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Author Topic: Requesting Assistance on Leather Pad Installation  (Read 1320 times)

Offline Windsong

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Requesting Assistance on Leather Pad Installation
« on: September 21, 2017, 09:31:07 PM »
I am quite comfortable setting and floating double bladder fish skin pads and cork pads, and a little less comfortable but slightly proficient with Valentino weatherproof pads, but I must admit, I have no experience with leather, and have a few ancient clarinets that need repadding and really require leather.
Specifically, I am concerned about the effects of residual torch heat on leather, and scorching them.
Any helpful words will be well received, specifically regarding technique, pad size selection in relation to cup size, the use of a slick, key clamps, time between adhesive solvency and introduction of the pad, etc.
With the cost of leather pads at an absolute premium, I'd like to achieve success without scorching the product.
Thank you all.
Expert bubblegum welder, and Pedler Pedler.

Offline DaveLeBlanc

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Re: Requesting Assistance on Leather Pad Installation
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2017, 09:38:28 PM »
I've had much better result with leather than anything else. Valentino pads would often melt before the adhesive.
I've scorched and left visible burn marks on leather pads with no problems. If anything, burning the leather makes it a bit more brittle and hard; otherwise leather pads are quite soft. This is sometimes good as it makes an excellent impression on the hole without much work, but over time the leather can get too intimate with the hole, with an extreme impression on the leather that sometimes is detrimental to the seal. This is especially evident with leather pads that have gotten brittle with age (not heat).
Treat them like bladder and you shouldn't have any issues.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2017, 09:52:23 PM by DaveLeBlanc »
David Watson of the original The Clarinet Pages
Irvine, California, United States

Offline DaveLeBlanc

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Re: Requesting Assistance on Leather Pad Installation
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2017, 09:50:36 PM »
In ref to pad size selection:
Unlike bladder and some Valentino types, these do not have a "lip" that protrudes past the base.
Also, I have found slight inconsistencies in true diameter.
To measure, simply take the exact diameter of the pad cup.

Here's another thing: leather pads are "wrapped", and so the bottom of the pad is almost never completely flat. This isn't an issue with those pad cups that have a depression in the middle, but for pad cups that are flat, you'll sometimes have to level the pad with a spacer on one size or extra adhesive or something.
David Watson of the original The Clarinet Pages
Irvine, California, United States

Offline Silversorcerer

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Re: Requesting Assistance on Leather Pad Installation
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2017, 07:16:00 PM »
Grind your pad shellac to a powder with a mortar and pestle. Scoop up enough in the cup to set the pad. Heat the cup over a candle flame until the shellac melts completely. Press the pad into the cup. Install the key. Test the fit of the pad and make sure it seats level on the tone hole crown. If it needs adjustment, remove the key, carefully heat the cup over the candle until the shellac melts and adjust the pad in the cup with a pad slick (a letter opener or butter knife works). The leather will not scorch if you hold the cup an inch above the flame. The metal will take up the heat and shield the pad and the shellac will melt long before there is enough heat to scorch the pad.

If you have pads that are in different thicknesses;- like Prestini pads, you choose the thickness that results in a good level seating of the pad.
- Silversorcerer (David Powell) exclusively for Phil's original “The Clarinet Pages" forum

Offline Windsong

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Re: Requesting Assistance on Leather Pad Installation
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2017, 10:05:27 PM »
Thanks all. Seems as though it's enough like other pad installations that I ought not have difficulties.
I'm usually a hot-glue installer, but I think I'll stick to tradition with the leather.
Expert bubblegum welder, and Pedler Pedler.