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MMD > Archives > January 2007 > 2007.01.30 > 03Prev  Next

Materials for Rebuilding Player Instruments
By Randolph Herr

We all know the story of the blind men and the elephant.  Obviously,
unless they figuratively (and literally) put themselves in the other's
place, they will remain a bunch of blind idiots trapped in an endless
argument, unable to make progress.  Once they all experience the many
different parts of an elephant, then they will agree on what an
elephant is like.

The reason for saying this is because the field of chemicals is so
large (and getting bigger every day) that it is mind-boggling.  Unless
we address a list of specific chemicals, each one by itself, then we
are all blind men arguing back and forth.  The topic of RTV has been
in discussion lately, and I want to add my two cents.

RTV stands for Room Temperature Vulcanizing, referring to a silicone
rubber that turns into a rubbery material without heat.  There is no
limit to the number of RTV rubbers out there, and it is worthless to
argue if we are talking about different chemicals.  The silicone rubber
that I use is GE Silicone 1.  I have had bad experiences with Silicone 2
when it did not turn to rubber and remained a sticky mess.

This rubber, which goes on with the consistency of toothpaste, does
not at all soak into the wood -- it merely fills in all the voids and
pores, and when it is removed, the wood is as good as the day it was
put on.  Recently, someone wrote in saying that one RTV rubber changed
the wood, and glue will no longer stick to it.  Could you please tell
me what kind of RTV you were using?  I have personally had no such
experience as this, and I want to know more about it.

The point here is that we need to create on MMD a specific list of
materials for player instruments.  The pages should be for PVA, PVC-E,
silicone rubber, all the white glues, all the epoxies, the krazy glues,
and so on.  We can list such things as shelf life, working time, is it
reversible, solvents, does heat or cold affect it, why you shouldn't
use it, and so on.  For different cloths and leathers, we can list
suppliers and our experience with them.  If we can't organize this
knowledge, then what the hell are we doing here?

I suggest that MMD add an option to the list on their home page, and
call it Materials.  Here you would find each material with its own
page, and readers are free to write in their experiences with that
specific stuff, including helpful hints, warnings, and so on.  What
could be fairer than that?

There will always be idiots who use Elmer's glue on everything, but
these people wouldn't have read a Wikipedia article in the first place.
But there will be people who care, and want to learn, and our knowledge
will make it easier for them.

Randolph Herr

 [ Jody has established a wiki which can support development
 [ of the web pages that Randolph suggests.  Visit
 [  -- Robbie

(Message sent Tue 30 Jan 2007, 05:04:34 GMT, from time zone GMT-0500.)

Key Words in Subject:  Instruments, Materials, Player, Rebuilding

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