How to Change the Cork of a Clarinet

Clarinets have cork on the underside of each key that helps to pad the keys and block any air from escaping through the tone holes. Replacing the cork is a relatively straightforward process that will require minimal tools and allow the performer to get back to playing without the need to visit a repair shop. Replacing cork on the keys can be accomplished easily by purchasing the raw cork from your local music store.

Step 1

Remove the cork from the keys using a small flat-head screwdriver. Be careful to avoid damaging the instrument.

Step 2

Apply a small amount of mineral spirits to the top of a cotton swab. Swab the inside of the keypads to remove any remnants of glue.

Step 3

Cut a piece of cork that will fit inside the keypad. Using a two millimeter thick piece of cork will make it possible to file down the cork to the correct size for each key.

Step 4

Apply a small amount of contact cement to the inside of each key's cup. Place the cork inside the cup and press in for about 30 seconds. Let the cork set for five minutes.

Step 5

File down the cork using a nail file until the pad is level with the edge of each key's metal cup.


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