Instrument Repair

The majority of my time is spent servicing, repairing and modifying percussion instruments. The posts below demonstrate the diversity of instruments that I work on and my approach to the job.

Premier Fibreglass timpani repair (Job No: 1357)

Aluminium is soft making it very easy to scratch. It is a horrible material to work with because it is so soft it clogs up all your saw blades, files and abrasives like treacle tart. Most timpani chassis are made aluminium castings because it is also lightweight.

Commonly timpani use 3 points of contact with the floor (so they don’t wobble), with two wheels at the back and the pedal at the front, with the aluminium casting under the pedal sitting on the floor. As the drums are moved around, the aluminium foot at the front suffers from abrasion until they are completely worn away. This is a problem that I often have to resolve, but the biggest “problem” is reversing the shit solutions that other people have created to repair them!

Premier Xylophone Completion (part 2) (Job No: 1291)

The vast majority of the work involved in modifying this xylophone has obviously been done prior to painting. However there are a few bits that need to be sorted out during the final rebuild.

Musser M55 Vibraphone (Part 3) (Job No: 1321)

Sometimes when I am working on instruments and nearly always when fixing vibraphones, I discover one problem after another. This is one of those instruments where every moving part had to be remade.

Premier Xylophone Modification (Job No: 1291)

Sometimes it is nice to work on two identical instruments side by side. However, the job that I have to do on this Premier xylophone is completely different to the other Premier xylo I am working on.
On this xylophone I have to retain the portability and the height adjustment whilst increasing strength and making it easy to use.

Premier Xylophone Rebuild (Job No:1281)

From a pile of bits, a xylophone will emerge. In this post I start investigating the bits I have been given, identifying problems so I know what the job entails, and end up half way to finishing it.

Musser M55 Vibe Repair part 2 (Job no: 1321)

The work begins:
In Part 1 I looked into the problems of the M55 vibraphone. In part 2 I actually do some work!
It is my oppinion that in order to minimise the unwanted noises produced when playing vibraphones, the most import factor in the design of the instrument is its structural rigidity.

Musser M55 Vibraphone repair part 1 (Job no: 1321)

This vibraphone is predominantly used in a studio, so it is not dismantled and assembled all the time and banged in and out the back of vehicles. Neither is it wheeled around the corridors of music conservatoires. Essentially it has an easy life, but like all vibraphones it has lots of creaks and squeaks. So the player has been brought it in to me to sort it out. In this post I identify lots of the problems, all of which are very common and most of which could be designed out by the manufacturer.

Deagan case Glockenspiel (job no 1334)

So many times I get glockenspiels with a note bar missing and enquiries about the cost of replacement. So many times people are shocked at how expensive they are. This post is about making a new note and will show why they are expensive

Premier 751 Vibraphone (Job No: 1327)

There are a lot of vibraphones coming through my workshop at the moment, including the Premier 751. The content of this post has been kept broad to show what I am doing when I service or overhaul a 751 vibe.