PPT mouthpieces

Holton C Melody Restoration

Removing the part along with a quick review of my others…. obvious what the issue was.

Making big bend adjustments like this comes with associated risks. With the hinge rod in place do the bending. I won’t go into detail but let’s just say it was done with one side held in a vise. By hand. Be careful not to break the spring cradle off !
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I've never used this on my sax, but I do use it for polishing brass. I've seen it with lemon oil and coconut oil, as shown.
Probably not for intricate work, but maybe on the body when everything is removed?
Your project is fascinating! I wouldn't know where to start!
You have enough silver saxophones. You get my vote to be the guinea pig:thumb: . Looking forward to your product evaluation thread:D
Mechanicals in order and the table is reasonable in position.

i’ve had a few broken pearls rollers before. These for the most part broke clean and into two parts. Well cleaned and rinsed in alcohol. Sparingly used a spot of superglue to jigsaw puzzle them back together. Lightly sanded the rough edges with 1000 grit wet paper then polished. A couple of low gaps /places I filled with clear nail polish. Reused the pins. Cheerful pleasing original parts for a sympathetic restoration.


RH pinky rollers too are done.

I did end up increasing the gap between C & B. They were crashing into each other.

Low C is slightly lower than D# due to it being unsprung. I’m not making any adjustments here until the felt is installed and it’s turned.

At this point I’ve lost track of how many hours I’ve spent. Probably 30 if I had to guess.
Compared with what you started out with, @PigSquealer , the results of your repairs thus far changes this C tenor sax into something the performer would be proud of owning. This is quite a transformation for something a century old, less than 5 years after the end of World War One. I love the engraving that was done on that Holton. it is amazing the amount of work that went into making that sax, something that we take for granted now.
This is quite a transformation for something a century old, less than 5 years after the end of World War One. I love the engraving that was done on that Holton. it is amazing the amount of work that went into making that sax, something that we take for granted now.
I’ve restored numerous pocket watches from the 1800’s. The engravings are what first attracted my interests. This project C is only 60 (+/-) years after Aldolphe Sax’s patents. Amazing little machines !

Here’s a brief 7 year timeline of Holton C engravings.

First year Holton produced a saxophone was 1917. #1-700
WWI ended November 1918.
1918 production was approximately 1,469 A,C,T
Below pictures notes in green are C melodies.

The history of Holton saxophones gets a little foggy between late 1918 and early 1920. No Saxophone‘s were produced 1919 that I know of.
No SN#4000. I have a record of a Chicago built C #5639 No Picture. The engraving would be a match to the 1918 above.
The first of the Elkhorn engravings the simple accents were removed. The company completed the move from Chicago to the new Elkhorn facility in 1920. Early 1920 saxophones were briefly produced in Chicago. Then Elkhorn.

The above engraving was used until sometime mid 1922 when it was changed to the new design below.

Over the next few years there are some variables in size and location.

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Don't know what you'll get out of the restore job, but it looks fantastic! I've got a Conn C mel that basically had to be rebuilt- new pads, new buffers, new springs, and even though I don't use it these days in a band setting, it's still my favourite sax over and above my tenors and altos!
Moving right along installing the Eb trill key. These can be a real pain to get right. Especially after someone has knackered the adjustment.
More tool marks:confused:.

Original photos looks similar on pad protrusion. Most likely had 1 mm of heavy impression.


I’ve started the regulation procedure with cork thicknesses fit. Also checking the palm touch is within range.


I’m already seeing a problem.:mad:
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Study before you bend. This system has eight areas of potential adjustment. Some by cork and some by bending.
Get a really good understanding of each result. I may end up relieving some metal where the arm holds the C down.

First go assembled. Epic failure :doh:

On chance I can re-arc the fork curve and add / alter the bend at key arm contact. Cork under foot at minimum limit. This part has been bent many times before. Do I feel lucky:w00t:

After knocking the cork off I put a quick piece of automotive shrink tubing on. Something needs to be there for the space. I’m not feeling lucky to bend anything more. Epic failure number two:doh: the pad on right should be closed:confused::confused:
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A little bend. The fork finger stays on key arm. The end of key is dangerously close to contacting the B key cup.

The arch over C has just a fuzz of clearance.
The action feels stiff. A last move I shaved a little corner off the key arm.
it feels much better and I’m guessing it’s reducing side load on the key.

I feel for technicians. Try explaining two hours for a 1 mm gap clearance and making the mechanism work.
A little cork work.

Yes all these pads are seailing. And NO there is no heavy impression in the pads.

If the chimney rims are reasonably smooth, flat and level there’s no reason to have a heavy impression set.
All the flat springs have been replaced.
One thing about Holton. Every part has a serial number matching.

Things are looking much better than where I started;)
Notice in the above picture the bent the flat Spring feet to sit nicely in the spring body saddle. Makes for a nice smooth feeling. One side key I had to set some impression to make work. It happens. One out of 25 is not bad. Still nothing compared to what I removed.
Working on the final assembly and regulation. The G is open a little more than I would like. It’s easier to close one some than open. The automatic octave system being part of G. Everything needs to work in sync. Not being open too much or closed too much. Of course I go to install the octave touch and it’s missing a spring….that I had noted:doh:

I had the diameter from the shard I removed .036. It’s just a matter of cutting to length and making a nice taper pressfit.


Yeah, that’s sheet Teflon and fussy getting to glue.

Better a fuzz too long than short. It’s still within the tapered area sitting in the cradle.
A little fitting work on the neck joint and the area is ready for some final adjustments.

Looking and feeling a tad better than day one,

Fully assembled and working out a few quirks. Like the forked E. Regulation is good, plays in tune and just hits the wire guard. Clank:confused:
Also notice the guide saddle. Nice production oopso_O I’ll fill the gap with felt:confused2:

For as much setup work I did some funky things happened during regulation stage. That extra bit of cork under F foot shouldn’t be there.

Yet the stack is even. Not a problem as I may lower the venting 2-3mm anyway.
This mile long side key needs some vibration dampening cork. When you hit the key it buzzes like a tuning fork.

Sometime during the build I did cleanup the spring seats. Then painted with some silver epoxy paint. A little kindness in preservation.


The regulation on the pinky table got interesting too. Guess I wasted a bit of cork. The others examples have a big log filling the gap. Thanks I’ll pass on that. Look closely in the gap between. I had to back out the roller pin 1/2 turn.

The G# trill key arm…..grrrrr:confused::doh: I’ll get back to it later.

To keep the instrument's silver plating from tarnishing, do you Renaissance wax the surface immediately after you restored its shiny surface?
No. I have no idea if renaissance wax would even work.

Most modern quality silver polish products contain a anti-tarnish preventative.

Beware of cleaners. Unless specifically stated most do not have any preserving agents.

Depending on its lifetime condition. Polished or satin finish appears to last between two and three years. That is with some gentle care.
Largely that depends on the environment kept in. Most all will mello some from brite white.

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