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 sticking octave key
Author: EaubeauHorn 
Date:   2021-04-02 20:51

I have driven a couple hundred miles, paid a lot of money, and this still does not work. I put the oboe away for quite a long while after the last time I tried to get it fixed. Frustrated is putting it mildly.
The octave key, when depressed, should allow the octave vent to open (sorry i do not know proper terms for this, hopefully you can figure it out.) It does not open unless I manually open it. Then when I release the octave key, this vent should close, but it sits there and I have to close it manually. It sits there unless I move it manually, both directions. The shop said they put a "stronger spring" in it but....I cannot tell if this is a lubrication problem or a friction problem from something being bent in a way I cannot see.
What can I do? I am tired of taking it places and paying money and it comes back the same way it left. The rest of the oboe seems to be working fine. This thing that isn't working is on a rocker; the rocker has a screw that could be used to tighten or loosen. What should I try? It can't get worse since I can only play in one octave or the other based on where I have put that rocker manually and it stays there until I move it manually again.

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 Re: sticking octave key
Author: Hotboy 
Date:   2021-04-02 21:52

One cause may be the screw is in too tight, which makes the posts bind and the rocker arm is stuck. Try unscrewing the screw a bit and see if this alleviates the problem. If it does not, then one of the posts may be turned, which can also bind the rocker arm from moving.

Bay Area, California

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 Re: sticking octave key
Author: Hotboy 
Date:   2021-04-02 21:54

I forgot to mention that most standard "music store" repair guys have almost no clue what to do with an oboe other than replace pads and turn screws. If you want your problem solved, then you will need to send it to a qualified oboe repair tech. I recommend John Goebel at Forrest's in Berkeley, but there are many in the country.

Bay Area, California

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 Re: sticking octave key
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2021-04-02 22:34

As the lower 8ve key is binding in the way you've described it, chances are the key barrel is too tight between the pillars and that is best addressed by an oboe specialist.

Most cross mounted keys (perpendicular to the bore) are susceptible to binding with the expansion and contraction of the wood with humidity changes which affects them more than keys mounted parallel with the joints.

The rod screw is holding the key in place and loosening or tightening it won't make much difference as rod screws do have to be done up securely, neither left loose nor overtorqued.

Fitting a stronger spring isn't the course of action for binding keys - properly fitted keys and also making sure there's no burr or dirt in the key barrel as well as cleaning and straightening the rod screw to be sure it works with sufficient spring tension to make sure it will lift when the back 8ve is held down and will close when it's released.


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 Re: sticking octave key
Author: gohpeds 
Date:   2021-04-03 23:00

Have you played this oboe recently?
Possibly the key barrel is binding between the posts. If it was Ok before, it is not because it is too long but possibly because the wood has dried and shrunk. Do not file the ends of the barrel. When the wood hydrates again it will be too short and float.
Best to put some orange peels or humidifier in the case. Warm the area with your hand before playing and oil and do not tighten the screw too much.
Season changes can do this, winter air is too dry and if you don't play this instrument regularly this can happen. Low spring tension does not do anything.
If it is a Marigaux the flat spring is tricky to place under the octave key and may be placed wrong. Other brands, Rigoutat, etc are much easier.
Hope this helps.


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 Re: sticking octave key
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2021-04-04 00:48

If it's binding between the pillars, then it will need to be dealt with to prevent that happening. Fraising back the key barrel by just enough to free up the key will indeed allow some lateral play, but that lateral play is necessary and has to be factored in to prevent it binding up again. Metal and wood (and metal and plastic) just don't mix.

All cross mounted keys on wooden oboes need some lateral play between their pillars to ensure they don't bind up. If that isn't done, then you'll have trouble. And once fraised back, the ends of the key barrels will also benefit from the inside edges being slightly countersunk.

On plastic instruments, all keys will need to have lateral play relative to the lengths of the key barrels to ensure they'll work when cold as plastic moves in all directions - long leys are the ones most affected by temperature changes and will need the most lateral play otherwise they'll bind up solid when played in cold conditions.


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