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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000310.txt from 2004/12

From: "Patricia A. Smith" <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Funny smells
Date: Sat, 18 Dec 2004 15:45:23 -0500

Matthew Lloyd wrote:

>I have just acquired a Noblet clarinet from Ebay. I haven't played it
>yet, and it is obvious that it is in need of a bit of love and
>attention. But the first thing I notice (and this is not the first
>clarinet that I have found this with) is a musty smell that is
>immediately obvious on opening the case, and is also quite clearly
>attached to the clarinet itself, as a simple nose test will confirm.
>How do I get rid of this?
You've gotten some great answers regarding the case.

If you plan on reselling this clarinet (if it's not an old screamer,
and/or can be made more than merely playable by some work)
I'd suggest

A. going to a well-stocked hardware store and picking up a new case
handle and some industrial-strength staples, or small to medium sized
brads or tiny nails, then to a fabrics and materials store, wherein can
be purchased some new batting, foam rubber and various types of lint
free material that can be used for lining, Then, take the case home,
and re-build it. If you can do this, it won't really take all this much
time, and the smell in the case will be gone. You can treat the wood
part of the case with some varnish if the odor has permeated the outer
wood. If you're really adventurous, you can even pick up some plastic
or polyurethane covering-type material and recover the outside of the
case, then use some sort of metal things to attach the new covering.

B. the old pads were, IIRC, made from organic, or mostly organic
materials. These were subject to all kinds of mold, mildew and rot in
every kind of climate. A complete repadding, with corks or special
types of pads (the repair/rebuild gurus on this list know a great deal
more than I do), not to mention one of those oil baths (hehehe... both
my clarinets have visited the Walter Grabner Luxury Clarinet Spa, and
have come home smelling like, well, new clarinets!).

To make it short, this is if what you've got there is more than "just
above lamp quality". You didn't specify what was causing the odor
INSIDE the horn, but I can bet it is a combination of rotted/moldy pads
and rancid key & bore oil. (yuck)

Let us know what you decide to do

Patricia Smith

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