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Messages - DaveLeBlanc

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Make and Model lists and research / Re: Help with Donated Clarinet
« on: April 07, 2024, 10:25:46 AM »
Suuuper cool. I always liked JTL, they tended to use some really nice wood that really pops with gorgeous grain and lovely colors. Throw some oil and polish a bit and that thing's going to be beautiful.

All about Clarinets / Re: 19th century Clarinet in C
« on: April 03, 2024, 08:24:50 AM »
wow. SUPER cool! Earliest clarinet I have is am Eb missing bell and barrel, but maybe from the 1820s.

Your is beautiful. Too bad about the missing keys. It wouldn't be worth it trying to get new ones forged, though that would look cool.

I'm in love with those hand-carved wood mouthpiece covers. They certainly did things different back then

Trading Post / Re: The original CONN job
« on: April 03, 2024, 08:05:00 AM »
Nice, I've always wanted a good double wall. Like 10 years ago a pristine example sold from QuinnTheEskimo on ebay for I think it was around $300, which was the literal deal of a lifetime. Missed out, of course. Very sad.

All about Clarinets / Re: What is this?
« on: March 26, 2024, 03:30:45 AM »
That looks like great fun. Leather pads are nice because the often are a bit more form-fitting to damaged tone holes, which I find 90% of old clarinets to have.

I've tried sanding down tone holes, or filling chips with CA, but it's sometimes simpler just to get a soft pad and let physics do the work

All about Clarinets / Re: Assistance needed for a stuffy D#/Eb key
« on: March 12, 2024, 03:07:41 AM »
Like Windy said, perhaps it's not opening enough. I've had that problem when I used a pad that was too thick, or the key was bent. I have man-handled keys and hand-bent them to where I want them before. Then again, I've also broken keys like this, so approach the caveman approach with caution!

What are we looking at there, Al?

We are looking at Balance, Windsong, Balance. In life we all must learn the balance between light and dark, between metal and wood, and between sense and nonsense.

Ha, i was wondering that too. A metal clarinet, but we need more, Al!

All about Clarinets / Re: Caring for long-stored and dry grenadilla
« on: March 09, 2024, 01:59:22 AM »
I echo the sentiments of those above, but caution the use of Thyme oil.  As least for me, the smell is so revolting that it drives me away for weeks.  I just have no tolerance for it.  Pure organic coconut oil has the same disinfectant properties, is equally thin, has no odor whatsoever, and you can buy it in liquid form if you look hard enough.  I do not know that it has the gumption to stand on its own as a long term bore oil, but it may.  My first oil is usually with orange oil.  I like its smell, and it is a very thin, great cleaning oil.  It is often a perfectly suitable replacement for a water bath, because of its natural cleaning properties.

However, as for washing wood, I have personally done a warm water wash on many old grenadilla clarinets I have owned, and I have never cracked one (knock wood, lol).  If you decide on a wash, I recommend a nearly dry (warm water) felt or wool swab run several times through the bore.  It will not absorb much of it.  Wash the swab every other pass, and ring it out again.  Then, take a dry swab and make several more passes.  Then, disassemble the clarinet and allow it to air-dry inside for 24 hours before oiling.  You do not want to trap moisture in the grain.
I advise this at one's own risk, of course.  If the grain is open on the clarinet, or if already cracked, you run a greater risk of the water adversely affecting the horn.  Use caution.

Almond oil is wonderful stuff.  I know professionals who thin it a hair with acetone, which I strongly disapprove of.  When I do use acetone on a clarinet, it is only to clear tenons of the last of the cork debris for good adhesion of rubber cement.  I certainly think there is no quicker way to damage a clarinet than by allowing acetone into the pores and then suspending it in oil. 

Topside, a small detail brush with soft pig hair bristles is ideal for clearing off the undesirable accumulation of time.

Ha, just so happens that I quite enjoy the smell of thyme oil. It is very strong indeed, but I'm a huge fan. I can definitely see how a lot of (normal) folks would be repelled. Then again, I also like the smell of gasoline and skunk (separately, not mixed...) so maybe don't give heed to my olfactory opinions.

All about Clarinets / Re: Caring for long-stored and dry grenadilla
« on: March 07, 2024, 06:10:45 AM »
Sounds like it'll drink oil right up.

I would soak an old rag in pure thyme oil - this supposedly has antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties, so should get rid of any germies in the bore. Run it through a few times and you've got a pretty clean bore, barring any actual soil or dirt inside. I would blow it out first with some compressed air to knock loose any cobwebs or whatever.

After that, I'd take it all apart (if you haven't already) and generously apply your oil of choice. I like almond oil myself. It will likely drink some oil, so keep applying until it's no longer thirsty. Wipe off excess and you're all set.

All about Clarinets / Re: A treasure trove of musical instrument history!
« on: February 23, 2024, 06:11:11 AM »
Phil, it was this one from years back!


I have no idea why this had the weird features like the double hole and the slightly offset register vent. Obviously, things didn't work out or we'd see more than one of these every 10 years...

All about Clarinets / Re: A treasure trove of musical instrument history!
« on: February 22, 2024, 01:15:22 AM »
You gotta be kidding me. A Key of D clarinet? I heard about these, thought they were mythical haha.

The Clinton is a weird system. That double-pad on the low A hole is bizarre. Reminds me of this extraordinary Pruefer I have that has a double pad like that. *Phil reviewed, it, said it was pretty much garbage haha.

All about Clarinets / Re: Frank Holton Collegiate Unibody (Not metal!)
« on: February 22, 2024, 01:12:17 AM »
I have to say this is probably the first time I've seen a single post for the LH pinky keys on any clarinet post-WWII. Did Frank just have a warehouse of antiquated keys just hanging around since before the Depression??

Interesting! Tough one. That "France" stamp should be easy to nail down, but right now I'm not seeing it. I *think* Noblets and Normandys had that type of font. Odd there is no logo though.

I bet this was a stencil that was manufactured in France and exported to be stencilled by somebody, but it never got the actual stencil. Pretty neat.

Trading Post / Re: Good stuff on ebay
« on: February 09, 2024, 12:54:01 AM »
I'm pretty stoked. Now the real question is, will this inspire me to clear out the 45-odd clarinets gathering dust and mold in storage?

The last 4 months stuck on this boat have gotten me daydreaming all the time about things I haven't though about for a while. It's probably been 2 years since I've touched a clarinet, but right now there's nothing else I'd rather do...

Trading Post / Re: Good stuff on ebay
« on: February 07, 2024, 02:21:43 AM »
Well, I went ahead and purchased that FB.

It cost me $425 after tax. I suppose this could sell for at least twice as much once I'm done with it. But, probably not going to sell it. I only have one other FB, but it's got a broken bridge key that I never got around to fixing.

Anyways, preliminary examination of the images finds that:
1. It is a pre-1923 model. There is only one post for the two LH pinky keys, and one for the left hand Eb. The case appears to be original (and in spectacular condition), and period-correct.
2. The material is either a very fine-grained, polished wood, or a hard rubber of some sort.
3. The barrel doesn't appear to be original; the mouthpiece is definitely not original
4. I couldn't tell the manufacturer from the photos.

In about 5 months when I get back from this deployment I'll be able to present a detailed analysis of the instrument.

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