Stages in the repair of a 60 year old Mollenhauer contrabassoon tenon at the Charles shop.
This Mollenhauer Contra Bassoon arrived to us in very sad shape. Years of neglect and water damage led to major damage throughout the instrument.
Once the "wound" was cleaned, we determined that the best way to proceed would be to rebuild the missing area. The wood is thin at this tenon, and we felt that removing the entire tenon and replacing it would probably leave a slight shelf or bump between the bore and the repaired section. We started by creating an inner shell to help exactly recreate the inner bore.
Five super thin layers of a bonding agent were added over the course of two weeks. This allowed each layer to dry and set, creating a strong, enduring replacement.
After the material was completely dry and solid, we hand sanded the surface to recreate the shape of the original tenon. We filed and hand sanded the inner bore as well, to match as closely as possible.
Once the basic form was in place, meticulous hand scraping, filing, and sanding was required to duplicate the original contours. From start to this point took about 3 weeks.
With the shaping complete, we stained and sealed the newly formed bore. Many thin coats allowed us to match the original color as closely as possible.
With the repair complete, we added the cork strips that help secure and seal the tenon. This particular tenon is not a normally removed part of the contrabassoon, and will hopefully not be seen again for another 100 years.