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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000233.txt from 1997/09

Subj: Those idiot repair persons
Date: Sat, 6 Sep 1997 02:21:17 -0400

I have been following the thread on repair work only sporadically, but some interesting
things came up that I would like to address.

There are a lot of hardworking, honest and sincere repair people out there. There are also
a few who have absolutley no business even holding a screwdriver. And there are a VERY few who
really have dedicated a large part of our lives to taking instrument repair to a very high level
of craft. An even smaller group know something about acoustics and are qualified to make
acoustical adjustments. The vast majority belongs to the first group.

When you take your clarinet to be repaired by ANYONE it is important to understand exactly
what the technician intends to do to your instrument and how much he will charge. If he or she
cannot spell it out to you almost down to the number of pads that will be replaced then you need
to look for another person.

Refacing tone holes is , for me, a very common practice, I have to dress even new clarinet
tone holes to make the pad seat clear of chips or flaws. The amount of material that is removed
is probably on the order of less that .001". This process , unfortunately, is often done by even
the most inexperienced technician just because he owns the tool. If you are not confident about
the level of experience of your local repair guy ask colleagues, teachers, pros and find out who
does the best work in your area.

I am big on finding someone locally to repair your instruments. You never know when that
emergency may come up. I do work on instruments from all over the country, but it is usually
when the customer has given up hope in his area.

AND, I hate to sound like a snob, but if your repair person cannot play the clarinet even
moderatley well, most of the fine details that make a clarinet play really well will probably
escape him.

Clark W Fobes

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