#WednesdayWisdom: Silencing & Tightening That Noisy Floppy Low Bb

by Curt Altarac

The “Selmer Style” or “floating” Left Hand (LH) table and the “tilting” low Bb mechanism is a cool improvement on the earlier configurations of a LH table when properly set up. Actually talking about setting up that key could easily turn into a novel as there are many, many ways to improperly regulate the tilting Bb and the keys around it. But that’s wisdom saved for another day.

Today, let’s look at the tilting Low Bb where its cage fits over the low C# key. That little nub that fits into the low Bb cage is the bane of many players and techs alike. Finding the exact material for C# nub that fits in the cage is difficult and there is a very fine line between too loose, noisy, and floppy and binding. Many get it close and struggle, and then eventually just crush the cage with pliers in a fit of rage. Don’t do that because there’s a better way:

1. Fix the cage. Use Small Flat Nose Pliers to straighten the damage done by other techs and set Karma straight for you and them.

2. Set up the rest of the mechanisms so, in resting position, the cage is parallel to the table. This is the part that I could talk about forever but alas, I digress.

3. Put a small amount of Hot Glue Filled Shrink Tube on the Low C# nub and heat.

4. Cut the tubing so it extends past the C# nub about 1mm. PICTURE

5. Cover that shrink tube with Teflon Heat Shrink Tubing and heat with a hot flame to quickly shrink it without burning the inner-tube too badly.

6. Cut the Teflon tubing so it is even with the inner piece of hot glue filled shrink tubing.

7. Put the mechanism together. It will be very snug and should bind in the cage.

8. With it all together, work the Bb key back and forth while applying heat with the Vortex Air Torch.

9. Keep working it until the hot glue melts and forms to the inside of the cage. Stop applying heat and continue to work the key in the same manner until it is cool.

10. Now enjoy the smooth action & your peaceful life.

Happy Repairing!