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Tool Spotlight: Testing Feeler Holder (FD35)

2nd March 2022

In this latest blog from our Workshop Team we check out the super useful FD35 tool which acts as a convenient feeler holder for woodwind repairs…

Why Is It Useful?

When checking the seat of Clarinet, Oboe, Flute and Bassoon pads, most repairers will use some kind of Feeler Gauge. This is usually cut by the repairer out of whatever material they prefer. Feeler Gauges can be made from mylar, fish skin, cellophane, cassette tape, cigarette paper or cleaning paper. 

They are thin, small and can easily be lost or misplaced. The blow of a fan, a gust of wind from an open window or even a whistle while you work will send your Feelers flying, some never to be seen again. 

They can also be fairly challenging to manoeuvre around the back of pads and in tight spaces, particularly for beginners. Many resort to glueing their feeler onto a reed, cocktail stick or simply dab it with some shellac to give it some weight and something to hold on to. This tool allows for a perhaps more sophisticated solution. 

How It Works

This small handheld FD35 tool grips whatever feeler material you use in its minuscule grip and securely holds it. This enables an enhanced feel of the pad directly into the handle and into your hand. The longer handle gives you the freedom and flexibility to navigate the tip of your feeler around each millimetre of the tonehole, even in tight spaces. 

The solid brass handle adds weight to an almost weightless feeler. This makes it easy to locate and pick up. You can safely use airguns and extractors without the constant loss of this all important tool. The locking mechanism is quick and easy to operate. With a simple pull on the ring, the vice jaws open and by pushing the ring back into place you’ve got a secure but small vice grip.