Author Topic: Arts and crafts projects  (Read 306 times)

Offline GrumpyMiddleAgedMan

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Arts and crafts projects
« on: July 10, 2020, 05:50:28 PM »
So I bought a gloritone not too long ago knowing full well it didn't come with the barrel adapter. Price wasn't spectacular so was sort of a brain fart on my part. I tried a conn adapter piece but it was way out of tune, being way too short. I don't know how in tune it was to begin with. I cleaned and repaded it already, it was filthy to put it mildly.
Anyway it was pretty futile looking for one so with my meager metal working skills I grabbed some aluminium bar stock and drill and ground a new one. It plays lower register alright but as I move up it goes out. I'm sure my dimensions are off, didn't really have anything to reference so if anyone can give me a hand with those I would appreciate it. As it stands now the inside bore is .565 which is probably a little small. The length, which is what seems to matter on this, is 2.9". Mouthpiece pocket is a little tight but I don't think that is an issue.
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Offline DaveLeBlanc

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Re: Arts and crafts projects
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2020, 08:18:02 PM »
That's a very valuable skill for sure. There are loads of metal clarinets missing barrels that get destined for the junkyard.

You might have a shot at a minor side business custom-milling metal barrels for those that are missing. A bit of a niche market, but if you're someone who obtains an ultra rare metal Eb clarinet without a barrel, you're going to do anything it takes to get one.
David Watson of the original The Clarinet Pages

Offline GrumpyMiddleAgedMan

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Re: Arts and crafts projects
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2020, 01:52:02 AM »
That's my first attempt at that sort of thing. It did come out well enough. That said, it wouldn't be really worth my time to do that sort of thing as an income source. I did it more for fun.  It took me about 3 hours roughly to drill and grind it. I didn't give the inside a nice smoothing out so it is a little rough from the bits still. Nothing major but not professional quality.
I was just mulling over the length of the piece in my head. Do all clarinets have the same over all length?  If so then I can just measure and adjust it from the difference. I'm fairly certain that I needs to shortened a little still. Plus I think I should probably double check the pads.
Quick question, does and one have one in a playable condition?  I would like to know how good of a player they are to begin with. I'm not holding my breath that it is anything special but wondering how good or bad they are.
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Offline GrumpyMiddleAgedMan

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Re: Arts and crafts projects
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2020, 06:05:48 PM »
This is my first attempt at resurrection. Its a penzel Mueller pruefer serial 3580 MCQUS engraved on the bell. It came sans the original barrel. It had one major crack which looked like someone tried to repair with ca. So I cleaned out best I could and backfilled with hide glue and dust. Bell had some wood missing and ring was poped. Backfilled and sanded and soldered ring(twice). Bore had some minor cracks in it as well so filled as beat I could.
Cleaned keys and repaded. Keys look like they have seen a lot of use, bent and worn down. It plays pretty well in tune, I can squeeze out basically all the notes I can. Im not to good of a player. One question I have is how far is the register key supposed to swing open?  I have probably over half an inch of travel on mine.
Looking for critique etc.
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Offline GrumpyMiddleAgedMan

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Re: Arts and crafts projects
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2020, 06:08:14 PM »
Those that have cracked and those that haven't cracked yet is how I think I heard it.
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Offline DaveLeBlanc

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Re: Arts and crafts projects
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2020, 07:49:12 PM »
Wow, excellent work for sure! As for the register key, I have found that as long as there's enough cork on the key lever to prevent a clacking sound, it usually suffices.
David Watson of the original The Clarinet Pages

Offline windydankoff

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Re: Arts and crafts projects
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2020, 12:53:25 AM »
In reply to Grumpy's question of July 11:
"I was just mulling over the length of the piece in my head. Do all clarinets have the same over all length?  If so then I can just measure and adjust it from the difference. I'm fairly certain that I needs to shortened a little still."

I've seen about 1/4" variations in overall length. A larger bore clarinet will be shorter to produce the same pitch. Bore in upper 2/3 varies relatively little, but the lower 2/3 can vary much more and is the major cause of variation (assuming normal A440 modern tuning).

ALSO, some pre-1950s clarinets have a longer upper joint and shorter barrel than normal standard.

So, you must be pragmatic. Tune the barrel by actual pitch. Go for consistent top/bottom pitch, rather than absolute. There's more too it, and if you are an early level player, you will tend to play flat and cut your barrels short HOWEVER, a bit short allows for tuning +/-. Anyway, best to have a good player help to determine. And YES check for and correct leakage!
Windy at BLACK HOLE Clarinets
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http://www.windydankoff.com/black-hole-clarinets.html

Offline GrumpyMiddleAgedMan

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Re: Arts and crafts projects
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2020, 07:03:25 PM »
Arts and crafts time again.
For my next attempt, I tried to make a barrel. My first go at it was off on the dimensions. Also when I tried to clean up the step transferring to the inner bore i damaged the inside. My second attempt met with more success. My bore is not too well aligned and the bits I was using to cut the recesses for the mouthpiece and upper joint were off a hair. The outside is a little larger than the body but that is fixable. Over all length is 66 mm, it is usable as is but not as pretty as I would like it to be.
Actually it looks like something you can get off eBay from a Chinese vender but not quite as nice.
Only happy mistakes here.

Offline GrumpyMiddleAgedMan

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Re: Arts and crafts projects
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2020, 12:00:05 PM »
This is probably more of a maintance issue.
Let me start with general cleaning. I have tried the sitting in vinegar which does a good job but leaved behind a sort of film which has to be buffed off. I have tried the baking soda, aluminium and boiling water which does a slightly better job and still requires some buffing. Denatured alcohol for shellac works well.
Now for the buffing part. I could use a dry rag to buff after I clean I suppose but doesn't do as good a job as a compound. Being slightly on the keeping it simple I looked into what works and what I could do myself. Jewlers cloth for buffing and cleaning sounded good but I wasn't too sure what went into them, prices weren't horrible for them but... So I found an alternative, watered down toothpaste impregnated piece of flannel(dried). It works pretty well for me, picks up the gunk and leaves it shiny. I'm sure the fluoride is a mild abrasive and whatever else they put in it helps to shine.
This leads me to the question.  How do you protect the shine?  I just shinned a pan american standard, has some black spots and uneven tone. I got it to where it looks pretty even and nice but I want to keep tarnish and finger prints at bay. Do they make any specific product for this application or can I go with a carnauba wax like turtle or something? 
Only happy mistakes here.

Offline DaveLeBlanc

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Re: Arts and crafts projects
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2020, 01:22:36 PM »
This is probably more of a maintance issue.
Let me start with general cleaning. I have tried the sitting in vinegar which does a good job but leaved behind a sort of film which has to be buffed off. I have tried the baking soda, aluminium and boiling water which does a slightly better job and still requires some buffing. Denatured alcohol for shellac works well.
Now for the buffing part. I could use a dry rag to buff after I clean I suppose but doesn't do as good a job as a compound. Being slightly on the keeping it simple I looked into what works and what I could do myself. Jewlers cloth for buffing and cleaning sounded good but I wasn't too sure what went into them, prices weren't horrible for them but... So I found an alternative, watered down toothpaste impregnated piece of flannel(dried). It works pretty well for me, picks up the gunk and leaves it shiny. I'm sure the fluoride is a mild abrasive and whatever else they put in it helps to shine.
This leads me to the question.  How do you protect the shine?  I just shinned a pan american standard, has some black spots and uneven tone. I got it to where it looks pretty even and nice but I want to keep tarnish and finger prints at bay. Do they make any specific product for this application or can I go with a carnauba wax like turtle or something?

Hagerty Silversmith Polish is supposed to lock out tarnish with R-22 Tarnish Preventative. I've used it with good results, it tends to keep tarnish and fingerprints at bay.

Turtle wax is also likely a good option. I use it for my stainless steel and brushed nickel faucets and the like and it's really good at repelling water stains and fingerprints.
David Watson of the original The Clarinet Pages

Offline GrumpyMiddleAgedMan

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Re: Arts and crafts projects
« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2020, 05:04:29 PM »
I don't want to clutter the board with a bunch of new topics so I am trying to keep most of this in one place.
So with that.
I don't have much experience under my belt but I took note that some of my mouth pieces play better than others. So anyway I was looking at MP's on the auction sites. I like having one for each horn mostly because each barrel diameter is a little different.
I had picked up a kurtzweil pm mouthpiece a while ago, not really noting it was a refurb. So my fingers did some walking and I did some reading on what the process is to fix deformations that come from usage. It seems pretty straight forward, flat surface and some sandpaper. I used a metal ruler to check as I went.
I had a auction lot of MPs, like 6 or 8 of them. So for practice and just to get some sort of fundamental hands on I took the worst one of the bunch and tuned it up. The top rail was concave and wouldn't play at all. I sanded out the recess and reangled/recurved the table and side rails. I eyeballed it using another known good mp as a reference and sent it for a test drive. It played but not too well. After a few attempts at recurving the side rails I came out with something pretty decient. Only problem with this particular one was the window was noticeability smaller so it was a hard blow.
I did a little more practicing a couple more junkers and then I went through all of the ones I have in use. I noticed that most if not all the tables were not flat, most had a swoop up on the back side. Probably not too serious if the reed doesn't rest on it. Sanded those out. I tested the pieces after and found that there was a notable improvement in playability.
The point of some of the blogs/articles was that it didn't really matter who made the mps. What did matter was condition and finish/refinement of the particular piece. You could have a five dollar jobber play as good as a fifty dollar name brand if you know what you are doing. I don't know if I will ever achieve that level of craftsmanship but it is just one more thing you can do yourself to improve the sound of your instrument.
I'm fudding around right now with increasing the bore size in the mp and enlarging the window and see if I can get anything beneficial out of that.
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Offline GrumpyMiddleAgedMan

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Re: Arts and crafts projects
« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2020, 11:33:52 AM »
Mixed reaction.
So I cleaned the keys from a silver throat yesterday. They had a ton of crud on them so I decided on pickling them. Normally I let the keys sit in the vinegar for an hour or little longer before scrubbing. These were pretty dirty so I let them sit a little longer. Finally I pullet them out about 6 hours later.....
I was kind of surprised to find a different color when I started to scrub them down. Well shucks, I guess the vinegar ate some of the silver plate. I seriously doubt it is worth sending them out to get replated, cost and time. Now  I'm thinking what do I do, actually they have that funky cool sort of look. Silvery coppery worn down look. This might actually work in my favor in that the body is old faded rubber. It kind of matches, giving it an old 'vintage' look. I mean how many nice shinny restored pieces are there?  I mean sound is supposed to be more important than look, function over form right?
I am wondering now, should I put some sort of matte clear coat over top to preserve them? I don't want to have to wax them constantly so can/should I go with a paint of some kind or just wax? If I do nothing I have a feeling they will deteriorate further as is. I don't think I want to spray them silver, that would be just tacky, but an option I guess.
Any opinions?
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Offline GrumpyMiddleAgedMan

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Re: Arts and crafts projects
« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2020, 05:34:00 PM »
My bad, doesn't look like it removed the plate. After buffing out the keys by hand it looks more like i burned it. I could probably buff it completely out but I kind of like the two tone quality it has. Its like a silvery copper and it changes a little depending on lighting.
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Offline DaveLeBlanc

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Re: Arts and crafts projects
« Reply #13 on: July 24, 2020, 08:26:25 PM »
I tend to stick with a machine buffing wheel with brown Tripoli compound. Good results every time
David Watson of the original The Clarinet Pages

Offline windydankoff

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Re: Arts and crafts projects
« Reply #14 on: July 25, 2020, 08:25:22 AM »
Silvert Throat clarinets have UNPLATED German silver keys. Tripoli is a good buffing compound, as Dave says. But first, best to remove crud and corrosion, to get an even result. You can search the Pages for "electric toothbrush" and "tumbler" to find two methods we have used to make it much easier. The tumbler method is easiest, but you need to spend about $100. The electric toothbrush method (with metal polish) worked as well for me. Cleans everything really well. Of course you can brush manually too, the point is to remove crud before finishing with buffing. Then you get a lovely, even, dark luster typical of German silver, and it holds up for a long time.
Windy at BLACK HOLE Clarinets
"User-Friendly" clarinets in Bb and C
http://www.windydankoff.com/black-hole-clarinets.html