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Joined: April.13.06
Location: Australia
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 6
Posted: April.14.06 at 4:19am | IP Logged Quote mogsta

Hi everyone,

Nice to be among pros... though I feel a little out of place.

I'm Brett Phillips from Australia and I have a long term dream to learn brass and woodwind repair.

Unfortunately I'm in a kind of remote area of Australia where there is no such thing as repair school... let alone real repairers! I think the nearest repairer is about 350 kilometers or more eastward from here, and to the west there probably isn't one for another 1000km.

So, even though many people tell me it's extremely difficult to learn repair without a teacher, I have no choice and am embarking on a journey via the long route.

Joining ProBirt is hopefully one of the best moves I have made. I only found it last night, and joined within 15 minutes, and have already watched 4 of the streaming videos. I'm extremely happy to find this resource. It's amazing how many good tips you can pick up this way.

I haven't actually started repairing yet, I wouldn't dare. I still don't have my tools, but am saving up and have been getting the odd thing as I can afford it (buffing wheel, dremmel, solder torch etc).

I have a whole stack of old brass instruments and a couple of old clarinets, and a flute that I will practice on once I get that far.

I'm only 30 years old, so I've given myself 10 years to prepare for my career change.

If anyone has 2nd hand tools they want to sell, I'm interested - and if you're in Australia too, even better!

Finally, I'd be really happy to talk with anyone out there who can spare a moment. I'm really looking forward to learning from you folks.

Brett Phillips
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Technician & Clinician
Technician & Clinician

Joined: January.20.05
Location: USA
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 24
Posted: April.14.06 at 6:00am | IP Logged Quote LarryMueller

Welcome Brett,

It's really just been in the last few years that things have gotten
better, as far as easy availability of this info. You're coming into
this at a good time. Just find and soak up all the info you can,
and start practicing on those old instruments. Use instruments
you can afford to goof up at first.

I'm a woodwind guy, and I would say the most important thing is
to get good at leveling pads to the tone holes, and doing nice
cork work (good looking with a good glue bond). You will need
the right diameter pads, as well as the proper thickness. Too
fat a pad hits too soon at the back, and vice verse. Clarinet is a
good place to start, as it's mechanically simple, and pads aren't
too expensive for it.

Good luck.

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Joined: January.11.05
Location: United Kingdom
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 10
Posted: April.15.06 at 12:01pm | IP Logged Quote IanWhite

Welcome Brett

A good book to get for wooodwind repair is The Complete Woodwind Repair Manual by Reg Thorp. Available direct from Reg here in England - - or from the NAPBIRT web site - (Don't expect a quick reply from either source as the NAPBIRT conference is next week)

Good luck.

Ian White
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Joined: April.13.06
Location: Australia
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 6
Posted: April.15.06 at 11:43pm | IP Logged Quote mogsta

Hi Larry and Ian,

Thanks for welcoming me in. I look forward to doing a lot of learning.

Larry, yours was the first streaming video I watched, so I already have a lot of respect for you and your skills.

I'm a fulltime graphic designer with a wife and two small boys (and another boy/girl on the way), so throwing in Instrument Repair is going to take some serious commitment and juggling, but it is something everyone around me is very supportive of.

My first task is to ask guys like you which tools and skills are the most important in order to get started in the basics of servicing instruments.

Being limited in financial resources (aren't we all?) I need to plan what tools I get, and in which order. I'll be posting a separate forum post, so if you have a moment it'd be great if you could consider a response.

Thanks so much,
Brett Phillips
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