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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000153.txt from 1998/03

From: David H Eby <>
Subj: Re: Corkgrease
Date: Tue, 3 Mar 1998 12:21:27 -0500

Is this serious? I have never heard of greasing anything but the corks
between the different joints of the clarinet (mouthpiece, barrel, upper joint,
lower joint, bell). You can't seriously be trying to grease the little corks
under the keys... Anyway, why would you do that?

Helen Eby

Edwin V. Lacy wrote:

> (I sent this last night, but it seems that it never appeared on the list,
> so I'll try again.)
> On Mon, 2 Mar 1998, Jack Kissinger wrote:
> > Speaking of cork grease, I never have any trouble greasing my clarinet
> > except for the corks under the two keys that I play with my left-hand
> > index finger. They always give me a devil of a time. How do the rest
> > of you keep grease on these corks? Is there a special tool I need to
> > get?
> No special tool, but there is a special process for accomplishing the
> thorough greasing of these corks. I have been told that all the great
> repair technicians utilize this method.
> 1. Remove the A and Ab keys from the clarinet.
> 2. Cut the corks off of the underside of the keys, so that you won't get
> excess cork grease on the keys.
> 3. Take about 15 tubes of cork grease, dig out all the grease and discard
> the tubes. Put the cork grease in a microwave oven and melt it.
> 4. Using a 4" paint brush, thoroughly impregnate the corks in question
> with liquified cork grease.
> 5. Reattach the corks to the keys. The fact that they are now saturated
> with grease may make it difficult to glue them back on, even using the
> standard home handyman's favorite product, Super Glue. If this happens,
> just wrap some scotch tape around the key and the cork. The scotch tape
> is nearly transparent, so people probably will hardly be able to see it
> unless they get really close to you.
> 6. Put the keys back on the clarinet, if you can remember where they go.
> At this point, if you have any parts left over, be sure to discard them
> immediately, so that they won't clutter up your workshop.
> 7. In the event something has gone wrong and the holes for A and Ab are
> not being covered, I have found that you can put carrot sticks in a
> pencil sharpener, and achieve a round, tapered shape which will serve very
> well to stop up those holes. Then, when you want to play an A or Ab, just
> quickly reach up and pull out the appropriate carrot stick. After all,
> when these notes are needed, you won't be using the left hand fingers on
> any other holes or keys, so this motion can easily be mastered. The
> carrot sticks also can come in handy in case you get hungry during a long,
> boring rehearsal. (Another helpful hint: by using one carrot and one
> rutabaga, you can color-code the stoppers - for example, orange for Ab and
> yellow for A.)
> 8. Now, if you have eaten part of the carrot sticks, they may be too
> short to allow you to grasp and remove them for A's and Ab's. Still, all
> is not lost. As I have recommended previously, if you encounter one of
> those notes and cannot remove the proper stopper in time, just stop
> playing, look at your reed, and frown. This has been working for woodwind
> players for centuries!
> Hope this helps!
> Ed Lacy
> *****************************************************************
> Dr. Edwin Lacy University of Evansville
> Professor of Music 1800 Lincoln Avenue
> Evansville, IN 47722
> (812)479-2754
> *****************************************************************

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