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 Clarinet key re-assembly order?
Author: knotty 
Date:   2009-10-19 14:37

I finally finished assembling my former "junker" Bundy clarinet. The only slight frustration I had was putting the keys back on.

I found out the keys need to be installed in a certain order to make it easier to install the next key with enough room to work with.

Is there some assembly chart or rule of thumbs to the logical sequence of key re-installation?

Having done only one clarinet, I don't have it down to memory yet.

Thanks!...knotty

~ Musical Progress: None ~

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 Re: Clarinet key re-assembly order?
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2009-10-19 15:03

Here's my re-assembly sequence that applies to most makes:

Lower joint:

LH F/C lever
RH F#/C# key
RH E/B key
RH F/C and Ab/Eb keys
RH3 'sliver' B/F# key
ring keys
LH E/B and F#/C# levers (all on together and with LH Ab/Eb lever if fitted)

Top joint:

LH3 'sliver' Eb/Bb key
C#/G# key
thumb ring
LH1 ring
LH2 ring
throat A key
throat G# key
trill and side F# keys (all go on together)
side Eb/Bb key
speaker key

On French Buffets (from the E13 upwards), the C#/G# key can go on before refitting the LH3 Eb/Bb sliver key as the screw for the Eb/Bb key goes in from the upper pillar, and the side F# key can go on after the trill keys are fitted.

On Leblancs, Noblets, Normandys and Vitos, the trill keys are both mounted seperately but they do need to go on together along with the side F# key (and the side Eb/Bb key can go on afterwards).

Chris.

Post Edited (2009-10-19 15:10)

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 Re: Clarinet key re-assembly order?
Author: stevensfo 
Date:   2009-10-19 15:20

The first time I ever did this, I took a digital photo of the clarinet, printed it out, then labelled the keys as I removed them with any notes about how they should go back on. Each key/group of keys, I stored in small plastic sachets.

From what I remember, re-assembling the keys was nothing compared to the fear of losing a small screw.

Steve

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 Re: Clarinet key re-assembly order?
Author: interd0g 
Date:   2009-10-19 15:23

Thanks Chris P. I live in a country where nobody repairs instruments ( and much else) so there will come a day when I will be attempting this for myself or students.

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 Re: Clarinet key re-assembly order?
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2009-10-19 15:27

Make sure when fitting the RH F#/C# key and Ab/Eb key you engage the spring in the cradle just as the key goes into position, then fit the screw afterwards so you don't lose the spring tension.

Chris.

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 Re: Clarinet key re-assembly order?
Author: knotty 
Date:   2009-10-19 16:07

Thank you very much Chris and Steve. I'm going to sit with the clarinet in hand and familiarize myself with the keys and the list.

It's very interesting how certain things start to fall together after a trial and error period. The springs too were a bit tedious. Some you have to engage and hold under tension while trying to put the screws in.

One thing I learned is not to drink too much coffee! LOL.

Thanks...knotty

~ Musical Progress: None ~

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 Re: Clarinet key re-assembly order?
Author: JJAlbrecht 
Date:   2009-10-19 16:33

The first time I tried to disassemble/reassemble a clarinet, I did it on an old Bundy, which would not have presented an emergency if I messed it up. Since the keys are the same (in principle) it was easy to learn what to do and what not to do on a much cheaper instrument than my first R13.  :)

Jeff

“Everyone discovers their own way of destroying themselves, and some people choose the clarinet.” Kalman Opperman, 1919-2010

"A drummer is a musician's best friend."


Post Edited (2009-10-19 16:33)

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 Re: Clarinet key re-assembly order?
Author: clarnibass 
Date:   2009-10-19 17:21

I recommend not following a list, at least not more than once or twice. Instead solve it like a puzzle, and use your logic and technical sense to figure out what keys need to go first, etc. After you do it some time you will get used to it and can do it easily when it is familiar. You will also be able to figure out much faster when there is something different. If you follow a "recipe" you will eventually learn too, but I think slower, and you will lose a bit of trying to solve problems, which is most of the work in repair.

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 Re: Clarinet key re-assembly order?
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2009-10-19 17:39

OR

Lay the keys out as you take them off in some sort of "chronological order" that makes sense to you........then work backwards upon reassembly.


................Paul Aviles



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 Re: Clarinet key re-assembly order?
Author: knotty 
Date:   2009-10-19 18:17

Thanks for the additional tips, I'll keep those in mind as well. Yes, I'm sure things will become "old hat" as I work on clarinets. Probably my own way of doing things will develop.

Thanks... knotty

~ Musical Progress: None ~

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 Re: Clarinet key re-assembly order?
Author: RAB 
Date:   2009-10-20 12:01

If you are going to continue to work on your instruments I would suggest that you purchase: A GUIDE TO REPAIRING WOODWINDS by Ronald Saska, Pub: Roncorp.

This is very detailed with a lot of illustrations. It covers everything from replacing a cork to a complete overhaul. I think it is user friendly and a wealth of information.
Hope this helps!!!

RAB

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 Re: Clarinet key re-assembly order?
Author: Lelia Loban 2017
Date:   2009-10-20 13:12

Aw, hey, you guys with all that good, helpful advice want to spoil everything for vultures like me. I've gotten great deals at flea markets on instruments that had all their parts -- completely dissassembled in the cases! Usually some of the keys have new-looking pads, too (though chances are they don't fit...). If everybody learns how to disassemble and reassemble a clarinet without getting lost, I might have to pay real money next time! [Evil grin!]

Lelia
http://www.scoreexchange.com/profiles/Lelia_Loban
To hear the audio, click on the "Scorch Plug-In" box above the score.

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 Re: Clarinet key re-assembly order?
Author: Bob Phillips 
Date:   2009-10-20 15:20

Thanks, Chris.

I had to re-do the lower joint on my Buffet 1/2 dozen times before getting it to go together.

Another useful think to know is that you can wiggle a strong piece of thread through the key rods, loop it around a needle spring and then tension the spring ans lever it over into its seat on the rod --if the spring didn't get connected while putting the screws in.

Bob Phillips

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 Re: Clarinet key re-assembly order?
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2009-10-20 15:30

You can make a spring hook from a small crochet hook - file a notch on the tip of the hook end to push springs in with, and use the existing hook to pull springs into position (but not pulling them too far so they lose their tension).

Chris.

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 Re: Clarinet key re-assembly order?
Author: knotty 
Date:   2009-10-20 16:44

Thanks RAB on the book suggestion, I'd like to look at a good book to pick up more hints and tips. And again Chris for the crochet hook tip.

Yes Lelia, I've gotten some incredible info from this board, it's a collection of people with high grade talents and good hearts, something you won't find too often and I thank them all.

With the rainly season here, working on smallish things like clarinets make a good rainly day project.

knotty

~ Musical Progress: None ~

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 Re: Clarinet key re-assembly order?
Author: clarnibass 
Date:   2009-10-20 17:42

I have the book RAB suggested and it's good. It's also a bit old. I would recommend buying it as a second bookif you want to. If you buy only one book the best is The Complete Woodwind Repair Manual by Reg Thorp. You can buy it here https://web.memberclicks.com/mc/quickForm/viewForm.do?orgId=napbirt&formId=36938

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 Re: Clarinet key re-assembly order?
Author: Gordon (NZ) 
Date:   2009-10-21 15:08

I agree with Clarnibass, that following mechanical logic is far better than following a recipe. Following recipes in instrument repair is a sure road to substandard result. So often, a recipe requires a deviation, and the person who follows recipes is unlikely to have the mindset to recognise those occasions.

But one thing can be a slow lesson to learn if it is not explained. It was mentioned by Chris:

"Make sure when fitting the RH F#/C# key and Ab/Eb key you engage the spring in the cradle just as the key goes into position, then fit the screw afterwards so you don't lose the spring tension."

To be more specific, before fitting the screw, displace the key in the direction of the spring tip before you hook the spring into its cradle.

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 Re: Clarinet key re-assembly order?
Author: knotty 
Date:   2009-10-21 16:24

Thanks clarnibass for the second book tip and Gordon for the detailed info. Yes, I can feel myself gravitate to looking at the mechanical logic as I get familiar with the key assembly. In fact, on this first clarinet assembly, I resorted to thinking which keys are underneath and on top of others and tried to follow the logical pattern. The list is very handy for me to learn the names of the keys as I had no idea what they are called, especially when hearing people talk of certain keys.

On the springs, I pretty much did like you said, come in from the side into the spring direction, especially those springs that are so close to the body that the spring tool would not fit.

Thanks!..knotty

~ Musical Progress: None ~

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 Re: Clarinet key re-assembly order?
Author: BartHx 
Date:   2009-10-26 00:45

Make sure you note any variations from standard. I have a Conn where the link from the thumb ring goes over rather than under the trill keys -- that changes the order. Try to avoid the need to wedge a key into its location. This means that you will probably have to place all four trill keys as a set and then work from top to bottom installing the screws. The same is likely to apply to left hand pinkey keys. If you have the keys correctly swedged, you probably will not be able to wedge them into place anyway. Take the time, as Chris suggests, to buy or make a spring hook. It will save you huge amounts of time and frustration. You will have a real puzzle on your hands if you do not keep track of where each and every screw and rod belongs. I worked on one where there seemed to be many, wrong length rods. By the time I figured out the right combination, they all fit perfectly.

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 Re: Clarinet key re-assembly order?
Author: Ed Palanker 
Date:   2009-10-26 01:04

When I was in high school I took my first Buffet apart to give it a good cleaning but I just laid the keys down any which way. When I put it together I had one key in the bottom joint left over and had no idea what to do. At that time, about 1956-57, Buffet was imported by Carl Fischer in Manhattan and I lived in the Bronx so I got on the subway and went to them for help. That's when I met Murray Snyder who was in charge of the department where the clarinets came in to Carl Fischer and were assembled, play tested and adjusted. He was also a great repairman whom I used for many years to come. After he had a good laugh at my expense he put my clarinet back together for me, at no charge, and explained that when you take a clarinet apart, or anything else for that matter, put the parts, or keys, in order that you take it apart so you can put everything back in the opposite order. The best lesson I every learned about taking anything apart. ESP
http://eddiesclarinet.com

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 Re: Clarinet key re-assembly order?
Author: William 
Date:   2009-10-26 15:07

Not having taken the time to read all of the postings, what I did--when I was still in high school--was to completely disassemble all of the keys for cleaning and oiling, but as I took each key off, I laid them all out in the exact order of removal along with the related screws or rods. Then for reassembly, it was simple a matter of going backwards, piece by piece. Simple process that worked for me. Never had any left over keys at the end, either LOL.

PS--I usually did one joint at a time and made certain the dog did not jump on the table. Oh, and watch out for those remaining springs. They can really hurt you.



Post Edited (2009-10-26 15:10)

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 Re: Clarinet key re-assembly order?
Author: 78s2CD 
Date:   2009-10-27 03:37

Or consider a spring hook, one of two indispensible tools. I got my hook from Music Medic. The other one is a pad leveler.

Regards,

Jim Lockwood
Rio Rico AZ

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 Re: Clarinet key re-assembly order?
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2009-10-27 16:01

With Buffet Toscas, you have to remove the upper RH ring key pillar in order to get the RH3 B/F# 'sliver' key rod screw out.

The wire stopper for the side Eb/Bb key soldered to the upper pillar is in the way and prevents the screw from being taken out completely, so the only thing for it is to remove the spring and point screw from the RH ring key upper pillar, then unscrew the locking screw (it's an anchored pillar) and pull the pillar out.

And with the extra low E/F correction key, the rod screw for the RH Ab/Eb and F/C keys goes in from the upper pillar on that as well, so you need to use something to push it through from the lower side so you can get a grip on it once it sufficiently passes the linkages from the RH E/B and F#/C# keys.

Nicely thought out. Any more surprises in store for us?

Chris.

Post Edited (2009-10-27 18:12)

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 Re: Clarinet key re-assembly order?
Author: BobD 
Date:   2009-10-28 10:56

Reading the above posts is, as Yogi Berra would say, "Deja Vu all over". My first spring hook was a crochet hook I altered but quickly discovered a "real" one was much better. "Clarnibass" is right on with his comment about not following a recipe and reminds me of my recent frustration with Comcast "recipes" for hooking up their box. I have often used a piece of string to hold a spring end "out of the way" so as to get a key in position.. And, I usually put each screw back in place after removing a key rather than putting it aside. And, Gordon, you remind me that there can be different ways of explaining things aka "let's look at it another way".

Bob Draznik

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 Re: Clarinet key re-assembly order?
Author: kathryn777 
Date:   2010-07-12 17:06

If only there were some kind of blueprint or layout of the clarinet you could have on paper and just set the keys and screws where they need to go on the drawing

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 Re: Clarinet key re-assembly order?
Author: tictactux 2017
Date:   2010-07-12 17:48

Today it'd be easy enough to <shapshot image with your phone/camera>, disassemble one key, snapshot, disassemble, etc.
And the reassembling would be the reverse procedure.

Everything you do requires a minimum of planning. Maybe that's a good thing. If a cause isn't worth a bit of time of careful thinking and planning, maybe that cause should better be left to someone else.

(I don't mean to be rude, I just sometimes think of ...T. J. Watson...)

--
Ben

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 Re: Clarinet key re-assembly order?
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2010-07-12 17:48

You can make a screw board which is a matrix of blind holes drilled into a wooden board to keep screws in their relative positions so they don't get mixed up and also so they can be kept clean.

Once you get familliar with what goes where and the order they go, you won't need diagrams. But do make sure you don't mix up point and rod screws as some can be a pain to remove if they've been put in the wrong place and have gone in too far to be pulled out easily.

Chris.

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 Re: Clarinet key re-assembly order?
Author: Franklin Liao 
Date:   2010-07-12 17:59

I have to give alot of kudos on Yamaha in the department of easy-to-understand self service of instruments. Their manual that's available online for their clarinet makes are gorgeous and the parts that goes into their instruments are standardized.

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 Re: Clarinet key re-assembly order?
Author: David Spiegelthal 2017
Date:   2010-07-12 18:53

I have a long slab of thick styrofoam I use as a 'parts board' when I disassemble woodwind instruments. As I remove a key, I put it on the board (starting on the left side), with its screw(s) stuck into the foam directly above or next to the key. As I work my way through the disassembly, I lay the parts along the foam moving towards the right.

To reassemble, simply install in reverse order, from right to left.

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 Re: Clarinet key re-assembly order?
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2010-07-12 20:09

And polystyrene is great stuff for sticking springs into as well to keep them in order.

Chris.

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 Re: Clarinet key re-assembly order?
Author: Jack Kissinger 
Date:   2010-07-12 20:37

I'm surprised in all the time this thread has been running that no one has mentioned (unless I missed it when I scanned the posts) the clarinet assembly board that Ferree Tools sells (current price $9.00). It is essentially a wood block with small individual drawings of each clarinet key pasted on top. The pictures are arranged in two columns (one for each joint), in normal order (top-to-bottom) of dis-assembly. Beside each picture are small drilled holes to hold the screws or rod related to the key. Very useful organizer. The drawings eliminate the need to keep the keys in order. Ferree's has one for each woodwind instrument. (Wish I'd had the oboe board the time I decided to take one of those apart.[frown] )

Best regards,
jnk



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 Re: Clarinet key re-assembly order?
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2010-07-12 20:48

You can make them yourself much cheaper by sticking a picture of an instrument or keywork diagram onto a piece of plywood and then drilling holes for the screws and springs in the appropriate places.

Chris.

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 Re: Clarinet key re-assembly order?
Author: Jack Kissinger 
Date:   2010-07-13 05:31

"You can make them yourself much cheaper by sticking a picture of an instrument or keywork diagram onto a piece of plywood and then drilling holes for the screws and springs in the appropriate places."

If one has the pictures, and a piece of (ply)wood cut to an appropriate size and shape, and the glue, and a drill, and an appropriate sized bit, and one knows how to use the drill, where to drill the holes, and what order to follow to disassemble/assemble the clarinet in the first place (in which case, one probably wouldn't be asking what order to follow when taking the instrument apart/putting it back together). [rotate]


Best regards,
jnk

(who only paid around $5.50 plus shipping for his)



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 Re: Clarinet key re-assembly order?
Author: clarnibass 
Date:   2010-07-13 07:40

For me a huge advantage of a home made screw board is you can make it exactly how you like it. Every already made one I found was for a start way too big for me. I made a tiny one which includes all rod and pivot screws and still comfortable to use. Some people prefer not to put the pivot screws on the screw board so for rods only it would be even smaller. Helpful not to take too much space on the work table. All the key names are written too (very easily made with a simple program like Paint, Word, etc.) and organized in the order I wanted.

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 Re: Clarinet key re-assembly order?
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2010-07-13 08:50

For point screws and springs I usually stick them into a wine cork in their relative positions as they'd go on the instrument.

Chris.

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 Re: Clarinet key re-assembly order?
Author: Tony F 
Date:   2010-07-13 16:07

I generally make a point of replacing screws into the post from which they came after removing the keys. That way, I know exactly where they are and that they are where they should be.

Tony F.

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 Re: Clarinet key re-assembly order?
Author: Bennett 2017
Date:   2010-07-13 16:27

This parts diagram might be helpful in organizing the parts
http://www.mlclarinet.com/picts/ML%20Tyro%20Clarinet%20Parts%20Diagram.pdf



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 Re: Clarinet key re-assembly order?
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2010-07-13 17:11

When polishing up all the pillars I find it best to remove the springs and screws so they don't snag the polishing cloth (or tear chunks out of your fingers!), so keeping them in order by sticking them in a wine cork is one way not to get them all mixed up. Similarly when cleaning sax bodies the springs and screws should ideally be removed before washing the body to prevent water remaining in the spring and screw holes.

I know others will have their own opinions on things, but this is what I tend to do - there is no right or wrong way of going about things provided the end result is a good one and the owner is happy with what has been done.

Chris.

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