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Ain't She Purdy

jbtsax

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I just finished an overhaul on a customer's gold plated True Tone alto that needed new pads, cleaning, and polishing. It was my first gold plated saxophone and I learned a lot by doing it. I was pleased with how it came out and wanted to share some photos.

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squeak

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Looks fantastic!

BTW, I love the plating on vintage American horns. The two tone looks classy without being over the top as modern horns in fancy finishes. Perhaps the plating was much thicker to permit that wonderful frosted look.
 
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PigSquealer

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Looks really nice John :thumbs:I’m curious what you used to polish it with. Fellow member @LostCircuits had some luck recently polishing a Buescher Cmel with a product called Flitz.
I saw your video on the gold plate work done. Wow that really matched nice! What is that 14K ?
 

jbtsax

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Looks really nice John :thumbs:I’m curious what you used to polish it with. Fellow member @LostCircuits had some luck recently polishing a Buescher Cmel with a product called Flitz.
I saw your video on the gold plate work done. Wow that really matched nice! What is that 14K ?
Thanks. I used Flitz metal polish as well, although while experimenting I found that Haggerty's spray and silver polish cloth from JL Smith also were effective. The plating was done with 24K brush gold solution from Gold Plating Services.

It had all of the original snaps and resos although I had to replace a few of the damaged resos with ones I had in stock which were buffed and gold plated to match. I used my stock Music Medic tan pads, removed the plastic resos and punched a larger hole to accommodate the snap-on resos.
 
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LostCircuits

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Very nice! I "prepped" mine by soaking it for a few moments in a tub with TarnX, then rinsing it off with warm water and a drop of dish soap and then do the detail work with Flitz and a very soft cloth. The TarnX worked great on the matte portions and I did not have to "polish" any of these areas. Somebody else had already done a crap job on the horn some 50 years ago (it was in storage for 35 years before I got it).

Your's is a beautiful horn, must be a late version with the Aristocrat pinky table. 1932-33?

I did the same procedure with the pads on the TT alto (1925) I rebuilt. I had ordered pads from MM but the lower stack didn't fit so I used standard pads (5mm), drilled out the back of the plastic resos and used the stem as guide for the punch and the front portion of the resos as counter surface for a clean cut. It only takes a minute per pad if even that long.

Congrats to an exquisite job!

And that gold plate makes them sound so good ;)
 

Pete Thomas

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I had one of those once, it was the only horn I've ever succeeded in doing a half decent repad on. Got some snapins and they all just fit snapped in and seated without any skill from me whatsoever, so i suppose I must have been extreeemly lucky that time.
 

LostCircuits

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I had one of those once, it was the only horn I've ever succeeded in doing a half decent repad on. Got some snapins and they all just fit snapped in and seated without any skill from me whatsoever, so i suppose I must have been extreeemly lucky that time.
That's how I do it on those horns, I did a few and never had any issue, no shellac, no glue. I had to "undo" some of the previous "repairs" and clean the cups with some small wire brushes and that was the hardest part.
 

Hankenstine

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It had all of the original snaps and resos although I had to replace a few of the damaged resos with ones I had in stock which were buffed and gold plated to match. I used my stock Music Medic tan pads, removed the plastic resos and punched a larger hole to accommodate the snap-on resos.

Did you also shellac the pads in place?
 

jbtsax

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I had one of those once, it was the only horn I've ever succeeded in doing a half decent repad on. Got some snapins and they all just fit snapped in and seated without any skill from me whatsoever, so i suppose I must have been extreeemly lucky that time.
I think the firmness of the felt makes a big difference in how easily the pads install and seal the tonehole. My understanding was that the original pads were softer and more "forgiving" when players installed new ones "on the fly" as was originally intended. With the relatively "firm" Music Medic tan and white roo pads I have installed on Buescher horns with snaps, I have found that perfectly leveling the toneholes and "floating" the pad on a thin bed of shellac allows me to do my best work. After the pad is installed, I then add the snap and make any small adjustments needed after that step. Getting the pads to seal and regulate "perfectly" with just the lightest touch is a pretty high bar when not using glue or shellac IMO.
 
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LostCircuits

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I know this is almost a philosophical question but my (humble) answer is that leaving the pads floating without glue only works well when the cups and the toneholes are aligned and "level". And then there is that "memory foam" learning curve of the pads. Even if they don't seal 100% perfect initially, after wearing them in by playing they will find their spot. This is really just anecdotal because I have only done a few of these restorations but it's worked every time and several pro players have played my horns with no complaints. Bottom line is, whatever works, works, and that's the only thing that matters.
 

PigSquealer

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Simichrome also does an exceptionally nice and gentle job with polishing metal.
IMOH one of the best product ever. It’s no longer available in California. Right along with denatured alcohol.
 

turf3

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Denatured Alk no longer available in California? That's weird, given that it's nothing but ethanol (the stuff in liquor) with enough methanol added to make it poisonous and undrinkable.

I guess they wanted to tax solvent ethanol at the liquor rate.
 

PigSquealer

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Over 10 years ago V.O.C. rules started coming into effect. It’s amazing there’s any manufacturing left in this state at all. No turpentine, denatured alcohol, mineral spirits and a bunch of other things fall on the list. Oddly acetone and lacquer thinner are allowed. Wouldn’t want the ladies to go without nail polish remover:rolleyes:

If I remember correctly simichrome contained ammonia. That you can still buy in gallon bottles for home use. Complete with a fresh lemon scent. Not sure how the lemon scent works after the ammonia has fried your nostrils.
 

PigSquealer

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It had all of the original snaps and resos although I had to replace a few of the damaged resos with ones I had in stock which were buffed and gold plated to match. I used my stock Music Medic tan pads, removed the plastic resos and punched a larger hole to accommodate the snap-on resos.
I’ve never done snaps. I have a straight C SOP. It has the original snaps. Although a few missing. How did you size the pads to fit? Tight to the cup or a tad loose? For the missing snaps how do I choose a size. For that matter when they’re all out how do you know what goes to what size cup/pad.
 
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