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I have an abused The Martin

jeremyjuicewah

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Well, I have bought my The Martin. Pics above, description below text. Its an Indiana and its bashed up a bit and I have paid 250 usd for it. Its another 80 odd to ship to Spain and I hope to get away with the duty. I usually do. Having read up since, I think the tone hole problem is a bit more serious than I thought, but I am fairly confident I can solder or braze the thing back on fair and square, though I may have to remove the guard as I guess the surrounding metal will be depressed. I have many questions about overhaul, I have read a good many of the threads here and am very impressed and have learned a lot. I have also followed links to other sites and have investigated online a good deal. Couple of questions to start off with, any help as always appreciated.

1. Thinking of removing the tone hole guard, I think by the pics its soldered on. Off, then on again, how will the metal react? Actually, writing this has slung me back 45 years to my days as an apprentice. There are different ways to cool heated joints. Leave them, put them in water, put them in oil. Age hardening rings a distant bell. Does that apply here? I have been out of that stuff for 35 years now. I can see that too much heating/cooling will not be good for the horn, would weaken it if not done right.

2. It seems that many people favour Reg Thorpe´s repair manual, any views? These books are dearer than I thought, I want to buy the best one.

3. Where to shop for a blowtorch and solder/brazing rods? I am not going to buy anymore tools or stuff till I get the horn and see what I need. I have basic tools and a few other bits and bobs. I also have an electric soldering iron but I cant see it will have enough clout to deal with this stuff. I use it for wiring in guitars and stuff.

I´m not so frightened of the repairs, its the final set up that I may have to send it away for. But we shall see.

Thanks all.
Mike
desc.jpg
Serial # 83307 RMC is above serial # 83307D is stamped on neck ..made in Elkhart Ind.
horn has some dents, dings, scratches and worn finish .. keys move freely
resoldering has been done in spots .. tone holes are beveled .. pads are showing some age but most still look operable
the bottom back tone hole edge is separated from the body where the keyguard has dented in the back of the stack
there is an indian head on the bell .. comes with a neck, geo m. bundy #3 mouthpiece, neck plug and neck strap
case is worn and vinyl nicked in spots .. still operable with 2 latches and a handle
 
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jbtsax

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For the soldering that needs to be done on this sax it is regular soft solder not brazing or silver solder that is needed. Just regular wire solder (the smaller gauge the better) and a good liquid flux will do a good job. The Stay Bright solder kit from Music Medic is a good choice. For a good small torch that uses butane the Blazer ES-1000 is hard to beat.

Just let your soft solder joints air cool. It is not a big deal. Any possible effects of heating and cooling the surrounding brass are negligible (within reason, of course). It is important to have all of the necessary dent work completed before doing any soldering or seating of pads.

For a repair manual, the Reg Thorpe book is the very best for all woodwinds and it contains a lot of good general information as well.
 

jeremyjuicewah

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Many thanks. I have been looking at the magnetic dent removers, starting about 600 usd. I thinks thats too much for a hobby that I dont know if I will like, so I will just assess it when it comes.
Best wishes
Mike
 

kevgermany

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Be careful with the soldering. It's easy to overdo it and get things falling off when the heat from the original place melts other solder.
 

thomsax

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So far I've been lucky! I've nerver had any solderings done on my Martins/Indiana. So I can't give any advices.

Good luck! These Indiana tenors can be great players.

Thomas
 

Jazzaferri

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Victoria BC Canada
For soldering the hotter ad smaller the flame the more localized you can keep the heat. I have a mini torch that runs on acetylene that has a really hot but tiny flame. Takes practice though as it will punch through brass pretty quickmifmyou stopmmoving the flame.
 

thomsax

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The kit Stay Bright seems to be good. The toneholes on a Indiana is softsoldered so don't use to much heat/high temp.
 

Morgan Fry

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Just to nitpick, that's a Martin Indiana, not a 'The Martin'. Made with older tooling for the student market, these are still decent horns that play well in tune. Even needing a pad job it's a lot of horn for $250. JTB's and others' advice is sound.
 

MMM

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I agree with most of the advice, I would have to disagree with the amount of heat required: however I would find this difficult to explain in words, usually practice is best!
Couple of things: forget brazing/hard solder/quenching in oil(that would be for steel hardening anyway!), just practice soft soldering as the others suggested. Get yourself a couple of scrap copper pipes/bits of old brass and practice as much as you can before working on your sax, this will also help you to judge heat, amount of solder to use, etc.
I would only add two things: when soldering, the main trick is clean surfaces, "cleanliness is next to godliness"! And you will find out how much fun it is cleaning up old unsoldered parts, you will need to remove all traces of the old solder!
The second thing is that flux is corrosive: avoid skin contact, wash your hands after soldering and wash the soldered parts thoroughly with washing up liquid and warm water to deactivate the flux.
At least, you don't have to worry about burning lacquer, it looks like most of it is gone.
Cheers,
M.
 

johnboy

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Hi Mike,
Before you get involved in soldering things back on, try using JB Weld adhesive. This stuff is incredible (4,000 PSI) and will make a nice clean job.
I have successfully used it to fit a neck tenon and replace a tone guard. I know it sounds daft, but believe me it is fantastic stuff.
They even claim to have repaired cracked engine blocks with it and I believe 'em!!!!!!

John :):):);}
 

thomsax

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When I click on the pictures I'm back on the homepage of Café Saxophone! Why?
 

jonf

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Get yourself a couple of scrap copper pipes/bits of old brass and practice as much as you can before working on your sax, this will also help you to judge heat, amount of solder to use, etc.

This is the best bit of advice in the whole thread.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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When I click on the pictures I'm back on the homepage of Café Saxophone! Why?

looks as if JJW did a cut and paste from another web site and the BB intercepted the links to the larger images as thery're not in the post, seem to have been substituted with a reference back to the home page.. I'm deleting the links and the message, but leaving the pics.
 

jeremyjuicewah

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Costa Blanca Spain
Hi all, thanks for the advice. I guess I will just have to buy myself a real The Martin, I have my heart set on one, but glad to know I havent done anything too rash. I checked up on the Indiana and was pretty sure what I was getting was a very well regarded student horn from Martin that had the characteristics that make Martin horns sought after. I took Thomas's tips about picking up good horns from good manufacturers at a cheaper price than the top lines. I dont want to waste 300 dollars but it wouldnt have been the end of the world had I made a rickets.

I had a bathroom and kitchen shop for many years and am well experienced in soldering copper and lead joints, you can be sure I will do all I can to make my work clean and good.

I will check out that goo John, though I am happy about soldering the horn. Good to hear from you, have you been boating?

Yeah, I just cut and pasted from the original ebay.com site, you cant get the enlargements and they dont clearly show how bad the damage is anyway.

I have read the thread, very very good stuff too, about laquer removal and will probably try for that. I do worry about the raw finish though. In the thread there did not seem to be a real answer to the problem of acid fingers. I will consider that, but the pics of the brushed horn with the inside shine to the bell I thought were splendid.

Thanks all, I will post some pics of how I go on with it.
Best wishes
Mike
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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One trick I read somewhere was to only put flux where you wanted the solder to go. Guess you know it already. Good luck.
 

jeremyjuicewah

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I agree 100%. The other trick the unknowing always do is feed half a reel of solder into a joint believing it will make stronger.
 

jbtsax

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I attended a 4 day saxophone repair workshop with the tech in that last video posted. Roman is a very skilled technician and a nice guy to boot.

A couple of observations on the magnetic dent removal system:

- It has gone way up in price the last few years due to the increased cost of rare earth magnets.

- It is not as easy to use as it looks. There is a learning curve involved.

- For the places you can get to on sax bows, it works great.

- It is not effective when the dent involves two layers of metal such as a bow brace.

- It cannot remove dents that are close to braces, guard feet, toneholes, posts etc.

- There is a safety issue involved in their use due to the sheer power of the magnets: flying metal objects, pinched fingers to name a few.

- Unless one is doing band instrument repair full time, it is hard to justify the cost of the MDRS. It would be better to take the occasional hobby restoration to a trained tech for professional dent removal.
 

oldpuffer

Member
Messages
46
Just an observation... in the words of Jeremy Clarkson... 'how hard can it be?'.... to obtain the steel balls in useful sizes and use an electro magnet instead of an earth one. :).

Electro magnets can run from as little as a 9 volt DC battery, and are adjustable. Stainless steel
ball bearings are as cheap as chips.
 
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