Topic: Bassoon Restoration Demystified

I have a lot of questions about bassoon restoration and other cosmetic work. For background - I have an 11k Heckel which is in pretty good cosmetic condition. I, like many other bassoonists perhaps, am a vain tech-junkie bassoon nerd and am interested in learning about cosmetic work and how it may impact the bassoon. Please forgive any assumptions I make as I learn about the process.

My assumption is that an instrument is only a candidate for a full restoration when the stain and finish are worn and in very poor condition. My instrument then would likely not be a good candidate. It would be ill-advised to start over with the stain and finish and all that sanding, and likely it would affect the instrument adversely. So, what other options are there? Is it possible to touch up the stain (color) on an instrument without sanding? What about the tiger striping, can that be enhanced in places where it has worn or faded? In areas where the finish or polish has worn down and the wood is left unprotected, can that be touched up to give the instrument a uniform glossy look and to protect the wood? Even if any or all of those are possible, how much would this affect the instrument beyond the obvious cosmetic fixes? If there's always some possibility of the instrument changing drastically with cosmetic work, then is all cosmetic work useless, or at least a hefty dice roll?

I appreciate any facts or opinions on this subject. I've searched a bit into this and always wanted more information, so my hope is that this thread might be helpful to others looking for restoration or cosmetic issue advise in the future.

Last edited by Joshua Luty (2017-03-31 18:16:26)

Re: Bassoon Restoration Demystified

Hi Josh-

       All of the things that you asked about in the "touch up" procedure (staining, Faded stripes, varnish) Can be touched up. The key is using materials that are as close to what was used for the original finish as possible,and the application techniques. Thbis will have effect the final result in the blending of the new colorwith the original as well as the ability to get the varnish blended in properly. Its not always easy but it is most certainly doable.

        I think the residual acoustical effects are going to be difficult to gauge as it depends on how substantial the worn areas are and how much prepwork is going to need to be done  But for the most par i think it is going to be rather minimal is my guess.

        There was an article that Chip Owen from Fox wrote years ago about bassoon finishes that was very informative and helpful in explaining the types of finishes used, the effective role they play, and various other helpful bits. You may want to contact him at factory and see if you can get a copy of it.

         I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any other questions or concerns.


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