This clarinet is the oldest we have had for work in our shop. It appears to have been built of some kind of fruit wood circa 1800 by an unknown maker and has five brass keys, one of which is an octave or register key, and eight finger holes. It has a wooden mouthpiece that accepts a shortened Eb soprano clarinet reed but the clarinet is pitched in Bb. It was brought in by a regular customer to be checked over and oiled.
These photos show our repair of a Mirafone bassoon that had been badly damaged by being dropped. The bell tenon was shattered so a maple replacement was crafted and fitted internally and externally, requiring special tooling and preparation. We have successfully replaced damaged tenons and sockets on many woodwind instruments.
Keyed bugles were widely used before the invention of valves for brass instruments. This bugle of the mid-Nineteen Century (maker unknown) was sent to us for repairing to playable condition and for building a new mouthpipe adapted for use with a modern cornet mouthpiece. The work was done for a collector in Indiana.
This Olds Ambassador cornet was in very bad shape when it was brought into our shop. The bell had been bent at the valve braces, slides were stuck, valves were dirty and the mouthpipe was corroded through from the inside. The cornet was disassembled, tubes were straightened and a new mouthpipe was prepared and fitted to the instrument.
One of our customers recently found and bought a King Eb helicon tuba like the one shown on the left. The instrument is about 100 years old and had been stored in a barn for about half this time. The original mouthpipe was missing making the helicon useless. We reconstructed a new mouthpipe and tuning bits from another to accept a standard Bb bass mouthpiece as requested by the owner.
Pictured here is a Selmer "Modele" 22 C-melody saxophone built in 1925. This model was the first saxophone to use the Selmer name and was introduced in 1922. The silver plating on this instrument was in exceptionally good condition. The sax was repaired to good playing condition and sold to a collector in Rome, Italy.
On the left is the instrument as sent to us. On the right and below is its appearance after restoration.
Adolphe Sax invented the saxophone in 1840 and patented it in 1846. This unusual B-flat soprano sax was built by Adolphe Sax shortly after that and is one of only two known examples of this model. It was played by the leader of the popular Brown Brothers Saxophone Sextet during the vaudeville years early in this century. The siver plating was badly worn but the instrument was cleaned, the action rebuilt and and repadded for the owner, the son of the leader of the Brown Brothers. It was sold along with a collection of vaudeville memorabilia to a collector shortly after being restored.
Woodwind players will panic at the appearance of a crack in a wooden instrument.
If not sealed and repaired it could mean the loss of a fine instrument once it reaches the bore.
Here is an example of our repair of an unusual crack in the bulb at the top of the first joint of an oboe.
Pinning the crack was not practical because of its location. Instead, we made a special band out of
aluminum, trimmed the bulb in a lathe and pressed the band over the bulb to compress the crack.
The band was then given a high polish to appear similar to the silver plated keys.
Other repairs were made and the oboe was sold to a couple in Pennsylvania.