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Tools and Supplies for Band Directors

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!

-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)

-Bumper material

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

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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