Saxophones Changing key pearls - what best to do?

DavidUK

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#23
Just back from Norfolk with a bag full of mother of pearl. I'm fully aware the dust is toxic to lungs and skin. Going to buy some hole cutters and cut a few buttons under water as per a YouTube video. Then superglue buttons to round bar end to profile top and edges whilst in the chuck. It'll most likely be a disaster...
 

Ivan

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#24
Just back from Norfolk with a bag full of mother of pearl. I'm fully aware the dust is toxic to lungs and skin. Going to buy some hole cutters and cut a few buttons under water as per a YouTube video. Then superglue buttons to round bar end to profile top and edges whilst in the chuck. It'll most likely be a disaster...
Good luck
 

jbtsax

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#25
Just back from Norfolk with a bag full of mother of pearl. I'm fully aware the dust is toxic to lungs and skin. Going to buy some hole cutters and cut a few buttons under water as per a YouTube video. Then superglue buttons to round bar end to profile top and edges whilst in the chuck. It'll most likely be a disaster...
Just to be safe it is a good idea to use a respirator while spinning the pearls to size and give them a contour. I have done this many times when I don't have a pearl the right size to replace one that is missing. I take one with a larger diameter and turn it down to the right dimensions. A trick I was taught is to take a single edge razor blade and run the edge at a 45° angle firmly against a round steel rod. This puts a "burr" on the edge that scrapes rather than sands material away. Depending on the density of the MOP it may not be as effective as using a sanding stick. It always works like a charm on plastic (mother of toilet seat) key touches.

The trick is to get the get the steel shaft centered when you glue it to the pearl. Unfortunately I haven't come up with any tricks to do this. I just "eyeball" it and hope to get it close.
 

DavidUK

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#26
@jbtsax - yes, respirator, face (not just eye) protection, PVC gloves and arms covered.

I watched this:
View: https://youtu.be/DI_eyCNj-M0


Then found these: 28pc Diamond Cutter Hole Saw Drill Bits Tool 6-50mm Set For Tile Ceramic Glass | eBay

They're probably dire quality but shell is fairly soft so they may survive a while?

The ebay seller was unable to confirm the inner cut size or thickness of the cutter sides. I think I'd have to use the 18mm cutter to end up with a blank around 16mm for 14.7-8mm key pearls, then size as you say. 14mm cutter for 10.5mm B bis pearl. Any oval pearls will have to be cut by eye with a dremel cutter perhaps?

My plan is to have a go at the B bis for the Jericho, and if successful maybe make a full set for the Vito 23. Time is the enemy of my progress with this however!
 

saxyjt

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#27
You're a brave man!

I still have my set of black pearl oysters from Tahiti and they are untouched, yet!



But in the light of what you said about the dangers of breathing the dust, I'll be extra careful when I go about it. I didn't think it was a problem...

I will not use them for buttons though. I prefer using precut ones. I have other ideas to replace the plastic octave support on some of my Yamahas for example.
 

DavidUK

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#28
Thumb support is an idea! I had a brief notion to go "full pearls" and adorn the Vito all over (pinky table, side keys, whatever!).

The thought lasted a few seconds as, like that purple fringed Selmer, I'd be subtracting from its value, not adding.
 

DavidUK

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#30
Here's what I collected...



The photo doesn't pick up the pearflescentness of the shells. The small ones may be workable if stuck to a bar and turned. Some may be too thin.
No idea what shell they are. I was looking for something fairly white and plain to match in with the plastic of the Jericho.
Won't really know until I get to work...
 

Terrytoolpath

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#31
If I remember rightly I gather from a previous post of yours that you have access to a lathe, may I suggest rather than use diamond hole saws from ebay that may or may not produce the button sizes you desire, why not do it the old fashioned way and turn them up yourself yourself from brass or copper to the size required, spin them in a drill press or the lathe using a drill pad along with an application of diamond paste to the business end. Kemet or Geswien do the best quality pastes but there are much cheaper option on ebay
 

DavidUK

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#33
If I remember rightly I gather from a previous post of yours that you have access to a lathe, may I suggest rather than use diamond hole saws from ebay that may or may not produce the button sizes you desire, why not do it the old fashioned way and turn them up yourself yourself from brass or copper to the size required, spin them in a drill press or the lathe using a drill pad along with an application of diamond paste to the business end. Kemet or Geswien do the best quality pastes but there are much cheaper option on ebay
No, it was a fiend's lathe and he's since given up engineering and sold it.
I see where you're coming from though.
 

DavidUK

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#35
The plastic pearls I ordered with the pads from Dawkes have arrived...



All a little brown compared to the original Vito 23 one. The one top right is Yamaha.
One of the two Windcraft ones, to the left, is a good match for the Jericho J6 which also needed a convex B bis to replace the concave one. I've asked Dawkes to have a rummage and see if they can find a better match. Pads on back-order, so they can send with them.
 

Ivan

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#40
i like bling, doesn't do anything for the sound though it does personalize and make it your own. Tigers eye on tenor
Bling is good and the Tiger looks good

Out of interest how does Tiger's Eye feel under the fingertips?

There's a grippy feel from Mother of Pearl

And a slidey feel with plastic that you can get used to
 
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