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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000252.txt from 2001/04

From: joe redr <red13531@-----.com>
Subj: Re: [kl] Cork Pads, etc.
Date: Thu, 12 Apr 2001 22:21:34 -0400

--- Gordon Palmer <gordp@-----.nz> wrote:
> In reply to kjf:
5. I have known cork to unexpectedly absorb water
> and swell up every bit as
> badly as a punctured bladder pad.

I have never heard of this before! Cork by nature
does not absorb water to my knowledge. Also as others
have stated, some cork pads have lasted up to (or
more)twenty years on clarinets without leaking or
"absorbing" water. After that amount of time, the
keywork and tone holes can get excessively worn out.
Then why are those hard to seat, easily misaligned
cork pads still functioning? Who knows! :) If any
clarinet has its keywork bent out of adjustment, no
pad - whether it be skin or cork - will seat properly.
The idea is to not bend the keys, but accidents can
and will happen. I find cork pads easy to install,
and I'm by no means a professional repairman. I've
repadded the entire upper joint of my R-13 with cork
and it seals like a drum. Three years later, no leaks
or waterlogged cork. It does take more skill than
seating a skin pad though. The hard part is not
burning the cork with the flame used to heat the cup.
I hate the looks of burnt cork!

I also hand make my own skin pads for the four large
tone holes on the lower joint. I triple skin 'em. I
get my skin from Ferees. I find that the thicker skin
is more durable than the thin, but is louder when the
pad closes. I don't use cardboard either for the back
of the pad. I make plastic washers and glue the
pressed felt to the washer before I cover it with
skin. This type of pad is super stable and does not
shift like tradidional skin pads. Since the back is
plastic and absolutely flat, the pad stays flat and
seated where you put it. Again, after three years,
not a single leak and not one adjustment has been made
to the pesky long E/B seating. Skin seems to work the
best, both in sound and seating on the large holes.
I've tried Valentino and didn't care for them (Eb cup
ok though) because they were too spongy and sloppy
looking/feeling. I experimented with many materials
and always ended up back with felt and skin. Leather
is too porous and doesn't seal well enough for my
taste. I didn't care for the feel and sound of the
leather either. Who knows, maybe I am a professional
quality repair guy! :) I haven't seen Brannen's or
the Straubinger pad yet. Are they similar to the
description above?

Sincerely,
Joe

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