Klarinet Archive - Posting 000799.txt from 1999/06
From: "Ed Maurey" <edsshop@-----.ca>
Subj: Re: [kl] TOLE HOLE PLAQUE. A HIDDEN TIME BOMB!
Date: Sun, 27 Jun 1999 07:35:55 -0400
Undercutting plaque! Facinating. I've alway been aware of the
perniciousness of tone hole boogers, but their devilish transformation into
evil plaque was a real revalation.
> From: Sfdr@-----.com
> To: klarinet@-----.org
> Cc: shellysublett@-----.net
> Subject: Re: [kl] TOLE HOLE PLAQUE. A HIDDEN TIME BOMB!
> Date: Sunday, June 27, 1999 12:45 AM
> In a message dated 6/26/99 7:22:42 PM EST, edsshop@-----.ca writes:
> << I have never played a blown out horn. Perhaps, like Harold Wright
> Heinrich Baermann I'm too "insensitive" to have experienced it.
> A.S. The Clarinets that I am referring to are not the ones under the
> series as Harold Wright Played. I thought I had explained that on some
> the earlier postings. If you look at my comments in context, you will
> that I was responding to a question regarding the life expectancy of
> clarinets. My comments on the short life of clarinets is due to today's
> being unstable and immature.
> I am,
> however, a professional machinist who has measured countless clarinet
> bores. Like the young pitcher in Bull Durham, "they're all over the
> place!" They can be undersize from their specifications by as much as
> .003" or oversize by as much as .002". They are virtually always out
> round. Clarinet manufacturers are either really sloppy or wood simply
> changes over time. I suspect the latter is the more likely.
> A.S. Yes clarinets wood can be out of round as it springs a lot during
> reaming process. the softer grain tears while the harder grains cut. It
> not a big problem if the entire clarinet expands of contract a few
> of an inch. However, if the top few inches of the upper joint changes
> excessively, due to greater moisture exposure, in relationship to the
> joint. The instrument will play out tune with itself. Such as wide
> You can run a flap hone with 400 grit paper at 1,000 RPM for 60 seconds
> the bore of a clarinet joint and not be able to measure a diameter
> increase. [You will, however, make it nice and shiny.] How a cloth
> could ever enlarge a clarinet bore is beyond me.
> A.S. You are right. Cloth swabs don't change the bore through wear but
> do change tone holes drastically. When the bore contracts so does the
> the clarinet. When the wall of the instrument contacts the tone holes
> smaller. When the tone holes get smaller the pitch gets flatter and
> Lets talk about the swab! The swab is used to clean the BORE!
> Right? The swab never makes contact with the tone hole wall or
> Usually when a clarinetist has finished playing, they must blow the
> from the tone holes or used a pipe cleaner. The pipe cleaner only gets
> cylinder clean but the undercutting is left untouched. As the swab is
> though the bore, lint or fibers from the tight swab will build up in the
> bottom section of the tone holes, especially with cotton swabs.( I
> silk swabs as they shed less). This fiber build up acts as a filter. As
> saliva and condensation runs down the bore of the horn, this fiber filter
> sucks it right into the tone hole.
> Next the Moisture dries and leaves natural minerals like calcium in
> the fiber filter. Over a period of time the a crusty plaque will form in
> tone made of lint, fibers and calcium. This Build up is very similar in
> appearance to calcius or dental plaque. Eventually this plaque will
> the tone hole volume and occlude the undercutting thus making the
> play in a "blown out" manner. Each month I remove a tablespoon of plaque
> from or local symphony clarinetist's instrument.
> Chronic water gurgles are also a sign of fiber build up or tone hole
> plaque. I originally discovered tone hole plaque while doing medical
> on clarinets. I was X-raying some of the clarinets that I inherited from
> Repair teacher W. Hans Moennig. These white rings kept appearing at the
> of the undercutting with a resolution very similar to human bone. It was
> quite confusing to me because I could not find foreign material via the
> or tone hole cylinder. I used a proctoscope to view the undercutting and
> there it was Big as Day, a I.5 mm protrusion into the air path. At that
> point I design a cleaning tool that matched the tone hole profile. The
> was designed to reach the hidden section of the undercutting that the
> never cleans. After carefully removing the old plaque build up from the
> holes the instrument was much more resonant.
> In addition to improving the pitch and timbre, Removing swab and
> fiber plaque can also reduce wood cracks though tone holes. Such cracks
> very common on the top joint side B and Bb trillers, throat A, and the
> hand G# hole. If you have a new clarinet, now is the time to clean the
> from the tone holes. I will be glad to mail you information on the
> tool and how to use it, if you don't already have it. Just send me your
> street address as I don't have a scanner yet.
> I hope this posting will help clarinetist better understand the age
> old problem of pitch change due to tone hole plaque and Not Bore Blow
> Good Luck,
> Alvin Swiney
> Affordable Music Co.
> P.O. Box 4245
> Virginia Beach, VA 23454
> 757-412-2160 fax 412-2158
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