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 Leaks-even minor- are trouble
Author: fskelley 
Date:   2017-09-07 19:29

Lots of previous posts on this topic, but I just learned a few new (to me) useful things.

The suction test, separately done on upper and lower joints, is necessary but not sufficient. That is, if the test fails (shows a leak), you've got a problem. Through the years I have found and fixed leaks that way. But as Morrie and others point out, we don't suck when we play (right), so you can still have a minor leak even if suction is good. Alternatively, you can apply positive, not negative, pressure- or use a pricey machine. But no reason not to try the suction test IMHO.

My Lyrique 576BC arrived last week in very nice playing condition even though it needed cosmetic attention. First thing I tried (after some wiping down with a damp cloth and Sterisol on the tenon ends) was suction tests on upper and lower joints- it passed with flying colors.

After a few days I began having minor trouble with stability on C5 through Eb5. Initially I blamed reeds (were my Legere Europeans finally wearing out?). But I traced it to the hole covered by the lowest trill key (still not sure of designation)- even though it seemed to seal well enough. I removed the key, cleaned the pad and hole with alcohol, reassembled- stability problem gone. The suction test would never reveal this issue, I don't know about the fancy machines. Lesson 1 for me, is that any new problem might be a leak, worth investigation even if easy tests seem OK. Lesson 2 perhaps is- clean my pads and tone holes- powder paper on order.

Morrie also demonstrated that leaks can happen at the cork tenon joints. My 576 middle cork is a bit loose, I hadn't considered the possibility that could cause playing problems. I assembled the top/bottom, stoppered the bottom, and sucked on the top. Not bad. I added the barrel and sucked again, also pretty tight. Still, I'm suspicious of that middle cork. I'll replace it soon. Meanwhile I rubbed it with some beeswax I still have from my reed treatment experimentation days (bad memories)- Morrie suggested paraffin- close enough? Also I could test with Teflon tape added any time. Lesson 3 is to also watch for cork leaks. Thanks, Morrie!

It is a great advantage to understand these issues, even better if you are able to correct problems as they arise.

Stan in Orlando

EWI 4000S with modifications

Post Edited (2017-09-08 01:30)

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 Re: Leaks-even minor- are trouble
Author: richard smith 
Date:   2017-09-07 19:35

do your own padding and adjusting. time-consuming, but worth it.

Reply To Message
 Re: Leaks-even minor- are trouble
Author: Johan H Nilsson 
Date:   2017-09-07 21:19

The higher up a leak is on the clarinet, the greater effect it will have.

Reply To Message
 Re: Leaks-even minor- are trouble
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2017-09-07 21:44

If you use cork pads, they're the least forgiving if there are any leaks due to their firmness and the fact they seat against the tonehole crowns and don't conform to it as softer pads will do. So get to work on making your toneholes all level and free from any defects as well as using the best quality cork pads ground flat and smooth and they'll last you for aeons.


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 Re: Leaks-even minor- are trouble
Author: fskelley 
Date:   2017-09-07 22:09

The 576 is cork pads up top. Best I can tell there was debris on the hole and/or pad. I had already tried to clear it with a pipe cleaner and a tissue. The disassembly and cleaning was on a hunch. I narrowed it down to that pad because the stability of D5 varied as I closed and reclosed that key.

Since the problem developed a few days in- perhaps the debris came from my vigorous polishing. Now that the horn looks nice my efforts are more modest.

Stan in Orlando

EWI 4000S with modifications

Reply To Message
 Re: Leaks-even minor- are trouble
Author: Dan Shusta 
Date:   2017-09-07 22:27

If you'd like to build your own pressurized tester utilizing the Dwyer meter, feel free to send me a personal email. The total cost is around $75 and I still have quite a few parts left after closing my little business.

I tried several times to post pictures, but they were rejected.

Post Edited (2017-09-07 22:59)

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 Re: Leaks-even minor- are trouble
Author: Dan Shusta 
Date:   2017-09-07 22:36

Post deleted due to computer interface problems.

Post Edited (2017-09-07 22:49)

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