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I am thinking of repairing clarinets as well as saxes. I don't know much about them other than I played one years ago. What are the typical things that need fixing on clarinets? ...... maybe flutes next :cool:
 

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I'd guess the same things as saxes need fixin' - pads, corks, key action. Maybe the odd crack in the body, means you need some basic understanding of how wood works (it can't be soldered, for example).
Best bet is to buy a 10$ clunker off That Auction Site and give it a whirl. Then you can decide whether you like doing such stuff (every job should also be about fun, shouldn't it?).

<daydreams of a beaten-up sax to tinker with>
 

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crashkahuna said:
I am thinking of repairing clarinets as well as saxes.
If you can pad a sax, a clarinet shouldn't be too much trouble, just remember there's a couple of places where you DO need double action and you'll be OK.

Hey, maybe you should start off with a metal one - harder to burn should your flame wander. :D
 

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Seeing you ask:

Keep an eye out for posts that are loose in their mounting in the timber.

Check for timber that is rough or chipped at tone hole edges where it matters.

On some clarinets tone holes are glued-in inserts. Sometimes the gluing is poor and leaks air.

Watch out for tone holes that are partially blocked across the bottom, with a build-up of lint.

For G#/D# key, when it is being mounted to the body, it needs to be displaced in the direction of the tip of the spring, then the spring hooked into the cradle, BEFORE the key is returned to the post and the hinge rod inserted. Otherwise the spring will usually be too weak. Likewise for many models, the F#/C# key and C#/G# keys.

A rounded-edge, decapitated-cone ("frustum") shaped cork pad is often very beneficial for the register key in order for the throat Bb not to sound fuzzy.

Other notes sound fuzzy if there is insufficient venting, especially the 3 ring keys, side Eb/Bb, alt B/F#, and more especially C#/G#.

I think Stitch referred to the minute movement necessary for the throat A key before it operates the throat G# key.

For the novice, the vitally precise adjustment of F/C and E/B pad sealing and linkage can be challenging.

Watch for friction in the way the throat A spring operates. It can prevent reliable closure of the key, with no visible clues. The spring can eat into the timber, such that the tip of the spring pushes against a constricting "wall" at the end of the worn channel.
 

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Thanks Gordon for the excellent mini-lesson on clarinet repair. That is even a good check list for experienced techs to follow.

For me the basic skill in learning to repair and repad clarinets was the use of the feeler gauge instead of a leak light. The feeler gauge I prefer has a woodern matchstick with the head removed as the "handle". You separate the wood on one end with a razor blade about 1/4" and keep it open by inserting a needle spring. Then you take your material---cigarette paper, casette tape leader, plastic feeler material (J.L. Smith) and cut it into strips 1/8" wide and about 2" long. Place a drop of superglue in the opened groove of the matchstick, put your material in between the two halves of the wood, remove the needle and press together firmly with flatnosed pliers for several seconds. I make about 6 at a time when I make them so there is always one handy. You can buy feeler material holders already made if you like. I prefer the lightness and feel of the matchstick because it is the way I was taught. As your skill improves you will find a length, width and thickness of material that works the best for you. It took me about 4 weeks of doing clarinets 8 hours a day to start to feel adept at using the feeler gauge, so don't be discouraged if it feels awkward at first.
 
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