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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000524.txt from 1996/04

From: CLARK FOBES <reedman@-----.COM>
Subj: Annual clarinet,cleaning et. al.
Date: Thu, 18 Apr 1996 15:09:06 -0400

Would that most clarinetists were as diligent as Terri!! A few
comments might be in order.

It is very good that you respect your instrument, but one does not
need to be quite so gentle. Sometimes goo gets very built up in the
upper most tone holes. Cleaning after a good playing is an excellent
idea, because all that stuff is soft. I find that a doubled over pipe
cleaner works better than a q-tip. If the grunge is really in there you
may need to wet the pipe cleaner. Often the pipe cleaners with a slight
bristle will work extremeley well. Occasionally I see stuff so built up
that I must use a small tool like the end of a spring hook to scrape
out the build up. THIS must be done carefully and preferably with a
leak light so you can see what you are doing.

I have found an excellent method for cleaning the bodies.
First use a soft paint brush (at least 1") and brush off the entire
body, including tone holes. Next apply a liberal amount of NAYLOR'S
organic bore oil. I use a pipe cleaner to paint this on. Use another
soft paint brush and brush the body vigorously. This gets the oil well
into the tone hole chimneys and around the posts. Let this sit for a
few minutes to loosen up the dirt.

Next use a soft, lint free cloth and wipe the body down carefully.
Be certain to remove as much oil as possible. After this step use your
first brush (the dry one) to brush down the body again. This
distributes the excess oil and makes it easier to wipe up. Let the body
stand overnight. You may need to brush and wipe one more time. It is
critical to remove all of the excess oil from the tone holes so that
oil does not get on the pads. I think it is important to oil the tone
holes to reduce dmage from water accumulation. I have been using a good
french polish as a final finish to seal the tone holes and protect the
outside of the wood. This may be a step you should avoid if you are not
comfortable with that process.

When disassembling the clarinet I have made special boards to hold
the rods and pivot screws. If you have access to a drill press these
are very easy to make. Pivot screws develop wear patterns, so it is
important to keep them in the right order. It might be a good idea to
return the pivot screw to it's positon after removing the key.

RE: African Blackwood. Yes, the closer you get to the center of the
tree the denser the wood. Buffet claims that Prestige clarinets are
made from the best wood. This may be true, but I think that the main
difference in sound probably comes from the rings that are mounted on
the ends of the tenons. This adds weight to the clarinet.

RE: Tuning Buffet Eb clarinets.

The sharp Bb3 is a notorious problem on the Buffet Eb's.
Lowering the pad is not sufficient, the tuning must be dome in the
hole. However, I find tape to be a really poor solution. Tape works,
but it can provide only incremental tuning, usually requires more than
one layer and may release at the most inopportune moment! I use Duco
metal epoxy. This is a two part epoxy that sets up in about 30 minutes.
This material has good adhesion if the surface is clean and can be
filed. I wrote an article on tuning the clarinet for the Clarinet
magazine about 10 years ago that describes this technique.

Clark W Fobes

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