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 C# key pad not rising
Author: EaubeauHorn 
Date:   2017-05-29 05:38

My oboe took a fall a week ago, and some keys took a hit. I took it to someone with an excellent local reputation, he appeared to fix it, said it was all fine. When I got it home, the Bb to B was slow, as if I were doing a slide, but after wiggling it back and forth a lot, that seemed to straighten out. Now the pad that is supposed to rise when I play a low C# is not rising, so the C# still plays as a C. The octave above sounds a bit better but probably only because I am blowing harder. I have tried the "wiggle back and forth" and it is not fixing the problem. It is "as if" it needs lubrication but I suspect something is bent. Is there anything I can do myself?

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 Re: C# key pad not rising
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2017-05-29 16:40

No - take it straight to your repairer before you do any more damage by trying to fix it yourself.


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 Re: C# key pad not rising
Author: matt_lin18 
Date:   2017-05-29 21:29

It could be still a bent rod still that's causing the low C# pad not to rise. In that case, I would take it back to your repairer so straighten it back out. Even a slight visually imperceptible bend can cause the key not to rise because of how tight the key tolerances are.

I had this similar issue with an oboe I owned a few years ago. I'm not sure if it was a bent rod but adding tension to the flat spring on the C# key fixed my issue and it never came back. I would only advise the steps below only if you are completely comfortable with doing it or have past experience of basic instrument repair. Proceed at your risk!

Referencing to this picture for the following steps:

Take a screwdriver and remove the "Bb linkage arm" by loosening the post. The screw is located on the bottom of the arm, closest to the bell. Removing the Bb linkage will allow you to access to the post that the C# key is on.

Take your screwdriver again and unscrew the post on the low C# key. Remove the key. You should see a flat spring that is curved downwards. Carefully bend the spring back a little bit so it has more tension.

If you have key oil, apply some to the rod and posts that the C# key sits on. Clean the rod off first before applying it. You only need maybe half a drop of key oil. And while you're at it, gently clean the pad of the C# just in case a sticky key is contributing to the issue.

Reassemble the instrument again, put the C# key back in it's place and screw in the rod. Then the Bb linkage arm and screw the post back in. If it still doesn't work, it is probably bent.

Post Edited (2017-05-29 21:32)

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 Re: C# key pad not rising
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2017-05-29 23:54

As I said, leave it to your repairer.


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 Re: C# key pad not rising
Author: EaubeauHorn 
Date:   2017-06-02 19:36

I'm not about to start taking things off it myself despite being an engineer and knowing how mechanical things work. I took it two hours north yesterday and $250 later it is cleaned up (wasn't bad,) some corks replaced, and appears to be working again.

I was told (by someone local, who told me to go north) that the local guy is either wonderful or horrible, with nothing in between. I didn't want to take it back after hearing that.

It is also now sitting in a corner where it cannot be knocked over by an idiot carrying a blanket past it and not realizing where the blanket is in space.

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 Re: C# key pad not rising
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2017-06-02 23:34

Some woodwind repairers who only tend to see flutes, clarinets and saxes aren't always clued up on the finer details of setting up oboes, so they will either leave wide open or close some keys down fully that are meant to have some minimal movement in them or try to eliminate double action (lost motion) by closing down or opening up the ventings on other keys.

And with conservatoire or dual systems with a closed standing forked F vent, they don't understand how it works and will see it opens and closes with RH3, but often don't realise it also has to close with RH2 while RH3 is held down, so that impairs the notes from low Eb downwards.

So wherever possible, have your oboes worked on by oboe specialists.


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