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Broken high E/F side key

koumou

Member
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167
Locality
Rhodes-Greece
Hello, I am a big guy and in order to accommodate my big hands I allway bend the RH side keys up a bit in order to raise them. I allway did this without any trouble...until tonight. I managed to break the high E/F side key on my alto. Can someone tell how easy/difficult is this to fix? Please see attached pictures.

Thanks
 

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Greg Strange

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Hamilton, Waikato, North Island, New Zealand
I think somebody like Griff or Steve Howard is best to answer your query. Have you got any decent horn repair people in your local area?

Good luck.

Greg S.
 

jbtsax

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Beautiful Springville, Utah USA
A repair like that needs to be "silver soldered" (braised is another term). It is a common procedure that most techs have the knowledge and equipment to do. The downside is that the heat required will burn the lacquer on the adjacent parts of the key. The upside is you can have it reattached a bit higher, though you will need a larger cork on the bottom.

You also might contact Phil Barone to get a replacement key. He assured me one time on Sax on the Web that getting spare parts for his saxes was "no problem". It would be interesting to find out if that is true or not.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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Just to add to Jbtsax' comment. This happened to one of my son's clarinet keys a few years ago. It was silver soldered by the tech., and is, if anything, stronger than it was before. I can also see where it's been done to one of the keys on my tenor. Messy job, but it's strong.

Rather than bending to make keys higher, consider making risers out of cork, or sugru (there are examples on their web site, and a review on Stephen Howards). Either method gives a permanent solution thats easy to remove or adjust/replace yourself.
 

koumou

Member
Messages
167
Locality
Rhodes-Greece
Thanks for your replies guys. There's no repair man where I live. jbtsax mentioned silver soldering. I know a jeweler, maybe he can solder it for me. I'll go check if he's still in business. [That's how things are down here (Rhodes-Greece) with the recession].

Thanks
 
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koumou

Member
Messages
167
Locality
Rhodes-Greece
Just to add to Jbtsax' comment. This happened to one of my son's clarinet keys a few years ago. It was silver soldered by the tech., and is, if anything, stronger than it was before. I can also see where it's been done to one of the keys on my tenor. Messy job, but it's strong.

Rather than bending to make keys higher, consider making risers out of cork, or sugru (there are examples on their web site, and a review on Stephen Howards). Either method gives a permanent solution thats easy to remove or adjust/replace yourself.

I use Sukru on my LH side keys, excellent material. I learnt about sukru some time ago from Stephen Howards site, but my RH side keys were already adjusted. I tried to align them better yesterday ,and snap, of came the top one.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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Just north of Munich
I use Sukru on my LH side keys, excellent material. I learnt about sukru some time ago from Stephen Howards site, but my RH side keys were already adjusted. I tried to align them better yesterday ,and snap, of came the top one.

It's work hardening, you can anneal brass by heating it to cherry red and quenching in cold water, but it'ss destroy the lacquer and corks.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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Just north of Munich
Thanks for your replies guys. There's no repair man where I live. jbtsax mentioned silver soldering. I know a jeweler, maybe he can solder it for me. I'll go check if he's still in business. [That's how things are down here (Rhodes-Greece) with the recession].

Thanks

A jeweller is an excellent option. But you'll need to do the cork, possibly pad yourself afterwards.
 

koumou

Member
Messages
167
Locality
Rhodes-Greece
Finally found a jeweler who will solder it for me. Hopefully the pad will not be affected. I'll post a photo once I get the part back.
 

jbtsax

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Beautiful Springville, Utah USA
With the length of a high E key there should not be enough "heat conduction" to harm the pad. The worst that could happen is that the glue holding the pad melts and releases the pad. If the person doing the soldering were to wrap the keycup with a moist cloth, it would prevent even that from happening. The cork at the bottom of the key could be removed with a razor blade and then reattached using contact cement. If that one can't be salvaged, you can make a new one by cutting a slice of a champagne cork to about 1/16", gluing that to the foot of the key, and then trimming it with your razor blade. Then celebrate by drinking the rest of the champagne.
 

koumou

Member
Messages
167
Locality
Rhodes-Greece
Got the broken part back from the jeweler. I think he did a good job of it. I assembled it and all is well, the sax plays perfectly. The fixed part is slightly discolored where it was heated, but who cares. Here's a pic...
 

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Dave McLaughlin

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Paisley, Scotland
If that one can't be salvaged, you can make a new one by cutting a slice of a champagne cork to about 1/16", gluing that to the foot of the key, and then trimming it with your razor blade. Then celebrate by drinking the rest of the champagne.

Note that it's important to do these steps in the order stated, otherwise you might end up with a razor blade glued to your head.
 

jbtsax

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Beautiful Springville, Utah USA
That is nice work. I want to get my hands on it with my metal polish and touch up lacquer. Too bad you live so far away. I'm happy it turned out well for you. When we tech's break other people's keys we get to fix them ourselves. In fact if a joint is weak we want it to break in the shop---not after the customer takes it home. When things fall off or out after a service call, it reflects poorly on the shop even though we had nothing to do with it. (Our crystal ball was temporarily out of service on those days.)
 

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