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DIY maintenance - Yes or No

half diminished

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Old thread Breakfast Room Saxophone Discussion Forum

I'd like some advice on carrying out maintenence on 'your own sax'. I'm talking of pad replecement, key action adjustment and the like. It is feasible or a non starter without proper training?
 
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Pete Thomas

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You could always get the Haynes manual :w00t:

Didn't I hear somewhere that there is one in the pipeline?

Actually it is feasible, best to practice on an old banger though and expect a long apprenticeship period.
 

half diminished

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You could always get the Haynes manual :w00t:

Didn't I hear somewhere that there is one in the pipeline?

Actually it is feasible, best to practice on an old banger though and expect a long apprenticeship period.

Pete

I seem to recall you being far more helpful on the old thread. Shame on you. >:)
 

neil

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Hull
steven howard is writing the haynes manual....i believe its due out later this year
 

Taz

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I firmly believe in home maintenance. But as Pete says practice on an old banger first. I bought what turned out to be an Italian built Dearman built in the 1920's (and not in the 50's like I first thought) although it is/was unplayable when I bought it, I'm thoroughly enjoying doing the work. I am prepared for the possibility that at some stage I'll realise my mistake and have to place it in Griff's hands. But until that time I'll keep on plodding. It has however, given me the confidence to do some minor repairs on my Amati
 

Pete Thomas

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My first attempt was a disataer, but the horn itself was bad, keycups out of whack. If this is the case you either have to get them straight again or use shims behind the pads which is quite complicated and a bit of a bodge anyway. Usually (always?) the keycuos are out of whack because the body or pillars are bent and that is a job for a pro IMO.

However the next one I tried was a doddle. It was a Buescher truetone, vnice and straight everywhere. I just bought a set of Buescher snapin pads and...snapped them in and it blew!
 

thomsax

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"Emilo of Boston" is a good repairman and he also have his own column in Saxophone Journal. Another fine source for saxophone repair is: "Band Instrument Repair Manual" by Eric Brand. The book is written in the late 30's so the book cover the tips and material from those days. I think you must know and understand the historical way to built and repair saxes before you use modern material. It's the same for me as a teaching chef. How are suppose to choose a semi-manufactured product like "demi-glace" if you haven't done or taste the "real" stuff? To use gum, silicons, glue .... is ok, but just in an emergency.

I went to workshops for "aspirate saxophone repair-man". The first day we talked about saxes and the way they were built through the years, test and judge a sax, how to disassamble and mount a sax in a proper way, differnt type of materials ... . After that I realized that to become a reair-man were nothing for me! It's better to start a "non profit saxophone collective". We are helping each other and we all share the interest for saxes.

Thomas
 

thomsax

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"To use gum, silicons, glue .... is ok, but just in an emergency." on saxes, not in sauces!
 

old git

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You been cooking in Bray?
 

cmelodysax

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I think 'old git' may have been referring to the chef Heston Blumenthal, of The Fat Duck in Bray, Berkshire. Heston is renowned for 'innovative' cooking - like snail porridge and scrambled egg and bacon ice cream.

His restaurant was closed down recently after diners mysteriously became ill :shocked: but now seems to be open again...

Far safer to experiment on saxophones...
 

kevgermany

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I oiled the keys on mine, following the instructions on SH Woodwind's site. Worked a treat.
 
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thomsax

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I think 'old git' may have been referring to the chef Heston Blumenthal, of The Fat Duck in Bray, Berkshire. Heston is renowned for 'innovative' cooking - like snail porridge and scrambled egg and bacon ice cream.

His restaurant was closed down recently after diners mysteriously became ill :shocked: but now seems to be open again...

Far safer to experiment on saxophones...

No,no .... never been in Bray.

I visited your website. Nice site and lots of interesting information. I have two C-saxes myself (soprano and C-melody) but a freind of mine use them for Swedish folkmusic.

Thomas
 

Chris J

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Southampton, UK
I would certainly say to have a go, but with guidance.

Last year I decided to invest in myself, rather than my old Buescher TT soprano that needed a complete going over. Rather than give it to a tech to overhaul, I asked one to teach me, step by step, on a one to one basis.

I have to say it was a fantastic experience. He was very generous with his time, preparation and encouragement (he could have just as easily told me to bog off). Although more expensive than him doing the horn himself, it was money well spent. As it was, I had a very relaxing, thought provoking and illuminating 2 days in a workshop that I had never seen so tidy before!!

One of the reasons for doing this, I have to admit, is that with a growing collection of instruments (2 sops, 3 altos, 1 tenor, 1 bari, 1 C mel, 1 bass clari, 2 alto clari and something like 10 clarinets, 3 of which are metal) it was silly to be ignorant of some basic repairs, but I was given so much more.

Time is always the enemy, but I have since done many running repairs and tweaks to my instruments, and quite a few for friends. I have completely overhauled a clarinet and just doing an alto sax now.

As with anything, the secret is knowing your limitations!

He wrote about his side of the venture on his web site:
http://www.shwoodwind.co.uk/Notes/sax_doctor.htm

Chris
 

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