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 Cleaning metal clarinet for rebuild
Author: Matt Locker 
Date:   2018-02-08 23:19

All:

I have acquired a metal clarinet that I will be rebuilding. It's actually in pretty good shape overall but needs a really good cleaning prior to doing anything else. What are your thoughts on how to properly clean the body? Soap & water? Buffing pad? Others?

Thanks,
Matt



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 Re: Cleaning metal clarinet for rebuild
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2018-02-09 02:10

Start by removing everything from the body (springs, screws and anything else steel) and give it a good wash in hot soapy water using a nylon trumpet valve casing brush to scrub the bore and a toothbrush and nail brush on the outside. That will remove all the grime, but won't polish the plating.

Is it silver or nickel plated?

Silver plating turns blue/black over time and that can be cleaned by using silver dip or using liquid silver polish, then washed again and polished to a shine with a silver polishing cloth (or polished to a cleaner finish if it's a satin finish). Don't machine polish silver as that can wear through the plating.

If it's nickel plate it will usually turn a dull grey colour and that can be hand polished, but that will take a lot of time and effort as tarnish on nickel is stubborn. Nickel plate can be machine polished, but it is usually applied thinly, so it can also be worn through if you use a polishing compound or mops that are too coarse or apply too much pressure.

Chris.

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 Re: Cleaning metal clarinet for rebuild
Author: Matt Locker 
Date:   2018-02-10 01:06

Chris:

Thank you for the recommendations. I believe it is nickel plated. I will start with a good bath w/ brushes and then go from there.

Thanks again,
Matt

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 Re: Cleaning metal clarinet for rebuild
Author: David Spiegelthal 2017
Date:   2018-02-10 03:51

Brasso or Flitz or other reputable metal polishes do a good job on metal clarinets.

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 Re: Cleaning metal clarinet for rebuild
Author: Matt Locker 
Date:   2018-02-27 00:31

Dave:
Thank you for the additional information.
Matt

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 Re: Cleaning metal clarinet for rebuild
Author: Matt Locker 
Date:   2018-03-06 00:20

So, one more question for the experts here. I have discovered (should have looked earlier) that the register tube is mostly missing & what's left looks like it was ripped out by a mongoose. I'm presuming someone with a stuck swab destroyed it. So the question is:

Can the register tube be replaced on a metal clarinet?

This isn't a question of is it worth it to do it. It's really just can it be done. Economic decisions will come later.

Thanks,
Matt

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 Re: Cleaning metal clarinet for rebuild
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2018-03-06 05:11

An existing one from another clarinet that's suitable can be adapted, or a new one can be fabricated from scratch from brass or nickel silver rod - either way, they'll be soft soldered in place.

You should be able to remove the damaged one by unsoldering it - heat it with a gas torch until the solder melts, then push or pull it out. If it doesn't move, then it may be hard soldered in place - that will mean having to drill or ream it out.

Chris.

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 Re: Cleaning metal clarinet for rebuild
Author: Tony F 
Date:   2018-03-06 07:46

If you ask the mongoose nicely he or she may be persuaded to put it back.

Tony F.

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 Re: Cleaning metal clarinet for rebuild
Author: Matt Locker 
Date:   2018-03-07 17:27

Chris:
Thank you again. I will look into removing it & finding a replacement. Wish me luck!

Tony:
The mongoose lost the parts he took a long time ago. I checked with him.

Matt

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