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Topics - kewald

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All about Clarinets / Making new key posts
« on: August 06, 2020, 10:17:06 AM »
This is also posted in the Penzel Mueller Timeline Topic.
I purchased a Penzel Mueller Bb Clarinet on Ebay and am in the process of restoring it.  The clarinet is marked "LP" and "B".  SN is 11832, so apparently it was made ca. 1935.
This was one of my earliest restoration attempts and I made mistakes that ruined two of the key posts.  Essentially, the posts must be replaced or remade. Then fitted to the body and drilled, faced and tapped for a new rod.
Background of the opportunity to learn: When I received the instrument, the Hinge Rod was stuck in the posts and was too short, driven in by someone who broke one of the slot tangs.
Mistakes made:  Tried getting it out by grinding a flat on a spare rod to mate it to the remaining slot - used it like a screwdriver but couldn't get it to budge.  Then, clamped the joint in my drill press vice and drilled out the rod, which messed up the hole in the post when the bit drifted.  Don't recall the exact sequence of subsequent events, but I believe I may have gotten the posts out of the body and then in trying to extract the thread end of the rod - broke it off.  Drilled it out messing up the hole again.  Silver soldered some brass rod into the holes, remounted the posts and tried to drill through one into the other.  Of course, I don't have the proper equipment, so those holes didn't work either.  Filled them both with silver solder and set the project aside. 

That was a few months ago.  In the meantime I've learned a better way of extracting impossible rods - cut between the hinge and post at the slot end with a jewelers saw, remove that post from the body and then twist out the other post using the remaining rod.  Then soak the rod & post in penetrating oil and gradually work the rod out.  Reface the cut post and add a little silver solder to the cut hinge then reface that to fit between the posts - ream to fit the new rod.  I learned about this from a nice professional SaxProShop technician when the second problem arose.

I now have a joint mounting jig and cross slide vice for my drill press, so with the judicious use of a very small machinist jack that I will make from a screw, connecting nut and stop nut, I could attempt another drilling.  However, I'm concerned about the strength of the threads being tapped into silver solder/nickel-silver.  And of course, I might mess it up yet again.

Is it worth fixing? If so, any ideas of someone who could tackle the job, or of another approach.


All about Clarinets / Value of Reconditioned Vintage Clarinets
« on: August 01, 2020, 10:56:24 AM »
In the past several months I've been reconditioning some Bb Clarinets that I bought on Ebay, with the intent of selling them, though probably not on Ebay if there are other venues that might be more appropriate.  The one aspect of doing this that I am absolutely terrible at is establishing a fair market value for the instruments.  Don't ask me how many hours I've spent on each horn - my short term memory is terrible, so I don't even try to keep track.  If I made a note of the start time I'd lose the note.  Not looking to make enough to justify the time as that is time well spent.

By way of background, I'm old enough to know better, but not too old to try anyway.  I'm a fairly competent woodworker (actually made custom furniture professionally for a few years), and lifelong DIYer.  I've bought and read several books about clarinet repair, and think I have now become somewhat proficient in most aspects of the craft.  So far, starting with my 1949 Boosey & Hawkes Edgware that I played from 4th grade through graduating high school in 1958, and then not again until earlier this year (or was it late last year?), I've completed work on 7 instruments.  They all play well, at least to my old ears.  I've also refaced each mouthpiece, flattening the table and smoothing the curve so the mouthpiece plays well with a #2 reed (figuring most beginners should start around that strength).  This is a listing of the instruments completed to date:
  • Boosey & Hawkes Edgware, SN 43614 - 1949 (mine)
  • Boosey & Hawkes Edgware, SN 36056 - 1941
  • Boosey & Hawkes Series 1-10, SN 255967 - 1984?
  • American Student, SN 63425 - year?
  • Boosey & Hawkes Edgware, SN 119294 - year?
  • LeBlanc Normandy, SN 1968C - year?
  • R. Malerne Standard, SN A1630 - year?
BTW, I got back into music to learn to play Alto Sax, thanks to a review of the Jean Paul instrument by Jay Metcalf of BetterSax on YouTube.  Finding it very enjoyable in addition to relearning clarinet.  Probably won't ever play well enough for anyone's enjoyment but my own, but it helps keep the gray matter alive.

So the main question: any idea what a fair market value range for any of these horns might be?

Kindest Regards,

Make and Model lists and research / Mystery Clarinet
« on: May 07, 2020, 08:44:14 AM »
Just received an old clarinet (Ebay find) that only has one marking on it: "American Student".  Any idea of the maker or vintage would be welcome.

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