Workshop Feature: Making a Bass Clarinet

28th February 2019

We’re very lucky to have a unique team of experts in our Woodwind Workshop. Their skills cover everything Woodwind & Brass related, and we want to share some of their stories with you…

In this blog, we talk to Ana who joined us in 2016 after receiving her BA Hons in Musical Instrument Craft (Woodwind Making & Repair) from Newark Campus (Lincoln College) – the leading Repair training centre in the UK. This is the story of her Bass Clarinet, yes, the one she actually made from scratch!

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Meet the Team – Jocelyn (Repair Dept)

16th August 2018

About Jocelyn:

Hi, I’m Jocelyn, one of the Repair Technicians at Dawkes. I work on both woodwind and brass instruments.

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REPAIR CAM – Clarinet RePad (Ana)

31st May 2018

We wanted to take you behind the scenes in our Workshop. Here, Ana shows various stages of a Clarinet RePad in action. Normally this is a relatively straight forward job with modern instruments. However it still requires a good amount of skill in both the technical precision and in time management. We want to do a great job and keep the cost affordable for the customer.

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REPAIR CAM – Great Bass Recorder (Abi)

26th May 2018

This ‘Great Bass’ recorder in C (by Mollenhauer) is a regular visitor to the Dawkes workshop.

It gets a fair bit of use in a local recorder ensemble, which is after all what its there for! These instruments are really beautiful to behold and make a gorgeous haunting sound.

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Remarkable Repairs

23rd March 2018

Here at Dawkes, we are lucky to say that our business thrives on the strength of not only our friendly sales team but also our technically qualified repairers in our onsite workshop. We employ more qualified brass and woodwind repairers than any business in the UK, and are proud of our legacy built by Jack Dawkes back in the 1960’s from a shed in his back garden.

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Dawkes Music Workshop: Saxophone Split and Patch

24th December 2015

This Buescher 400 ‘top hat & cane’ came to us as a recent purchase for general set-up.

WWRepairs5_sax1

The biggest problem we found was a small split running along the bottom bow and into the low Eb tone hole. This would cause the pad to leak air from the split so it needed to be filled one way or another.

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National Association of Musical Instrument Repairers Hold AGM at Dawkes

9th November 2015

The National Association of Musical Instrument Repairers (NAMIR) held their Annual General Meeting at Dawkes Music on Sunday 1st November. Some of our repairers and spare parts experts attended and let us know what happened.

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The Summer of Vintage Saxes!

15th September 2015

This summer we have seen a multitude of beautiful vintage saxophones come into the workshop so we thought you might like to see what we have seen and what their issues were. Have a look through, there are some real beauties!

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Workshop Tips: How we fix clarinet cracks

23rd July 2015

BEFORE: 20150608_115030-2

This Buffet R13 came into our workshop with an enormous crack in the top joint, running through the speaker tube and into the thumb bush. Miraculously, the crack had not travelled through into the bore of the instrument, so we were able to fill and secure the crack using wood powder, glue and a lot of patience.

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Replacing a Saxophone Crook Cork…

28th October 2014

Check out our video explaining how we would change the cork on any Saxophone neck. We offer this as an ‘on the spot’ service in store and it’s something you can drop in to be done at any time, just remember to bring your mouthpiece so we can size it up perfectly for you.

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Sax DIY Repair Tip – #1

22nd November 2013

Here’s Abi from the workshop in the first in a series of DIY repair tips to help with emergency Sax issues. Of course these snippets are just helpful hints to get you out of a spot of bother, if unsure we always advise bringing your Sax in to see our qualified and highly skilled technicians. Stay posted to our newsletters and Facebook for more top tips.

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Rare Selmer ‘Art Deco’ Tenor…

Engraving

Engraving (click pic to enlarge)

This beautiful Selmer Tenor Sax was brought in recently for some Workshop TLC. It’s serial number 22540 puts it as a very early ‘Balanced Action’ model. This was the first time that a Selmer had both bell keys (low B & Bb) on the front side of the sax, as we are used to seeing today.

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Workshop Tips – Clarinet Squeaking? Throat A key screw adjust

30th October 2013

Hi All, just a little quick top tip from our workshop to get you out of squeaky problems on your clarinet. Of course many things can cause issues with your instrument which is why we recommend keeping it regularly serviced, but this little tip may get you or a pupil out of trouble!

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Selmer Mark 6 Saxophone Service

26th March 2013

The Selmer Mark 6 Tenor Saxophone was bought into the Workshop the other week. It had some really serious damage when it was put into the hold of an aircraft. The main stack was really badly bent and the Saxophone did not play. We were looking at one very sick Saxophone… The impact had upset the alignment of the pillars, and the pads were not seating on the tone-holes. Take a look at the before and after pictures below. (more…)

Selmer MkVI Alto Repair – Emergency!

5th May 2010

It’s Wednesday morning, the phone rang and I happened to pick it up to hear a somewhat distressed sounding musician friend, either he’d just missed out on the gig of a lifetime that paid huge £ (do they still exist?!)…OR, and as it turns out this was it, he had knackered his very expensive Selmer Saxophone! After suffering a tumble over some PA equipment he dusted himself off and took one look at his Selmer MarkVI Alto and doubtless had ‘kittens’…see for yourself:

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Emergency Saxophone Repair

15th April 2010
Baritone Sax

The instrument at the weekend was not a Jupiter, but it could happen to any model!

Nice little story…We were displaying at the National Concert Band Festival last weekend in Birmingham. It was a great weekend and inspiring to see so many players, especially kids, enjoying playing in concert and big bands. We were by our stand when a rather distressed young lady came to us clutching a Baritone Sax and exclaimed that it has suddenly stopped working properly! She was due to play in 2 minutes and the Sax was not blowing any notes below a D, so my colleague pointed the girl in my direction as he knew I had some repair experience (albeit a few years ago!).  I asked the young lady to play for me so I could hear the problem, at this point your mind wishes you were at the work bench with your leak light and tools, it’s funny how being removed from a usual place of work can affect your ability.

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Saxophone Octave Mechanism Repair

7th April 2010

In the Sax workshop, we see this problem daily…

The Saxophone is a fragile instrument and the brass keys can get bent.  It’s really easy to be a bit heavy handed and grip the crook too tightly when packing it away.  What tends to happen is that that key on the top of the crook gets bent and it when you play, you get a really bad squawking sound.  That’s not you, that’s the pad at the top of the Saxophone not closing.  The Sax is trying to play the octave above.  Your best bet is to get a qualified Instrument Repair Technician or Teacher to repair it, but if you can’t here’s how it’s done.

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