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 Covering pads prior to cleaning keywork
Author: clarimad 
Date:   2019-04-15 01:03

I'm curious as to what others do - before I machine and Dremel buff clarinet keys (off the instrument) I usually apply masking tape to protect the pads.

What do other technicians do in order to ensure their machine cleaning doesn't spoil any pads?

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 Re: Covering pads prior to cleaning keywork
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2019-04-15 01:55

I wouldn't "machine" a key that had pads on it. Hand buffing is fine.

My first thought on this is that if the keys are in need of dremel buffing, the pads are probably on their last legs at best.

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

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 Re: Covering pads prior to cleaning keywork
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2019-04-15 02:22

I don't stick or mask the pads when polishing keys with tape or anything as sticking tape on them will either leave sticky residue or damage them. And I'd never use a Dremel or any form of machine polishing to polish keys whilst pads and key corks are still in situ.

Some clarinets will tarnish up like anything because of sulphur fumes from ebonite or adhesives used in the case or the chemicals used to tan the leather used to cover cases with, or simply due to the environment.

I polish silver plated keys by hand with a silver polishing cloth, taking care to minimise contact with the pads in the process, but it's unavoidable as some pads will get some dirt from the polishing cloth on them. In that case, I clean them with alcohol after the keys have been polished instead of before and alcohol will remove any black marks on the sides of pads accidentally caught by the polishing cloth.

Same with any key corks I don't want to replace - polish as close to them as is possible and clean any marks off them with alcohol after you've polished the keys. On some keys you can leave the top sides of the pad cups and then polish them once the keys are installed, but clean the bits that are hard to reach whilst the keys are off.

If it's a full overhaul and all the pads and key corks have been removed, then knock yourself out and you can polish the keys in any way you prefer to as there aren't any pads to get dirty or damaged by the polishing process.


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