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Fitting pads with low melting point glue

DavidUK

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Talking to my tech last week, he told me he no longer uses shellac but instead low melting point glue using a hot-air gun.

I've read articles such as this: http://www.musicmedic.com/info/articles/num_40.html and most don't like the hot glue idea.

There's also this little device: https://www.votawtool.com/pad-cup-heater.html
Or these: http://www.musicmedic.com/catalog/products/tool-st250.html
and http://www.leister.com/en/plastic-w...&product=8272ec12-0070-4c4d-aaa2-a4cbfb9aec40
... both referred to in this similar thread: http://forum.saxontheweb.net/showth...e!-Can-A-Sax-Tech-Work-Within-This-Constraint

I'm not keen, as a novice, taking a naked flame to a sax although I understand hot air can be just as damaging. Bearing in mind I have a fair bit of re-padding work done on saxes as they pass through my hands, would it be worthwhile giving it a go myself, or is this part of a tech's work which takes up a whole year of their training course and best left alone?

And what of the low-melt glue sticks? Which one is best in the UK? Guess I should ask my tech!
 

jbtsax

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One of the challenges of DIY padding, is that 90% of top quality professional pad work is in the preparation. That involves leveling the toneholes, tightening the key work, orienting the key cup to the tonehole left to right and front to back. These techniques require a large investment in tools and training. That said, if one wants to begin to learn the process at an acceptable amateur level, the independent keys are a great place to start. These would be the palm keys, side keys, fork F#, low Eb and low C. On many saxes that are in otherwise good condition, it is often the palm key pads and the low Eb pad that need replacing. The rest do not get as much abuse and tend to last longer. Only after one is comfortable working with the independent keys should one attempt the keys on the upper or lower stacks.

For those wishing to learn and practice the skill of replacing and seating pads I strongly recommend getting a used YAS-23 or a Vito equivalent to practice on. Older vintage saxes often have issues that are a challenge for experienced techs with a room full of tools. For my money, the articles on the Music Medic website are the very best instructions available for the person new to repair. The instructions are clear, concise, well illustrated, and represent the best practices of a majority of professional techs.
 

kevgermany

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There's no reason to worry about naked flames and saxes. Unless you're completely careless, the worst you're likely to do is singe a few corks, possibly a pad. Flames have the advantage that the heat is just where you want it and very easy to control. If you overdo it you'll scorch the lacquer, but you've got to be really hamfisted for that. Usually the pads will drop out first.

I've used glue guns and shellac. Both work, but shellac is easier - slightly

For modern saxes made with hot melt glue, no point in using shellac, unless you're doing a complete repad and want to use it.

+1 to everything JBTsax said.
 

Nick Wyver

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Bear in mind that if you use hot melt glue and at some point in the future you have to take it to a tech for something you can't do yourself be prepared for tutting, raised eyebrows, sighing and "What sort of idiot looked at this last?". DAMHIKT.
 

Melissa

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Bear in mind that if you use hot melt glue and at some point in the future you have to take it to a tech for something you can't do yourself be prepared for tutting, raised eyebrows, sighing and "What sort of idiot looked at this last?". DAMHIKT.

You would be surprised at how many techs actually now use a glue gun instead of shellac:w00t:! So of course like a numpty:oops: I tried with one of mine,..like what do I know:confused2:, well it was a real pain trying to get off the excess and if you put on too much- like the Poorly overhauled one I just had re-done you just end up tearing the pads. :doh:

Though they did have an excess of glue on them. (Empire state building comes to mind:eek:) I have heard some actually prefer it and is an open debate within the industry..?! I would like if anyone else can confirm this, but I have had long conversations with some techs regarding this subject.

Yep, Glue guns direct. Honestly!:D
 

Fraser Jarvis

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Cant see any problem with hot glue, Paul's been using it for years without issue, my Selmer and King have pads stuck in with hot glue, both sax's work how they should, end of story..........on the other hand "our friend" up the road uses Shellac, well I'll leave you to work the rest out...
 

Melissa

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I believe one of mine does too- and never had a problem, the problem is as always with the inexperienced user! "our friend up the road" used a glue gun on mine.. how odd.
 

jbtsax

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I am firmly in the shellac camp. It was what I learned on and prefer it to this day. I use only the Ferree's shellac which is a bit pricey at $7.00 per stick, but it is the best in the industry IMO. I like the ease at which the shellac applies to the back of the pad, the ability to press the back of the pad against a cool flat metal surface when the shellac is still warm to create an even thin coat across the surface. I like the time that the shellac remains in its "plastic" state when the keycup is heated to make slight adjustments in the leveling. Most of all I like how easily old shellac is removed from keycups when heated when doing repads.

This has been a hot topic of debate on the Facebook repair tech Facebook page of which I am a member. I don't know about the U.K., but the majority of the most highly respected sax tecs in the U.S. prefer shellac. I do prefer hot glue for clarinet work, but that is another world entirely IMO.
 

griff136

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I too am in the shellac camp. I use hot melt glue pellets for clarinets. I prefer the Shellac for the same reasons John mentioned. I also prefer it because IMO it gives a firmer feel. Take a hot melt glue stick in its "cold" state and you can bend it almost in half. Take a stick of shellac and I'tll snap "cos its brittle.
Another reason for not using holt melt glue is it tends to be a bit stringy - hence why I switched to hot melt pellets.
Shellac is also more versatile as it comes in stick and flake format and you can also make a "paint on glue" using shellac and alcohol.
 
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There are different kinds of hot glue. Some is better than others. I've used shellac and French Cement in the past. These are quite expensive. French Cement used to be a lot cheaper, but now costs more than shellac.
So some hot glues can work OK but shellac tends to be better still.
 

griff136

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Steve I totally agree with you. I still occasionally use french cement mainly on Bassoons but you're right and at about 9 Quid a stick it aint cheap!
 

old git

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Bloody Stick in the Muds, what's wrong with TIG Welding?
 

MontyMac

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Bloody Stick in the Muds, what's wrong with TIG Welding?

Getting the Ground clamp to stay on the pad?

Of course, after I came across the modifications on www.meinsax.de that Leopold Kondratov has been doing with the Varioklappen Mechanik got me to thinking about a simpler mod for every day work. Instead of the usual rivet that a pad gets, either a through rivet or a soldered-on in the case of a smooth domed reso, while the keys are removed for cleaning drill through in the center, countersink the outside and use something like a T-nut built into the reso to attach the pad to the cup.
The next time it needs pads or the owner wants to try a different pad material or a fancy resonator, simply unscrew to change them out. No mess, no fuss, no disassembly of the stacks and no pads falling out from being in a hot car. For fine adjustments, use thin paper halfmoon shims.
This is what I plan for my King Cleveland.
 
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jbtsax

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Good luck with that. It is the traditional method that has been used on closed hole flutes for many years. I can see the key going on and off the sax many times as the shims are added and/or moved. Of course on the flute the entire stack comes off by removing one screw or rod. Unfortunately the sax is a bit more complicated than that.
 

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