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 Clarinet sticks after playing
Author: Breigh 
Date:   2019-09-11 18:42

I have a new buffet R13. After playing it is terrible to get apart after it has expanded . Is this common? I don’t think that it is the cork. Is it a good idea to take it to a repair shop to have it shaved?


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 Re: Clarinet sticks after playing
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2019-09-11 18:55

Probably the wood itself (around the corks) is swelling and the joints are binding. Be careful to grease the corks enough (each time you play for now), but that may not ease the problem. I'd have it looked at by a knowledgeable repair person. If it's now summer where you are, colder weather might reduce the problem, but the damage (bent keys) you may do trying to get things apart now is more important.

Meanwhile, don't push the joints completely together until you have it checked. Leave half a millimeter or so. Often with a little play between the socket and the shoulder of the tenon, you can rock the joint slightly (carefully) to loosen the bind and get them apart more easily. That's not a long-term fix, though.


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 Re: Clarinet sticks after playing
Author: Breigh 
Date:   2019-09-11 19:22

Thanks, Karl. I’m going to have it looked at by a repair guy.


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 Re: Clarinet sticks after playing
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2019-09-12 00:40

My new R13 had an issue cause by a burl at the point where the grooves start to hold the cork on the tenon. I hear it is a common issue. A tech can shave that down pretty easily and have you up and running in just few minutes.

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

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 Re: Clarinet sticks after playing
Author: Breigh 
Date:   2019-09-12 00:59

Thanks, Paul. that’s good to hear. Maybe mine is a simple fix like that.


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 Re: Clarinet sticks after playing
Author: blueclarinet 
Date:   2019-09-12 01:52

New clarinets really should be gradually played in, to accustom the wood to moisture little by little. I know that it is hard to play the new instrument for only a few minutes per day the first week, and more the second week, but you will be adding to the eventual lifetime of the instrument by doing this! And yes, wooden joints do swell up, but consider what is actually going on inside the instrument if the joints swell so much that they tighten.

William C Sereque

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 Re: Clarinet sticks after playing
Author: Steven Ocone 2017
Date:   2019-09-12 02:00

In my area all new Buffet R13 clarinets have this problem.

Steven Ocone
Ann & Steve's Music

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 Re: Clarinet sticks after playing
Author: Breigh 
Date:   2019-09-12 02:21

I live in the Southeast US. I’ve owned it for about 6 months now and play it once to twice a week. I have try using more cork grease but that doesn’t help at all. Once it has time to “cool down” it’s still hard to get apart but doable. I’m afraid I’ll bend the keys and have more issues.


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 Re: Clarinet sticks after playing
Author: Luuk 2017
Date:   2019-09-12 11:44

It is not the cork, but wood jamming on wood. 'Rocking' the joint is risky. Only use this if nothing else works, and be careful. It may deform the wood and in time you may end up with the opposite problem: a tenon which is too loose. A tenon with too much play is very costly to cure.

If the joints are really stuck, leave the clarinet alone for some time and try again. If it still won't move, warm the outer part with your hands and try again.

Have a good repair person remove a very (very!) small amount of wood from the inner tenon (the 'male' part), using a lathe so the outline will stay circular.


Philips Symphonic Band
The Netherlands

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 Re: Clarinet sticks after playing
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2019-09-12 22:44

You only need the high spots removed from the tenon rings to achieve a good fit in the sockets. It's best to only skim just enough wood from them instead of machining them down as that will cause the tenon to rock and you don't want that - especially on the middle tenon as that will knacker up your long Bb.


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 Re: Clarinet sticks after playing
Author: shmuelyosef 
Date:   2019-09-14 22:48

Totally agree with Chris...don't use a lathe. After a clarinet has been machined and sat, it is even difficult just to center the joint, much less remove a 50-100 microns from the offending part. I have recently seen several Yamaha clarinets as well as Buffets that have this problem.

You can generally see where the interference is happening (often where the growth rings are close spaced) in the circumference as shiny spots. You can also mark it with a felt pen and assemble/disassemble and see where the pen mark is smudged.

To adjust, I use wet-dry sandpaper in the 150-250 grit range. I back the paper with clear packing tape (I use 3M) and then use a paper cutter to slice a strip the width of the inner tenon raised portion. I mount the clarinet on a lathe or a bench stand (I'm partial to the Votaw tool stand for operations like this) and then use the sandpaper as if I'm ragging/polishing on the pre-identified hot spots. I check the fit often to make certain that I'm removing in the right place and not too much. Sounds complicated, but generally takes 10-15 minutes for the whole thing.


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