Sunday, January 16, 2011

playoffs project

Okay, this project has nothing to do with the playoffs (that's football playoffs for those of you un-sports-minded folks out there), but it is what I did while waiting for the Patriots-Jets game to start.
I 'fixed' my old clarinet. Yes, I bought a new one so that I wouldn't have to do this, but after a couple meet-ups with my 'girls' (my two sisters and our aunt), we all decided we wanted to play together. One of my sisters has an extra flute, so I figured, 'well, I have the extra clarinet, I just need to fix it.' So, I tried.
I bought a 'pad repair kit' and just got it in the mail yesterday. I was a bit apprehensive, anyway, but now that it's done, it's not done. I can't get anything but an open G, which means something's not quite right. So, what I need to do now is go back and heat the 'pad cups' again and make sure the pads are even and flush and closing the holes completely. Hopefully that is all it is and I can fix it. The other possibility is that I bent something or put a key back on wrong. I really think it's an uneven pad though.
However, I had been working on it for several hours and am really all done for the night. I can't even see straight anymore!! :)
And I actually remembered to shoot most of the process...
First of all, here is a new pad next to one of the moth eaten old pads.
The series of keys I had to remove: (this is just the upper part of the instrument)

Here are a few re-padded keys and one waiting for it's turn:
This is a dish of my 'adhesive pellets. You put a couple in the little 'pad cup' and heat the pellets to melt. Then the pad gets placed in the cup. It is actually a lot harder than it sounds. Luckily, I had read somewhere to prick a tiny hole in the side of the new pad, so the heat from the glue doesn't get trapped in the pad and bubble up. I had forgotten until after the first one I did! Here's my table of parts, glue, tiny screwdriver, and candle for heating the glue.
And here are my two clarinets, side by side...the top and the bottom.
So, tomorrow after work, I can hopefully try to figure out what I did wrong. I'm off to see Auntie for 'play time' on Wednesday, and if she doesn't get her new vintage clarinet by then, then she will be using my old one. Fingers crossed.


  1. :) wow-. I would have no clue on how to do any of that! I would be afraid I would mess up the clarinet beyond repair.

  2. actually, Erika, I had to consult the webpage of the place where I got the kit (for a clearer picture of the order of key removal) AND i had my new clarinet out for reference, as well. the bottom half has less keys but took me longer b/c i COULDN'T figure out how the keys went back on!!! but i worked through. as my husband said to me when i hesitated, 'what are you gonna do, break it MORE?' :)