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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000839.txt from 1999/01

From: "Mark A. Bradley" <markb@-----.com>
Subj: [kl] A clarinet
Date: Mon, 18 Jan 1999 01:03:48 -0500

The old A clarinet I am using continually has a problem with the F#/C#
keys on the lower joint. This clarinet is from around 1918 I think so
the mechanism is different than that of newer ones. The spring it is
using is not blue steel like on newer clarinets but is a strip placed
under the right hand key. The strip is bent in a curve and the spring
action comes from the metal going back to the curved shape after being
flattened by pressing the F#/C# key. (I hope someone knows the
mechanism that I am talking about!)

The problem is a number of things.
One, the key after about a month does not work properly, as the metal
loses its spring action. This means taking apart the lower joint and
retensioning the spring. I was wondering if maybe I could oil the wood
where the spring sits as an alternative to retensioning the spring,
which does not seem like a good solution giving the length of time until
I have to take it apart again. Oiling it might work since the metal
slides against a small cut in the outside of the wood and the less
friction maybe means the less stress on the spring (?)
Two, there is only one pin that acts as a fulcrum for the left hand
levers, which means it is extra hard to depress the left hand F#/C# key
(and the right one, explained next). I know there is not really a
solution to this unless I put in a new pin and got a new key, etc.,
which I don't think I could do and don't have the money to do,
considering this instrument does not belong to me and I am not using it
past high school (it'd be nice for future users, though).
Three, the left hand lever and the right hand key are connected where
they meet at the bottom of the l.h. lever. Any problem with the spring
on the right hand key is then transferred to the left hand key, and any
sluggishness from the left hand key because of the single pin is
transferred to the right, since one cannot press one without the other
being pressed. Again there is not really a solution unless I got new
keys, etc.

Now, if someone still knows what I am talking about, what are some
solutions for me to consider. Can I oil the spring below the r.h. key
or should I keep retensioning it? Is there a solution I am overlooking?
(Please note, buying a new instrument is not a solution at this point!)

Thanks for any help,
Mark
Chazy, NY

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