by Steve Cook
Tenons protrude from one or both ends of a musical instrument section. Typically tenons are wrapped in cork, which helps them to fit snugly into another section of the instrument. Tenon corks can be found in multiple places on oboes, clarinets, and bassoons. The neck of a saxophone also has a corked tenon. If the tenon cork is missing or damaged, the instrument might leak air altering your sound quality, or it might not stay together when assembled rendering it unplayable. Ideally, you would bring your instrument to a qualified repair technician for a tenon repair, but in an emergency, you can use Teflon plumber’s tape to secure a loose tenon cork or to replace a missing tenon cork.
Teflon plumber’s tape, also called threaded seal tape, can be purchased at your local
hardware store for about a dollar ( Harbor Freight, Home Depot, Walmart ) It will also
fit easily into your instrument’s case, so you can have it handy for a last-minute
Step 1 Align the edge of the Teflon tape with the edges of the existing cork or inside the cork channel.
Keep the tape taut and begin wrapping it around the tenon as seen in Figure 3. The Teflon tape is very thin, so if you are securing a broken or loose cork, it might take five or six full wraps. For a missing cork, you can insert a piece of paper before wrapping, or simply wrap the tape around several more times. Keep wrapping until the tape is just above the edge of the cork channel.
Once the tape is slightly above the cork channel, tear or cut the tape as shown in Figure 4.
With your thumb, smooth down the torn edge of the tape against the tenon as seen in Figure 5. This will help prevent lifting of the tape as you assemble and disassemble the instrument.
Test the fit of the tenon with the portion of the instrument with which it connects (See Figure 6). It should feel snug, and no tape should be visible (See Figure 7). If the joint still feels loose, repeat steps 1-4 and try the fit again. If it feels too tight, remove a few layers of tape, tear off the removed portion, smooth down the edge, and attempt the fit again.
If the joint still feels loose, repeat steps 1-4 and try the fit again. If it feels too tight, remove a few layers of tape, tear off the removed portion, smooth down the edge, and attempt the fit again.
Once you have completed these steps, you should be able to make it through your
event. Remember this is a temporary repair. As soon as possible, you should take your
instrument to a qualified technician for them to complete a long-lasting repair and provide any other necessary services.
If you are in need of a repair for a broken or missing tenon cork and would like to contact a professional and certified repair technician you can click the about tab above to be directed to our contact information and shop location.