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Loose pad

I bought a second hand Buffet Bb B12 clarinet from a lady for £125. My clarinet teacher, who is also a trained repair technician it has had little use. She said it was stored away for years as her daughter didn't stick with it.

Yesterday I noticed that one of the larger pads dropped out if its enclosure. I guess the glue has dried out. What is the best adhesive, if any that I can use to secure this again.


Staff member
I'm not a tech, but I do know that pads are not "glued" in. Most techs use shellac and "float" the pad into place. Any type of semi-permanent glue creates a mess the next time the pad needs to be replaced.

Having said that, you may be able to effect a temporary repair. Place the pad in the key cup and try to line it up so that the tone hole impressions are aligned with the tone hole. Hold or clamp the key closed and apply heat very carefully for a few seconds to the key cup. A standard butane cigarette lighter can be used. That may cause the shellac to melt a bit and hold the pad in place for a while. I would only do this in an emergency (on a gig), and then get the horn to my tech ASAP.
That's good. There is more to this sort of repair than simply finding an appropriate adhesive. It takes a certain set of skills and other tools to get it to seal properly.


Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
Heating the keycup with a cigarette lighter to reattach a clarinet pad that has come loose has been the "standard" emergency repair for band directors and music teachers for years. Doing so does not guarantee a pad is well seated. Checking with a feeler gauge and "floating" a pad is required to do a good job. A novice can probably get away with this technique on one of the four large keycups on the bottom joint. Holding the keycup at a slight angle above the flame is the technique I use. It is especially difficult to do this on the smaller keycups on the upper joint without burning the pad. This why a lot of techs use an electric "pad cup heater" which sends electric current between two prongs pressed against the key for the smaller pads. Some techs also use a hot air gun that directs a small stream of hot air to heat the key.
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