Repair Posts

The NAPBIRT Convention 2017

A couple of months ago we talked about how we’re always learning in our repair shop to keep up with the latest trends and techniques in instrument repair. In late April, I was able to attend yet another key event in the life of a repair technician.

This year the annual NAPBIRT (National Association of Professional Band Instrument Technicians) finds us in Albuquerque NM. There are almost 300 technicians  attending this year in order to learn about new techniques, methods and materials used in the repair of your instruments.

Quick Tips On Euphonium Maintenance

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 Euphonium.

Quick Tips on French Horn Maintenance

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 French Horn.

Always Learning In The Repair Shop

Yamaha Band and Orchetral Altelier

Two weeks ago, three of our technicians were invited out to Yamaha, in California for some specialized technical training. Tim Roethler, Spencer Guyer and Brad Rubin were attending. Which then brings up the issue of technician training in general.

Spencer Guyer – Staff Spotlight

This month’s staff spotlight is with Spencer Guyer. Spencer is our Brass Repair Coordinator and Brass Technician in the repair shop and has over 20 years of experience in the music industry. Watch the video below to learn more about Spencer.

Rotor Valve Challenges

We can’t stress this topic enough.  There are many problems with rotary valves. Maintaining them requires skills in tying knots, gentle tapping with special hammers, not to mention all those little screws and bumpers. Then after they are completely apart, they must be cleaned off all the dirt and debris on the valves and inside the casings. Lubricating and returning them to their proper casing and reassembling are the next hurdles.

This first picture here shows valves from an instrument that the valves were barely working on. You can see the oxidation and staining on the valves from lack of lubrication turning them almost black. Prolonged lack of lubrication along with dirt and debris caused this build up inside the casings and prevented the rotors from turning smoothly. Sometimes it is so bad we have to forcibly, but gently, drive the valves out of the casings. We then have to clean the valves and the body of the instrument in our ultrasonic cleaner to get them back to new condition.

In the second picture you can see the valves after they have been cleaned just before they are re-installed in the instrument. Proper lubrication will keep your valves looking this way and prevent sluggish action due to oxidation and build-up. Even when you instrument is not being used for prolonged times it is very important to keep lubrication on the valves, and slides, to keep them from freezing up.

In the Repair Shop we use Hetman’s Oils. They are a synthetic oil that lasts much longer and therefore does not need to be re-applied as often as petroleum based oils which dry out faster.

If you have any questions about our blogs or need more specific information please don’t hesitate to contact us here in the Repair Shop.

Contest Season Is Right Around The Corner – Is Your Instrument Ready?

 

It’s not too late, but time is running out. Contest Season is almost here!

January through April is a really busy time of year for school music students. Many of the annual contests and festivals happen during this time of the year. These include:

  • Solo & Ensemble Contest
  • Jazz Band Festival
  • Junior/Middle School Organizational Festivals
  • High School Organizational Festivals

Your performance level and the success of your organization depend on a properly playing instrument. If your instrument has not been looked over by a technician in the last 6 months you may be overdue.

Send your instrument in for proper maintenance to help avoid small problems from turning into something larger at an inappropriate time. It could help you get to the next level during the upcoming contest season.

If you’d like to send your instrument in for us to check, we have a step-by-step guide on how to do that right here.

As always, please give us a call if you have any questions.

1-800-382-1099

What To Do When Your Mouthpiece Is Stuck

While at first glance removing a stuck mouthpiece can look fairly simple, it can be anything but.

The mouthpiece shank and the receiver both have specific tapers so the mouthpiece fits snug and doesn’t wiggle or leak air while playing. The mouthpiece may be stuck due to damage to the shank or the receiver. It might be dirty or it may have just been jammed on too tight.

In any scenario the proper way to remove the stuck mouthpiece without damage is to use a mouthpiece puller. There are many different pullers available on the market but the one we use here is a Bobcat or Accent brand.

You adjust the tool, with the screws, so that one side of the puller is pressing against the end of the receiver and the other side is pulling against the bottom of the mouthpiece cup.