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 repair / spare parts question
Author: m1964 
Date:   2020-03-06 10:16

I bought an Evette (not a master model), s/n B149xx.
It needs a complete overhaul that I plan on doing by myself.

I am going to need a throat A key flat spring.
Does anyone know if the springs from JL Smith come with the hole for the screw pre-drilled?
Would their 0.2x16mm spring fit that key?
Also, can anyone suggest the best way to bend the spring for that key?
I may try to glue a metal plate in the grove like new buffets have, if polishing the wood under the spring will not be enough to make it move smoothly.

I am planning to use this Evette as a spare clarinet for playing outdoors and a back-up to my Buffet.


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 Re: repair / spare parts question
Author: clarnibass 
Date:   2020-03-07 09:50

I don't remember the springs from J.L. Smith specifically, but I also don't remember getting flat springs from anywhere without holes in them. Springs are hardened to some degree, not fully hard, but still harder to drill than in non-hardened steel.
BTW I think Smith has both blued steel and stainless springs.

Can't say about the size of the spring... I just stock many and start with the closest to the original, but never keep that information since it's pretty random with many models and keys, and looking it up is probably slower than what I do now.
You can shorten a slightly too long spring so make sure to not get ones that are too short.

To bend it, in general it needs to not touch the hinge in the middle and not slide on a sharp edge, so it means it might need a couple of curves in it.
You can bend the very edge a fraction and/or slightly round the edges of where it is touching for that. I almost always do that. This makes it slide better and especially help prevent it from digging and eventually getting stuck.
If you bend the end it will also shorten it essentially so keep that in mind (the shorter the spring, the more the feel changes between its positions).

Adding a metal plate is a good idea. I use silver because I happen to have very thin sheet, but can't see why stainless wouldn't be as good or better. The issues from bearing of similar metals are probably irrelevant in this case... but not sure.
It will almost certainly move very nicely even without a plate. The only problem is if it starts digging and tries to "climb" over something and can get stuck a little. This can happen with a metal plate, but can happen more quickly without.

Spring bending pliers and tool are only really useful for needle springs. For flat springs I mostly use round nose pliers, small flat nose pliers (or larger ones, but usually not for clarinets) and just as often... my fingers.

Post Edited (2020-03-07 09:55)

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 Re: repair / spare parts question
Author: m1964 
Date:   2020-03-07 21:05

Hi clarnibass,
Thanks a lot for your reply.
I took the same spring off an Artley clarinet- it works but feels somewhat weak.
I was able to play this "new" (to me) Evettee and was surpised that it sounded really like a student hurd rubber clarinet. I was expecting better tone from a wooden instrument.

Prestini sells the springs too, I understand that I may want to get a thicker spring to make the key stiffer since I don't want it to leak.

This "project" makes sense only if I can do it myself, otherwise buying E11 would make more sense- e11 is a much better instrument INHO.
I regret selling my first buffet -E12 though I wanted money to finance an R13...

Thank again

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 Re: repair / spare parts question
Author: clarnibass 
Date:   2020-03-11 09:08

It's a clarinet so you can't be sure how good it is from its name. The Festival is usually very good, yet the most recent one I tried was... just ok... paled in comparison with the Tradition I tried next to it, which was also so much better than the Tradition I tried a while before that... just a few examples...

>> I was expecting better tone from a wooden instrument. <<

Some of the worst clarinets are wood. It's not necessarily a sign for anything.

>> spring off an Artley clarinet <<

From (somewhat vague) memory, Artleys often have those less elastic stainless steel springs (not to be confused with the several types of stainless steel springs available which can vary significantly).

>> I may want to get a thicker spring to make the key stiffer since I don't want it to leak. <<

"Thicker" and "stiffer" are relative... so it's a question in comparison with what...? From experience it is sometimes possible to know how much thicker a springs needs to be compared with one you are trying... but this also depends on exact alloy, heat treatment, etc. Unless it is the same it's not really possible to compare. A thicker spring can feel weaker than a thinner one.

Blued steel vs. stainless, stainless vs. another stainless, even blued steel vs. another blued steel... all might not be the same.
These aren't very expensive so worth buying a few and check.

Re leaking, the spring should be adjusted to get the key to feel good and the key shouldn't leak with that amount of tension. If it does, then there's a problem with the seal, not the spring.

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 Re: repair / spare parts question
Author: Dibbs 
Date:   2020-03-11 15:50

m1964 wrote:
> I may try to glue a metal plate in the grove like new buffets
> have,

and like more than a few 300 year old flutes have. lol.

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