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When is a pad "Bad"

1142 Views 9 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Jazz Is All
This is mostly a follow up to my other thread about overhaul/repad frequency.

It seems like many leave sealing pads alone. This begs the question, and I open this one to fellow techs for their opinion alike, when is a pad considered bad?

There are the obvious optical reasons as when the skin is ripped exposing the felt beneath, however thought about the pad that has hardened felt and is rock hard as a result. At a NAPBIRT clinic, repair guru Ed Kraus was talking about hard pads on a clarinet, and he had his Mag machine on it, and set it down. That bump in motion caused a momentary leak. Softer pads didn't do that. Stack keys when they close can make that bump and cause a closed, hardened pad to momentary leak.


Personally I feel a fresher pad is for forgiving and allow for small imperfections, but thats just me. I don't want pillows for pads, nor do i want steel. Just a nice firm, fresh pad. Even on closed holes.
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For me, there are a few reason's I'll either change or leave a pad.
1. If the pad is full of crusty....."stuff".....and I can get the majority of it off with Naptha, etc, AND it still seals AND it's not rock hard, I'll leave it.
2. If there's a leak and I can successfully re-float the pad to attain a good seal, I'll leave it.
3. Even if the pad looks good but re-floating fails, I replace. For me, the biggest reason re-floating fails is because (I find this out after I remove the pad) there is honestly little to no shellac or hot glue in the pad cup. How that pad even was staying in the cup sometimes surprises me.

I agree with Jaye that it can also be up to a customer if they desire the same "feel" throughout the horn. Older pads that have hardened a tad mixed with new pads that definitely have a different feel/pop sometimes doesn't matter to a customer. Sometimes it does.
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