Oboe Tenon Replacement

So you left your oboe on the bed, forgot it was there, sat on it and it’s snapped in half at the tenon joint. OMG, my expensive oboe – what a feeling!

Well, this video shows that it can be fixed. This is the first time I fixed a tenon using this technique and it’s one that I learned from my good friend Bernd Moosmann when I visited his bassoon factory near Stuttgart in December 2015. One of the things I find rewarding about being a woodwind technician is constantly refining your skills and learning new tricks. Building good relationships with other repairers is a great help in this. No matter how much experience you have, you can always learn from other people’s experience.

I’ve seen broken tenons fixed by gluing them back together, sometimes with pins to reinforce the joint, but this type of repair never seems to last very long. By counterboring into the instrument and fitting a new piece of wood, you get a much stronger and more stable repair. The crucial thing is to make sure the bore of the new piece matches up exactly with the bore of the instrument, so precise measurement of the bore and making an accurate reamer is essential.

Many years ago I had to fix a broken oboe tenon in a hurry because the player had to use it the next day for an audition. I had to use 5 minute araldite because I didn’t have time for the glue to set overnight. This repair lasted more than ten years of heavy professional use before the glue failed and the replacement tenon came out. I refitted it with full strength epoxy and the instrument is still going strong another ten years on.

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