Adams Xylo Tuning (Job No: 1071)

Another xylo in for tuning.

There is some edge damage on the accidentals in the middle of the instrument. Close up below:

The white residue is superglue – precisely the wrong thing to use. Although it is available in different viscosities, the most readily available brand is way too thin, and penetrates too readily then dries and crumbles internally. Furthermore, nothing else sticks to it including finishes.

As each note arrives at its first tune, it is inspected for damage.


Difficult to see, but at the right of the arch, the edge is splitting. This needs to be broken out – glueing is just not going to fix the problem, the crack could be deeper than can be seen from the surface.

As soon as the investigation starts, it can be seen that the splits are deep.

First I break out fibres with a knife, then I often cut them away on the sander. Next I rasp the surface using a random cut rasp; this picks up any residual loose fibres. Then file and sand it smooth ready to be tuned and finished.

However, this note was still dead, a sure sign that there is a crack. A face crack was found:

Again, this has to be picked out to see how deep the crack is:


Looks drastic, but the note is dead, so there is nothing to lose. This just lifted out, but all around the wood is just falling apart. In for a penny, in for a pound…


This demonstrates exactly what I mean about internal damage. This is a very badly damaged note – I suspect that it could have been caused by bad seasoning of the wood.

It is clearly deep, but the note is now resonant, and therefore can be tuned and played until a replacement is obtained. Also observe the direction of the grain on the end of the bar, not ideal especially on xylophones.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *