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Some joints in my clarinet are too loose,

#1
The joint of my mouthpiece and the top joint of the upper part is too loose, which means my barrel is very loose when put together. Is there any way to fix this, before I take it to the clarinet shop? Thanks.
 

Carl H.

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#2
A piece of paper.
 

Carl H.

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#4
yes
 
#6
I see. Thank you for the help guys, it is working well.
 
#7
For a permanent fix, just replace the cork on the MP. You can go to any of the online music supply shops or E-Bay and buy the cork for to do this. They are available as a kit to do all of the corks, precut to width with sticky stuff on the back or as sheets in different thicknesses, usually multiples of 1/32". It isn't that hard to do, but if you are nervous about taking a razor blade to your R13, then have a competent tech replace the cork for you. It is a ten minute job that should cost about $10.00.
 

jbtsax

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#8
I sometimes used the sticky ends of Sticky Notes cut in a strip in my former life as a band teacher. They stay in place and leave no adhesive residue. Blue painter's masking tape works well too if a thicker temporary "cork" is needed.

I don't like the self sticking products made for do-it-yourself tenon and neck cork replacements because the adhesive is horrible to remove when the cork is eventually done correctly. Also it only works when a "butt end" joint is used instead of a tapered overlapping joint that most techs prefer. All clarinet tenons are not exactly the same width so pre-cut corks do not always fit.

My method of installing a 3/64" thick clarinet tenon cork is to use contact cement and an overlapping joint where the cement is applied to both the end of the tapered top edge and the bottom. Once the overlap is trimmed using a razor blade, that area is sanded using an emery board to smooth the joint. Doing a high quality job then requires spinning the joint on a lathe, and using the emery board to carefully round the leading and back edge of the cork to create a "barrel" shape being careful not to remove material from the tenon itself. Then the surface of the cork made smooth with 1000 grit sandpaper. Melted paraffin wax is then applied and "ironed" into the cork with a heated pad iron. Cork grease is applied and the joint is carefully put together using a twisting motion. Excess wax is then wiped off, cork grease is reapplied and the tenon cork is done.
 

tictactux

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#9
If you have no access to a lathe, you may try the following to sand down the cork: First, protect the bare parts of the tenon with a round of tape, eg "trim tape" used to decorate cars - about 2mm wide should do. Then, cut a strip of sand paper, about 1cm wide. Wrap the joint into an old beach towel and clamp it between your thighs, to-be-sanded end pointing away from you. Then, carefully and slowly "shoe shine" the cork with the sand paper strip stretched between both hands, holding it slightly askew so that more pressure is applied to the side, less in the middle. After some passes, rotate the joint a bit, shoe-shine again. If everything looks cool, remove the trim tape, apply cork grease, screw the mating part (barrel, joint or bell) on and immediately off again (twisting motion as mentioned above). Reapply cork grease, re-assemble.
 

jbtsax

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#10
As entertaining as it is to picture you with a clarinet "clamped" between your thighs, I might be so bold as to recommend that you invest in a "bench peg". The bench peg inserted into a hole in the side of your workbench secures one end of the clarinet joint as you press against the opposite end with your abdomen. The technique I like to use when hand sanding is to sand N,S,E,W to try to maintain a concentric circle as much as possible. I gave the description above to try to dispel the notion that a professional cork installation on a high quality instrument is a quick and cheap repair.

 
#11
I used to have a bench peg and removed it because I found I prefer to do everything that I used it for without it :)

Doing a high quality job then requires spinning the joint on a lathe, and using the emery board to carefully round the leading and back edge of the cork to create a "barrel" shape being careful not to remove material from the tenon itself.
I have a lathe and can do this, but almost always prefer not to. So I have to disagree with "required" :)
 

tictactux

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#12
As entertaining as it is to picture you with a clarinet "clamped" between your thighs, (...)
It's less entertaining than you might have hoped. ;-)
Clamping.jpg
Works fine for me; I found out that the table goes in my way when working pegged (I use an old bottle cork), so I had to improvise.
I gave the description above to try to dispel the notion that a professional cork installation on a high quality instrument is a quick and cheap repair.
That's for sure - even a "quick" and "cheap" job deserves to be done right.
 

jbtsax

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#13
I used to have a bench peg and removed it because I found I prefer to do everything that I used it for without it :)
Then how do you support clarinet joints and saxophone neck when you sand the cork?

I have a lathe and can do this, but almost always prefer not to. So I have to disagree with "required" :)
I have done it both ways, and find that it is both faster and easier to do a perfect job of shaping the cork using the lathe. I don't yet have one in my new shop, but will be getting one soon.
 
#14
Then how do you support clarinet joints and saxophone neck when you sand the cork?
I don't like the "shoe shining" sanding so I prefer to hold the joint with my hand and use a nail file and/or a file with sand paper glued to it to sand. For the purpose this is as accurate as any method IMO since there is no 0.01mm accuracy necessary anyway :)

I have done it both ways, and find that it is both faster and easier to do a perfect job of shaping the cork using the lathe. I don't yet have one in my new shop, but will be getting one soon.
I've done it both ways and I have a lathe... and still prefer to do this by hand. Nothing wrong with using a lathe, but my point was that I disagreed with "required".
I don't like a barrel shape to the cork. I usually sand the "first" edge (i.e. tenon end side) for a leading taper before gluing the cork. For the other edge, I either don't sand or sand just the corner little. I prefer for this side to not be sanded, to give more length for support along the tenon joint.
I found I can do it as accurate and as fast without a lathe so I just don't see a reason to use it. Nothing wrong with using a lathe and it's a good method too.
 

jbtsax

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#15
The way it was explained to me is that when the surface of the tenon cork compresses it expands at the sides. Visualize pressing on a strip of clay. When you round both the front and the back edge of the cork, it gives the cork above the sides of the channel a bit more room to compress and expand helping to provide a nice snug fit without being overly difficult to assemble. As you know a well made tenon joint has no wobble even when there is no cork present so the idea of the cork "supporting" the back of the tenon does not apply.
 
#16
I agree with that. But still probably more than 80% (guesstimating) of the clarinets I see benefit from having the most support possible from the cork. It is very rare that an owner would choose to improve the tenon support itself unless it's really in bad shape. The number of clarinets I see that have "no wobble" (i.e. really absolutely no wobble) without cork is almost none and even less considering that occasionally players need to open the middle tenon.
 
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tictactux

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#17
The clarinets I see that have "no wobble" without cork is almost none (...)
Dealing with mostly prehistoric instruments, I see that many tenons are inevitably wobbly as they are worn by thousands of assembly/disassembly cycles. Capping and sleeving a tenon/socket is expensive, and rebuilding the tenon with wood dust and superglue, or with epoxy, isn't 100% foolproof because of the comparably thin layer needed, combined with the inevitable swelling and shrinking of the wood.
So, I too must be content with a well-corked tenon...
 

jbtsax

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#18
Building up the male tenon on both sides of the cork channel with grenadilla dust and superglue and then turning it down to a close fit on a lathe in my experience provides a long lasting and dependable as well as low cost alternative to a metal sleeve and cap. If the wear is to such a degree that the joint warrants this type of repair, I would argue that the covering is not excessively thin, and even if it were, the durability of the CA is not diminished by the thickness or lack there of.

Another point that should be made is the quality and value of the clarinet being repaired. If it is an excellent vintage wooden clarinet to begin with in my view it warrants a higher level repair than just an oversize cork to sort of keep the joints from being too wobbly. If it is one of the myriad of old wooden clarinets that didn't play very well even in their day, just slap a cork on it and send it out the door.
 
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