Repair Tips: Tight Tenons

July 19th, 2012 by

This summer has been exceptionally humid, especially in the upper Midwest, which leads to the swelling of wood. If you play oboe, bassoon, clarinet, or other wooden instrument, you may be experiencing tight tenons (where the joints fit together). If your tenons reveal slight friction when assembling your instrument, but come apart when you are finished playing, then just wait out the summer; the tenon/socket fit will get better in a month or two. It is best to not remove material if possible because the tenon will be loose in the Fall after the humidity decreases, and with oboes and clarinets this can mis-adjust the bridge mechanism. However, if your tenons are so tight that force is needed to assemble and disassemble your instrument, bring it in and we will turn down the wood to a proper fit. Do not force the instrument or you can risk bending the keys!

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