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Saxophone Side Key Corks

11.6.208
Saxophone Side Key Corks: I see this a lot of saxophones that come in for repair. The side key corks are to long and make the key not open correctly and feel funny when they are operated.Sax Side Key Long Cork

 

The correct way is to have the cork only on the flat part of the key… Opens correctly and feels better.
Sax Side Key right Cork Length

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Dirty Rods on saxophones

After years of not cleaning rods or doing much work to a saxophone….  it can really gum up the rods.  Here is the upper stack rod form a Mark VII alto I am overhauling that has never been worked on since it was new. Every rod on this saxophone was locked in and difficult to remove.

Mark VII Alto Upper Stack Rod

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King Saxophone Tone Holes

King Saxophone Tone Holes

The first photo shows two tone holes before they are cleaned.  As you can see there are many small places that are not smooth. These small dings in the tone hole need to be fixed before starting to put new pads in the saxophone so the pads will seat better.
King Saxophone Tone Holes

This next photo shows the same tone holes after they have been smooth out so the pads will seat better.. I do not use tone hole files and/or the circular tone hole files as I think they tend to remove too much metal from the tone hole.  I use a very fine sand paper and go around the tone hole in a circle to smooth them out.  This takes very little metal off the tone hole.
King Saxophone Tone Holes
King Saxophone Tone Holes

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King Saxophone Pivot Screw design

King Saxophone Pivot Screw design
The King Pivot Screw was a very interesting design… it was a long screw with a nut on the end.  What this allowed was to be able to take the list motion out of a pivot screw key an lock the washer against the post so it would not move.

Other pivot crews can work their way out creating lost motion in the key… this King Pivot crew was much more likely to stay in place.

Here you can see the screw as it is normally in the key and post.

King Saxophone Pivot Screw design

King Saxophone Pivot Screw design

This photo show that the nut can be moved almost to the end of the pivot screw to remove the lost motion.  It would never be screwed down this far but this is just to show the the great range of the screw and nut working together.

King Saxophone Pivot Screw design

King Saxophone Pivot Screw design

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Original Sax Pads

Original Sax Pads… I just took these white pads form a very old C-Melody saxophone.  As you can see compared to a modern pad they lacked a little something.
No heavy paper backing.  The glue just went straight to the felt.
No tone booster. Just a little thread in the center of the pad to hold it up. Modern pads have some sort of tone booster to hole them up in the pad cup.
Very little clue.  You can see there is very little glue on the pads.  The glue helps hold the seat of the pad.
Original Saxophone Pads white leather

 

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Rod & Pivot Screw Storage

Rod & Pivot Screw Storage while doing an overhaul.  While you are doing an overhaul it is important to be able to put the rod or pivot screw back in the same place it came out.  There are several reasons for this: On an older instrument other repairmen have likely worked on them so they might changed the way the screw or rod fits the post.  Even new instruments that have a lot of hand work in putting them together makes a difference.  Just because it is a Selmer Mark VI pivot screw it does not mean it will fit every post on the saxophone.

Many repairmen use boards to put the rods and pivot screw in while doing the overhaul.. These boards can be knocked over spilling everything.  I make boxes to put every screw and rod in, they can sit for a long time and if it gets knocked over the screws will be in the same place.

I make labels, you can call the key anything you like I do…. I use a big box with 24 compartments so there are enough for all the thinks I need and so my big fat hand cam go inside an take the pivot screw out… very important!

This box is for clarinet and has enough compartments to do a Full Boehm clarinet or a Leblanc that has 2 more Rods.

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Low C Key Bounce

Low C Key Bounce:
On many saxophones the G-Sharp and Low C keys tend to bounce.  The reason for this many times is the spring placement. The spring is right near the rod of the key and this allows the key to bounce unless it has a lot of tension on the spring. Not enjoyable to play with this tension.
This photo shows the traditional placement for the Low C spring.

By making a slight grove further out on the key the bounce can be made less and still have a spring tension that is usable. It does not weaken the key and allows the response time of the Low C key to be improved. I also used a stainless steel spring to help with the bounce because they tend to bounce less.
This photo shows the spring placement.

Very easy fix……

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Long Neck Cork


2.9.2017

Repair Tip

As repairmen we always want to do things right. However, we are sometimes limited in what we can do by the guys that worked on the instrument before you.

The neck cork on this Selmer Mark VI tenor is way too long.  But since the guys in front of me that put the extra-long cork on the neck, I must do the same thing.

When he glued the cork on he also roughed up the neck under the cork. So not to show the bad neck scratches I had to put on a long cork.

Sometimes the guys in front of you might make different decisions on how things must work and then many times you are stuck with his decision.  Even if you don’t agree with that decision.