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 Repadding salt cellar keys
Author: clarimad 
Date:   2017-11-28 02:23

I'm looking for information/videos about repadding an old boxwood clarinet that has salt cellar key cups.

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 Re: Repadding salt cellar keys
Author: dubrosa22 
Date:   2017-11-28 03:53

I thought they were referred to as 'saltspoon' keys?

Terry McGee, flutemaker and historian, has a short description of repadding these types of keys on his excellent website:

Kelly Roudabush has a much more comprehensive, great visual step-by-step of the process (archived) here:

These 'saltspoon' keys were very popular in the first hallf of the 19th century. They replaced the 18th century 'flap' style key and are definitely easier to seat as they sort of just squash into the tonehole more or less. I guessing any woodwind player worth his salt could fashion his own quite easily at home and afix it to the keycup with wax as was the tradition.

I've got two saltspooned flutes (an 1820s English fake Monzani 8-key and a 1840s English Metzler 8-key) needing repadding but haven't got 'round to them yet, so I've not yet grappled with the problems of making leather 'pad purses'.

I'm sure that the difference between flute and clarinet saltspoon pads was not very much.

Good luck :)


Post Edited (2017-11-28 04:05)

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 Re: Repadding salt cellar keys
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2017-11-28 04:00

The pads fitted to the old 'salt spoon' pad cups are made in a drawstring bag fashion with the circle of leather stitched around the edge, then filled with hemp, wool or cotton fibres and then the threads are drawn closed and tied off to seal up the bag. Then flatten it out to shape it with the threads at the centre of the back and then shellac them into the pad cups.

You can use modern soft leather pads and float them in on shellac if that's easier - check by dry fitting a leather pad whilst the key is in place.

In rare cases, some old woodwind instruments have bowl-shaped countersinks instead of the usual bevelled type with a crown or a simple flat filed onto the joint, so with the bowl-shaped countersinks, the pads also have to be spherical to work with these.


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 Re: Repadding salt cellar keys
Author: clarimad 
Date:   2017-11-29 02:38

Thanks Chris and also to dubrosa.

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