Barrel fused to joint, a common problem

Dear Mr. Friedland:

How do I take apart a barrel from the upper section when the two are absolutely immovable? Have been for several days even in a cool room. Its a 6-mos. old buffet R 13, a humid summer and prolonged, probably wet playing one day. And how prevent it from happening again? Best to you, cr
This is an interesting problem, one that is shared by many many players, especially those using this instrument. The binding of the barrel to the first joint is so common that many players are instructed by their teachers to never push the barrel all the way in, flush to the first joint, which is, of course, not great for tuning, however in the instance of this instrument, which is mostly sharp in the throat register, the idea has some merit for obvious reasons.
The problem occurs because of moisture and the barrel retaining moisture. If you want to guard against the problem, make sure you dry your clarinet thoroughly before putting it back in the case, really thoroughly, not only with the swab but with a small piece of absorbent material, drying the tenon specifically and fully because that is the cause of the problem.
When almost fused as is yours at the time of your letter, you can try heating the barrel ring with almost anything, for instance a hair dryer. The resultant expansion should enable you to to remove the barrel.
In future you may wish to get a different barrel. Or you could use a clarinet made of hard rubber, wherein the problem will not occur, or recur.
Good luck with all your work.
play well, sherman
From cr:Many thanks for your very full reply. You are really indispensable. I will certainly follow your advice. The barrel has come apart in the meantime, after about four days. You do not mentioned having the joint sanded or cut larger. Is that a bad idea?
Reaming out the barrel is not a great idea, mostly because anybody can do it, but few can do it well, and what happens if it is done too much? then you are in trouble. sherman


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