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Martin C Melody Resurrection Restoration

PigSquealer

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In the beginning life was good for this “ The Martin “ C Melody. Gently played in its early life and well cared for. Then put away in a closet for a 75–80 year sleep. Then somehow it ended up in the hands of a non-saxophone handler. Acquired by member @Jmoen3 it was received poorly packaged from the seller. Rightfully discouraged it was placed in a closet for another long rest until recently. Occasionally arranging a Music room results in having to move out unused items. The Martin was looking for a good home. The only request was that it received appropriate TLC. So here I am attempting to avoid a well padded asylum.

Early 1925 The Martin as received.
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Jmoen3

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The poor Martin :(, was sad I didn't get this in better shape! But I am glad it's in good hands now! My experience with this one probably would have led to a lot of drinking and swearing (well, there's already a lot, but probably more).

Glad to see it from your point of view! Good luck, I'll hopefully be sharing more on my Cavalier Alto project soon too!
 

PigSquealer

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First step. Rust penetrant. Loosens ancient dried grease and rust.
I filled the cap of the PB blaster with some. I have a source for syringes. I grind the tip flat and filled the syringe with PB blaster. A small drop everywhere every couple hours. It’s been toasty warm in Los Angeles. Leaving the horn sitting in the sun it was averaging 100° on the metal.
I was lucky on day two. Things were coming loose.
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PigSquealer

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The poor Martin :(, was sad I didn't get this in better shape! But I am glad it's in good hands now! My experience with this one probably would have led to a lot of drinking and swearing (well, there's already a lot, but probably more).

Glad to see it from your point of view! Good luck, I'll hopefully be sharing more on my Cavalier Alto project soon too!
Thanks for letting this come my way. As you know I have a ton of projects. But somehow I just couldn’t let this one sit. Hopefully there will be members that will benefit from this thread. Contact me if you need help on the alto.
I have a full 2 L bottle of double malt. I’ll let you know how the language classes are coming along.
 

PigSquealer

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Next. With a spring tool release all the springs. Look closely there are some that hide !
Being gentle I backed the hinge rods out one at a time. If this is your first time go easy. Any movement is considered successful. Stop and soak again if they don’t turn easy. Heat helps too. Don’t be surprised if it takes a week+. Especially considering it took 80+ years to get into this condition. What’s the hurry ?
Once partially extracted. I used a wide flat pliers with no serrated faces. Holding rod with pliers while rotating the rod. I pushed on side of pliers gently with my thumb. Little by little on the long stack rods. It took less than a half hour for full disassembly. Note, be careful where you place your thumb on pliers. If the tool slips you could find yourself pinching your thumb.
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I was surprised how many pads were still original (white). smelled terrible although in reasonably good condition. Probably usable.
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PigSquealer

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Day three, cleaning. I hate this part. At least the body doesn’t smell anymore. Be kind and put some type of water displacing oil on the springs. Both sides of the post where they attach too. I use gun oil for this.
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This was just cleaning I have not polished yet.


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I couldn’t take a picture originally inside the body tube. It was black inside !
 

jbtsax

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Nice work and great tutorial on reconditioning/overhauling an old saxophone. Something I sometimes do when I can get a grip on a stubborn hinge rod with smooth pliers is to use a small plastic or rawhide hammer to tap the pliers. Tapping often frees parts better than "pulling". I have never liked the wide tops of toneholes on these old Martins and sometimes put a taper on the inside using a cone shaped grinder followed by smoothing with fine grit paper.
 

LostCircuits

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Black Forest
I have never liked the wide tops of toneholes on these old Martins and sometimes put a taper on the inside using a cone shaped grinder followed by smoothing with fine grit paper.

It's just a matter of leveling the pads. I can probably help with that ....

Just kidding, I know what you mean, it is similar to rolled tone holes, a bigger seal is not always a better seal.
 

LostCircuits

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PigSquealer

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Nice work and great tutorial on reconditioning/overhauling an old saxophone. Something I sometimes do when I can get a grip on a stubborn hinge rod with smooth pliers is to use a small plastic or rawhide hammer to tap the pliers. Tapping often frees parts better than "pulling". I have never liked the wide tops of toneholes on these old Martins and sometimes put a taper on the inside using a cone shaped grinder followed by smoothing with fine grit paper.
Thanks for the complement.
Removing the rods on this one was slow and cautious. I have enough bent parts. I didn’t need to go knocking any pillars off. The rods were not exactly straight.
Thanks but I’ll pass on the three angle valve grind. I’m not building a Rolls-Royce Merlin ;)
:confused2:
It's just a matter of leveling the pads. I can probably help with that ....

Just kidding, I know what you mean, it is similar to rolled tone holes, a bigger seal is not always a better seal.
I have ordered a set of pre-flattened, extra level pads. I’m going to install them with plumb shellac. Just finished making the shellac bars. The flakes have nice straight lines.
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jbtsax

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Ok I'll bite. What is "plumb shallac" and how did you form the flakes into sticks? Also what are "pre-flattened extra level pads" and where do you get them? :confused2:
 

PigSquealer

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Plumb shellac and pre-flattened extra level pads are unique. They come from the plains on other side of Flat Earth. The best are made by a company True & Arrow Straight.
 

PigSquealer

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Hardware cleaned. Key cups flattened and rounded. The old shellac or hot melt glue needed to go for some good metal work. Shellac melts at something like 140°-150°F.
175° water will release the shellac right off with a little help from a stiff toothbrush. Just don’t dunk the pearls. Those with pearls I do off to the side. Spoon a little into the cup and working it slowly.
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PigSquealer

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Flat spring removal.
I work on a block to support the backbone. Prevent bending the key ! Turning the spring along with the screw helps removal. I keep the springs in the same sequence they were removed. A piece of plastic with a pinhole to get the screw started in.
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There is one more on neck octave key.
 

LostCircuits

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Saxoclese posted a neat method for keeping track of the springs on SOTW, i.e. taking a picture of the horns (or in this case, the keys, printing it out / mounting it on some soft spongy material and then sticking the springs into the spots on the picture that correspond to the location of origin.
 

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