Clarinet Tenon Replacement

Clarinet Tenon Replacement

Recently we were asked to replace a tenon on a Selmer clarinet that had snapped. It had previously snapped and been glued back together but the joint failed again.

It's always fun to make things! Below are some images and explanations of the steps involved in replacing the tenon on a clarinet.This Selmer had the C#/G# tone hole located on the tenon making it a little more work to replace.


Take measurements and make a drawing of what we need to make.


Remove the remaining old tenon

After removing posts in the area we cut off the remaining tenon with a jeweler's hacksaw then tidied with a boring tool.


Bore out the top join to fit a new tenon


Glue in replacement tenon blank

In this instance we used a pre-made blank we had but sometimes we need to turn one on the lathe from a grenadilla billet.


Clamp to allow the glue to dry


Turn down the new tenon to correct diameter


Regularly measure to make sure it is correct


Test fit for diameter

Notice the small gap between joints, the diamater is correct so now we need to face down the end to make it the correct length.


Mark correct lengths and turn to size


Mark tonehole for C#/G#

Due to the raised square that the tonehole is in we hand chiseled the cork channel. Normally we would cut this channel on the lathe. We locate the tone hole by assembling and using the lower joint (where the key is located) as a guide.


Drill tone holes and sand the bore to match

We forgot to take photos... But we have used a mill to drill the tone hole for C#/G#. We have also redrilled the tonehole for C/G as the new tenon graft goes past this tonehole. We also have to redrill the posts holes for the fork Eb, C/C# and Side Eb keys.

We had the new tenon machined to very close tolerances so with a light sand we can match the internal bore perfectly.


Posts back on and tenon cork on


Keywork back on and ready to play!

Ready for many more years of playing. Most people wouldn't be able to tell it has had the tenon replaced.