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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000870.txt from 1999/01

From: Fred Jacobowitz <fredj@-----.edu>
Subj: Re: [kl] A clarinet
Date: Mon, 18 Jan 1999 12:26:26 -0500

Mark,
There is virtually no mechanical problem a dedicated, talented
technician cannot fix. It might eventually involve building another key or
mechanism but it can be done. There is only so much a person can do
without the correct tools and know-how. To cite an example, would you
rebuild your car's engine? Even if you have the know-how you need the
time, tools and work space. It sounds like it is time for you to break
down and take it to a pro who can probably solve the problem fairly
cheaply. I have been constantly surprised in the past by how simple some
seemingly complex repairs are in the hands of an experienced technician.

Fred Jacobowitz
Clarinet/Sax Instructor, Peabody Preparatory

On Mon, 18 Jan 1999, Mark A. Bradley wrote:

> 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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