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 Pros and Cons of Using Hot Glue to Repad a Clarinet
Author: bwilber 
Date:   2006-08-17 14:50

I don't know the chemical difference in the little white pellets used regularily in clarinet pad repair and the hot glue sticks that one can buy in craft stores, but I would like to know the difference. Do the little pellets stick better then the craft store glue sticks?

Also, I have used the search feature on the bboard and have conflicting ideas of whether it's good to use the glue sticks or not. Some will say that hot glue sticks don't adhere to the metal cups as well as the pellets and others say that it is hard to remove from the cups, which to me says that it adhers very well to the metal, that is if it's that hard to get out. I would think if the cup is clean without any greasy residue and the glue is hard to get out, then it's perfect. It's cheap and it's convenient and no fire to deal with.

What is the difference in the melting points of the little pellets and the hot glue sticks? Some people suggest that if a person uses the hot melt sticks, that in hot weather that the glue will soften up and the pads will fall out but if the pellets have about the same melting temperature, wouldn't that be true of of the pellets too? Do the pellets have a higher melting temperature? Thanks for any info.

Bonnie Wilber

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 Re: Pros and Cons of Using Hot Glue to Repad a Clarinet
Author: tictactux 2017
Date:   2006-08-17 16:39

FWIW I use glue sticks, cut some chips off, put it into the cleaned cup, head till the glue starts to melt, let cool down just a bit and at the right moment put the pad in. I don't use a glue gun.

The problem with non-sticking hot glue arises when it's applied to a cold surface, then it's indeed like a piece of chewing gum.


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 Re: Pros and Cons of Using Hot Glue to Repad a Clarinet
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2006-08-17 16:52

Buffet and Selmer seem to be using hot glue for sticking pads in with.

On the plus side, it is sticky at a much lower temperature than shellac and relatively easy to use.

On the negative side it does go stringy, not as easy to clean out of pad cups and if it gets on your skin it will stick and burn (and take your skin off with it) - shellac will to, but it doesn't stick to skin in the same way, and can be removed easier if it does. It also remains pliable so pads can move about a bit in hot weather, though they won't fall out due to the stickiness of the hot glue - though I have seen Buffet clarinets where the glue hasn't adhered too well or lost it's adhesion to the inside of the pad cups - maybe due to water getting in the pad cups.

But I do use hot glue with synthetic pads due to it's low melting (and low temperature stickiness) point, as shellac doesn't stick too well to synthetic pads and also the higher temperature needed to get shellac to stick ends up distorting or even melting synthetic pads.

But I'm not saying don't use hot glue at all, but in time when you gain more experience try using stick shellac as well.


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 Re: Pros and Cons of Using Hot Glue to Repad a Clarinet
Author: clarinet@55 
Date:   2006-08-18 00:35

I use a hot melt glue that I have to chip off the bar and then apply heat to the key. I have a high temp soldering iron that I heat the keys with. This works quite nicely, although you have to be quick and seat them before the glue cools. I can see the advantages of a brush on glue over this.

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 Re: Pros and Cons of Using Hot Glue to Repad a Clarinet
Author: clarinet@55 
Date:   2006-08-18 11:29

I just finished re-padding using hot glue. This type I use ,you can buy at most instrument stores that sell the pad kits. It comes as a large rectangular,clear,bar, that you chip pieces from. I heat the cup up with a heavy duty soldering iron. The type with a screw in element & tip combo,Ungar #776,45 watt. It's easy to remove this type of hot glue from the cups by using any small screw drive to scrape it out. It usually scrapes clean. There is tendency for this hot glue to be stringy. You must work quickly to seat the pad, as it cools quickly. If the glue runs over and out the cup when you seat the pad, it will clean off the outside of the cup just as easily.

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 Re: Pros and Cons of Using Hot Glue to Repad a Clarinet
Author: BobD 
Date:   2006-08-18 12:51

I don't use hot glue as I've found it just doesn't work for my way of setting pads. I have a feeling the clarinet makers use it because it sets up fast and is thus amenable to factory methods. I haven't used the cup heating method mentioned above and suggest that if you're going to go to that trouble you might as well use stick shellac. I still use Micro....go figure. Chewing gum works on stage.....preferably Black Jack.

Bob Draznik

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 Re: Pros and Cons of Using Hot Glue to Repad a Clarinet
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2006-08-18 13:09

I use the same large bunsen burner flame for everything from installing pads (all sizes) to silver soldering keys and for hardening and tempering steel. I use Calor gas and this doesn't make silver plate go funny - spirit burners seem to make silver go all funny and need polishing afterwards.

But I do mainly use shellac on all pads, clear for cork and brown leather pads and white shellac for white leather and skin pads. I only use hot glue for synthetic pads.

And black shellac for installing oboe octave wells, the tops are sealed with beeswax.


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 Re: Pros and Cons of Using Hot Glue to Repad a Clarinet
Author: kev182 
Date:   2006-08-18 13:11

use good old wax =D sometimes traditional is the way to go

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 Re: Pros and Cons of Using Hot Glue to Repad a Clarinet
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2006-08-18 13:37

Several instruments I've bought and worked on from Austria and Germany have had their pads put in with sealing wax - which is pretty much the same thing as coloured shellac - though they did use red sealing wax, not my choice of colour for putting white leather pads in with, though it does exactly the same job as clear or white shellac.


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 Re: Pros and Cons of Using Hot Glue to Repad a Clarinet
Author: Malcolm Martland 
Date:   2006-08-19 09:27

I had red sealing wax heated with a bunsen burner used to fix pads on my Noblet clarinet many years ago in Switzerland at Musik Hug. The tech. did it while I watched. Worked fine for many years.

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 Re: Pros and Cons of Using Hot Glue to Repad a Clarinet
Author: Gordon (NZ) 
Date:   2006-08-20 09:39

I have found no problem quickly and cleanly removing pads stuck in with hot melt glue. I heat the key cup while at the same time pulling on the pad. As soon as the surface of glue in contact with the cup melts, all the rest of the glue comes away with the pad.

I don't like the white or cream pellets - probably George's glue (or equivalent) because it give no visual indication when it is hot enough.

For clarinets I used to use shellac, but after changing to a higher 'model' of pad which did not stick well with shellac - perhaps because of some coating or release agent from the pad manufacture - I changed to JL Smith's translucent amber pellets.

Many (most? ... all?) craft store glue sticks have a too-low softening temperature. Pads can move about if the instrument is left in a warm environment.

I still use stick shellac for sax pads. Partly because it does not 'string' much, partly because it goes solid sooner, and probably mainly from habit.

Some makers, including LeBlanc, used for some time (and may still do), a hot melt glue that had a sticking power not much better than cheese. Other than that, if hot melt or shellac fails, I reckon it is almost always because the METAL was not hot enough. just applying the adhesive to the back of a pad, and then pressing it in a cold cup is often not satisfactory. I heat the pellets in the cup.

I don't like ending up with non-supporting pockets of air behind any pad. Within reason, technique is a far more significant issue than the type of glue used IMHO..

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 Re: Pros and Cons of Using Hot Glue to Repad a Clarinet
Author: bwilber 
Date:   2006-08-20 13:24

What I think would be great is if the little pellets were in a stick form instead because I really like using a glue gun because a person isn't working with any type of fire.

What I have been doing is squirting a little hot glue into the cup and with the hot tip of the glue gun, run it around in the cup a little bit and quickly stick in my pad to make sure that it's going to stick. I have done some experiments to see if the pad is going to fall out and sometimes it has come out and it's because I just put in a little "plop" of glue and probably the cup was cold. I found that if I tried to get out a pad that didn't go in very well, that the pad was destroyed, before I could get it out, which tells me that the glue is working pretty good.

I have found that if I take the glue gun and hold it against the back of the pad for about 10 seconds that I can just scoop the pad back out again because the glue is hot again and pliable. I use goo gone to get any glue residue off of the cup. I know also that there are "hot" glues and "warm" glues. The last glue that I bought was "warm" and I think probably "hot" would be smarter as it would be less likely to get soft in hot situations.

Bonnie Wilber

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