Clarinet/stiff cork


I have a new clarinet, but the cork in the joints is so stiff that, even with loads of cork grease, they are difficult to assemble.  I have greased them and greased them. How can I assemble the horn without breaking something?  I am especially worried about the bridge key.  Is there something I can use in addition to cork grease?  Is there a cork crease that is more beneficial than others?  Thanks again, Joel.

  I am not sure if you mean the cork is actually stiff or just too thick.  If it is stiff you can try squeezing the cork a bit to break some of the fibers and help loosen it a bit.  If it is to thick then take some emery cloth or medium light sandpaper and sand the cork lightly(removed the cork grease first to avoid a mess).  Do this just a little at a time all the way around the cork as evenly as possible.  Add some more grease and try to reassemble the horn.  When you say the "bridge key" I assume you mean the middle of the 2 joints.  I find most cork grease to be about the same.  Let me know if this doesn't work and we will look at other options.  I hope this helps.




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Guy Percy


I can answer basic playing questions and I can answer questions about repair/maintenance.


I have taught middle school band and orchestra for 17 years. I also own a band instrument repair business.

BM Jazz Performance BA Music Ed MA Music(composition emphasis).

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