How We Make Our Mouthpieces
1. OUR MATERIALS
Like a master chef preparing a great meal, we start with only the finest ingredients. We use high quality mouthpiece blanks made for us by several companies. The Hans Zinner company of Marktrodach, Germany, and the J.J.Babbitt company of Elkhart, Indiana. Both of these shops provide us with the product we need that has been machined and crafted to the place where we can use our hand tools to work our magic.
Without them we would have to invest in hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of machines to take the unfinished rubber to the place we need it to be. So without Hans, his brother Jorgan, his son Carsten, and their other skilled craftsmen in Germany, and Jim Green and his staff in Elkhart, there would not be a LOMAX CLASSIC MOUTHPIECE. They are like family to us and we appreciate greatly their willingness to work closely with us to enable us to make WORLD CLASS MOUTHPIECES!
2. OUR METHOD
At LOMAX CLASSIC we believe that machines and computers are wonderful things, but they have their limitations. For example they cannot make decisions based upon subjective testing and evaluation. They cannot play test each mouthpiece and decide that one side rail or the tip rail or the facing curve of the mouthpiece needs to be changed for the best results.
Machines can take a piece of rubber and take it to the point where a mouthpiece is 90% completed. It is the last 10% of the process where my son and I spend 100% of our time! This last 10% of the process is where the highly skilled craftsman can make the difference between a mouthpiece being good and being great! It is the judgement calls and the skill with the measuring tools and the swiss files that can literally make the mouthpiece come alive and sing! At LOMAX CLASSIC we are proud to stand at the end of a long line of craftsmen who have gone before us. The men and women who sat at a bench with their tools and worked on woodwind mouthpieces one piece at a time. They came from Germany, France, Italy, Great Britain, and the U.S.A. yet all posessing the same skills and using the same tools.
3. OUR TOOLS
As mentioned above, our tools are HAND TOOLS with a very few exceptions.
We use a 75 pound piece of Granite to put the facing on all of our mouthpieces. This stone is guarenteed by the U.S. Department of Weights and Standards to be + or minus .0001 of an inch flat in every direction over its entire surface! We use pieces of abrasive paper in 600, 1200, and 2000 grit, to put the facing curve on the mouthpiece. We use our Swiss files of different shapes to shape the side and tip rails and to do some of the interior work on the mouthpiece. We use different types of abrasives to work on the baffle and tone chamber of the mouthpiece. We also use hand reamers to adjust the bore of the mouthpiece. We have a special reamer we use to enlarge the bore of some of our clarinet mouthpieces to make the "wide bore" mouthpieces for our customers in the U.K. who still prefer the larger bore English clarinets.
We use the very same tools and approach to make our student mouthpieces as our professional models. The difference is we rely more upon machines to take us further in the process and spend less time on the handwork, but each student mouthpiece is handfaced and carefully checked. All of our mouthpieces are crafted one mouthpiece at a time. We have no assembly line at LOMAX CLASSIC.
4. OUR RESULTS
At LOMAX CLASSIC we are very proud of the reputation we have worldwide.
We are proud of the students, teachers, and professionals that have chosen our mouthpieces. We realize that just as a performer is only as good as their last performance, our name and reputation is only as good as the last mouthpiece we have made. Our goal has always been to try to give the musician the equipment that will let them perform at the maximum of their ability and to achieve their unique sound with the least amount of effort. In the end my son and I are people pleasers. We love to see the smile on the face of the young student or the professional when they find what they are looking for in one of our mouthpieces!
To all of our customers and friends we say "thank you!" and to our future
Very Best Wishes,