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 Metal Key Cork
Author: BGBG 
Date:   2018-03-29 22:33

The metal key "RH 1d key" cork came off. Upper section. I have some contact cement but before I try to refasten it I wanted to ask if it is really necessary and why. Just some opinions on whether it is worth trying to refasten.

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 Re: Metal Key Cork
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2018-03-29 23:00

Key corks are fitted to minimise mechanical noise and also to regulate interlinked keywork, so if they fall off, you'll be left with a clarinet that sounds like a typewriter and also end up with some fingerings not working (due to some pads not closing) or excess key travel.

The type of silencing material used and where it's used is important. Natural cork has pretty much had its day for most keys as there are now much better alternatives available which are more durable, have better sound deadening and low friction properties - sadly not all of those properties are found in one single material.

Chris.

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 Re: Metal Key Cork
Author: Ken Lagace 
Date:   2018-03-30 16:28

Do you have suggestions for a good substitute?

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 Re: Metal Key Cork
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2018-03-30 17:22

Rubco/tech cork/gummi-kork/gasket cork (high density rubberised cork) for closed-standing key stoppers, linkages and under adjusting screws as its hard wearing - coat it with graphite (or self adhesive Teflon sheet) for sliding linkages.

For open standing keys and keys in contact with the joint surface (RH ring keys, RH E/B key, LH F/C lever, crows foot, etc), use something like felt or ultrasuede to minimise key noise.

The throat G# key adjusting screw will benefit with having a nylon tip fitted instead of relying on something stuck to the throat A key which inevitably gets worn out or makes the action feel sluggish.

The only place I use natural cork as a key stopper on clarinets is the throat A key stopper - I use waterkey corks for this cut obliquely (you can get two wedges from the one waterkey cork), then shaped and trimmed and sanded to the correct thickness once glued on.

Chris.

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