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.
Fox English Horn
There's a bit of an inherent issue with some of these earlier Fox English Horns (this is actually the 7th one I've had to do this to in my short career) where the fitment / attachment of the bocal receiver eventually becomes loose in the body of the top joint.
Generally, upon removing the bocal receiver from the body, spider cracks become evident where the wood has shrunk (look closely in the last picture and you can just barely see it).
I'm sorta convinced that the fitment between the receiver and the adhesive are so tight that they don't allow for movement...so the top ridge of the crown cracks to relieve the pressure, the bond of the adhesive breaks and as a result the horn starts to leak around the edge of the loose receiver.
I'm pretty good at getting these out now but I will say this: Removing these from the top joint is a major league pain in the ass.
Getting them out is easy enough....getting them out so that you're not the butt head that put a bunch of gouges in the bocal receiver and the crown is a nightmare.
We'll epoxy it back in, re-seal the small cracks and call this one done.
Yamaha 841 Custom Oboe
There's just an appreciable level of reserved elegance and precision that is uniquely Yamaha.
I've always found these higher-end instruments to be well thought out, superbly assembled and elegant in their simplicity. They are really easy to work on and still one of the best values for the money (in my opinion).
The blending of the plastic inserts into the surrounding wood on these Duett models is nothing short of amazing.
Sickeningly clean factory work.....and I've LOOKED for a stray screwdriver mark or glue ooze.
Nope, no dirt.
Fossati S Series Pro-Line Oboe
Coming up -- we head into Cadillac territory. A pro-line Fossati on the bench what for pokin' and proddin' at.
Seriously though, the platinum plating on these things is something to behold. I can really only describe it as 'electric white' and it's certainly shinier than anything else I've come across. Even my Nikon was like 'wut' trying to figure out how to expose for how bright the keywork is.
Could this be described as oboe porn? Maybe. All I know is that as far as oboes go, these sure are photogenic.
Can't wait to get this one apart. In particular, I'm interested in the main stack adjustment screws on the top joint. And is that a raw brass reed well?
Howarth S40 Oboe
A nice looking Howarth S40 in the shop for some general maintenance.
All in all a pretty clean looking instrument considering it hasn't been serviced in a few years. There's very few things wrong with it other than some dust bunnies, adjustment issues and worn out key / bumper corks that need replacing. I continue to be impressed with the non-pro / intermediate line offerings that manufacturers are putting out now.