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 Home repair victory/question
Author: Bill 
Date:   2020-03-10 19:19

At 60, I'm finally starting off on a personal dream: being able to work on my own clarinets.

Yesterday, I built up the bridge key of an old Thibouville clarinet and got it to play long B just fine. Victory! Contact cement and card stock!

Oddly, the clarinet cannot sound the pinched Bb. I assume this has absolutely nothing to do with my work on the bridge key. Also, in the clarion there is a "grunt" and the clarinet wants to drop back down to the fundamental.

The register key looks fine to me. Throat A plays (and G#). Side Bb plays. But no pinched Bb.

Can anyone give me a clue? Thank you!!!

Bill Fogle
Ellsworth, Maine
(formerly Washington, DC)


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 Re: Home repair victory/question
Author: jdbassplayer 
Date:   2020-03-10 19:32

Register tube is probably plugged. Take the key off and clean with a pipe cleaner.

-Jdbassplayer

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 Re: Home repair victory/question
Author: ACCA 
Date:   2020-03-10 19:51

Yes, the register tube only needs a tiny airflow to allow clarion and even altissimo notes to speak, but the Bb will be stuffy if it is clogged. A common problem for an older instrument- many years worth of swabbing can build up lint inside it, plus goodness knows what else! A pipe cleaner should remove all but the most stubborn build up.

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 Re: Home repair victory/question
Author: Bill 
Date:   2020-03-24 19:49
Attachment:  20200324_114732.jpg (207k)

Good advice! Thank you jdbassplayer and ACCA!

Bill Fogle
Ellsworth, Maine
(formerly Washington, DC)


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 Re: Home repair victory/question
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2020-03-24 21:16

I'm not sure what you're saying. Does the Bb not speak at all (like something is plugged up) or does it speak but sound stuffier than before?

I don't know why you wouldn't at least get an A if a clogged register tube were the issue. It would be just like not opening the register key at all, except maybe noisier if something in the register tube were vibrating. Especially since A and G# do play without the register key open.

Does Bb play if you turn the two sections so the bridge keys aren't lined up?

Let us know if cleaning the register tube clears the problem up.

I'm assuming the clarinet was playable before you worked on the bridge key and that Bb played in a normal way?

Karl

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 Re: Home repair victory/question
Author: Philip Caron 
Date:   2020-03-24 21:57

I do some of my own repairs. Some pad work, tone hole cleaning, some pad work - easy stuff. Be warned that there are some very tricky things about the mechanism, even though it's basically simple to take apart and reassemble. The bridge business can be affected by details of the rod function lower down, i.e. screw tightness and post spacing etc. The interdependence of the lowest pads right and left can be susceptible to hard-to-spot little factors. In both those areas, I did try but was forced to turn to a real repair person. Oh, and needle springs are SHARP damn little things. But you are doing a noble and most recommendable thing.

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 Re: Home repair victory/question
Author: Bill 
Date:   2020-03-24 23:35

All cleared up by following the advice I got here (to clean the register tube). Photo I attached is of 100% clogged tube.

Bill Fogle
Ellsworth, Maine
(formerly Washington, DC)


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 Re: Home repair victory/question
Author: clarinetist04 
Date:   2020-03-26 16:40

Bill - that's incredible! What in the world was clogging it? It looks like old bubble gum or some kind of paste put in intentionally!

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 Re: Home repair victory/question
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2020-03-26 17:08

Bill wrote:

> All cleared up by following the advice I got here (to clean the
> register tube). Photo I attached is of 100% clogged tube.
>

I don't see an attachment. Maybe I'm not looking in the right place?
Anyway, if the register tube was so badly clogged, why did it play correctly before you changed the bridge key heights? Or did it?

Karl

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