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Repairing a Dukoff mouthpiece

JTHANK

Senior Member
Messages
33
Location
Hong Kong
Hi all,

Haven't shared for quite some time. Besides my day job, I have been practicing a lot, joining a band, and getting more into repairing...

As for mouthpiece refacing, I had tried some on my own mouthpieces previously. I recently got this poor Dukoff D7 Alto Mouthpiece from someone who had dropped it accidentally. Given that he has no intention of getting it fixed, I decided to step up and try saving it.

Here are some photos of how the mouthpiece looks before the operation. Hope you would enjoy this post!

Cheers,

JT
 

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Please take photos of your process, would be very interesting to see.

I've actually started tinkering around with two nameless stock mouthpieces to see what I can adjust in a mouthpiece. I'm keeping one as-is for reference, doing all the modifications to the other one to see how they affect it.
 
Thanks altissimo, I did come across this video and it is very useful.

I actually have already finished this project, just thinking how I should present it and breaking it down in a few posts so it is easier to understand what I had done.

Here are the major issues that I found on this mouthpiece (listed roughly in the order of my workflow):

1. Bent tip and shank
2. Machine marks on table and rails
3. Disappearing tip rail
4. One side of the rail is much thicker than the other one

I first cleaned the mouthpiece with a ultrasonic cleaner, then I followed the video that altissimo posted above to get them back in shape. Here are some photos after this step and the tools I used.
 

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After unbending the tip and shank, using #800 sand paper on a flat surface, I removed the machine marks on the table and rails.

I also use filers to roughly shape the tip rail with reference to a reed.

At this point, the mpc is playable but as shown in the photo, the two side rails are not balanced: the rail to the right in the photo is much thicker. I struggled if I should go further to deal with it 'coz the owner of the mpc had been playing on these uneven rails and still sounded great.
 

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The idea of going further to perfect the mpc stayed in my head over the weekend, so I decided to give it a shot. This is done using filers again, and a lot of patience. The material is very soft on the Dukoff, so besides filing, it is possible to "burnish" some spots and shaping it the way I want with a screwdriver to some extent.

After the side rail was reshaped, I filed the baffle and chamber just to clean it up and made it more smooth. Filers, sand paper, steel wool were all used for this.

Then, I defined the inner part of tip rail more carefully and precisely.

Lastly, the mpc is refaced with #800 sand paper on a flat surface, a set of feeler gauges, and a homemade glass gauge.
 

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Looks good. How does it play?

It played well but the shank is bigger than the metal Beechler I use, so I have to push it further to the neck to try and have a hard time playing in tune. Regardless of the intonation, it sounds "bigger" compared to the Beechler and gives more sub-tones. Altissimo notes are easier to hit.

I would hand it back to the owner and see what he thinks about it.

Personally, I would not consider buying a Dukoff. Not because of its sound, but it is just too fragile.
 

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