Tools and Supplies for Band Directors

January 29, 2018

This is a list I put together for the NYCBOE band directors attending a seminar with me.  If anyone else finds it useful that's great! 


Tools and Supplies for Band Directors:



-Culinary Torch –be sure to adjust the flame extra small

-Screwdrivers: 1.8mm and 2.5mm, plus 4mm for bass clarinet and bassoon

-Spring hook – I made you one!

-pad slick

-pliers that have smooth jaws

-tweezers that are pointy

-bench peg for sanding tenons

-Neoprene Plugs with hole and without hole to test pressure without putting your lips on the instrument! (The “with hole” link is sized for clarinet upper joint, without hole is a set.)

-brass calipers for measuring tenon cork width, pad cups, and pad sizes



-Shellac or Glue Gun Glue (I like shellac best)


 (I like Gem brand best but I’m a razorblade snob)

-Gel super glue (I like the Loctite Precision Pen best)

-Contact cement (in a small bottle, it needs to be thinned or replaced often)

-key oil

-Bumper material

            -firm material – like tech cork ideally in .5, 1, and 1.5mm thicknesses

            -soft material – like synthetic felt (this link is for an assortment of thicknesses.  You can also buy them Ala carte.  .5 and 1mm thicknesses would be most useful

other more mundane supplies: paper towel, q-tips, ruler.



  • Clarinets:

            -Valentino greenbacks .110 thickness (but use a backing and buy undersized)

            -Valentino masters pads for clarinets (already have a backing but more $$)

  • Oboes use cork pads, and it’s typically not reasonable to expect a band director to change a cork pad. Sometimes a Valentino can be used on the larger keys.

  • Bassoons use white leather kidskin pads, ($$) but sometimes a Valentino can be used on the smaller keys, especially on the wing joint. 


Tenon Cork:

Sheet cork in 1/16 and 3/32 thickness (I like natural cork best)

Sanding Screen 320 grit is very efficient for sanding corks.  Trim it with a razorblade or scissors to the width of the cork.  It can be reused many times.



Supplies for temporary repairs “on the fly”

-waxed dental floss (to tie a tenon cork back on)

-saran wrap (to wrap around a torn skin pad)

-sticky-tack and saran wrap or teflon tape (to replace a missing pad)

-scotch tape (to tape off a missing pad, grossly leaking pad, or crack)

-clear rubber bands (the type for hair) for temporary spring replacement

-green velvet sticky pads



Note regarding vendors:

Most of the links on this page will take you to either JL Smith Co. or  There are lots of suppliers to the woodwind repairman, but some require a business license and others won’t sell pads in small quantities.  JL Smith will sell pads in small quantities and has a website that is navigable even for the layperson.


Other suppliers for tools and supplies:

Ferrees Tools, Inc. – Toolmaker for the wind repair trade.  Also sells supplies like pads and corks.


Allied Musical Supply – Tools and supplies, also OEM parts.  Requires business license.


Music Medic – Tools and supplies. Especially great for pad sets.


Kraus Music Products – High end tools and supplies.  Requires a business license, doesn’t take credit cards.




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January 29, 2018