Re: Subject: Re: [Harp-L] Small mp leak

There are lots of ways to stop leaks. 
1... a blotter paper or construction paper gasket. Soaked first.
2...  a wee bead of Elmer's glue along seams (especially chromatics). Excess wiped off with water, it will dry well enough to seal, and is easily removable.
3... for stubborn jobs, a wee bead of caulking compound. Same deal as glue. Liquid electrical tape (liquid plastic) will also work. 
4... for minor leaks a wee bead of Burt's bees lip balm pressed into the seam. Avoid flavored balms, as they contain something that curls wind savers
5... for really open spaces, the sides (thinnest area) of an old model hot water bottle (actually a rubber bag) that you would have tossed in the dust bin
and about 6 more.

6... choking a shrill sound..insulate the cover plate stand offs. To keep the vibrations from going from the plates to the covers
7... spacers under the ends of the covers for the same reason. Tapered spacers to open up the rear ends of the covers. 
8... A strip of foam tape inside the covers (especially Herings) for the same reasons.
and about 4 more.
Mouthpiece clearances have to be several thousandths of an inch in order to work smoothly. Reducing this clearance has it's hazards. The parts must be kept clean. 
Saliva contains proteins that are not unlike dilute glue. All people exude a infinitesimally small amount of oils (yes oils) in their breath. It's there to keep your lungs fom abrading against your chest cavity walls. Over time this oil should be removed from the plates. 
I have known players whom NEVER cleaned their harmonicas. And their rationale was: "The harmonica is tighter". Wow, what a yucky deal THAT is. 

Last week I completely took apart a Hering that I use for practice. The plates were slightly greasy and the sound was dull. Soaked the plates for 8 hours in a pint of warm water with 3 drops of muriatic acid (5 drops of citric {lemon juice concentrate} will also work). Ammonia or strong vinegar will also work. After some judicious seam filling with glue upon re-assembly, the chromo sounded as good as new. 

note: wood is a living material..even though the tree is dead..the wood lives. Definition? It is still moving. NO wooden combed harmonica gets away with going without maintenance. Plastic is a little better and metal is the best. Engineer's 'try tables'  and straight edges, triangles, squares, etc. are ground to within tens of thousandths of an inch and usually stay that way. 

Unless you learn to do at least most of your own work, it could cost you a small fortune to even PLAY harp. Especially chromo. The techs are extra special people and deserve every cent (and more) for the work they do. In the world of trades you have different levels. 
1... novice
2... apprentice
3... journeyman
4... first class mechanic
5... master mechanic
6... artisan.
Harmonica techs are artisans. They work in the thousandths of an inch/mm. 


On Mar 16, 2012, at 1:04 AM, EGS1217@xxxxxxx wrote:

> Realizing I've never used and probably never WILL use a 'gasket', but what  
> about Silpat...anyone think it's remotely useable? Not sure if it'd  be 
> easy to cut. Mine doesn't have that border shown in the video.
> _ 
> ( 
> or this newer generic version I just found online (much less  expensive AND 
> able to be cut):
> _
> =pd_sim_k_6_ 
> ( 
> Elizabeth
> "Message: 10
> Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2012 19:13:44 -0400
> From: Joseph Leone  <3n037@xxxxxxxxxxx>
> Subject: Re: [Harp-L] Small mp leak
> To: Music  Cal <macaroni9999@xxxxxxxxx>
> Cc: harp-l  <harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx>
> On Mar 15, 2012, at 6:14 PM, Music Cal  wrote:
>> Does anybody know of a rubber-like material that does  not smell, is thin
>> enough for this purpose (.005 in to .01 inch) and is  FDA grade (safe 
> around
>> food so safe in one's mouth)? The material of  Ziploc food bags does not
>> have an odor and its FDA grade but it is not  thick enough or spongy 
> enough
>> for a good gasket.
>> Music  Cal
> I once used red hot water bottle rubber. It was the correct  thickness. 
> Unfortunately, the water bottles these days aren't smooth. They have  a pebble 
> grain finish., and too thick anyway.No good. I'm still thinking. (Every  
> time my family throws something out, I study it for possible harmonica  
> uses.....and 'I' do the garbage.  lolol)
> smo-joe

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