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 Can one make a barrel socket smaller?
Author: senexclarinetta 
Date:   2024-06-10 22:00

Hi friends,

I have a new Buffet Icon barrel, which I purchased because I needed a shorter barrel on my R13 to match the tuning of my increasingly sharp concert band. So far I'm very impressed -- while the sound is similar (which is fine -- I like my sound) the intonation is a lot more predictable. So I think it's a keeper.

The lower barrel socket, however, is too big for the clarinet. It was fine for a careful playtest, but far too loose to use. I know that one can wrap the tenon cork for a more secure fit with tape, but I wanted to know if there was a method for adapting the barrel socket itself. This new barrel will probably become my go-to barrel, but I'd like the stock barrel to fit, too.

A quick Google suggested nothing. Any ideas?

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 Re: Can one make a barrel socket smaller?
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2024-06-10 22:40

A socket lining could be fitted - either made of nickel silver as you'd see on oboe sockets or of plastic or ebonite, only that would mean the socket will have to be enlarged to fit them and plastic or ebonite socket linings need to be made thicker than metal ones.

A grenadilla socket lining could also be used, only that would mean opening up the existing socket fairly large to fit it and that could weaken the barrel itself as it's not supported on the outside of the socket.

Otherwise the tenon rings on the top joint could easily be built up to fit the barrel socket much better if that's the only barrel you'll be using and this is far less risky and easily modified should they need to be reduced in diameter as and when.

Former oboe finisher
Howarth of London
1998 - 2010

The opinions I express are my own.

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 Re: Can one make a barrel socket smaller?
Author: clarnibass 
Date:   2024-06-11 08:44

Depending on how loose it is on the new barrel, a new cork might be good, if it's not a huge difference and not too tight with the original barrel.

For a slightly larger but still not huge difference it's possible to do a super glue "liner". Basically flood the socket with super glue, but it's critical to make sure any cork grease is cleaned from it or it won't stick well. It's preferable to have a lathe for this, or at least a method to reliably hold and spin the barrel to file/sand the socket.

For a larger difference (I prefer this method over the super glue regardless) is to make a sleeve as Chris suggested. For wood barrels and I use wood or plastic, I don't particularly like metal for this. It may (usually does) require enlarging the socket and it's best to make it a smaller diameter and fit in place.

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 Re: Can one make a barrel socket smaller?
Author: Mojo 
Date:   2024-06-13 17:41

I have made many sax mouthpiece shank bores smaller using JB Weld to coat the inside. Then I roll up a strip of clear plastic sheet and spring it open inside. This makes the glue surface smooth with only a slight step at the sheet edge. Then sand the edge when set and adjust the diameter as needed.

I have a YouTube video on how I do this.

Mojo Mouthpiece Work LLC

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 Re: Can one make a barrel socket smaller?
Author: David Eichler 
Date:   2024-06-14 06:50

According to Backun, a barrel manufacturer, no. You cannot shorten an existing barrel to make it function like a barrel manufactured to be shorter.

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 Re: Can one make a barrel socket smaller?
Author: donald 
Date:   2024-06-14 07:48

Apart from the fact that Backun are clearly wrong as this has been done many times, but who would DARE to contradict MB, this post is about making the inside dimensions of the tenon smaller, NOT the overall length

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