Clarinet Repairs

Here is a guide to the different clarinet repair and maintenance services I offer. I charge by the hour rather than offering fixed rates as I have found that this is a fairer and more economical system. I will always give you an accurate estimate when I have seen the instrument, before commencing work. Phone or email me for further details or an estimate.

General Repairs and Maintenance

Minor Service: Brush off dust, clean tenons, replace 2-3 pads, recork keys as required, general clean up, oil and regulate, test play.
General Service: Remove all keywork, clean up keys and body, remove old oil from keywork, clean  and seal speaker/thumb tubes, repair tone holes and replace 4-8 pads as required, recork keys and tenons as required, straighten any bent keys, remove excess play in keywork, oil and regulate, test play.
Full Overhaul: As for general service, plus completely dismantle instrument, polish keys,  oil bore, replace all pads and recork all keys and tenons.

Miscellaneous Services

Broken Tenon: Snapped your instrument in half? Oops – well don’t despair, I can repair! Glueing the broken bits back together never lasts. I make a replacement section that fits well inside the broken joint for maximum strength. The bore of the new part is then carefully matched up with the existing bore and a new tenon turned and corked (with metal tip if required). The repair is invisible, permanent and as strong as the original. A fair old job but cheaper than scrapping the instrument!
Loose or Wobbly Tenon: When a tenon gets worn you can’t adjust the linkages between joints reliably. My solution, which is permanent and invisible, is to make a sleeve for the tenon (with metal tip if required) and turn a new tenon onto the sleeve.
Cracks: Wooden instruments usually crack through tone holes. I can pin cracks but I try to avoid it as it often makes instruments feel dead and unresponsive. Instead, I drill out the damaged tone hole to about 1mm from the bore so as to get well below the depth of the crack. Removing this wood relieves the pressure on the crack so it stops spreading. I then make an insert to fit and cut a new tone hole on the insert. In most cases this is a permanent solution and avoids the need for pinning.
Broken Keys: Clean up the broken surface, carefully align and silver solder. The solder joint is then filed, sanded and polished so that in most cases the repair is invisible.
Tuning: Tuning work is always done with the customer testing as I work. I have custom made reamers for enlarging holes to sharpen notes. I use my own special recipe black wax for making holes smaller. The wax has excellent adhesion to the wood and is invisible on blackwood instruments.

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