just did my first repair/restore/repad ever.

I got this from another Sax on the Web member recently:


And turned it into this:


Took out the old pads and put a new set in with hot glue (my apologies to the real teche's out there), added new cork to some keys from pieces I cut off some wine bottle corks (new ones, not used), seated the pads with a small torch, replaced a bad screw and oiled them all.

While it was apart, I polished the silver and for a grand total of $60 I have a decent playing metal clarinet.

A few pads aren't 100% perfectly seated yet but I'll retry later.

I plays good through at least 3 octaves but is just a bit stuffy in the 2nd octave B and C.

It was fun and I now have my own clarinet I don't share with my daughter.

I'm saving for a Bari sax now so a new clarinet won't happen for a long time.
 

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That looks pretty swish! The stuffy B and C will be due to leaks, but once you sort the leaky pads out it should play effortlessly.

Even with a general service I'll polish up the keywork so the customer can see the difference in their clarinet before they even play it.
 

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Nice cosmetics. I love to restore old silver instruments as well. You might want to take your repair to the next level and check each pad with a feeler gauge. You can glue a long thin strip of cigarette paper (1 1/4" x 1/8") to a wooden match stick with the head removed to make one. Feel the tightness of the pad against the tone hole by pulling the paper strip out of the tonehole at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o'clock. On the spring closed pads use the pressure of the spring. On the open keys use a light touch to close the pad when you check it. If you find a heavy area that closes first, carefully reheat the keycup slightly and gently press that area up into the cup with a small flat blade. This technique takes some practice, but will eliminate any leaks you might have.

To adjust the "crows foot" where the low E also closes the low F ( B also closes the C) try to get the same feel on both pads when just the R.H. E (B) key is pressed. If the crows foot needs to come up, hold the F pad down with your finger and lift up on the F touchpiece. If the crowsfoot needs to come down put your flat blade between the F pad and the tonehole and press down on the touchpiece.

The only other key bending regulation on the clarinet is the linking mechanism between the joints. When the first ring on the lower stack is pressed it must close the attached pad and also the small (bis) key on the upper stack. With smooth flat jawed pliers, bend the arm extending down from the upper stack up or down to adjust this regulation checking each pad with your feeler for the same drag. Tighten or loosen the small adjusting screw on the Ab key so that there is a tiny bit of play (lost motion) before the A key touches this when pressed and you are done.

If you know or have done any of this already, I am not being condescending, just trying to be helpful. Good luck.

John
 

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jbtsax said:
(...) feeler gauge. You can glue a long thin strip of cigarette paper (1 1/4" x 1/8") to a wooden match stick with the head removed to make one.
Instead of removing the match's head, I'd simply use the other end. ;)
And if you've run out of cigarette paper, a bit of cassette tape works - IMHO - even better.

(I'm not in any other way commenting on John's really helpful advice.)

FWIW, here's my chromed Swiss Army Horn. I only use it for special occasions (such as bday gigs with dah band) and promptly get questioned about my slim soprano sax. :D
 

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tictactux said:
Instead of removing the match's head, I'd simply use the other end. ;) And if you've run out of cigarette paper, a bit of cassette tape works - IMHO - even better.
I remove the match head so I don' make an ash of myself. :)
tictactux said:
FWIW, here's my chromed Swiss Army Horn.
Isn't that the model that comes with the screwdriver, bottle opener, and miniature pliers? Those Swiss think of everything. ;)
 

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For feeler gauges I just cut the cigarette paper into a long triangle with a 2mm wide tip, and hold it at the wide end.
 

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tictactux said:
Instead of removing the match's head, I'd simply use the other end. ;)
And if you've run out of cigarette paper, a bit of cassette tape works - IMHO - even better.
I prefer cigarette papers, or as we call them, rolling papers. Not that they are better, but mostly because I have so many of them from when... hmm... nevermind.... ;) :D
 

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jbtsax said:
Isn't that the model that comes with the screwdriver, bottle opener, and miniature pliers? Those Swiss think of everything. ;)
No, that specimen only serves three purposes - making music, frightening the enemies, and if that doesn't work, whacking 'em. :)
(they abandoned that project, however, and are now issuing plain ole Greenline Buffets...)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Good tips - I'll keep them in mind.

Everyone I know in my local area really hate these metal clarinets.
I'm not sure if one of these metal beasts attacked and killed a local musician but it sure feels that way around here.

I'll be sure to grab up any I find around here.

Working with cork has been a real learning experience as it doesn't seem to cooperate with my exacto knife.
 

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BobbyC said:
Everyone I know in my local area really hate these metal clarinets.
I wonder why this is - can't be the sound alone, as hardly anyone would be able to tell a metal from a wood or a hard rubber horn (of the same category, that is). ???
 

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The pinnacle of metal clarinets (in my opinion) is probably an old Selmer metal full Boehm - I haven't seen one in person (but have seen them listed on eBay), though I like the idea.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Given the choice of a really cheap Chinese Selman or Band Now plastic clarinet, I bet I came out way ahead with this old Pan American metal one.
 

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Yes you have - I overhauled a silver-plated Conn Cavalier clarinet over 10 years ago and it played like a beauty - but it just ended up being put permanently on display in a cabinet in the music shop I worked in at the time as the shop owner didn't want to sell it, so it just became very dusty and tarnished over time. Last time I saw it, it was languishing on a shelf in it's case hidden away out of sight in another part of the shop.

A sorry state of affairs for such an instrument that, just like your Pan Am, should be being played and enjoyed by the player as it had a nice rich, full tone - and the workmanship is typical Conn (very utilitarian, but built to last) and grub screws through the pillars locking the point screws in place.

Look after your Pan Am, and it'll look after you.
 

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tictactux said:
I wonder why this is - can't be the sound alone, as hardly anyone would be able to tell a metal from a wood or a hard rubber horn (of the same category, that is). ???
On at least some models, it may be to do with poor alignment of key cups with tone holes, such that the pad is not concentric with the tone hole, combined with key cups that could do with a bit more diameter for a slightly larger pad.

It could also be to do with the way soldering of tone holes tends to fail. Rather a hassle for both diagnosis and correction.
 
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