We live in a world where you can get directions on how to do just about anything on You Tube and Pinterest has made every project seem like a breeze but I am here today to tell you that instrument repair is NOT as easy as it may seem. There are a few very important things to remember BEFORE you try to do any repairs yourself! We have composed this list of Do’s and Don’ts for every budding do it yourself-er out there. Please heed our advice or you will literally pay for your mistakes in the end.
General “Dos” and “Don’ts”
- DO use zip ties, twist ties, fabric-covered hair bands, string or Teflon tape to hold an instrument or key together
- DO use paper to shim tenons, sockets or neck corks
- DO use a “Bobcat” style mouthpiece puller for stuck mouthpieces
- DO use penetrating oil and mild heat from a hand torch to remove a stuck tuning slide
- DON’T use tape or rubber bands to hold a damaged key, broken solder joint or other part together
- DON’T use super glue of any kind to repair any part of an instrument
- DON’T turn adjustment screws
- DON’T use a screwdriver to drive out a stuck valve
- DON’T use a screwdriver to drive out a rotary valve
- DON’T use pliers or vice-grips to remove stuck parts
- DON’T use a towel, rag, sock, shoelace or any other kind of implement to remove a stuck tuning slide!
- DON’T use a currency bill to relieve sticky pads
This list is far from complete but does give you a start if you are seriously interested in fixing something yourself. For more tips on repairing things yourself or for emergency situations please refer to our RESOURCES tab at the top of the page.