Bench Notes – April 27, 2009

bench notes_bd

  • New Sign @ Salisbury Music
  • Dead Stock Blowout – Harmon Trumpet Mute
  • Flute/Clarinet Repair Clinic @ Salisbury University
  • Cliff Ferree Passes Away
  • Adaptive Technology & Playing a Euphonium
  • Repair Tip – Can you use TOO much cork grease?
  • Repair Tool of the Week


New Sign @ Salisbury Music

DSC_5147 Salisbury Music has a new sign out front. Our old sign was definitely showing it’s age, and ready for replacement or demolition.  Our new landlord wanted a sign out front so they added us to the bottom of theirs. While it is smaller than our previous sign, it is now lit at night, so you lose some, you win some.

Below is a picture of what the whole store front looks like now, with our entrance on the right side.



Dead Stock Blowout 
– Harmon Trumpet Mute


Retail Price = $49.95

Normal BD Price = $39.96


Only One Available


Flute/Clarinet Repair Clinic
@ Salisbury University

Fulton Hall - Salisbury University By the time most of you are reading this, I (Joel) will be conducting a flute/clarinet repair clinic for the Instrumental Methods Class @ Salisbury University.  I’ll be talking to the potential new band directors about:

  • What to Look for First in Diagnosing a Possible Repair
  • What You Can Do in an Emergency
  • What You Should NOT Do
  • Good Repairman Communication
  • Student/Instrument Issues that Lead to Repair Problems
  • Issues with “Inexpensive” Instruments

I’ll try and take some pictures and post here next week.


Gary Ferree Passes Away

image This means a lot more to you than you realize. Gary was the son of the founder of Ferree’s Tools Inc..  Ferree’s Tools was one of the first companies in the USA designing and making tools and supplies for the Band instrument Repair Trade. Gary was a major designer and maker of many of the tools every BIR Shop uses everyday. Gary passed away after a long illness.


Adaptive Technology &
Playing a Euphonium

image This is a (video) story of using adaptive technology and allowing a special needs student to play Euphonium using a joystick.

Go Here



Repair Tip      

imageCan you use

TOO much

cork grease? 

Short Answer – YES

Long Answer – Still Yes, but let me explain.  It is very possible to use too much cork grease in the lubrication of woodwind tenons and sax neck corks. Several problems arise from too much usage:

  1. Using too much cork grease causes  the excess to build up in the corners of the tenons. I’ve seen the build-up of excess cork grease so extensive that the tenon won’t seat fully.
  2. The more serious and longer term issue with excessive use is that the cork grease will saturate the cork and eventually break down the glue bond between the cork and the tenon slot. Often time the cork will still be intact, but “be loose” on the tenon. This is a text book example of excessive cork grease usage. 
  3. A secondary problem to excessive use of cork grease is the “remnants” left on the fingers of the player that don’t get wiped off properly. These “remnants” begin to cover the instrument, and especially begin to accumulate in the open tone holes. I can always tell which finger (or fingers) the player uses to put their grease on, because those will be the tone holes with the most built-up grease. (I’ve seen tone holes almost 50% closed with built-up cork grease)

So, how often should you grease your corks? That depends on usage, age of the corks, and tightness of the corks. Basically I would rec0mmend when they need it, i.e., when they start feeling dry, or harder to put on.


Repair Tool of the Week

Sax Body Straightening Tool

sax_body_straightening_mandrel sax_body_straightening_mandrel2

Sax bodies actually will bend quite easily, especially if dropped.  As shown on the picture to the right , the tool is inserted into the neck socket of the sax, and (carefully) aligned so that the force applied will move the body in the direction necessary. Then the opposite end of the tool is “tapped” against the bench to properly align the body. The cool part is the keywork/rods typically go back into alignment as well. Sometimes we have to re-align some keys, but nothing significant typically. The 3 short pieces fit various size alto, tenor & bari’s, so we get a tight fit in the neck socket.  The length of the metal bar part allows for clearance of the keywork over the bench while tapping. I don’t use it a lot, but when I need to…it works beautifully. (Sometimes the “tap” is actually a pretty significant “whack”, especially on larger saxes or more serious bends)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s