Tim Roethler Posts

Cold Weather Tips For Your String Instrument

Today’s blog refers back to a previous blog about cold weather tips for string instruments from December of 2014. Walking through the shop one day last week I noticed all these instruments in clamps due to loose seams and/or cracks. Mostly caused by the bad cold weather spell we had recently. So as a reminder here is a repeat of that blog and some pictures of cause and effect.

Winter is here with its cold temps, snow, and low humidity. This scares the bejabbers out of any self-respecting stringed instrument. Can’t you just see or hear wood shrinking, pegs loosening, cracks splitting a top rib in two … These are sights and sounds that one might think would bring a smile to a repairman’s face. Winter time does create special problems for the violin family instruments, but good common sense care will reduce the number of unnecessary repairs.

Tenon Rings on Woodwind instruments

Tenon rings on woodwind instruments are not there just for decoration. They help support the thinness of the wood in the tenon socket itself. During our dry winter weather it is important to make sure they are on tight and not loose and falling off. If they are loose it can lead to cracks in the wood or even breaking the socket while assembling/disassembling your instrument. If you find that the tenon rings on your instrument are loose, please make sure and send your instrument in to have them refit.

This can help prevent a more costly repair down the road.

 

If you’d like to read some more cold weather tips, you can read the article below:

http://news.paigesmusic.com/be-prepared-for-cold-weather-and-contest-season/

Paige’s Music Repair – Always Sharpening The Saw

Next month we are sending two Technicians out to Yamaha’s  facility for some specialized “Shokunin” training. In March we are sending a Technician out for certification on installing Straubinger flute pads. And in April we will be sending four of our technicians to the yearly convention of the National Association of Professional Band Instrument Repair Technicians (NAPBIRT) to attend multiple seminars and training sessions.

We aren’t required to do this.  We choose to regularly send our technicians out to training seminars throughout the year to keep up on the latest and greatest techniques, tools and new materials that may well improve the services we provide on maintaining your instruments. We constantly better ourselves and our methods to pass them on to you, our customers, for a better, more comprehensive repair.

We believe that this approach aligns with our vision as a company; Our vision is for every student to reach his or her potential through the positive, life-changing power of making music.  We believe in that vision so strongly that we devote all of our energy, passion and resources to serving and strengthening music education across Indiana.

If we rest on our laurels and depend on “the way we’ve always done it” or perform “band-aid” repairs to get you by, we’re failing that vision, and more importantly, the teachers and the students.

You can count on us to be thorough and complete in the service that we perform and advice that we offer so that students can practice and perform on instruments that perform reliably for a long time to come.

Tips On Caring For Your Flute

Daily care and maintenance of your instrument is very important to how well your instrument performs. Watch this quick video below for a few, quick tips on caring for your flute.

 

Tips On Oiling Piston Valves

That your valves need oil is not in question. If it moves, it should be lubricated. Today we’re talking about piston valves (like on a trumpet) and the different types of valve oils. Let’s get started.

There are hundreds of brands of valve oil available. Some are synthetic others are petroleum based and each has its own advantages. For many years petroleum based oils were the standard. They smelled bad and stained your clothing, but worked fine. Some were more refined than others and some had added smells – everything from chocolate to cinnamon! Some even had additives to make them smoother and slicker. However, all petroleum based oils have a tendency to dry out and leave the additives behind to foul your valves.

For the majority of our school music instrument repairs we have chosen to use a synthetic oil. It does not smell, does not stain your clothing, is long lasting and works fine. Unlike petroleum products, it comes in thin (for new valves) regular (for student instruments) and heavy for instruments that have worn valves). We think for most players and students that synthetic oil is the best choice. We use Hetman and Accent oils in the shop for this reason and is what is provided in our starter packs.

You might be wondering if there is a right or wrong way to get the oil from the bottle onto the piston. There are many ways to do this: Some right; some not so right.

Generally, the best way to oil your valves without taking the undo risk of dropping them is just to lift them part way out of the casing and apply a liberal amount of oil to the part with the holes in it (called ports). Then you can turn the pistons around a few times and put them gently back into the casings. (See video below) If you are careful, the guide will “click” back into place and you are ready to go. If you were not careful and the valve stays misaligned, air will not go through the horn. If that happens, there is no need to panic. The valves are in the right casings, you just have to turn them half way around and again listen for the “click”. The secret is not to take the pistons out and lay them on a table or you lap. This is when pistons can get damaged or out of order and when re-installed, the instrument will not play.

Our advice is to stick with taking them half way out and applying the oil exactly where it is needed on the pistons and casings.

If you have any questions about caring for your instrument, please call 1-800-382-1099.  We’d be happy to help!