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So I got that Nobley thingy.

#1
In another thread I spoke about picking up a Noblet Bass locally. Well, here it is.













Higher res pics at http://prevailingwoodwinds.blogspot.com/2011/08/noblet-bass-clarinet.html

I didn't have much time as I was running late, so I took a look and decided to drop $350 with a devil-may-care approach.

I knew there was a lot wrong with it, but decided I would pick up a dog's breakfast just to find a reason to tackle a new set of problems. This horn doesn't dissapoint in that regard.

I'm going to have to drill out that short rod and make a new one. I'm also planning on putting the thumb rest back where it is since where it is now is very awkward. it's also missing the neck tenon ring and it's bell doesn't look original (and is missing peg hardware)

Wood shows no cracks and toneholes look fine. Plating is thin on the keys and most the springs and much of the screws are rusty.

I'm trying to finish my current project (a noblet Bb) and then move onto this. I'm thinking of getting the following tools:

http://www.votawtool.com/zcom.asp?pg=products&specific=jpqnnmh8
http://www.votawtool.com/zcom.asp?pg=products&specific=jndrongpo
a micrometer.
hing screw rod.

sounds like fun to me :)
 
#2
im also wondering if the neck is original since there appears to be an old, worn lacquer coat on it. The guy who sold it to me was a repair guy selling it for someone else. It most certainly is a product of the school system, and I suspect it was a "spare parts" bass that they swapped components liberally with.

Either it's lacquer or it's got a particular layer of grunge patina on it....
 

Carl H.

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
#3
Did Al stick you with this?
 
#5
it's quite possible my optimism is shielding my normally sceptical ways. Unfortunately, I was in a hurry and resigned that i was going to tackle a serious repair candidate for no other reason than necessitating getting more tools\skills.
 

Carl H.

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
#6
I saw Al a couple weeks ago. Normally he shows me the odd stuff he gets in, and sometimes I buy it. I'm good with Bass for now.
 
#8
IMO that type of screw extracter (like in the Votaw link) is mostly useless for woodwind. I would also probably not get that die set. I would get dies only in the sizes I needed and I would only prefer to get HSS ones (these are carbon steel).

First figure out why any screw is stuck. If it's the slot ruined I would re-slot it with a micromotor. If it's stuck from rust etc. then the method of heat, penetrating oil and possibly some solvents, with patiance and an excellent screwdriver, never failed me.

A micrometer can be usefull sometimes but IMO not really for that sort of thing. For the correct size it's betrter to get several and check in the key for the correct one.
 
#9
IMO that type of screw extracter (like in the Votaw link) is mostly useless for woodwind. I would also probably not get that die set. I would get dies only in the sizes I needed and I would only prefer to get HSS ones (these are carbon steel).

First figure out why any screw is stuck. If it's the slot ruined I would re-slot it with a micromotor. If it's stuck from rust etc. then the method of heat, penetrating oil and possibly some solvents, with patiance and an excellent screwdriver, never failed me.
I had to do some perusing of old SOTW threads to figure out how a micromotor could help me reslot a recessed screw ( pic #3 is my conundrum: the head is broken off and the remainder of the screw lies inside the post 2-3mm ). I think I need something like this with my "micro motor" then.

I do see that Votaw also has some individual HSS dies i can order. BTW, what type of tool is recommended for measuring threadding? the gage or the chart type?

Thanks clarnibass.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#10
Last edited:
#11
I had to do some perusing of old SOTW threads to figure out how a micromotor could help me reslot a recessed screw ( pic #3 is my conundrum: the head is broken off and the remainder of the screw lies inside the post 2-3mm ). I think I need something like this with my "micro motor" then.
Yes, that's the bur you'd need for re-slotting. I have many in a lot of sizes and I think the one I use most is approx 1.5mm diameter so pretty much the same as this one. You'd need some tool to use it at approx 40,000RPM and I'm not sure if possible without a good micromotor with excellent precision and control. That's a big investment but was absolutely worth it to me.

I do see that Votaw also has some individual HSS dies i can order. BTW, what type of tool is recommended for measuring threadding? the gage or the chart type?
Yes, I would measure and then order the HSS ones from Votaw or another place. Also preferable to get adjustable dies so you have some control over diameter. You'd need a die holder or find some way to hold it and also a way to hold the rod (if it's short then a normal drill can work). BTW if I re-slot a rod I can often save it and won't need to make a new one.

I'm not sure what's the chart type. I would use a gauge, which has "arms" of threads to check the fit with the screw. For a Noblet I guess you'd need a metric one but worth getting both American (UNC/UNF) and metric. I think the ones I have (which I think are good) are these:
http://www.ambientweather.com/gemi255mm.html
http://www.ambientweather.com/gemi251.html
 
#12
Well, I'm raising this thread because after a long hiatus involving two moves and a busy real career I have ordered the bits listed above for the first part of the work: disassembly including dealing with stuck screws.

Last week I started disassembly knowing I would have to deal with a few stuck screws and rods (lesson learned: before applying heat to a post, see if the post is removable first. hairline crack now needs fixing. I'm waiting for the cutters to arrive so that I can deal with what we see in picture #3. I unfortunately don't have a nice, light micromotor so I will have to try with a dremel. I am going to be getting screw rod to practice on first. I'll need that anyways to form a new hinge rod to replace the one i extract, and probably a few others.

Some of the pivot screws are very worn and several have very stripped heads. I'm going to have to look to source some new ones. Some other odds and ends:

I need a floor peg and screw.

I flirted with repairing the case, but it's old, smelly, and rotten. It is going in the bin.
 
#14
[I need a floor peg and screw.]

Votaw are good for parts, and they also have complete floor peg assemblies. The Leblanc one seems to work well with just about anything. Fitting is easy, but don't hard solder, the heat may cause the bell to turn into a flat-pack bell kit. Soft soldering works very well and provides more than enough strength.
 
#15
Might this instrument become one that you keep and play?
Yep! That has been pretty much my intention all along, though I did at one point lean towards selling the entire wreck on eBay where similarly troubled instruments were selling for not much less than break-even point. I don't have a bass clarinet, and with this I hope to. However, I'm not really much of a clarinet player yet..

[I need a floor peg and screw.]

Votaw are good for parts, and they also have complete floor peg assemblies. The Leblanc one seems to work well with just about anything. Fitting is easy, but don't hard solder, the heat may cause the bell to turn into a flat-pack bell kit. Soft soldering works very well and provides more than enough strength.
Looks like Ferees might sell the same assembly (M70L) for about $30 less? I'm probably months away from that purchase, though. Thanks for the soldering warning!
 
#16
Updates:

I tore into that well-stripped screw rod and after hours of working it with penetrating oil, as much heat as I think the wood would stand, and attempting several times to get a thread, it is out!

The trouble is that my first attempts at slotting would end up with just a complete breakdown of the surface, no matter how precise I tried to be with the reverse-conical cutter, a Dremel, and steady hand. It just exploded into powder. It wasn't until the surface of that screw rod was ground down another few MM that I was able to create a crude slot, and it turned out (also, I broke my trusty screwdriver! :( )

The hole of the post is marred up and even hollowed out, but I believe most of it wasn't me. Something after all stripped the slot and it looked like whoever worked on it before just tried a broader screwdriver, incessantly trying in vain to gain purchase on the bare head of the stripped screw.


Also, it looks like I do have the mount for the floor peg assembly. I need a peg, a pin, and a knob, apparently. I'm waiting for a thread gauge to arrive to be sure of the teething I need to cut. I the mean time I'll be cleaning the body and keywork, trying to make it presentable once reassembled.
 

jbtsax

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
#17
Been there, done that. You may need to replace the post if the hole in it is too large. For future reference, another way of dealing with the problem is to use a very fine jeweler saw and cut through the hinge tube and rod as close to the post as possible. Then you can bend the rod, remove the key and get the old rod out. In most cases you can then swedge the hinge tube to remove the slack. Check with local repair shops to see if one has a "parts horn" you can scavenge a post from.
 
#18
Thanks for the advice JBT. This "over hole-ing" isn't done to the entire depth of the rod into the pillar, so I think it'll be fine as is or maybe with a bushing. This is the pivot for side F# and the key is part of a linked mechanism that doesn't effect the viability of the pad-seal.

I have partially bent the pivot tube, but I've dealt with that sort of thing a number of times before. I'll deal with that once I make a new Rod. I bought a thread gage off ebay for a dollar, incl shipping from China. If that one sucks, I notice that MusicMedic has a few. I hear it will be a few weeks wait (which will give me more time to think about what I'm doing and to polish up the keys)

Speaking of keys, my original intent was to clean the crud off and polish it up only to the point of leaving the patina. However, there is some evidence that the keys will polish up cleaner than I first thought.

While I'm waiting for the supplies to create an inch long pivot screw I can devote time to polishing cleaning, measuring tone holes, and fixing the crack.
 
#19
It is slow going. I'm still polishing keys using a Dremel with buffing wheels and a cloths. I thought polishing the keys would expose a lot of missing plating (a look I wanted to avoid, preferring a cleaned patina), but so far it's almost all polishing to a clean, shiny, nickle plate. It's taking a lot of time. I am removing and polishing posts one-by-one, keys too. It's giving me time to gather tools and materials.
 
#20
Over a year later and I have slowly been making progress.

Bottom joint has been cleaned. I removed all the keys and posts and polished them up. Nasty grunt work with a rotary tool, I wish I had something better given how much of my time is taken up with this.

After a year from my initial polishing efforts, the keys have faded and shown a little more of where the plating has worn through.... I am questioning if this level of cleaning was worthwhile as I still have two thirds of the keys on the top joint to polish as well as all the posts and tenon rings.... I have only now begun to remedy bent keys after having to create another new rod who's slot was stripped (hopefully I do not have to do another as my #1/52 die broke).

more to come....
 
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