There are many occasions when you will need to take steps to preserve or reattach a tenon cork that is detaching from the instrument.
Cork greases and oils are common culprits that unstick the glue underneath corks. And it is also caused by glue that has failed of its own accord. This is because world governments continue to legislate for the use of safer and less toxic products in factories. As you can imagine, safer glue is often less effective.
Here is how you can reattach a tenon cork that is peeling off the instrument:
What you will need:
- Contact cement (Quick-Grip comes in a tube)
- Paper or card to thin out any lumps of glue you may leave
- Needle or other thin implement to apply glue
- String or cloth strip to wrap the cork after gluing
- Metholated spirits or other cleaning alcohol
- Cotton bud or similar to apply cleaning alcohol
Clean the surfaces that need to stick together. Those surfaces are the tenon of the instrument where the cork has detached from, and the underside of the cork that needs to be reattached.
Scoop up a small amount of glue with the needle and use it to apply the glue. A very thin layer of glue needs to coat both suraces: the surface of the instrument and the underside of the cork that will stick to it.
Take care when using this glue. You will not be using it for a long period of time so you should be safe. Overexposing yourself to the vapours can cause health issues.
Let the glue dry for a few minutes, as wet surfaces will not stick together.
When the glue has dried (2-3 minutes), it is ready. Avoid touching the surfaces, since skin oils could inhibit adhesion. Bring the cork to the position that you require and press it firmly into place.
If you are uncertain about whether the glue has properly taken hold, wrap the string or cloth over the entire area to hold the cork firmly in place. Leave it in this position for a number of hours, and overnight if possible. This will normally strengthen any weak bonds.
And that is it! After you have carried out the procedure once, you will never be afraid to reattach a tenon cork ever again, whether that is yours or your students.
After the final step you should be able to assemble the instrument as you normally would, without disengaging the cork.
Tenon Cork Reattachment Failure
Remember that these steps are only a temporary measure to keep you going for a while. There are a couple of reasons why these steps may not work as well as you hoped.
Failure to reattach a tenon cork could be caused by:
- Too much glue applied to the surfaces.
- The glued surfaces are allowed to rest for too much time or too little time before contact is made.
- The surfaces are still too oily, or oil is embeded in the glued materials.
The best solution, of course, is to have the main surface cleaned up properly, and have a new piece of cork attached in place of the old, oily, broken one.