A beautiful Howarth XL in for (unfortunately) some drop damage.
As of right now, the 2nd / knuckle octave sticks open, the LH pinky cluster is non-operative and the Db / Eb pinky cluster is stuck open.
Bummer...but I do think we can get these pounded out reasonably easy with a bit of care and luck.
Repair is like that sometimes. Occasionally you use a $10 hammer to fix a nearly $10,000 oboe. I do love the absolutely gorgeous wooden cases these come in though.
A J series Loree AK in for some routine maint.
A few of the sliding corks are in desperate need of being replaced but overall the instrument is in great shape.
There's also a few hairline cracks in the trill key tone holes that we'll fill with superglue before sending her home.
Straight forward repair -- we very much like these.
Greetings and Happy New Year!
It's Jan 1 and that means it's time to get back into the swing of things. It's hard to believe I'm heading into year 11 of repairing for all of you wonderful folks and I've somehow managed to wear out yet ANOTHER shop apron (I bought a replacement).
Important Points to remember for 2019:
-- The appointment calendar is currently open for appointments but folks have already started panic booking for the start of the season. According to my booking software, I'm already into the week of Jan 14 with just a few slots left for the week of Jan 7.
-- Pricing on Clean / Oil / Adjustment and maint work will remain the same. I don't see a reason to change right now unless there's a world wide run on cork or something.
-- Turnaround times are already gearing up to be on the long side of things (10 instruments / customers currently in the pipeline for 2019).
-- If you can take the simple stuff like tenon corks and missing key felts to your local big box stores to get you by in the meantime that'd probably be best. I love you all but I HAVE to be fair to everyone that is patiently waiting their turn and booked early.
-- I anticipate things will settle down once we get into TMEA and the final stages of the All-State process are all wrapped up.
-- Pro and Semi Pro Players: Crack repairs that need pins and inserts are almost always a minimum of 2 weeks or longer but I will gladly temporarily glue cracks at little to no cost to you if it's an emergency. Please be responsible though and CALL me AHEAD of time for this...don't wait until the day of your plane flight to an important audition to realize it's a problem.
-- Legit After-Hours Emergencies: I will always do my best to accommodate you but we will both need to reasonable with respect to after-hours meetings. It is YOUR responsibility to contact me AHEAD of time. If you decide to randomly text me at 10pm because your tenon cork fell off a week ago, I will absolutely ignore you.
Let's make 2019 awesome!
Thanks again and I'll see you all soon!
A Buffet R13 Bb clarinet that I recently put 3 tone hole inserts into.
Here's the process from the start to finish including some close-up shots of the tools I use to shape, blend and ream the inserts to completion.
I'm pretty happy with the way this one came out so I thought I'd add it to the portfolio.
On the bench: An older (I believe?) generation Yamaha Duett model top joint.
I was unable to get a decent picture inside the bore but these seem to be a revision just before the current 2018 cataloged offering Duett models with the full bore liner.
This particular joint has the usual tone hole inserts from top to bottom but with the addition of a bore liner from the reedwell to the trill key tone holes only.
Sticking A key -- Ab / Bb trill arm quick fix.
It seems I'm answering this question more and more so I figured I'd make a quick 4-part 'QUICK FIX' photo series.
The Ab / Bb trill arm eventually gets sluggish and causes the A key to stick down or be delayed in returning to the default (open) position. Adding more spring tension fixes it temporarily but eventually the problem becomes exacerbated and unpredictable.
Loree oboes seem to exhibit this problem a bit more often than others (due to the key design) but nearly every brand of oboe I've worked on has had this issue at some point.
The proximity of the trill arm to the key plate can allow the ingress of finger gunk, hand lotion, cork grease, etc underneath the arm. Once the gunk reaches the key cork underneath the trill arm, it gunks-up (technical term) and counteracts the extremely light spring tension on the a-key which causes it to stick.
Pic 1 -- Pull off these key components and accompanying rod, clean the rod and ends of the key components. A paper / shop towel works fine for this.
Pic 2 -- Use a cotton swab and some rubbing alcohol to carefully clean off the bearing surface of this key cork underneath the trill arm.
Pic 3 -- Use a cotton swab and some rubbing alcohol to carefully clean off the polished pin on the A-key.
Pic 4 -- Re-assemble the key components ensuring that the spring on the tenon end of the instrument gets re-positioned into the spring slot on the bottom key component. It goes INTO the slot, not above it and not below it.
Helping the USAF Band of the West out of a jam / emergency situation.
One thing I can say for sure...the DOD (Department of Defense) sure doesn't skimp on equipment.
12,000 US doll-hairs will put one of these bad boys in your pocket (and hopefully not on my bench).
Yep, we're officially into crack season.
I spent the weekend installing three inserts into the top joint of this Loree AK.
This evening, I'm putting on a last bit of polish for the blend before changing the pads and calling it done.
I thought these came out decently well so here's a few shots for the old portfolio and website.
Loree AK -- Crack Pinning
The crack in this particular Loree top joint seems to be especially problematic and unstable, so the decision was made to add a few more carbon fiber pins for additional support.
Hopefully it'll stay sealed this time. I'm still fairly impressed with the carbon fiber rod (for pinning usage) and how easy it is to get a nice finish on the exposed pin ends without too much effort or special tools.
I deliberately posed and blew out the flash / highlights on a few of these pictures so you can see the pinning locations and then took a few more with the highlights not directly on the pinning holes.
You can see nicely they wind up hiding in between all of the hardware under normal lighting. For all intents and purposes, they're just about 'invisible'.
If you want to see the installation without any trimming or blending of the rod...scroll down one post.