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Getting the Most out of Springs

1029 Views 9 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Gordon (NZ)
Thorp in The Manual of Woodwind Repair makes the following points.

Springs should curve gently like a the shape of a feather (My image).

The spring should be bent a little further than you might think necessary as it is fairly easy to bend it back a little if necessary when the horn is put together.

Add a drop of oil to the cradle

Spring can be burnished to revive them.
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My point is the question How Do we get the Most out of Springs?

I think it is a decent question though I admit I am asking far too many questions.

Nevertheless, since I raised for discussion the topic of How to Get the Most out of Springs I should follow through with a few quotes from we know by now which book so as to give the reader of this post some food for thought.

On page 14 paragraph 5 Thorp writes ‘Tension the spring by bending it in a smooth curve, toward the side of the key to be lifted by the spring action. This gives an even feel to the key action throughout its travel. When under tension the spring should appear straight. It shouldn’t feel like the spring tension increases as the key is pressed down. Bendling the spring upward slightly, as well as outward, will give it a more positive action and help prevent key bounce.

The technique for curving the spring is describe in the first paragraph at the top of page 15

The spring may be bent by gripping it close to the pillar with a small pair of smooth jaw pliers,applying a twisting pressure and drawing the pliers along the spring, in a straight line towards the opposite pillar and off the far end. This action forms the spring into a gentle curve and can be repeated until the desired curvature is achieved.

At the beginning of the 6 th paragraph on page 14 Thorp offers the following tip.

It is a good idea initially to put slightly more bend in the spring than is necessary, to allow for adjustment when the instrument is assembled.

In paragraph 3 page 15 our author writes.

‘The strength of a spring can be increased by burnishing it. In the case of a round spring, this can be done with narrow smooth faced pliers in much the same way as bending it but using more pressure. Grip the spring firmly at the pillar add a little twisting pressure, draw the pliers along it in a staight line and off the end. Repeat this several times to achieve the desired result. It works well to bring new life into old and tired springs.’

And in the second paragraph on page 15 he writes. ‘A spot of oil or gease on the tip of the spring where it bears on the spring latch will improve its action.’
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Does curling the spring in a curve as Thorp describes add quality to the action of a horn?
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