Repair Tips: Plastic Instruments and Cork Grease

 "If your oboe or clarinet is plastic, I would recommend using paraffin wax instead of cork grease.  Cork grease makes it difficult to line up the bridge keys between the joints because it increases the friction between the cork/plastic relationship, whereas paraffin wax creates a smooth, “gliding” between the cork and plastic sockets.  It seems logical that if there is tenon/cork tightness, then more cork grease should be applied; however, it is possible to over-apply cork grease, which will only make things worse.  Excessively applied cork grease is messy and can deteriorate the bond of glue holding the cork to the plastic tenon, as well as the glue bond on the surrounding key corks.  Applying paraffin will protect this glue bond, and can be purchased inexpensively at any grocery or convenience store.  If you do not have paraffin, cork grease is better than nothing at all."  --Eric Anderson

Repair Services

Repair Services at Midwest Musical Imports

We are pleased to offer repair services for musical instruments. Midwest Musical Imports employs two full-time repair technicians. We will do our best to turn around smaller repairs quickly.  If you have an emergency repair, please call us at (800) 926-5587 for time, cost, and availability of rush services.

For years, we have been known for specializing in double reed repair, but we want you to know that we are also equipped to handle clarinets, flutes, and saxophones. We have also set up a blog with repair and maintenance advice by both myself and Matt so you can keep your instrument in the best condition between regular servicing.

---Eric Anderson
Head Repair Technician

Services offered:

  • Maintenance of instruments including disassembly of all key work, cleaning, lubricating, and adjusting of mechanisms
  • Replacement of torn or worn pads and corks
  • Rebuilding of loose or broken tenons
  • Repair of wood rot in bassoons
  • Tone-hole repairs required due to chips and cracks
  • Repairs to keywork including modifications and fabrication of parts
  • Repairs to cracks and leaks in instruments
  • Minor bocal repairs, including recorking
  • Mechanical Overhauls (this does not include key plating or re-finishing work)

This is only a sample of the many services that we offer.  Please call for more details.

The repair shop is open on Saturdays!

This allows customers to have small "walk-in" servicing done while they wait.  These repairs will be done on a first-come first-serve basis, and the rush rate will not apply on Saturdays.  Customers with repairs that will require more extensive work will be advised to leave the instrument with us.

Repair Technicians:

Eric Anderson graduated with a degree in musical instrument repair in 2005 from Minnesota State College SE tech. He has been repairing wind instruments since, with a primary focus in Bassoon and Oboe. As a member of NAPBIRT, he continues to further the education of his career, by attending annual conferences and sharing knowledge and techniques amongst other technicians in the craft. His support of music on a local and national level is a driving factor for both his professional and personal life.

Matt Reich is a native of Milbank South Dakota and 1983 graduate of South Dakota State University with a Music Education Degree. After service in the US Army in 1987, Matt began a career in the music retail industry throughout Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, and now Minnesota. Matt graduated from Redwing Technical College (Minnesota State College Southeast Tech) with a Band Instrument Repair Diploma in 1998 and has been behind the bench turning a screwdriver ever since. Matt is a member in good standing of the National Association of Professional Band Instrument Repair Technicians (NAPBIRT).