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Wooden Recorder Repairs

Recorders last for a long time when properly looked after, however they do require regular servicing. It is always advisable to get any problem or fault seen to as soon as possible and have any necessary repairs or alterations made.

There are many different problems that can occur with recorders over time.  Many of these problems are relatively simple to sort out, such as cork breaking or wearing of the thumb hole. Some problems are more severe, such as cracking, and these require lengthier repairs. It is always worth seeking advice before despairing that the recorder is irreparable. 

Our recorder technician, Barry Holder is based at Saltaire. He was trained at Moeck in Celle and has over 30 years' experience. His workshop is equipped to repair all makes of recorders, from student instruments to hand made copies, and all sizes from garklein to sub bass!
To contact Barry please either 'phone on 01274 288100 or email him direct at

The following is a list of common repairs, and details of what the various repairs entail:


Re-voicing is the term used for correcting intonation & response and usually involves resetting of the block, re-alignment of the chamfers and a general cleaning.

Windway cleaning

This involves the knocking out of the block, and thorough cleaning of the windway.


A relatively simple operation which involves fitting and gluing new cork to a tenon. The majority of wooden recorders have corked joints, though hand made recorders often have threaded joints.


An imitation ivory bush is inserted into the thumbhole to toughen it up against wear and tear.

Keypad replacement

Pads and keys can be repaired, cleaned or replaced.

Repairing cracks

Gluing or pinning cracks on any make of recorder.

Repair Costs


Soprano, Alto, Tenor – £20/joint

Bass – £28/joint

Re-voicing (student models)*


Re-voicing (standard)


Windway cleaned



Soprano, Alto, Tenor – £45

Bass – £50

Crack repair - gluing


Crack repair - pinning/sleeve

from £48

Prices include VAT

* Student models include descant and treble recorders in the following ranges: Mollenhauer School; Mollenhauer Canta; Moeck School; Moeck Rondo and Kung Studio.

All of the recorders we sell come with a minimum 1-year guarantee, during this period all repairs are done under the terms of the warranty. Many recorders we sell now have extended 2 or even 3 year guarantees.

Recorders can be handed over for repair at either store, or posted direct to the EMS Saltaire address:

FAO Barry Holder
Early Music Shop
Salts Mill
Victoria Road
West Yorkshire
BD18 3LA

N.B. Recorders should be packed well and include a covering letter with name, address and contact telephone number or email.

To contact Barry please either 'phone on 01274 288100 or email him direct at

Plastic Recorder Maintenance & Repairs

Plastic recorders, or recorders with plastic heads, require very little maintenance which is one of the things that make them excellent beginner instruments. Plastic recorders should be wiped dry after use, though this isn’t as essential as with wooden recorders. Often plastic recorders get very clogged, especially when played by young children, and this can be remedied by washing the recorder. Generally speaking it is not cost efficient to repair plastic recorders, the only exception being the keys on the larger recorders.

Replacement keys and foot-joints are sold for Yamaha tenor and bass recorders.