Buffet Crampon is firmly-fixed, through its history and its name, in the tradition of the manufacture of top of the range wind instruments.
Since 1825 the brand has developed around a know-how of exceptional instrument manufacture. This heritage remains the guarantee of recognition of our products “Made in France” and “Made in Germany“.
This know-how is complex and valuable because it takes a long time to acquire and requires dedication and patience to pass on.
At Buffet Crampon, we frequently measure the training period in years. It involves the recruiting of young apprentices who are passionate about the instrument-making profession, ensuring we have the means to pass on to them the taste for the exceptional work and putting them to work with experienced people so that they can gradually acquire and develop the apprenticeship received.
This know-how allows the identity and memory of all the instruments to be forged.
Thus for nearly 200 years, musicians have continued to find artistic excellence and the passion of music with Buffet Crampon instruments. In a collusive and intuitive dialogue with the most renowned artists, the brand’s ambition is to combine tradition with modernity, know-how with creation, history with innovation, in order to offer wind instruments of reference.
Drilling, forming, cutting the bore– each is an essential step in the preparation of the assembly of the instruments.
Each of these phases is carried out on a microscopic level, with a watchmaker’s agility and precision.
Skilled dexterity and patience are vital to the forging and the manipulation of small parts.
The key maker is meticulous – he fi les, trims, drills, brushes and checks the quality of each part.
He handles pure metals and alloys in their raw state, and the treatment and fi nishing work of the keys will depend on the quality of his work.
All of the wind instruments are tested by Buffet Crampon’s own expert. His ear is professional and his dexterity precise. He carefully checks each element of the instrument – the wood, metal, bore, etc.
He verifies the accuracy and proper functioning of the mechanical elements of each instrument. He makes any adjustments necessary and chooses the bell that is best adapted to the instrument. His workshop resonates with arpeggios, glissandos and solos. An ambiance reigns here that one finds more often backstage at concerts.
The instrument takes on its definitive form at this phase of the work. The finisher assembles the keys, rings, welding, correspondences, cadences, levers, springs…the keys at last begin to be referred to as notes. The men and women who finish the instruments carry out this extraordinary work with elegance and calm.
THE OTHER CRAFTS
Other skills, gestures and attentions are involved in the manufacture of our instruments. Each of these workers has as much expertise as those described above – designers, tool smiths, tuners, adjusters, metal smiths, buffers, assemblers, silversmiths, key mounters, pad setters, markers, quality control specialists, acoustics specialists, researchers. Behind all of these trades and skills lies the historic brand of nearly two hundred years, but it is the men and women, themselves, deeply invested in the quality and transmission of their craft, who preserve and pass on our exceptional savoir-faire.
TONE HOLES DRILLER
This artist acts as a midwife to the acoustics of the instruments, as he is the one who drills into the heart of the granadilla wood. His work requires rigour and close attention to detail.
His experience and expertise is unique, as he is trained for three years by his more experienced colleagues to recreate the richness of Buffet Crampon’s individual sound. His secret lies in his tools and his careful gestures.
This workman’s skill lies in his touch. An essential link in a chain of quality workmanship, the sander is selected for his dexterity, and adapts each gesture to each part of the instrument he is working on; he matches the colours, harmonizes the aspect of the wood, knows how to work around any unevenness in the wood, and prepares the pieces for fi nishing. From sand paper to polishing compounds, his is a master stroke.
Various welding techniques are used (welding torch or blow pipe, oven, induction), each of which is a true specialization.
The life span of the instrument’s keys will depend on the precision of the welder’s work and his work ethic.
The welder is concentrated and particularly attentive, as he works with high temperatures.
He fashions and blanks the forms, and then the bodies of the instruments. He receives the granadilla wood in a near-raw state, in which it is barely seasoned and dry.
He cuts away the granadilla-coloured chips and brings out the fi rst veins of a piece of wood that has been chosen and will be as carefully matched.
Attentive, meticulous, he has the artist’s touch and the fitter’s eye.