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 a salute to repair-people everywhere
Author: DougR 
Date:   2019-06-14 02:11

Just acquired a Bundy Eb clarinet, cheap. It's an older school instrument, all intact and with relatively fresh-looking pads.

So far so good. Took a squint down the bore. EEEYUGH! You remember those old Drano commercials where they'd show you the sink drain "Before", with the Layer of fuzzy-looking scale all around the inside? Well, I'm in the process of doing the "Drano" with this clarinet. Easy enough, you get the keys off and it's plastic after all.

But repair people just have to fix what's broke, not what's dirty. This poor clarinet never saw a swab in its life, and the outside wasn't much better than the inside. So for ME, I can Hazmat it at my leisure, but a repair person just fixes the big stuff, scrapes aside the dirt that's there, and sends it back out the door hopefully playing up to spec, even if probably not passing the USDA bacteria-count test.

So I have a new appreciation for repair people: I'm lucky to have access to real artist-level repair people, but working with horns like this? this is more like plumbing!

So Hats Off, and thanks repair folk!

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 Re: a salute to repair-people everywhere
Author: Steven Ocone 
Date:   2019-06-14 02:22

I have put on gloves and gone outside to strip some instruments down.

Steve Ocone

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 Re: a salute to repair-people everywhere
Author: fernie121 
Date:   2019-06-14 05:59

I will never forget middle school, when a girl walked up to our music director and complained that her clarinet was “crawling”. I watched as he took apart her clarinet and ants could be seen crawling in and out of the bore!

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 Re: a salute to repair-people everywhere
Author: David Spiegelthal 2017
Date:   2019-06-14 06:41

I overhauled a Boosey & Hawkes Symphony 1010 once that had evidently been inside a burning house, the clarinet was coated inside and out with a black, tar-like substance that was probably condensed smoke and soot. It took the better part of a day just to clean that stuff off before I could even begin the regular overhaul work. But in the end, a very special clarinet!

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 Re: a salute to repair-people everywhere
Author: hans 
Date:   2019-06-14 07:39


I agree with you - the salute is well deserved.


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 Re: a salute to repair-people everywhere
Author: Mojo 
Date:   2019-06-14 16:42

I have warned some clients who wanted their mouthpiece cleaned out that its sound was going to change.

Mojo Mouthpiece Work LLC

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 Re: a salute to repair-people everywhere
Author: sbrodt54 
Date:   2019-06-15 04:58


Thank you. There are times when we don't feel very appreciated at all. Getting a call at 9am on a Sunday morning to fix a crack in the top joint for a very accomplished player who has a recital at noon, well, I think we're all rather dedicated indeed. I will say, it's a pleasure to work with incredible players but I love repairing a clarinet for a beginner and seeing their face light up when the clarinet works correctly.

Scott Brodt

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 Re: a salute to repair-people everywhere
Author: DougR 
Date:   2019-06-15 16:30

that's great to hear, Scott. I've always had immense respect for teachers, for example, because they're gatekeepers in a very important way: offering knowledge and know-how that opens doors for people to express themselves much more fully than they could otherwise.

Your post reminds me that repair people do exactly the same thing, and in the same very important way.

It's unfortunate to regard repair repair folks as "instrument processors" where you put a sick instrument on one end of the conveyor belt, the processor "processes" it magically somehow, and out the other end comes a good playing instrument. The knowledge, care, and (if one's lucky) artistry involved in the repair craft is quite a considerable thing--so again, hats off to you and everyone else in the repair biz.

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