Topic: Sticky keys

Hello
I have problems with the sticky keys. Some keys sometimes do not want to open. Any suggestions?

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Re: Sticky keys

What keys in particular are you having problems with? Different pads are made of different materials, have a greater tendency to attract water, or seal against different surfaces.

M.M.A., D.M.A. University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign: B.Mus. Lawrence University
Bassoon professor at University of Wisconsin Eau-Claire
Maker of the Little-Jake electric bassoon pickup and Weasel bassoon reeds

Re: Sticky keys

Is it the keys or the pads?  In the winter if it gets dry the keys can bind.  Sometimes key oil will help, or else take off the key and clean the rod and area and then oil.  If that still doesn't work you might need to file down the ends but I caution you to only do this if you feel comfortable.  If you take too much off you will have a loose key.  Try the key oil and cleaning though and maybe that will do it.

Dr. Kent Moore
Principal Lecturer In Bassoon and Theory
Northern Arizona University

Re: Sticky keys

Also there can be dirty pads & tonehole rims, weak springs, bent keys or hinge rods or loose posts which have turned a bit to name a few other possibilities.

As Kent says, assuming the key is mounted on a rod rather than between pivot screws, first try taking the key off cleaning the rod & also the inside of the hinge tube. Then try the rod in the tube dry & see if it runs free. If not you are probably into bent key or rod mode. If you are lucky & that is OK try the key to see if it fits easily between the posts - if it is put some oil on the rod & refit & usually you are fine unless a post is out of alignment when the rod might flex as it tightens in the post causing binding.

If keys are mounted on pivot screws similar things apply. There are many possibilities so it is not easy to give a diagnosis without inspecting an instrument & apart from very basic problems a visit to an expert repairer is by far the best way to sort these things. (Expert players are not necessarily mechanics!)

Last edited by Ian White (2011-01-26 07:02:17)

Re: Sticky keys

Usually it is "Es Vent pad" (I hope is the right name for it). Key is not bended, spring is in right place, and I oil keys regular. So I think it's the pad sticking to the wood.

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Re: Sticky keys

This I got to know when was taking instrument repair course in Puchner workshop. You will need a cigarette paper and "talc" (baby powder).
Put small amount of talc on the corner of cigarette paper. Lift the sticky key. Insert cigarette paper with talc between bassoon and opened key. Talc should be on the top of paper. Close and open the key for several times. This will solve the problem.
If you won't be accurate and some talc will fall on the bassoon, remove it with small paint brush or just by blowing air.

Re: Sticky keys

Thanks,
I used baby powder and now the key is working great!

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