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Dogs of the neighbourhood - be afraid

Discussion in 'Eb Soprano Clarinet' started by Chris J, Apr 19, 2011.

  1. as I have just received my next project.

    A very old and dirty Eb sop - a Couesnon Monopole Eb sop. Found on Ebay as an "Antique Clairnet"

    I have just stripped it down - let battle commence.


  2. Steve

    Steve Clarinet CE/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

    be careful of the register key height ... it can greatly affect everything.
  3. Steve

    Thanks for that. This is the first Eb I've ever put my hands on, so advice is gratefully received. The register key has no vent protruding into the bore. I don't know if this is usual of these wee beasties.

    Is the trick that catches the unaware out one of setting the venting too much or too little usually - or is it just a matter of playing around to get it right?

    The rate I go about things, though, I would think it will be another couple of weeks before it starts to go together.

    My first task is to slowly treat the very dry wood.

    In fact there is a question there too.

    The only crack is in the bell. It is not critical, but longer than ones I have dealt with before. I would usually let low viscosity super glue into the crack and then oil.

    For this, I was thinking of oiling first to see how much it closes, then letting the glue in. But to do that I think I would need to try and degrease the crack just before oiling, probably with naphtha?

    Any wise words? I can post a pic of the crack if that helps

  4. Steve

    Steve Clarinet CE/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

    i fixed an early Couesnon (i believe it was) Eb, maybe it was a C, earlier this year or late last year.

    The register vent height was very tricky. Too much or too little and things went whacko. I can't recall specifics though.

    depending upon where cracks are and whether they are surface or all the way through ....

    i normally oil up the instrument first to stabilize the wood - but you have to give it proper drying time after that for glue adhesion. Make it as it should just in case it is too shrunk. I've had to oil wood that was whitish in color, very shrunk but proper oiling brings it back to life and hopefully back to close to the original specifications (depending upon how dry it is).

    now dealing with cracks is tricky.
    I've developed a process, in certain situations, where I cool the instrument,
    then warm the bore, which expands the instrument and shows the crack.
    as shown here in pictures

    then insert industrial super glue into the crack(s), and then cool the bore and all comes together.

    but I also seal the location where the crack was (if not visible) as very minute fissures could exist which may still minutely affect the playability of the instrument - especially if the crack went through a tonehole. You could also use more superglue too just to be safe.

    Ever hear someone say an instrument never played the same after a crack and crack fix ? It's usually because there is still some form of leak or, for lack of a good definition, "pressure fissure" where the air pressure from playing finds a small crack fissure and explores it. It's like having a cut pad. It seals, with problems.

    The bell is a bit different.

    The bell, just (after oiling if needed), superglue the outside and inside. I also always try to "blow" the glue into the crack. Or a thin piece of paper may work to work it in. It also depends upon how big the crack is if you need to fill it. But i use a really fine airstream (technique & pressure improved over time to prevent it from just blowing everywhere) on those super fine cracks.

    i've found in cases that heat will give you a longer curing time and more time to get things right too.

    then wipe away excess. cool, let harden, polish and make it look nice.
  5. jbtsax

    jbtsax Distinguished Member Distinguished Member

    Another thing you might try to get the crack to close as much as possible would be to put the bell in a zip lock bag for several days with and orange peel, damp sponge, etc. to let the dry wood absorb the moisture in the air and swell shut. Methinks you will get much better adherence with the super glue if you do not impregnate the wood with oil first.
  6. Since the crack is in the bell I would most likely just glue it before doing anything else like oiling. The bell is the least affected from playing etc. anyway. I would degrease the crack area as thoroughly as possible, then put thin super glue as you already seem to be doing. Then oil it if I think it is necessary or for cosmetics after crack repair sometimes good to do. I sometimes enlarge the top of cracks, with a scraper corner, a needle spring, or a thin circular saw in the micromotor, to let super glue get to it better and more easily. Also sometimes to allow the top to be filled with glue and wood dust, for cosmetics. It's important not to use wood dust before, so the glue can to the bottom of the crack as much as possible, wood dust would stop this from happening.
  7. Well cracks are all dealt with, thanks for your input. Keys buffed and repadded with white leather bassoon pads.




    One note is out

    By a long way....

    :Line3:flat is over a semitone sharp, playing beyond B, nearly a C

    Up to and including :Space2: is fine. Even B and beyond is OK. The mouthpiece, I guess, is not the best. Marked Ault's, Ft. Worth. Texas. And I was using a shortened Bb reed.

    So I can decrease the venting of the register key but that does not seem to get me close.

    The register tone hole is huge looking to me (though this is the first Eb I have seen) and measures in at 4.6mm


    I might start looking at crescent inserts into the tone hole in the next few days, but if anyone has ideas about what to try, and in what order, I am all ears

  8. Tammi

    Tammi Private woodwind instructor

    I have a Noblet eefer that is of approximately the same vintage of your Couesnon.
    It does in fact have an insert for the register vent. It appears to be a press fit and sits nearly flush with the tone hole opening.
    If you look closely you'll see that the edge of the tone hole in you photo has been chamfered to accomodate the flared edge of the insert.
    Tone holes that are meant to be sealed by pad have sharp, non chamfered edges.
  9. tictactux

    tictactux Distinguished Member Distinguished Member

    Yup, what Tammi said. You may want to start with a bit of brass tube of OD=tonehole ID, and use wax or hot-melt glue (heat the tube by sticking a soldering iron into it) to secure/seal it.

    I've never seen a clarinet with a "naked" register hole.

    Besides - gorgeous instrument, looks really really good!
  10. SOTSDO

    SOTSDO Old King Log Staff Member CE/Moderator


    ...you could buy the following:

    • An eight gallon plastic bucket (they do make them, although they are very hard to find)

    • A bag and a half of Portland cement (get this at any hardware or home supply store)

    • About three gallons of water

    Stand the clarinet in the middle of the bucket, and carefully add cement and water to fill the remaining void. You might want to get fancy and fill the clarinet first, but either method will obtain the desired results.
  11. Well thanks, Terry. I see you just had a copy of "Make your own lamp, the mafia way" on the bookshelf.

    But the beauty of collecting these things as well as playing them is that you can rationalise the mistakes into how it adds to the collection...

    The local dogs do not yet have a reprieve, and attempts to fix this will be made!

    Does anybody out there have any more dimensions to have a first crack at it with.

    My outside diameter is 4.6mm for the pip. What should the inside diameter and protrusion into the bore be best experimented around?

  12. tictactux

    tictactux Distinguished Member Distinguished Member

    I'll measure my Bundy Eefer's pip tonight. I still have that German Eefer as well, it has the wraparound key with the Galper-like external protrusion (rather than into the bore), will measure that as well.
  13. SOTSDO

    SOTSDO Old King Log Staff Member CE/Moderator

    I've never made a study of this, but surely someone has:

    Do all of the dimensions of a clarinet scale directly when related to the next size up or down? That is to say, does the total open hole area for (say) low F double in size when comparing soprano Bb to "bass" Bb?

    I know that holes can be repositioned and yet (through resizing) sound the same pitch. But, I've never taken the vernier calipers (or should that more properly be "Vernier calipers"?) to both instruments to see if this is the case.
  14. Well - an update.

    I had a rare spare couple of hours today and took the clarinet to Stephen Howard to see what he had lying around his workshop. His first thought was that it looked like a standard Bb size, he gave me a donor top joint he had in his spares box and told me to get on with it.

    When I got home and got the pip out, it was too big - but I did have a junker B+H Edgware myself. Popped its pip out and in it went. And the Bb now plays in tune. The dogs were cowering tonight...


    I will have to find another use for that cement



    I had expected things to be scaled down proportionally, but does not seem to be the case in respect to tone hole sizes just my sight. Majority of the pad sizes in the UJ are 9mm. I have not measured the diameter of the tone holes. A project for when the keys come off again, maybe.

    Thanks again to all who helped.

  15. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    It's quasi-proportional, I'd think, based on the overall length of the instrument. Of course, you could also opt for having multiple small tone holes to take the place of one big one. This doesn't seem to always work right, tho.
  16. SOTSDO

    SOTSDO Old King Log Staff Member CE/Moderator

    Since things work so well with the bushing/riser tube inserted, I wonder if there was not once one there in the first place? This seems to be almost too good to be true (the simple fix, that is), and the large size of the hole did seem to be awfully large in the first place.

    Perhaps the original pad retained an impression of whatever was in the hole before.
  17. I am certain there should have been a tube there, that had been lost. I didn't check the pad impression before throwing the pads away.

    And it may have been in my favour, as any attempt to play it would have suggested the intonation around there was beyond apparent hope. I bought it for about the same price as a tank of diesel (mind you, that's quite alot over here....)

    I got a Couesnon Monopole bari sax for a very good price and I suspect it was sold on because the upper octave was weak and airy. It has an extra octave vent that is switched to at :Line5:. It was set up all wrong, and was a nightmare to work out how it was meant to work, but once set the upper octave is fantastic, as the usual compromise placement of the second octave vent is much more accurately placed by having 2. This, in a 1950s instrument.

  18. SOTSDO

    SOTSDO Old King Log Staff Member CE/Moderator


    What appears to be junk is sometimes (sometimes, hell - often) a diamond in disguise. I got my Conn formerly gold plated but now silver plated alto out of the scrap heap; I've found decent clarinets in garage sales here and there.

    That they sometimes need some work is all well and good. Recognizing them in their sometimes rather raw form takes a little historical perspective, but that's what our study gives us - a bit of an edge.

    I'm still looking for that full Boehm set of Selmer Recitals - and a bass along the same lines. Somehow, I don't think that any amount of perspective is going to turn those up any time soon...
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