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 DIY repad tips
Author: jasperbay 
Date:   2010-03-29 20:02

Having repadded several dozen clarinets in my personal collection over the past several years, I thought I'd pass on some repadding tips, to go along with an excellant earlier post by Jack Kissinger (search for 'self restoration help' for his post).
As a heat source for melting the stick shellac flakes(from Ferree's Tools), or hot glue flakes cut from a hot glue stick, many folks are uncomfortable using an alcohol flame or butane lighter. I started out using a Radio Shack type electronics soldering iron, experimenting with models in the 20-75Watt range. I now use mostly the 75W iron, as the smaller ones just take too long on the larger cups. All old tin and lead should of course be sanded off the copper tip of the iron, and the tip can be ground/filed or hammered to fit the average cup. Don't rub the iron on the cup, as some finishes can be marred, just hold it under the cup (preferably, since heat flows up) just touching the center area of the cup, until the glue melts, and you can remove the old pad, add a little glue to replace what came out with the old pad, and install the new pad. An iron will work with the cups off or on the clarinet, unlike a flame heat source, and will not burn the pads. The job is a little easier with the cups 'off ' the horn, if you've got the tools and can keep the parts straight. With the cups still on the clarinet, just prop the pad open, heat, pluck out the old pad, insert the new pad with a little added glue (a hot glue wafer works better than stick shellac flakes here) reheat. After reassembling the horn, the iron works well for 'leveling' the pads, those that aren't contacting the tonehole evenly (reading glasses a must here). Sometimes the pad will level itself with a little heat and gentle pressure, sometimes you'll have to insert a thin shim from an old reed, and press a little harder with the iron to get the pad to shift so it makes even contact.
On pads, both Dave Spiegenthal and I prefer leather pads over the 'onion skin' variety, both for ease of installation and longevity. Leather pads are avilable in tan and white from Ferree's. I like the manly tan pads, Dave likes the white [rotate] . Ferree's sells them as 'alto clarinet' pads, Zheng Hao calls them 'bassoon pads'. I've also had good luck with every type of synthetic pad I've tried, so try them out if you've a mind to. Also, bear in mind that leather pads are measured differently from 'onion skin', or more accurately 'sausage skin' pads. Measure the outside of the cup, in MM's, with a dial or digital caliper, and order that size for 'sausage skin' pads since they have a 'stepped' design. Subtract one mm for a leather pad, since it goes entirely inside the cup, only bulging out a little later when it seats in. As far as wether to go with stick shellac like the old timers, or hot glue, I've not noticed much difference. Stick shellac is easier to clean up if some oozes out (you used too much, or pressed the pad too hard) but hot glue adheres better. Hot glue may suffer if you leave your horn in the trunk on a Tuscon afternoon, so I use 'high temp' sticks from JoAnn's Fabrics for a little added protection. I've not had any trouble with hot glue, but I live in the NW, and don't leave my grenadilla clarinets in the trunk!
Go forth and prosper, Clark

Clark G. Sherwood

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 Re: DIY repad tips
Author: David Spiegelthal 2017
Date:   2010-03-29 20:06

I never said I liked white leather pads; I always use tan ones.
I'll also forgive you for misspelling my name, since everyone else does.
[toast]

FYI, I won't get on my soapbox again about adhesives, but will simply note that I use clear silicone glue (usually the GE household brand), rather than any glue requiring application of heat.



Post Edited (2010-03-29 20:08)

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 Re: DIY repad tips
Author: JJAlbrecht 
Date:   2010-03-29 20:25

Actually, David, anyone reasonable fluent win German should have no difficulty with spelling your last name.  :)

It's spelled just like it sounds!

Jeff

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 Re: DIY repad tips
Author: mrn 
Date:   2010-03-29 21:09

JJAlbrecht wrote:

> It's spelled just like it sounds!

Ja, das stimmt!

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 Re: DIY repad tips
Author: jasperbay 
Date:   2010-03-29 22:28

Dave; Sorry about the name misspelling, must've copied somebody else's mistake, couldn't have been me.

I thought you used white leather because you had a hard time finding GE silicone in anything but bathtub white[grin] ! Actually I like the idea of using silicone, except it takes awhile to set, and you better get the pads level the first time! Its nice knowing the silicone will tolerate something like 700deg.F . Perfect for resinite clarinets in the trunk during a Tuscon summer day! Also, if you need a pad to be extra thick, silicone would be easier than shimming, or trying to float on hot shellac.

If you're not using white leather, I may go to that, cuz it may not look manly, but is classy-lookin , especially on a silver metal clarinet. Trouble is, I've got too big a supply of tan pads, and it will be a little spendy to get a white selection at what $8/doz.

Clark G. Sherwood

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 Re: DIY repad tips
Author: David Spiegelthal 2017
Date:   2010-03-30 01:01

Well, Clark, I promised not to go into my spiel about silicone glue, but here I go anyway.....

I actually like the fact that silicone doesn't dry right away, because if I'm repadding a saxophone, for instance, with its two long stacks of interrelated keys, I can pad the whole stack at once and set the pad seatings together -- very handy! And as you point at, one can easily adjust pad heights without using additional shims, by varying the amount of glue. Another major advantage is that silicone never becomes brittle, which is especially important in cold weather, which sometimes causes pads held by heat-setting amber resin glue to fall out.

A couple of months ago I repadded an old C-Melody sax in white leather pads, because I happened to have a whole bag of them which someone gave me -- very old pads, with stitching in the center rather than rivets or resonators, but still reasonably sound because they were 'new old stock' and had been well-preserved. Gave the sax (which itself dates from the 1920s) an authentic look. Nonetheless, new pads of tan leather would have fit better and sagged less.

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 Re: DIY repad tips
Author: RAB 
Date:   2010-03-30 12:04

I just saw this demonstrated at Musicmedic's saxophone repair symposium. I do not know if it will work on a clarinet but I thought it might provide an alternative to using an open flame for those of you who do not feel comfortable with a flame. I know that it will melt shellac and not harm the felts and corks around a saxophone key. I just have no first hand knowledge about using this on a clarinet.

Just some information to pass on.

If anyone has used this on a clarinet I would like to hear you opinion regarding it.

http://www.musicmedic.com/catalog/products/tool-st250.html

Rodney Berry
Repair Dept
Muncy Winds Music Company
Boone, N.C.

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 Re: DIY repad tips
Author: Gordon (NZ) 
Date:   2010-04-01 09:53

Just curious, Clark... Have you ever TRIED using a flame? If so, what are your concerns?

Using an iron sounds about as clumsy and inapropriate as using a hotplate to do soldering.

I'm sure the light is waiting there to be seen.

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 Re: DIY repad tips
Author: jasperbay 
Date:   2010-04-01 18:30

Gordon in Kiwi-land;

Nice to hear from another of the pro's that have contributed to this forum so much. Thanks also to you and Dave for being gentle to a newcomer venturing onto your private battlefield. Please feel free to continue saving your 'big guns' for each other, much more enjoyable for the rest of us that way!

I have tried a small alcohol flame (a present from my dentist) for repadding ( in addition to the old favorite butane lighter for emergencies). I found it works great with the pads 'off' the horn, and I understand why you pros use it, but I couldn't get the hang of heating the cups while they were still on the instrument, burned a couple pads, and some resinite on my first sacrificial Bundy joint! Some of the old girls I work on have rusted in screws and axles that just will not come out, so I resorted to the soldering iron to repad those cups, and noticed it worked nearly as well as the flame method for repadding cups 'off' the horn also, although you have to rig up a 'stand' for the iron to be used 'hands free'.

I have never watched a pro like yourself repad a clarinet, maybe if I had, I would never have tried the soldering iron. I mainly just wanted to offer up a simple repadding technique for Do It Yourselfers to get started with, as I had convinced, myself at least, that the method works.

I've just finished an experiment with making the unsightly "pin holes" ( from the pins used on many vintage crack repairs) virtually undetectable. I'll know tonight if my wife can find the previously "filled" pin holes. Wish me luck! I'll write up that technique for the BB if it tuns out as well as it seems to be look now.

Clark G. Sherwood

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 Re: DIY repad tips
Author: BartHx 
Date:   2010-04-02 01:18

RAB:

I have not used that particular tool, but regularly use a quality, hardware store, adjustable heat gun with good success. I suppose the advantage of that device is to get a direct temperature read out rather than relying of fifteen or twenty presets, but it makes up for that in the cost.

Bart

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 Re: DIY repad tips
Author: Gordon (NZ) 
Date:   2010-04-02 13:52

"but I couldn't get the hang of heating the cups while they were still on the instrument, burned a couple pads, and some resonite "

The trick is to use the SIDE of the flame, i.e. the flame makes a "glancing blow' across the back of the key cup.

And use the visible part of the flame - alcohol is not so good because the flame is not too visible. I find a small-diameter Bunsen burner to be very good.

I'm glad you remove all the solder from the soldering iron, so as not to get it on the key.

Normally a soldering iron RELIES on some solder on it, for good conduction of heat direct to the workpiece. Are you relying on such conduction, or is it heating the key mainly via the air between the key and the iron?

You would probably like an electrical resistance heater, such as
http://www.votawtool.com/zcom.asp?pg=products&specific=jnprjnl0

This effectively makes the key itself, the equivalent of the element in your soldering iron. It's excellent for heating pivot tubes as part of a rust weakening process.



Post Edited (2010-04-02 13:56)

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 Re: DIY repad tips
Author: jasperbay 
Date:   2010-04-02 20:38

Gordon;

Thanks for the tips on bunsen burner use for repadding. Makes me wish I'd got a 'five finger discount' on one when I was in school 40yrs back. Guess I'll have to find one on the auction site (probably will have some other high school name scratched on it!). I still think the soldering iron would be better in many cases with the pads are 'on the clarinet', as many of those cups are in spots you wouldn't want to play a flame. My iron tip is shaped like a pad cup, so I get a 2 or 3 point contact for conductive heating. Things go faster with the iron tip underneath the cup, so convective heating comes into play too. I think I've got a resistance heating tool somewhere. That would come in handy for heating the tube, to free a rusted in axle, since the tube would heat and expand more than the axle, good thinking!

My wife couldn't find either the 3 inch crack or the pin ends that I had concealed ( I'm restoring a one-piece full boehm early Buffet) using a technique long used by european gunmakers to hide small flaws in the walnut. Basically the method is to mill out the pin ends to a depth of about .065"(2mm), then glue in (thin CA) a small color and grain matched little grenadilla 'plug', or inlay. To make the job perfect (you can't find the plugs with reading glasses!) take a small needle and scrimshaw some wood pores that cross the glue line and connect to pores outside the plug. I also scrimshaw extra pores in CA glued cracks reinforced with grenadilla dust , of course, where the crack is of any width. This helps to hide the shiny gluline. I've also inserted thin slivers of grenadilla in cracks glued with CA, works very well. Since grenadilla is so resinous/waxy/oily, this type of repair was not feasible until the advent of CA 'superglue' that adheres to wood of the rosewood- ironwood- grenadilla type.

Clark G. Sherwood

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 Re: DIY repad tips
Author: Caroline Smale 
Date:   2010-04-02 23:04

Just for the record.. whilst many professional repairers are capable of making an invisible repair (and when working on high quality string instruments that is actually one key objective) in repairing cracks in woodwind an ethical repairer will make a fine, almost, but not quite invisible repair partly to avoid any misleading of future purchasers.



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 Re: DIY repad tips
Author: jasperbay 
Date:   2010-04-02 23:36

Good point, Mr. Smale

I keep a written record of all repairs in the case with the clarinet, but that would only insure full disclosure for the first sale. Didn't I read that CA (cyanoacrylic) shows up in UV light? , like new paint used to 'touch up' old master paintings. We might have to treat high-end vintage clarinets like paintings, eventually, although I've not seen any great prices being paid for vintage clarinets. One can hope though, hate to see all these fine old instruments going on the ashheap of history. One of my greatest joys is bringing back a neglected old horn to good playing condition, and making beautiful noise!. I'm sure I'm not the only one to notice that the fit-finish-playability-feel-etc. of a fine 100yr.old clarinet is something largely lost in the modern mass produced everything world.

Clark G. Sherwood

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 Re: DIY repad tips
Author: Gordon (NZ) 
Date:   2010-04-04 23:29

I think it is better to retain very slight visibility so that a future technician does not try to drill where a pin already is.

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 Re: DIY repad tips
Author: GLHopkins 
Date:   2010-04-04 23:54

In my opinion it is the techs duty to repair an instrument in such a way that it is difficult to tell that the instrument was damaged and repaired. It is the responsibility of the seller to inform prospective buyers of repairs made.

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 Re: DIY repad tips
Author: clarnibass 
Date:   2010-04-05 03:48

>> In my opinion it is the techs duty to repair an instrument in such a way that it is difficult to tell that the instrument was damaged and repaired. It is the responsibility of the seller to inform prospective buyers of repairs made. <<

For example with pin holes, it's possible to make them completely invisible. There is no way the owner or anyone can remember exactly where they are, which is the issue, as opposed to just knowing the clarinet had pins. Informing a buyer will not help with this. Plus if it's not for sale at all it might be pinned again later, possibly by a different repairer. For example it happened that I pinned a clarinet decades after it was already pinned, in the same area.

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 Re: DIY repad tips
Author: Rusty 
Date:   2010-04-06 05:22

Getting back to replacing pads do you just buy the size pad or pads you want or must you purchase a whole set? Bear in mind there aren`t a zillion pad sellers where some folks live and some music repair stores wont sell you pads they are in the replacement biz.

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 Re: DIY repad tips
Author: jasperbay 
Date:   2010-04-06 14:51

Rusty;

I don't suppose too many of us have a nearby store we can drive over to and buy a couple of clarinet pads. I've bought pads online from two suppliers; Ferree's Tools , Michigan, and Zheng Hao Music , Shanghai. Both have fairly user friendly online catalogues, but I believe Ferree's does not sell less than a "set" of pads, and you must specify size and #s. Zheng Hao (google up ZH melody to find their order site and catalogue) will sell individual pads: skin, synthetic, or leather (as bassoon pads) but there is a language barrier that comes into play if you want to talk to, or e-mail them. My advice with Zheng Hao is to just order from their online catalogue, don't attempt to chat.
Google ' Ferree's Tools, Inc.', who sell largely to professional and/or more serious repairers, they have an awesome online catalogue,( they'll send you a paper one too) , its worth your while browsing through.

Remember: for skin 'onion-skin looking' pads, measure the cup outside diameter in mm's, and order that size. For leather (my reccomendation), and most synthetic pads, subtract 1mm from the cup diameter OD, and order that size in mm's. Ferree's sells leather pads as 'Alto clarinet pads'. The thickness works well in soprano clarinets also.

Clark G. Sherwood

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 Re: DIY repad tips
Author: Rusty 
Date:   2010-04-06 22:44

Thank you Clark excellent advice. It so happens that I`ll be going to Shanghai in a month`s time on holiday so I`ll look up the Zheng Hao Music while there.
I`ll keep those pad dimentions on hand. Why leather tho`? I`ve had a pad replaced at a store and they have put in the softer "onion skin" ones. The material cost must be negligible so why would`nt they use leather? Would`nt leather be harder and more difficult to seat?

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 Re: DIY repad tips
Author: jasperbay 
Date:   2010-04-07 00:23

Actually, leather pads (a thin layer of kid leather over a felt/card base), as used in saxophones, bassoons, alto clarinets, etc. , are a little softer and easier to seat than "skin" pads. While the cost per pad is negligable, the cost for a good selection in all sizes that a music store would need is not negligable, would cost $100 or so more than the 'onion skin' white "clarinet pads" people are used to. Also, leather pads last much longer, less repeat business could be a motive also. I've heard it said that 'double skin' pads are more waterproof, or less 'sticky' on the tonehole seat. Not sure I buy into that, especially if you treat the leather pads with silicone after you're done repadding.

In any case, its nice to have a choice. Synthetic pads will probably end up on top in the end, since some of them may last indefinitly, and repadding could become a thing of the past!

Clark G. Sherwood

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 Re: DIY repad tips
Author: jasperbay 
Date:   2010-04-21 16:10


Updating this DIY repad thread, I found a small propane-use bunsen burner on 'the auction site' actually a nice little unit from a dental-supply house with both small and regular burners side-by-side for $18. The small burner (not much bigger than a stove pilot light) worked very well for repadding, quite a bit faster than my soldering iron method, I can see why the 'pros' favor this method.

When forced to repad with the cups still on the horn, or leveling up pads on the horn, I'll probably still plug in my 75W iron ! Just can't get comfortable with a flame that close to wood, hard rubber or plastic.

Clark G. Sherwood

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 Re: DIY repad tips
Author: RAB 
Date:   2010-04-22 12:12

If want to get a set of pads I suggest that you go to Music Medic and they have a great policy on pads sets.

here is their site:

http://www.musicmedic.com/

and here is the site for the clarinet pads:

http://www.musicmedic.com/catalog/categories/cat_24.html

Read the Pad Set Guarantee they have and make your own decision.

I refer customers here all the time to get pads sets. and he has several articles on re padding and other repairs.

Hope this helps!!

Rodney Berry
Repair Dept
Muncy Winds Music Company
Boone, N.C.

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 Re: DIY repad tips
Author: Ken Lagace 
Date:   2018-03-31 19:20

What temperature range is best?

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