Marching Onward.

Marching Onward?

When I went through my second of four apprenticeships in this industry, I was trained by a kindly man that was young when the industry was, one Dr Lorin Richtmeyer in Denton, Tx.  Dr Richtmeyer trained us to do everything with shellac.  Just like great great great grand-pappy band man did.  (I mean no disrespect, Dr. Richtmeyer was a great man, but many of his processes were rather dated.)  Key corks, tenon corks, and pads, all were adhered by traditional shellac.  With an alcohol lamp.  I doubt anyone reading this realizes the awkwardness of heating shellac to the proper temperature so that it will adhere to a metal, wood, or plastic object, and then making it stick down on to cork – which in itself flammable – can be.  And tho I occasionally wish for the simplicity of an alcohol lamp, I have friends in the industry that have been hospitalized from spilled burning alcohol.

So we learn to use more modern adhesives. By my third apprenticeship (with my friend Gary Dosset)  I was introduced to contact cement.  Contact cement, possibly first utilized in the 1960’s, found its’ way into the band instrument field.  Safer.  Slightly stinkier.  But no flame needed- just time.  Clean surfaces, sanding lightly and wiping with alchohal, apply glue (typicaly thinned with appropriate chemical,) wait for the glue to dry, then stick together.

More about shellac in another post.

Now, 20 years later, I may well be moving on.  Welcome to better living though chemistry: 3m produces a “plastic to metal” adhesive that removes the “wait until dry” process.  So far, the process is: lightly sand metal, clean surface, apply thin layer of adhesive to metal, stick pre cut material (slightly larger than surface) and press down.  Set aside and wait 2-5 minutes.  Razor blade off the excessive material and glue.  It shaves (pun intended) much time off a PC job.

~ by inhorn on August 11, 2009.

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