Tag Archives: workshop

musical instrument repair

a friend of mine came over this evening to have his clarinet repaired. the A key pad had come de-laminated (which happens to old clarinet pads occasionally) which interfered with his practice, and his avocation as one of the clarinet players in some local orchestra or another. it turned out that the G♯ key needed its pad replaced as well, so i did that, while i had it apart. in his words, “even with coming all the way here, it was cheaper and faster than other instrument services.”

i even let him watch, which is something he probably could not have done in any other musical instrument repair shop. 😎

the END of the ugly sousaphone project!!!

The End of The Ugly Sousaphone Project!
The END of the ugly sousaphone project!

i’m FINALLY done with the ugly sousaphone! it’s not any less ugly — in fact, it’s significantly more ugly in a lot of ways — but the important part is that it is, now, one contiguous piece of tubing from one end to the other, and it will play and sound more-or-less like a sousaphone is supposed to sound.

i have to thank craig from allied supply, who built the new lead pipe, and david cole, a repair technician at kenelly keys who provided advice, encouragement and a few spare parts that i didn’t have… but that’s why i prefaced this entire project with the comment that i probably couldn’t do it all myself.

tomorrow, i deliver it to an anxious thaddeus, and he will pay me with hokum’s B-flat tuba! i can hardly wait! 8)

i have now, officially, replaced the lead-pipe on the ugly sousaphone

i added the last piece, which is the mouthpiece-receiver pipe, to the narrow end of the ugly sousaphone, and cleaned up the tons of old solder left on the instrument. now it’s just a matter of patching the split 3rd valve tube and installing a water key, and it’s a working sousaphone, once again…

i was able to cover the water key hole with my finger, and get the instrument to play… as long as i didn’t use the 3rd valve… 8)

ugly sousaphone project

it’s getting closer, ever closer! 8D

ugly sousaphone project

it’s good that i was a little nervous… it prevented me from doing stupid things like picking up hot metal with my bare fingers on more than one occasion… but it also was primarily because of the fact that, apparently, i can’t do things like “sweating” stuff like i used to be able to… it appears to be one of those “use it or lose it” skills that i haven’t kept up on… 8/

oh well, it’s airtight, and that’s really all that matters, when it comes right down to it.