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Sanding a Beak

1382 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Saxland
I've gotten used to the thin flat beak of my Morgan. I also have 3 Bambers Alto,Tenor,Bari that play well with but I was thinking of sanding the beaks flatter. I do not want to ruin them. Is this ever done by refacers? I've also noticed after fooling around sanding another piece that they polish pretty good with paper. Is that what refacers use for finishing?
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Rarely. I get an occassional request to duckbill an mouthpiece or just make the beak a little smaller. I think it lowers the value of most mouthpieces.

I use files and a 1" wide belt sander. Then I finish with finer and finer grades of sand paper down to 600 grit. Then "0000" steel wool. Sometimes rubbing compound then a mild abrasive polish.

I'm of the opinion that mouthpiece material choice hardly matters. But when hard rubber and Delrin is made thin enough, it does seem to make a difference in the sound. It can get vibrant and in the extreme, edgy.
I've recieved many requests to take down beaks on modern Link pieces to be more like slant or EB pieces, and some to take down Soloist beaks. I usually start with a contoured grinding wheel, then files, then to paper up through 600, then a touch on the buff wheel. Mojo, the belt sander is a good idea, I'll have to try that, I suppose that would make the initial sanding faster and easier.
Ralph had an anecdote he liked to tell from his days at Selmer about arriving at the correct duckbill for clarinet pieces. He had a customer in his office who wanted the beak duckbilled like an old Langenus, I believe, and Ralph started filing. When he was halfway through where it would eventually end up, he stopped and handed it to his customer, who played it and could not get a true tone, but the mouthpiece merely buzzed in pitch. He got it all the way down and the tone of course blossomed.
But then again, I cannot vouch for the veracity of all of Ralph's stories! ;)
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Brian, is it possible to take a modern 1980's Link hard rubber and shape the beak like a modern STM NY Link?
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