Nothing too out of the ordinary on this repair other than this is the first split / two-piece Fox bell I've had in the shop. The extra band certainly looks nice and the functionality is the same as any one piece bell I've ever encountered.
I think maybe the only thing I can think of to complain about is that the extra linkages make for more points of contact and that translates into slightly more flex through the mechanism ...requiring just a touch more pressure to get the lowest notes to pop.
Making sure the pads are covering / floated well is the easiest way to combat any perceived issues I had. A touch more finicky but easy to remedy.
Currently on the bench: Buffet Prestige Bass Clarinet (non Low-C)
In general, I find these much easier to 'get right' than their sister / extended versions with super long linkages and lots of key flexibility. Way less weaving of keys around each other to get things assembled as well.
Definitely a nice break from some of the tougher stuff I've had on the bench lately.
Oof....when springs and rods get this rusted due to a player's body chemistry it can be a real challenge to contend with.
Materials can often be exchanged to help slow the degradation of pads but even just regular maintenance can go a long way in keeping things like rust to a minimum. Thankfully everything came apart easily and didn't require penetrating oil or heat.
I will most likely have to replace a bunch of these leaf / flat springs and will also take the extra step of coating them in a light layer of grease to help keep saliva and other acidic body oils from attacking them.
One of the things I really enjoy is trimming / making my key and bumper cork work as clean as possible. The truth is that the key materials are hidden on the underside of the key-work and most of my customers will never know it's there....but **I** know it's there and it makes me happy to know I spent time on making it look nice.
Here's a quick snapshot of key / bumper materials glued onto clarinet key-work before it gets trimmed up really nice and neat. Old materials have to be stripped off and the keys need to be roughed up for the glue to adhere properly. Using fresh razor blades, scalpels, sandpaper and other abrasives we'll trim up the materials to follow the contour of the key.
I'll post a follow up so you can see the difference after the materials are 'manicured' properly.
On the bench -- an old-school Buffet R13 that's nearly 60 years old. I particularly dig the old cases with their catch phrase on the inside. I wonder if Buffet still feels the same way about their instruments after all this time. Buffet was OG cool before everyone else.
Anyhow, keys are stripped and ready to get dropped into the polishing tumbler while I find some lunch.
So far, a good Monday and I'm glad to be making headway on some of my back burner projects.
Today I'll be finishing up this Buffet Bb Tosca for the USAF Band of the West.
It's hard not to get spoiled with this job from time to time...I get to handle and play some of the nicest instruments.
The marks you see on the key-work is sharpie that I use during evaluations to indicate issues that need to be corrected. It removes easily enough with a little bit of silver polish.
I recently took in a Loree top joint with a previously repaired crack that had been fairly stable over the few years that I've been working on it.
For whatever reason, the recent shift in weather to cold and very dry caused a massive shift in the stability of the joint and caused it to sustain a surface crack along the side of the instrument just below the 2nd / knuckle octave key. The previously repaired trill-key tone holes re-cracked and caused a leak in the inserts and a new crack formed in the G# tone hole. Weird.
The odd thing is that previously cracked joints I've encountered over the years don't typically suffer from that kind of catastrophic failure multiple times. A leak around the inserts is no biggie but a major timber shift causing a whole new set of large surface cracks isn't common. I was able to recover the seal and get it patched up again but I may be considering / monitoring this instrument as a candidate for joint replacement.
Repair Tech Quick-Tip: If you're not using IC-2000 to crack / gap-fill you owe it to yourself to at least pick up a bottle to try. It's 'cheap' AND 'good'...for what I'm using it for anyways.
I've not actually tested it for shearing strength or its adhesive properties (it's probably good for sticking things together too) but I can tell you it works a treat for filling surface cracks and chips in grenadilla wood bodies. Even better...it's full of powdered rubber and carbon dust so it's black!
The last two shots have the shadows super blown out so you can see how well the glue finished up a hairline crack.
The 2nd to last photo is after 1 application and the very last photo is 2 applications and a touch more sanding / blending. The crack is basically gone...no camera or lighting tricks. Bonus Nachos: I didn't spend any more than 15 minutes on this repair.
Good stuff -- and much thanks to fellow tech and friend, Juan Caino for turning me on to this great glue. I will never NOT have a bottle of this in my inventory.