Author Topic: New insight for stubborn leaks in left hand joint  (Read 1359 times)

Offline philpedler

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New insight for stubborn leaks in left hand joint
« on: February 29, 2016, 05:20:09 PM »
If you have spent time at, you may have noticed that I like to recondition Noblet/Leblanc products. This is because they are so sturdy and are well in tune, and usually there are no surprises in the reconditioning process. So after doing about a ton of these, this post is to share SOMETHING NEW that I have found when working on a Noblet D (oval logo). I couldn't find where the left hand joint was leaking. I couldn't see any damaged tone holes, and the pads seemed to come down fairly well centered over their holes. The pads had rings showing that they should be seating well.

Then I happened to notice that the top right trill key had a lot of side to side play or wiggle. And I found that the next two also had side to side play. This meant that the pad could come down in multiple positions, and this will not do when using Valentino pads. (Bladder pads would be more forgiving of this problem.) The solution was to take the key off, put the screw in the tube that the key pivots on, and crimp the tube so that it would no longer allow the key to wiggle from side-to-side.

I happen to have another newer Noblet ND that I never was satisfied with, because the left hand joint had a mysterious un-find-able leak. Sure enough, the top three trill keys also have the side-to-side play. This problem may be especially frequent in Noblet products of a certain range of dates where they were using the same run of keys.
« Last Edit: February 29, 2016, 05:22:14 PM by philpedler »

Offline DaveLeBlanc

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Re: New insight for stubborn leaks in left hand joint
« Reply #1 on: February 29, 2016, 05:25:19 PM »
Sweet.  That will be very helpful next time a mystery leak occurs!
David Watson of the original The Clarinet Pages

Offline rezzie

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Re: New insight for stubborn leaks in left hand joint
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2016, 02:31:57 PM »
Thanks, Phil!  (adds step to checklist)
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Offline Silversorcerer

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Re: New insight for stubborn leaks in left hand joint
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2016, 10:27:56 AM »
Did you use the typical swedging pliers to take the play out, Phil?

- Silversorcerer (David Powell) exclusively for Phil's original “The Clarinet Pages" forum

Offline windydankoff

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Re: New insight for stubborn leaks in left hand joint
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2019, 09:38:43 AM »
This is a useful thread, so I'm reviving it here. For sure, any leak in the horn can be devastating, but especially high up.

 Phil said he "crimped" the tube. I'd like to know more about that. It makes me think a standard electrical crimping tool may be a substitute for specialized swedging pliers.

Many loose keys can't be crimped / swedged (same thing?) because of the way the tubes integrate with the keys. So I offer two alternatives.

1. Dental floss run through the tube. I keep several sizes of tape-floss (not waxed thread). Find a size that fits just slightly snug through the tube when the rod pushed in. Oil before assembly to help prevent the floss from twisting around the rod when you screw it in. After assembly, clip the exposed ends. In most cases, they are good to remain showing slightly as "evidence" and also to reduce end play. One of my main instruments has several floxx fixes that have been perfectly effective for about a year so far.

2. In the case of trill keys, some spacer material can be glued into the U-shaped guide that retains the keys from sideways motion. I've done it with sheet cork, just enough to reduce lateral motion, without adding friction.

Also, I've located leaks using a modified stethoscope, with the diaphragm device removed. A pinhole leak makes a very loud sound when the open tube is close to it.  To my surprise, I have not found any references to this technique. I started a new thread on the topic.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2019, 08:01:24 AM by windydankoff »
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