We repair all kinds of saxophone and clarinet mouthpieces. Services include refacing, tip opening changes, chamber and baffle work. We also repair damaged mouthpieces, including cracked shanks and bent tips.
What is refacing?
Refacing is the process of changing a mouthpiece’s facing for the purpose of improving its response or repairing defects. Typically, a refacing service starts with the study and visual graphing of the existing facing. From there, we communicate with the client to identify his goals, as well as to identify the reeds he would like to use that mouthpiece.
The refacing process
A complete refacing includes flattening of the table and reconstructing the entire curve. After the table and curve have been established, work on the tip rail, side rails, and baffle is performed to ensure the most efficient vibration of the reed.
Throughout the refacing process, the mouthpiece is tested using the same reed brand and strength as the client and adjusted as needed. The owner of South Florida Horns is a professional saxophone and clarinet player with the expertise to carefully discern a mouthpiece’s playability.
Tip opening changes
Most mouthpieces can have their tip openings adjusted larger or smaller to a certain extent, depending on the amount of material available in the mouthpiece. Closing a mouthpiece is less frequently requested than opening a mouthpiece but is usually possible. Minor tip opening changes can often be performed during a refacing for no extra charge.
Chambers and baffles
Chamber modifications involve adding material, removing material, or some combination of the both. Typical chamber modifications include opening up with side walls and/or throat, undercutting the table, lowering the floor, and so on. Baffles can be raised, lowered, lengthened, or shortened.
If the shank on your mouthpiece is cracked, or you just want to keep it from cracking in the future, we can machine and install a band to cover the cracked portion. In the case of a crack, we seal the crack with epoxy prior to installing the band. A variety of materials are available; our preference is aluminum but we can also machine them from brass, plastic, rubber, or wood (these materials may be extra).
Metal mouthpieces that are no longer round at the shank don’t fit very well on the cork. They tend to leak and can cause premature wearing of the cork. We have the tools and the expertise to true (re-round) these shanks quickly and inexpensively. Yes, we do offer this service for brass instrument players who need their mouthpieces trued.
We’ve repaired mouthpieces that were dropped, chipped, twisted, and chewed by dogs. We don’t claim to be able to repair every mouthpiece, but usually we can restore a damaged mouthpiece. If we can’t do it, we’ll let you know before we start any work. Contact us today to get started!