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Author Topic: Cracked Barrel - Noblet Artist  (Read 378 times)

Offline delb0y

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Cracked Barrel - Noblet Artist
« on: December 12, 2023, 07:12:22 AM »
Was playing away today when everything suddenly felt wrong and after a quick perusal I discovered that the barrel on my Nobel Artist was split - big time (see attachment).

I do believe that the only bit of this clarinet that is resonite is the barrel, and there was me thinking that if I did ever have any issues with cracks then it would be the wood, not the plastic! Anyway, I've "plugged in" the barrel from my old B&H Regent and it seems to still play in tune.

So, two questions - did I do anything wrong or is it simply age (the Noblet dates from 1967)? And, is this a good time to upgrade the barrel, and if so, any suggestions?

Cheers
Derek


Offline philpedler

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Re: Cracked Barrel - Noblet Artist
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2023, 05:27:40 AM »
Did you splice in a plastic/hard rubber piece into the wooden Noblet barrel? If so, it looks like you did a good job. I'm sure it will work fine.

Did you not oil your barrel? Even if you did oil the wood on a regular basis, it could still crack.

I would have fixed the crack with super glue mixed with granadilla word saw dust. There might be a microscopic expansion of the bore, but it would not make a difference in tuning, and the same will be true of your repair, in my opinion.

So, happy playing!

Offline DaveLeBlanc

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Re: Cracked Barrel - Noblet Artist
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2023, 06:47:48 AM »
A trick I found when using super glue to repair through-the-bore cracks is to use a piece of painter's tape on the inside bore. The glue penetrates all the way through, but the tape prevents it from oozing out into the bore itself.
David Watson of the original The Clarinet Pages
Virginia Beach, Virginia

Offline delb0y

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Re: Cracked Barrel - Noblet Artist
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2023, 07:19:48 AM »
The Noblet Artist came with an ebonite barrel. From memory, and from looking at similar instruments, this was the original set-up. Other eras had a wood barrel, but not this particular moment in time. I have a Buffet B12 that is my "practice fixing" clarinet and so for the moment I am using the barrel off that. It seems to fit and play in tune, but I am hoping to get a wooden Noblet barrel, too.


Offline Windsong

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Re: Cracked Barrel - Noblet Artist
« Reply #4 on: December 25, 2023, 10:13:51 AM »
Dave--that is a brilliant idea.  I will use that to repair a cracked bell socket here.

It is not uncommon to find some manufacturers using ebonite barrels and bells on wood-bodied clarinets.  I have some professional models done that way, and it is typically more stable.

Hard Rubber will crack, but it is not common.
Thermally, it is much more resistant to that.
Expert bubblegum welder, and Pedler Pedler.

Offline DaveLeBlanc

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Re: Cracked Barrel - Noblet Artist
« Reply #5 on: December 25, 2023, 11:06:46 AM »
There was an (unproven?) hypothesis that the reason some clarinets had wood bodies but composite/plastic/whatever bells were due to the scarcity of wood in the WWII era.

Because you needed a solid piece of (expensive) grenadilla wood that was at least as wide as the flare of the bell, there was an awful lot of waste, and wood was needed for the war effort.
No idea if that's true or not, but this is the second piece of war-related wood mythology I've encountered.

The other is, of course, the "propeller" wood Conns of the 1950s. The legend was that the clarinets were made out of salvaged wooden propellers from WWII aircraft, again due to the scarcity of wood.

The reality was the clarinets were made of a laminated sort of wood, which led to the pretty finish. Which, presumably, was due to a scarcity of wood - so now we come back full circle, to the propeller clarinets being made of an alternate to standard wood due to scarcity of wood either related to the war (or maybe just a cost-saving measure?)

Anyways, where I was going with this is that bells and barrels were often not made of wood as a cost saving measure, as many don't believe the material of those pieces matters for over all tone.
Now, I can agree with the bell not mattering - I'm sure any piece of junk with a proper flare and length would do the truck.

You can sometimes find the same clarinet sold as different models, with each level up providing an additional wood piece. The Normandy "Special" was one clarinet that played this game, allowing customers to pay up to $250 in today's dollars for a wood bell upgrade. Yikes!
David Watson of the original The Clarinet Pages
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Offline brigaltman

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Re: Cracked Barrel - Noblet Artist
« Reply #6 on: December 25, 2023, 06:15:10 PM »
Leblanc had a problem with some of the "plastic" instruments of this period. The plastic seemed to crack easily. It can be glued fairly effectively, but it seems like an excellent time to upgrade to a wood barrel. Measure the length in mm. I probably have one or two Noblet/Normandy barrels.
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Offline delb0y

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Re: Cracked Barrel - Noblet Artist
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2023, 03:43:10 AM »
Thanks to a very kind gentleman off the Facebook Clarinet group I now have a wooden Noblet barrel of the same dimensions.

I have glued the old one - more of an experiment than necessity now. Haven't really tried out the new barrel yet as I had a tooth out just before Christmas so blowing hard is a no no at the moment!

Derek