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 How to increase throat A spring tension?
Author: m1964 
Date:   2019-02-19 18:19

Hi,
I am trying to help an older friend ( we play in a band) to "fix" his Centered Tone 1959 Selmer. They do not have much money so I offered to re-pad the clarinet. I am not charging him for labor.

Even before starting the job, I noticed that the throat A and lower G# keys would open with even slight air pressure.
I started yesterday - repadded the upper joint, changed the original key corks (most of old ones fell off anyway), but have the same problem- even with slight to moderate air pressure the throat A key would not hold. It holds the vacuum fine so I assume it is the spring tension and that does feel weak to me.
However, bending up the tip in hope it would slide better over the metal plate embeded in the grove resulted in non- working spring so I unbent the tip back.
Tried to bend more closer to the screw- no change. The spring is made of metal that looks like copper.

Can anyone help?
Thank you

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 Re: How to increase throat A spring tension?
Author: jdbassplayer 
Date:   2019-02-19 18:50

You need a slightly longer spring. This is a common problem on some instruments where the spring is so short that it can't apply enough torque to keep the pad seated properly.

-Jdbassplayer

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 Re: How to increase throat A spring tension?
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2019-02-19 19:30

m1964 wrote:

> I noticed that the throat A and
> lower G# keys would open with even slight air pressure.

> However, bending up the tip in hope it would slide better over
> the metal plate embeded in the grove resulted in non- working
> spring so I unbent the tip back.

Are you trying to increase the tension on the A key? It's normally a flat spring, and you would bend it downward (away from the key). You can improve the glide over the metal inset by lubing the end of the spring with a little Vaseline.

But you can also get more resistance from the A key by adjusting the spring on the G# key. That's a needle spring and may be easier to bend. The resistance of the A key is the sum of its own spring and the G# spring.

Make sure there isn't more than a hair's play between the A and the G# keys. You don't want much room for the A key to move by itself before the G# spring kicks in.

Karl

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 Re: How to increase throat A spring tension?
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2019-02-19 19:40

I have come across some springs that had a very coppery appearance and they don't hold consistent tension as well as "blue steel," so I'd start there. I too bend the very tip into a bit of a "sky slope" so there is a better slide across the plate on which it sits.



Some of the bending looks counterintuitive. The Buffet configuration of that flat spring looks more like a Dr. Zeus approach to getting around the bottom of the "A" key......but it works!


And I too recommend maintaining a slight space between "A" key and "G#" key. Even though I use synthetic pads where it should not matter, I maintain the practice from the old days of felt, leather and even cork where the "A" key pad can swell a bit more than the "G#" pad which then forces the "G#" pad up slightly off the horn (when there is no space) causing a leak.



............Paul Aviles



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 Re: How to increase throat A spring tension?
Author: Steven Ocone 2017
Date:   2019-02-19 22:00
Attachment:  throat A.jpg (26k)

JDBass player is on the right track. I'll try to upload a graphic. Besides using a longer spring, the end of the present spring may be bent so that it lands further from the access of rotation. Also, sometimes a divot forms in the metal plate that it rides on or the spring is sitting at the side of the groove and rubbing against the wooden body.

Steven Ocone
Ann & Steve's Music

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 Re: How to increase throat A spring tension?
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2019-02-19 22:06

Steven Ocone wrote:

> sometimes a divot forms in the metal plate that
> it rides on or the spring is sitting at the side of the groove
> and rubbing against the wooden body.
>

Would this explain a key that *opens* too easily (in m1964's words, "with even slight air pressure" - i.e. blowing open)? It seems to me if the spring is binding in this way it might prevent it from closing, which would certainly result in a leak. But why would a bind in the spring's travel cause too little resistance to internal air pressure?

Karl

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 Re: How to increase throat A spring tension?
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2019-02-20 00:54

The spring gets "hung up" on the divot.



Just my experience.






...............Paul Aviles



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 Re: How to increase throat A spring tension?
Author: m1964 
Date:   2019-02-20 02:57

Thanks a lot to everyone who replied to my post.

jdbassplayer wrote:

"You need a slightly longer spring. This is a common problem on some instruments where the spring is so short that it can't apply enough torque to keep the pad seated properly. "

That may explain why me bending the tip of the spring up made it worse- while the tip was bent up it made the part of the spring producing tension slightly shorter.

Steven Ocone wrote:
"...Besides using a longer spring, the end of the present spring may be bent so that it lands further from the access of rotation. Also, sometimes a divot forms in the metal plate that it rides on or the spring is sitting at the side of the groove and rubbing against the wooden body."

Hi Steven,
So, bending the spring "down" at a point closer to the screw effectively makes the spring to contact the body closer to the rotation point.
Would it be better to unbend the spring a little to bring the point of contact away from rotation point?
I did not see a divot in the metal plate but I wil check again tonight with a magnifying glass to be sure.
Unfortunately, since I am not a professional tech, I do not have extra springs/ parts in home so I will have to do with the original spring.

Again thanks a lot for your help.

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 Re: How to increase throat A spring tension?
Author: Steven Ocone 2017
Date:   2019-02-20 19:00

Any bending of the spring is so that the spring is, in effect, longer. You want the initial point of contact to be further from the screw rod. This may not be possible in your situation, but if it is you can avoid looking for a longer spring.

Steven Ocone
Ann & Steve's Music

Post Edited (2019-02-20 22:31)

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 Re: How to increase throat A spring tension?
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2019-02-21 04:30

Some throat A ley springs need to clear the key barrel so they don't foul against it. Another thing you can do to make more room is to file a flat on the underside of the key barrel to provide more clearance for the spring, but making sure you don't file through it.

Having the flat spring made as long as possible so the free end is as near to the countersink for the open G tonehole as is possible will help a lot as will replacing the steel saddle in the spring slot if it's worn out or removing and flipping it over. Add a drop of heavy oil to the end of the needle spring where it contacts the steel saddle to make it slide better. If the saddle is rusty, then use a screwdriver tip to scrape the rust off and along the length of the saddle as opposed to across it so the spring tip won't catch in any cross scratches.

You don't need a mega heavy gauge flat spring for the throat A key as that will make it too heavy to use in conjunction with the speaker key when playing throat Bb as the speaker key will open before the throat A key does. Find a gauge that you can balance well (the curve of the spring will determine the tension and balance) and making sure both throat A key and the speaker key will open together when playing throat Bb.

The throat G# needle spring will only have an effect on the throat A key once the A key makes contact with the adjusting screw tip and then lifts the G# key as opposed to adding more pressure to the throat A key pad, so leave a gap that's less than 0.5mm between the two to be sure the G# pad closes.

If you want a much better action or feel on the throat A key when using it, don't use cork or anything there and instead burnish the flat recess on the top side of the throat A key arm to a mirror finish and fit a nylon tipped adjusting screw in the G# key arm (or fit a nylon tip to the adjusting screw). Make the nylon tip evenly domed instead of cut square or at a wonky angle so you can get good adjustment and feel. You won't get any noise from it as there's such a tiny gap between the two.

Chris.

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 Re: How to increase throat A spring tension?
Author: clarnibass 
Date:   2019-02-21 10:42

Bending the end of the spring has the effect of shortening it, both in length and in "height" (tension). The former makes it stronger and the latter makes it weaker. The main disadvantage of shortening it is that it increases the difference in resistance between its two positions, making it feel worse. Whether this is a problem depends on how it is now, its length, the design, etc.

As long as a sharp edge at the end doesn't doesn't touch the body then it doesn't matter if the gap is 1mm, 0.5mm or 0.01mm. In most cases it is best to have that spring as long as possible, so I debur and smooth the edge of the spring and make sure it doesn't slide on that very edge, but it might look like it does, the gap is just extremely small and doesn't actually look like the bent up end (which is just visual).

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 Re: How to increase throat A spring tension?
Author: Steven Ocone 2017
Date:   2019-02-22 23:08

I'm sorry about my picture. I was in a hurry to get to work and I did not properly describe the graphic. I meant to show what is how springs often come on a clarinet and how that is a problem. I see that I totally blew it. Moral: don't do these posts unless I have enough time!

Steven Ocone
Ann & Steve's Music

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 Re: How to increase throat A spring tension?
Author: m1964 
Date:   2019-02-26 04:07

Thanks a lot to everyone who replied to my post, especially to Steven Ocone, clarnibass and Chris P.

I was able to adjust the A key spring to my satisfaction and also, after playing the instrument, adjusted the same way side D# key spring, which was bent in multiple places and had worn seat with divot which I made flat.

I also have another question: what is the best sorce of the cork to use on tenons, and what thickness is the best- is it 1.5mm?
I replaced two tenon corks on this Selmer and do not remember where I got that cork from.

Even that I do not need to do any repairs right now on my own clarinets one never knows when the cork may start spinning or just gets too thin.

My own Bb and A lower joints can use new tenon corks since both bells are sort of lose.
Thanks again.



Post Edited (2019-02-27 08:19)

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 Re: How to increase throat A spring tension?
Author: Steven Ocone 2017
Date:   2019-02-26 17:35

1.5 mm is good. I'm generally am able to use 3/64" inches, but sometimes need 1/16" which is is slightly thicker than 1.5mm. In the US I believe Ferree's and JL Smith sell to the general public and have cork I like. The type called "press-filled" is good quality.

Steven Ocone
Ann & Steve's Music

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 Re: How to increase throat A spring tension?
Author: m1964 
Date:   2019-02-27 08:29

Steven Ocone wrote:

> 1.5 mm is good. I'm generally am able to use 3/64" inches, but
> sometimes need 1/16" which is is slightly thicker than 1.5mm.
> In the US I believe Ferree's and JL Smith sell to the general
> public and have cork I like. The type called "press-filled" is
> good quality.
>

Steven,

Than you very much for replying to me.

I looked at the JLSmith website and also at Votaw tools -Votaw sell synthetic cork by Valentino.
I was not sure which would be better, but will buy from JL Smith.

Both of my clarinets are stored in a Buffet double case for a few days a week, with bells attached to lower joints.

I am not sure if replacing the lower tenon corks will do much since it will get compressed again. I may try wetting the existing corks and heating it up with a weak flame to expand it. However, I do not think that such a method will produce long-term effect.

thanks again

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 Re: How to increase throat A spring tension?
Author: shmuelyosef 
Date:   2019-03-03 00:10

I have tried several types of synthetic cork on my own clarinet tenons and have not found it to last very long, although initially it feels excellent. You still need some type of lubricant.

I buy my cork from both JLSmith and MusicMedic, and the quality is equivalent in my experience.

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 Re: How to increase throat A spring tension?
Author: DavidBlumberg 
Date:   2019-03-03 03:46

I was at JL Smith just yesterday:

Had an older R13 that the A spring needed work to make it less mushy - he put a metal piece under the spring to keep it from digging into the wood.

http://www.MyTempoMusic.com

http://www.skypeclarinetlessons.com/about.html

Backun/Legere/BG/Silverstein

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