Clarke Original D Tweak/Mods

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narrowdog
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Clarke Original D Tweak/Mods

Post by narrowdog »

Earlier this month I decided to fork out the £12 and get a Clarke Original.
On unpacking I was amazed as to just how big the windway was.
I expected it to be bigger than your average Gen but this was huge,
you could bivvy over night in there if the weather turned a bit iffy.

Image

So this afternoon I set about doing a little mod to help things along.
First I cut a small wedge from some beech and sanded it to a feather edge
as I didn't want to reduce the exit windway size.

Image

Fitting was straight forward the only issue I had was the fipple block
had been rounded slightly on the top edges but once the wedge was fitted tight
at the sides it sealed things up.

Image

Then after a quick toot to assess that I'd got things about right it was just a matter
of super gluing it in place and cleaning up the outside edge.

Image

The result is a whistle that hasn't lost any of it's character
and doesn't require an inhaler for every phase.
The bottom end is a little weaker, not much, it's Ok
but the top end 'g' to 'b' is much sweeter same volume as a Sindt
it was far too loud before.

Edit.... I tryed to get the photos a bit smaller but photobucket is a pain in the butt and wouldn't alter the size.

Another Edit....Photos like Ok for size now :-?
Last edited by narrowdog on Wed Jan 02, 2013 2:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Clarke Original D Tweak/Mods

Post by Feadoggie »

Pretty neat. Most of us would just squash the top of the windway down a bit. :)

As for Photobucket, it does let you resize your pictures but it is not obvious. You first open the image you want to resize. Then click on "edit". Then select "adjust". Then select "resize".

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Re: Clarke Original D Tweak/Mods

Post by narrowdog »

Thanks, I wanted to keep the round top
also I can adjust it with a bit of sand paper.
Yep went through the resize process but only done the first one.
Never mind I think you get the idea.
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Re: Clarke Original D Tweak/Mods

Post by Jerry Freeman »

I can see from one of your photos that the soundblade has the rounded "M" shape that Clarke is using now. That's terribly inefficient, and you can improve the whistle considerably by straightening out the soundblade so it's straight from side to side, parallel to the windway floor.

This can be a bit tricky to do, but once you've accomplished it, you'll be impressed at what a big improvement it makes. You'll need to tinker a bit with the distance between the soundblade edge and the windway floor. You should see a rectangle of daylight under the soundblade when you sight through the mouthpiece, about 1/3 of the height of the windway. Trial and error will tell you exactly what position is best for this.

Also, if that's a black lacquered Clarke, the lacquer may chip when you adjust the shape of the metal. Black fingernail polish very nicely repairs any missing black on these.

Best wishes,
Jerry
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Re: Clarke Original D Tweak/Mods

Post by narrowdog »

Jerry Freeman wrote:I can see from one of your photos that the soundblade has the rounded "M" shape that Clarke is using now. That's terribly inefficient, and you can improve the whistle considerably by straightening out the soundblade so it's straight from side to side, parallel to the windway floor.

This can be a bit tricky to do, but once you've accomplished it, you'll be impressed at what a big improvement it makes. You'll need to tinker a bit with the distance between the soundblade edge and the windway floor. You should see a rectangle of daylight under the soundblade when you sight through the mouthpiece, about 1/3 of the height of the windway. Trial and error will tell you exactly what position is best for this.

Also, if that's a black lacquered Clarke, the lacquer may chip when you adjust the shape of the metal. Black fingernail polish very nicely repairs any missing black on these.

Best wishes,
Jerry
Hi Jerry,
Thanks for the input,
yes it is the 'M' shaped sound blade, I have seen them
flattened and have wondered how it's done but I'll give it a go when I've a
bit of time.
Is it worth sealing the top of the fipple block with some super glue,
it just feels like it's clogging up a bit after 10 minutes playing?

BTW it's the plain silver Clarke so any mauling around shouldn't look
too bad.

So far it's a better whistle.
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Re: Clarke Original D Tweak/Mods

Post by narrowdog »

Following Jerry's suggestion about flattening the sound blade this was the result

Image

A great improvement Thanks Jerry :thumbsup:
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Re: Clarke Original D Tweak/Mods

Post by AbrasiveScotsman »

I bought mine pre-tweaked from here:

http://www.thewhistleshop.com/catalog/w ... weeked.htm

I'm fairly pleased with it, although it was quite expensive posted to the UK. Because of this I hardly ever take it out of my flute/whistle drawer for fear of breaking it and I still play my dented, slightly rusty Clarke original more than the fancy tweaked one. I did have to "tweak" my beater whistle slightly after a dent to the fipple ramp destroyed its tone, but carefully lifting the ramp up by less than a mm made everything good again.
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Re: Clarke Original D Tweak/Mods

Post by Jerry Freeman »

I wouldn't be inclined to try to seal the wooden block to reduce clogging. Rather, I would use Duponol or improvise with a dish soap solution.

Duponol is sodium lauryl sulfate. The main soapy ingredient in liquid dish soap is ammonium laureth sulfate, which must be very similar. These same ingredients are common in shampoo.

Best wishes,
Jerry
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Re: Clarke Original D Tweak/Mods

Post by clarinerd »

[ Thread Revival ]

I have at last found a use for those old clarinet reeds. They fit perfectly in to the cavernous Clarke mouthpiece as a wedge, as described in the first post. Once I get a second whistle, I'll glue it in place.

I know this is 'bouncing' an old thread. That's what happens when one uses the search function!
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Re: Clarke Original D Tweak/Mods

Post by ThomasNashJohnson »

And my apologies for keeping the thread 'bouncing'

Narrowdog: Incredible, I briefly owned a Shaw High D that had the biggest windway I'd ever seen, but this is even bigger.

Jerry Freeman: 'M' shaped windway, I'm not sure I understand that, could you explain further please?

Clarinerd: Superb idea :thumbsup:
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Re: Clarke Original D Tweak/Mods

Post by whistlecollector »

ThomasNashJohnson wrote:And my apologies for keeping the thread 'bouncing'

Jerry Freeman: 'M' shaped windway, I'm not sure I understand that, could you explain further please?
There's an almost V shape in the middle of the blade, so it looks like a valley: --v-- When I got one of these whistles, I thought it was kind of odd. I would think that too much air would escape over the blade, but mine plays pretty okay with the M shaped blade. Might have to try straightening it.

Any ideas why the M-shaped blade design was chosen?
narrowdog wrote:...yes it is the 'M' shaped sound blade, I have seen them flattened and have wondered how it's done but I'll give it a go when I've a bit of time.
One handy tool for messing around with metal whistle blades is one of those paint can opening thingies you get at Lowe's Depot. Fits right into the window and can be used to lift and press down with a flat surface. L-shaped steel brackets (of the sort that might be used to attach (Ikea et al) furniture to a wall also work, and come in a variety of widths to fit many whistle sizes. If you can find one on Ebay, a surgical instrument called a "cottle elevator" also is very handy for lifting and pressing on various parts of a whistle windway.

Also thanks Jerry for the black finger nail polish trick for touching up a scuffy Clarke! Who would have guessed that nail care products would be so useful in the intrepid whistler's tool kit.

Cheers
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Re: Clarke Original D Tweak/Mods

Post by clarinerd »

I'm new to the tin whistle (apart from a brief flirtation many years ago when at school) but I don't think I like the Clarke very much yet. I got myself a Feadóg today, which is so much easier to play in the higher register. The lowest notes (E and D) seem a bit unstable to me, though, on both whistles. They break up very easily. I suspect that's something to do with breath support and remembering that a tin whistle isn't a clarinet.

I might wait a while before gluing in the tip of a clarinet reed. I suspect it might be worth learning how to blow through the thing first.
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Re: Clarke Original D Tweak/Mods

Post by Mr.Gumby »

I suspect that's something to do with breath support and remembering that a tin whistle isn't a clarinet.
Exactly. Be gentle, just breath into the whistle.
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Re: Clarke Original D Tweak/Mods

Post by ThomasNashJohnson »

Mr.Gumby wrote:
I suspect that's something to do with breath support and remembering that a tin whistle isn't a clarinet.
Exactly. Be gentle, just breath into the whistle.
Unless the whistle happens to be a Chieftain High D :boggle:
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Re: Clarke Original D Tweak/Mods

Post by clarinerd »

Mr.Gumby wrote:
I suspect that's something to do with breath support and remembering that a tin whistle isn't a clarinet.
Exactly. Be gentle, just breath into the whistle.
I find that I have to blow very gently in the lower register, to the point that the notes are barely stable, and much harder than a clarinet in the upper register on the Clarke. The Feadóg is much easier over the break (to use a clarinet term, perhaps) from the lower register to the upper register, though the higher notes in the higher register are difficult to hit. Is there a third (altissimo?) register? I get some notes higher than I'd expect when I try to get the high A and up. It must drive the local canine population quite mad.
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