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 bad Pad
Author: Chuck Kelly 
Date:   1999-09-10 18:58

Had the pads replaced 6 months ago on my Selmer 1962 centertone. I am a beginner. (9 months private lessons).
the right hand "c" key leaked because of moisture. A shop reset it with a little heat while I waited, but indicated it will need to be replaced. Can I do this myself, or should I rely on the experts?

Thanks in advance. You all have helped very much in the past.

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 RE: bad Pad
Author: paul 
Date:   1999-09-10 20:16

If you are just beginning to learn the clarinet, leave the heavy maintenance to a professional repair person. I do and I'm not ashamed to say it. On the other hand, my horn cost me about $2400 brand new, so investing $50 or less on professional help is not a problem to keep from losing the value of the investment. Redoing a pad should cost less than this, but even if it cost this much, it's still worth the money.

IMHO

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 RE: bad Pad
Author: Jim Carabetta 
Date:   1999-09-10 20:37

Rely on the experts, Chuck. Even though one pad isn't a big deal, there's too much at stake at your stage of development to try to cultivate skills on the horn with it being less than 100% - it's tough enough as it is.

You may want to take a look at the cause of the moisture problem, and nip that. Try not to keep your horn where it's real humid (but, if you have a wood horn, it can't be to dry either). You'll need to swab the horn out more often if you're a "juicy" player, or consider those fuzzy-sticks that go down the bore. I'm not really a fan of leaving them in a horn, but they are infinitely quicker, easier to work with, and do a better job than that scrap of chamois on a string. It's a snap to break down the horn while you're taking a quick practice break and run one through.

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 RE: bad Pad
Author: ron 
Date:   1999-09-10 22:44

Hi, Chuck -
Ditto to the above comments. Good advice.
I do my own pads. It's not terribly difficult but better left to a tech if you don't have some prior practice/(training) - they have the tools, supplies, and the 'expertise' to do it quickly. Your Selmer is probably a prety nice horn. If you're interested in doing it yourself, I'd humbly suggest finding an old horn (cheap)to get the 'feel of it' first before working on your good instrument.
Six months isn't too long to expect a pad to hold up. Maybe they'll replace it as a customer courtesy. Most shops will do a follow up adjustment, or a replacement, for you for free. It won't hurt anything to ask.
ron

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 RE: bad Pad
Author: Chris 
Date:   1999-09-11 02:07

When you said "had the pads replaced 6 months ago" did you mean a complete repad of the instrument, or simply a check over of the instrument where a few pads were replaced, and not necessarily this one in question?

I spent over 3 years working in repair at a music store, and can say that we had a policy where we backed our repads for 1 year following the repad. This did not include abuse to the instrument. We had a great track record, and none came back! The pads stayed in place, and the key corks stayed on.

Six months is definitely a very short amount of time. . .too short to expect a pad to fail. If it were me, I'd politely take the clarinet with your receipt back to the store, and inquire politely (notice my second use of that word) if this is something which is still covered, or has the warranty on the work already expired. . .

Good luck,
Chris

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 RE: bad Pad
Author: Chris 
Date:   1999-09-11 02:12

BTW, I would never suggest that you do this type of repair yourself. The "heat" they applied is something which involves a great deal of control to get it right without burning the pad or the instrument body. You have take into account where the heat will spread too, once you start heating up a pad cup. It is VERY easy to torch the clarinet body. The other factors here is knowing how long to heat the pad cup and being able to verify that the pad is seating against the tone hole and making sure that the alignment of the low F and E work in conjunction (so you don't have to squeeze).

Hopefully you are able to see the complexity of what you are really paying for when you have a pro do it.
Chris

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 RE: bad Pad
Author: mike 
Date:   1999-09-11 02:26

I would let the pros do the fixin'...if you wnat to try it, get a cheap horn and several pad sets and have fun....there are also other tools that are not common in most tool boxes...I have learned to improvise, but have been playing for around thirty years, and on my prize horn, I do not do the work...you can get a set for a decent price through the catalogs...let the pros handle it...

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 RE: bad Pad
Author: Fred McKenzie 
Date:   1999-09-11 02:34

Chuck Kelly wrote:
-------------------------------
Had the pads replaced 6 months ago on my Selmer 1962 centertone. I am a beginner. (9 months private lessons).
the right hand "c" key leaked because of moisture. A shop reset it with a little heat while I waited, but indicated it will need to be replaced.

Chuck-

Everyone's advice sounds good. If you like fixing things, getting a "junker" to practice on is a good idea.

One thing you didn't mention, did the application of heat to the pad make the clarinet play? Can you see an obvious reason why the pad might need to be replaced? Unless there is some good reason to change it, I think you should continue to play it without worry.

Everyone has their own experiences, but mine is that pads last many years before they need changing unless something unusual occurs. (One problem might be insects eating the pads.)

Fred
<A HREF="http://www.dreamnetstudios.com/music/mmb/index.htm">MMB</A>


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 RE: bad Pad
Author: Chuck Kelly 
Date:   1999-09-11 03:04

Chris- I had all the pads replaced. I will definitely let the experts do the work based on ALL the feedback I've been getting.

Thanks ALL!!

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 RE: bad Pad
Author: Rick2 
Date:   1999-09-11 04:15

Well, I'm going to be the dissenting voice. I started doing all my repair work after I got a horn back in worse condition than I left it. I am, however, very mechanically inclined and am an engineer by profession.

1) I don't really see how a key that far down the bore could be leaking due to moisture. It is extremely difficult to reseat a pad and not have it leak. I have done it but it is very tedious work because you have to get the pad in EXACTLY the same position it originally was in order for the pad's groove to fit correctly over the hole to seal it. A new pad creates a groove wherever it lands, so it's easier. I suspect that either you pad has slipped again or that it wasnt reseated quite properly and you are starting to notice now because you are doing more clarion register notes than you were earlier.

2) I typically remove the entire key for most flame work. If I need a minor adjustment, I do it attached but yes, there is a danger of scorching the wood.

3) I started working on horns with an Evette that I bought from a pawn shop, not on my good LeBlanc, but I do my own work on both horns now.

4) Ask around who is a reliable repairman.

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 RE: bad Pad
Author: Hiroshi 
Date:   1999-09-13 08:37

I am also an engineer and have tried to fix pads if it is the simple place to fix it as an emergency before I can bring my instrument to my reliable repair shop.It may also be a good thing to know what a repair man does.

1)Necessary tools:
a)an alcoholic lump and methyl alcohol. It burns at lower temperature than other methods.
b)Pad iron.This is a tin plate with small and big shapes on each side.This works just like a laundry iron.
c)Shellac:This is a natural adhesives. When heated it melts,and when cooled it solidifies. Bee wax is often used for flutes but it may be too soft for clarinet pads with steel springs.
d)Set of new pads. Old pads cannot be used again.

First take off the key. Warm it up by the lump from the bottom. The pad comes up if it properly uses schellac as adhesive.(Sometimes poor repairman uses other inorganic adhesives,Too my lament,this is very often the case in these days.) Take off the old pad. Then clean up the bottom of the cup as possible.Then put on a very small amount of chips of shellac at the bottom. Then place a new pad.

Set the key to its original position. Set the key as the pad positioned horizontally. Moisturize the pad surface by something(such as by pad iron or spray). Warm the cup from the bottom. The schellac melts inside the cup and the pad floats in the cup. Warm-up the pad iron before schellac solidifies. Insert the pad iron between the pad seat and pad surface and let it close by spring force or by finger depending on the place of the pad. Keep it for a while to let the schellac solidify inside and pad irons assures proper sitting and get rid of shrinks of pad skin.

There are pads which move together.This is more difficult to change and adjust the pads.

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 RE: bad Pad
Author: Mark Charette 
Date:   1999-09-13 11:31

Hiroshi,
Many repairpeople, including the very best, have started using hot melt glue instead of shellac.

There are detailed instructions here on Sneezy for replacing & reseating pads by Steve Prescott, a repair tech - check the Equipment/Care & Maintenance section. You missed a step or two there.

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 RE: bad Pad
Author: Hiroshi 
Date:   1999-09-14 00:19

I will read the Archive,still doubting its merits.(Shellac is in short supply? or costs much?)
p.s. I read a European Saxophone customize specializing in perfectly sealed repadding hates recent Selmer's using glue as adhesive meaning lack of artisanship.

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 RE: bad Pad
Author: Hiroshi 
Date:   1999-09-14 00:19

I will read the Archive,still doubting its merits.(Shellac is in short supply? or costs much?)
p.s. I read a European Saxophone customizer specializing in perfectly sealed repadding hates recent Selmer's using glue as adhesive meaning lack of artisanship.

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 RE: bad Pad
Author: Mark Charette 
Date:   1999-09-14 01:11

No, Hiroshi, the "french cement" (or shellac) is easily available; however, I;ve now seen and heard of _many_ excellent techs using hot melt. That's really what the "french cement" is - a type of hot melt glue. Just because something's new doesn't mean it's worse ... I wonder how many of theose "old timers" use foot-operated lathes.

Come to think of it, I'll bet a few still do ...

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 RE: bad Pad
Author: Rick2 
Date:   1999-09-14 04:53

Hey, I'd love to have a foot-operated lathe, I'll bet that you get a lot more control over it for pinning cracks. Also, I use hot-melt glue. for one thing, it's easy to slice off a piece of the glue and use it as support for the pad to keep it at the proper height, second, you can melt only the glue at the surface to slide a pad around and it resets within 60 seconds. Also, it's cheap. I have a 10 year supply for under $5. I've even used a wax candle for a heat source in a pinch (but you do have the extra task of removing the lamp black afterwards.)

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 RE: bad Pad
Author: Karen 
Date:   1999-09-17 02:12

take out a dollar bill and stick it under the pag. press down on the pad and rip out the bill. repeat several times. works like a charm


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 RE: bad Pad
Author: paul 
Date:   1999-09-17 21:28

Talk about the smart use of money...

If it's a single dollar, you probably spent less money than you would on getting a pad job done, even if you did it yourself.

Well, all kidding aside, at least it sounds like a good and cheap shortcut for someone who's in a real pinch.


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