Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Putting my mouthpiece where my mouth is...

Just before I left California, I encountered some Saxophone Trauma. I dropped my mouthpiece on the ground, and a chunk flew off of the front. The chunk was never to be seen again, leaving me with a severely sick-looking mouthpiece.

Looking around online, at sites such as wwbw.com, mouthpieces will run somewhere in the neighborhood of 80$. For a piece of plastic. Well, a piece of hard rubber. I disbelieve that the consumer isn't being reamed on this purchase. I found a cheaper 20$ mouthpiece at the local music store, but I was concerned it would be what they know as "crap."

So, I put off my mouthpiece purchase for a while, and moved back to Pittsburgh. Then I got an idea (I figured you'd notice by now, but I'm slow.): I can repair my mouthpiece with epoxy! So I bought myself a tube of Loctite epoxy at Target for about 5$.

I got home, mixed it together, and applied a huge gob to the front of the mouthpiece. At the end of the week, the epoxy still wasn't hard. I couldn't understand. But I had a suspicion that the two epoxy fluids didn't mix in the right proportion, so I tried again. This time: SUCCESS. The epoxy got hard within 24 hours. I applied about two coats of epoxy, which was able to fill in the hole.

The next step was to sand down the epoxy to make it look like a mouthpiece again. It was a little bit tricky, and it still might not be perfect, but I'm pretty astounded at how much it looks like a mouthpiece again. The front corner is clear and a bit scratched up (from the sandpaper), but the form is just about right.

I'm so happy and proud of my little repairwork! There may be some issues with hitting some really high notes, but I might be able to work through them, at least for now. Now I just have to learn how to play the saxophone!

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