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Question on Buescher snap-in pads

arock

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I have done re-pads on at least ten horns this year. Most were vintage Bueschers True Tones from 1920-30.
I love these horns. Lots of them around, here in the States. Great sound.
Recently I purchase a 1923 True Tone Tenor and was surprised to see it never hard snap-in pads. There is no sign of snaps being removed from any key. All keys are solid brass with no plating. I am absolutely positive there was never a snap in these keys. Has anyone else seen a 1923 True Tone without snap in- pads?
 

jbtsax

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I have not. However I have not restored that many True Tones, just a few. According to Saxpics Snap On Resonators began in 1921 when the first patent was granted. Those models' serial numbers would begin around 78,525. I like to polish and then sometime replate the resos and use white roo pads on silver Bueschers.
 

arock

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The white Roo pads look great on the Silver horns. I have a hard time keeping the white pads clean, when I am working on the keys. The key oil gets on my fingers. I go back and fourth between white and black Roo pads. I re-punch the holes in the pads and keep the original snaps. Just recently I started using black felts and bumpers too.
 

jbtsax

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Some tricks I have learned:

- After the pad is installed in the keycup, wrap the key in Saran Wrap until you install it.
- Keep a dispenser of Handi Wipes on the bench to constantly clean your hands.
- A white art eraser cleans dirt marks off the white leather.
- Tolulene cleans grease and oil marks. Don't panic if it turns the pad an ugly green. It will be white again when it dries.

Since you are going to all that trouble, I hope you are leveling toneholes and tightening the keywork as you go along. This is not meant as a criticism, but as encouragement to take your work to a higher level.
 

arock

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I like he saran wrap idea. I keep alcohol wipes on my bench. I do level tone holes, but haven't done much with tightening key work. I get better every time I do another horn. Just like playing, it takes a lot of practice.
Thanks for the hints.
 

jbtsax

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Removing the play on the hinge rods of the F# and the G# keys is critical to getting good regulation of the bottom stack and the G#/Bis closing---especially on vintage saxes. On these the problem is magnified by the fact that the arm that closes the G# and Bis is attached to the F# key cup itself. If there is any slop in the keywork, the F# key tilts to one side when it engages the G# and Bis. Much of the other key tightening is key noise related or cosmetic, but this issue by itself warrants an investment in some swedging tools in order to do precision padding.
 

gladsaxisme

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Are there a great variety of swedging tools available and if so which ones would you recommend buying .....John
 

jbtsax

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There are quite a few. I use the Ferree's F80 Swedging Tool for most of my work. I also have a set of 6 Music Medic swedging pliers for keys that the collet tool won't work on. I am hearing good reports from other techs about the
Music Medic Knipex Swedging Pliers
. They are a bit pricey but you have to remember one tool takes the place of 3 regular swedging pliers in different sizes.
 

griff136

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I use the same collet tool as John - the Ferrees one. I also have 5 other pairs of pliers for swedging. One must also remember that once a key is swedged you need other tools such as hinge tubing facing tools or cutters to get the end face flat and square, also the posts need to be flat and square too. Here's an interesting article from another repairer whom I respect across the pond.
http://www.stohrermusic.com/2014/01/understanding-key-fitting-hinge-tube-and-post-facing/
 

gladsaxisme

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Thanks John and Griff very informative I love this technical stuff its the real bones of the business, its very surprising how much they want for the swedging pliers in comparison to ordinary pliers'
At what level of servicing would you go down the road of tube face leveling,I take it that the swedging lengthens tubes enough to allow for the levelling to take it back to correct length and you must have to be carefull not to overdo this on multiple key rods where the tubes are butting up to one another.....john
 

griff136

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John, once a key is swedged ( which basically means the metal tubing is lengthened by force) the end will need dressing so that it is square and fits snugly to its post.
Whenever I fit a new pad to a key, if the key is sloppy between the posts, I always fit the key by swedging and cutting back the end until it is smooth and square. IMHO There's no point fitting a new pad if there is movement of the key on its axle.
With the right tools and techniques, making keys fit properly between their posts does not take a lot of time.
For keys that do not have rod screws (axles) and are fitted with proper point screws. I check the fit of the point screw into the key and adjust as needed ( I've made cutters to the shape of various points screws) generally if the movement is not too drastic I countersink the hole that the screw head fits into so the business end of the screw fits snugly into the pivot void.
OccasionallyI have had to graft a piece of rod (by silver soldering) to the end of the key
 
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jbtsax

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It is nice to see that Griff and I are on the same page. I have gotten into the habit of making sure that I have a high speed reamer .001" larger than the hinge rod of the sax I am working on in order to free up the hinge tube after swedging with the collet tool. I find it not only lengthens the brass tube but also compresses it against the steel rod. Another tool I have found very useful for older sax restorations is this Ferrees H59A Triple Key Extruder where there is just too much distance between posts that are not bent. It is used with the H59 tenon expander.
 

griff136

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I live in Exmouth Devon.
It is nice to see that Griff and I are on the same page. I have gotten into the habit of making sure that I have a high speed reamer .001" larger than the hinge rod of the sax I am working on in order to free up the hinge tube after swedging with the collet tool. I find it not only lengthens the brass tube but also compresses it against the steel rod. Another tool I have found very useful for older sax restorations is this Ferrees H59A Triple Key Extruder where there is just too much distance between posts that are not bent. It is used with the H59 tenon expander.
OOOOH I've missed that tool in the catalogue! does it do a good job John?
 

jbtsax

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Yes it does. I bought it specifically for a Balanced Action alto I was restoring. It was in great condition, but had more key wear than I had ever seen before. It "stretches" solid hinge tubes quite well with very little cosmetic marring, but you can't get too carried away or you end up with the opposite problem, if you know what I mean.

It is a bit of a PITA to change the rollers back and forth, so I think I am just going to buy another tenon expander and have a separate tool for each purpose.
 

griff136

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Hi John thanks for that - I think I may bite the bullet and invest in one.
 

gladsaxisme

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Prior to this thread I had thought that swedging was principally done to take out wear and any ovality on the inside bore of the tubes thereby making them a better fit on the rods and the lengthening was a secondary benefit
 

gladsaxisme

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Getting back to the original OP,this Beucher snap in pad thing, does this make repadding much simpler, arock says he had repaded ten horns and if it just involves snapping a pad out and putting another in it all sounds very simple but there obviously must be problems or the system would be universally used, what are the problems that make repairers remove the fixing points and seat pads in the conventional way, I could see that problems leveling the pad cup to a satisfactory state might cause this, but in general is the system a good one that many old beuchers are still repaded this way
 

griff136

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I live in Exmouth Devon.
Problems can be:
Repairers not familiar to this system go with what they know.
The pads used in this system have a metal backing and a larger centre hole for the "spud an snap". they are not readily available in the UK but are from Ferrees in the US. Stocking them on the shelf would be more expensive than conventional pads because you are limited to what saxes you can fit them in.
Over time if a snap in resonator is lost and replacements are rare and expensive compared to other resonators, its more convenient to fit a conventional pad.
I fit snap in pads and shellac them to the key cup - so belts and braces I suppose.
Some Buffet saxes have a screw in type resonator that screws into the keycup and holds the pad in place.
One reason for the snap in systems demise is the cost of production of the snaps and resonators and soldering them to each key cup.
 

gladsaxisme

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Thanks for the reply Griff,I can see the cost thing being a problem and the fact that there are probably far fewer of these saxes over here than in America, so basically you need to retain the resonator and transfer it from pad to pad as you renew,in general do they tend to seat and seal quite well without the need for additional levelling or do they present more problems than they're worth ......John
 

griff136

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I live in Exmouth Devon.
They can seat and seal well but its a matter of preference. I get a more sold feel when I shellac the pads in ( I still keep the snaps and spuds)
for Info here are some pics of the snaps, spuds and pads
images-15.jpeg
images-14.jpeg
WWS_Pad_OptionsBuescher11-2013.jpg

and heres a good description of a similar system of a Grafton by Steve Howard.
http://www.shwoodwind.co.uk/misc/nakedgrafton.htm
 

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