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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000747.txt from 1999/06

From: "Edi & Rose Malinaric" <>
Subj: [kl] Final polishing
Date: Fri, 25 Jun 1999 04:37:05 -0400

-----Original Message-----
From: Roger Garrett <>
Date: 25 June 1999 01:54
Subject: Re: [kl] comparison

>At 11:25 PM 6/24/99 +0200, you wrote:
>>Roger said
>>>The facings are not permanent. I have refaced many crystal mouthpieces.
>>>While they wreak havoc on sandpaper and tools, the results can be quite
>>Hie thee off to a goodly store of hardware and purchase for thy facings of
>>crystal one only diamond whetstone.
>>Verily I say, it gets not weary nor loses its appetite.
>>kind regards - edi
>Ah.....wouldest that thy whetstone be correct. Alas, a smooth enough plate
>it is not.
>(Unless you know of one that is at least 4" X 6" and is the equivalent of
>600 grit paper?)

Sorry about the Bardish - I had just returned from a big band (JaZZaTTaC by
name) concert and was suffering from an overdose of electronic
amplification - so I was thinking about the silence of the pre-electric era.

Once when I was complaining about my cello's lack of projection to a retired
but still performing principal cellist, he gave me his superb-to-listen-to
French cello to play. I found that it didn't make the huge improvement that
I had anticipated - but, in his hands, my cello sounded so much better than
when I played it. I was incautious enough to wish for a better instrument.
He smiled and sent me to the outer reaches of the concert hall (He would
grant me a 30 minute session whenever he could - usually during the
orchestra's lunch break - and if I could get away from lectures at
university - so we would sit in the middle of the empty hall playing to each
other while other orchestra members would pause or just stand and listen)
while he played both instruments. To my amazement they both sounded very
good indeed.

Lesson 1 : you cannot truly hear yourself or your instrument.

The lack of projection was handled beautifully. I was made to play as
softly as I could - when he was satisfied that I understood the meaning of
ppp I was again banished to the far corner while he played the same passage.
I could hear every nuance in the music.

Lesson 2 : even the softest ppp is loud enough to carry a large concert
hall - which then led naturally to

Lesson 3 : loud is only as measured by soft.

Now why does a band featuring 5 trumpets, 5 saxophones and 5 trombones need
electronic amplification?? Especially when playing in a small concert

The music was drowned by the decibels and any subtlety asphyxiated.

I heard the sun rise this morning so my hearing miraculously survived.

re Diamond whetstones - a good woodworking hardware store (catering for the
professional wood turner) should carry 3" x 8" sharpening "stones". The
diamond grit is plated into a thickness of nickel which in turn is carried
on a honeycomb of injection moulded plastic. This is stiff enough not to
deflect during use. Grits of 600 are available. I have a much smaller one
(2" x 6") which has a grit of 360. If you rub it on a sheet of glass and
observe the scratch pattern from below you will see that it is plane enough.
I wouldn't go for the finest grade. Use a diamond stone to quickly reduce
the material to flat and level then there is very little work in the
finishing. You can purchase grinding powder in any grit size you choose
from the manufacturers of grinding wheels (or water paper). Mixed into oil
and used on a sheet of glass is one way of getting a superb finish.

For a mirror finish, hunt down a firm that grinds and polishes spectacle
lenses and beg some of the caesium oxide powder that they use to polish
lenses. Do go with a clear 35 film canister (or two - you may get lucky and
be able to get two different grits) - label it immediately!

For a still better finish - but difficult to get into your hands, is diamond
powder - used by the diamond cutters and polishers - heaven to use - and
what a finish.

I enjoy your postings - edi

>Roger Garrett
>Professor of Clarinet
>Director, Concert Band/Symphonic Winds/Titan Band
>Advisor, Recording Studio
>Illinois Wesleyan University
>Office: (309) 556-3268
>Fax: (309) 556-3411
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