Roo Pad Re-pad

ManEast

Member
Messages
214
Location
Southsea .Portsmouth
Hi B.R
Going to a new Sax-Tech is like going to a new dentist. It is a sweaty palm affair that you would rather not have to contend with. But every now and then it has to be done.
With our fabulous Mr Steve Howard out of the picture composing his fine Manual, I was forced to look into that elite pond of guys & dolls that advertise themselves on the net as “The Repair Men”
Now I have to tell you that the tech that I used before Steve was a total F****** Twonk who disappeared off of the scene owing me about £400…so you can see why I compare it to pulling teeth. When I was a kid growing up in Landport (Portsmouth) it would have been Quite acceptable for me to of taken it out of his face,
” But I, Is a nice posh bloke now”
Sure, I take people at their word. I pride myself in old school musician values that I have inherited from the wonderful teachers that I have had. “ How very composed of me!”

Back to my Alto.
I am 48 now, the Alto and Tenor that I play, are for me the best Saxophones I have ever played. The Alto is a Yanigisawa 8833 special.
I have cherished every sax I have ever owned …they are tools, but none the less cherished and when it comes to maintenance, I don’t like to do things by half.
In the past I have had complete Repads done with Gordon Beeson’s, Freddy Gregory’s and Possoni premium deluxe pads.
I did read Steve’s positive Roo pad review and then got around to playing a couple of horns with them in. After faffing around for a bit I got a set from Music Medic (white with smooth domed reso’s …Whoooo pimp my ride!)
I do love them. They have a nice positive thud to them. They have been in for quite a few months, and as fast and more reassuring than any pad I have ever used.
Oh yes…the guy that did the job. Got hold of him via the B.R. It was Griff.
A superb job.
The sun was to shine and all was fine.
Thank you Bud !
Also, if I had ordered the pads from Griff in the first place I would have saved a few quid as well.

I Will try to post some pics
 
OP
ManEast

ManEast

Member
Messages
214
Location
Southsea .Portsmouth
Excellent Mr Rick!
They look funky too huh?

How long is Steve out of the game for do you know?
I may go see Griff too.
Hi ya
I am not sure but i think steve maybe back in the loop:confused:
They are wonderful pads...they feel very sure! & a Faultless job.
How is everything with you ? OK
 

AlanU

Member
Messages
638
Location
Enfield, North London
The old Martin Handcraft alto stencil is stripped and cleaned up awaiting the arrival of a set of Roo-pads from the same US supplier. How long does delivery take? I'm getting impatient now.
The re-build will include 'Teflon' instead of cork strip on the cams as there are a lot of sliding parts.
Has anyone here tried Teflon, and noticed an improvement?

Thanks, Alan
 
OP
ManEast

ManEast

Member
Messages
214
Location
Southsea .Portsmouth
The old Martin Handcraft alto stencil is stripped and cleaned up awaiting the arrival of a set of Roo-pads from the same US supplier. How long does delivery take? I'm getting impatient now.
The re-build will include 'Teflon' instead of cork strip on the cams as there are a lot of sliding parts.
Has anyone here tried Teflon, and noticed an improvement?

Thanks, Alan
Hi Alan
They take about 2 weeks. cant help you with the Teflon.


ManEast
 

AlanU

Member
Messages
638
Location
Enfield, North London
Ha ha!
The parcel left Music Medic on the 22nd and arrived here in Enfield on the 28th. Amazing!
I had also ordered felt bumpers, leak light, shellac, 5 thou Teflon sheet and spring inserting pliers. Everything is great.

Haven't been able to try fitting the pads yet as I need a new Butane bottle, but the pads all fit the cups beautifully.
The pliers are so firm and positive to use.
I've stuck the Teflon to all the sliding parts and cams, and there are a lot on a Handcraft! They certainly feel a lot slicker than anything involving cork and cork grease.

I hope to get the job finished over the weekend, and will update then.
 
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thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,480
Location
Sweden
Ha ha!
The parcel left Music Medic on the 22nd and arrived here in Enfield on the 28th. Amazing!
I had also ordered felt bumpers, leak light, shellac, 5 thou Teflon sheet and spring inserting pliers. Everything is great.

Haven't been able to try fitting the pads yet as I need a new Butane bottle, but the pads all fit the cups beautifully.
The pliers are so firm and positive to use.
I've stuck the Teflon to all the sliding parts and cams, and there are a lot on a Handcraft! They certainly feel a lot slicker than anything involving cork and cork grease.

I hope to get the job finished over the weekend, and will update then.
So you got all the stuff you ordered? Music Medic seems to be a good source when it comes to repair tools and supplies.

You probably already know this: Keep the keyheigts low. To set the keyheights right on Martin is important (BTW, important on all saxes!).

Keep us posted about your progress.

Thomas
 

AlanU

Member
Messages
638
Location
Enfield, North London
Thanks for the continuing interest.

As there are no local hardware shops or plumbers merchants left in this country, I had a rare flash of imagination and bought a can of lighter gas and modified the connector to the burner to make it fit and seal.

All the Roo-Pads went in fine and looked nice and level in their cups (first time doing this, never having seen shellac before).
I started with fitting the bell keys as they are the biggest and easiest to check. I tested them with the leak light and took them off again when they checked out ok.

I assembled the lower stack and they leaked light everywhere, and by a huge amount.
Each pad had to be removed and shimmed, and starting again at the bottom re-fitted, followed by a little judicious tweaking.
The Roo-Pads are thinner than they need to be for a Handcraft on the lower stack, at least. One thickness of a postcard, at least is needed.
The new springs were tensioned along the way.

Every pad from Bb up to G# is now light proof.
It is a painstaking, but absolutely absorbing process.
Keys went on, keys came off, pad cups were re-heated and the pads re-seated.
All the lower pads hit the toneholes with a satisfying thunk.
What a nice way to spend an evening (accompanied by Berlioz and Mendelssohn on BBC R4).

The next adventure will be the upper stack with all those cams around the octave vent etc. where everything is connected to everything else, and at any one time all the springs need to balance against each other.

To see what I mean look at www.shwoodwind.co.uk and look at his review of the Martin Handcraft alto.
I'm hoping the Teflon helps improve the nice slick feel that was already there despite the over complicated mechanism on these old horns.
Well, at least it keeps me out of the pub.

I wonder whether all the upper pads will need to come out of the cups and be shimmed as well.
I'll let you know, but suspect that they will need some extra attention too.

The pads that came out of the bell keys were quite new with domed plastic resonators, the ones further up the instrument were apalling, and I suspect they weren't replaced because it was too much hassle to do.
I realize that the higher ones are more exposed to all the nasties, but suspect they are very old.

I realize I'm banging on about this, but what intruiges me is that this horn has no wear of the silver plated finish or the mechanism which is as close fitting as when new. I imagine it has spent most of it's life unplayed and unloved. Ahh....
But some unknown person had a neat job done to the crook to fit a transducer, presumably for 'jazz-rock' in the 70's. That is now nicely capped-off.

I hope to have everything done by the end of the weekend.
It won't feel as snappy as a new saxophone, but it will sound great.

Watch this space ;-))
 
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kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
22,015
Location
Just north of Munich
Am following this closely. Need to do something simliar myself - or pay 500 or so for a pro job, which I can't afford. Did lots of reading up in it, and about all I'm scared of is getting the adjustments to the keys right. Am I missing something? Would it be a good idea to find a real basket case to practice on?
 

griff136

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,047
Location
I live in Exmouth Devon.
Kev, may i suggest that if you are going to have a go yourself you buy a repair manual such as a copy of Reg Thorpes' Complete Woodwind Repair Manual its not the cheapest at around £40 but well worth it. will save you time and effort and you will probably get a better result at the end.
 

AlanU

Member
Messages
638
Location
Enfield, North London
Kev, if it's your sole or really cherished saxophone, I would say don't take the risk of doing something you may regret.

If you have some mechanical sympathy, and are prepared to be painstaking, and learn as you go then go for it.
Just don't force anything and if in doubt about a snag walk away, have a cup of tea and a fag and think again.


My current project was bought expecting it probably needed a re-build. I'd done some lesser jobs before, so wasn't too daunted.

Meanwhile, back in the spare room things moved on apace. The keywork of the upper stack was fitted and only two pads needed shimming.
When re-fitted all looked well, but you have to consider the bis key etc.

There is of course, also the connection between upper and lower to be addressed, and the need to get them working in concert, also eliminating any secondary-action. This takes a little bit of observation and thought. Another cup of tea and some Motown Chartbusters helped.

The fitting of the octave keywork is a lot less fiddly than fitting the upper stack, but tensioning the springs against each other is another thing.
Don't forget that it is not yet playable, so 'suck it and see' doesn't apply.
Everything moves ok, then you try the possibilities. Octave thumb key on/off and fingering the upper keys, then again on the lower keys. Then watching the movement as you do octave leaps, upper and lower.
Inconsistencies need to be addressed.

But overall it was pretty much trouble free.
By now it is too late to have a blow at 23.00 (neighbours) so I corked down the lower pads and put her away for the night.

Next morning, fitting the Meyer mouthpiece I tried a blow and all was ok in the upper octave, but she wouldn't speak below about A or G lower down. This soon turned out to be another case of springs in the octave area fighting each other. In this case preventing the secondary octave vent sealing. Little niggles like this are all part of the fun.

The pads are seating and learning how to do their job and getting better at it with practice.
The bottom two notes were still difficult and not reliable.
I thought there may be minor tweaks to be done, but out of curiousity I tried my metal Otto-Link and they sang out clearly. The opposite of what I would have expected. What a surprise! This horn loves my STM and is not too keen on the Meyer.

What a wonderful saxophone this is.
It is sweet and 'proper' sounding until you push it and then has it so much power. It can also be bloody loud.
It can whisper one moment but instantly have tons of attack and edge the next.

And let's not forget that this is a 'Melody Master', which is a Martin stencil, built by Martin in Elkhart Indiana for a retailer or mail-order company!
There is nothing 'down-market' about some stencils.

I claim no credit for this, by the way.
All credit must go to the guys who did a great job of building this horn in depression America in the first place.
All I did was bring her back to life, and allow her to sing again.

I'm currently pondering whether to attempt articulating the left hand cluster.
At the moment, I'm thinking not.
It would compromise the integrity of this lovely instrument. I think I'll just decide to learn to live with it.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
22,015
Location
Just north of Munich
Alan, thanks. The info is invaluable. I've successfully rebuilt motorbike and car engines in the past and used to build model aeroplanes, so am keen to tackle this, even if it's going to be afiddly job. I think I'll take your advice and get something old that need just pads/springs, though, to cut my teeth on. I only have the one sax, and although I didn't pay a fortune for it, I don't want to mess it up. I think I'll look around for an alto, do that, then when I'm happy, tackle the tenor.
 

AlanU

Member
Messages
638
Location
Enfield, North London
As requested by Phil.
Sorry about the rubbish quality of them.rebuild1.jpg

rebuild2.jpg

rebuild3.jpg

rebuild4.jpg


Hang on! Wassappenin'?
I've become a 'senior member'?
I need a lie-down.
 
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AlanU

Member
Messages
638
Location
Enfield, North London
re: my earlier question about using Teflon sheet.
It works a treat.

You'll obviously need cork or something to provide the filler/buffer (I often use thin strips of leather as it is less prone to compression) but glueing PTFE sheet on the rubbing surfaces has reduced the friction enormously.

For example, on the Handcraft there are two 'heels' of metal that are designed to act together, they are the cam actuated by the l/h pinky G# which of course lifts the spur that closes that pad.
The usual thing would have been to keep them smeared with grease, which is immediately squeezed out the sides and useless.

Say goodbye to sticky G# action misery!
Set your springs lightly and let joy be unconfined as they glide as the engineer originally intended.

It works!
 
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Mikey B

Member
Messages
181
Location
South Devon
It seems to me that is a lot of mystery and fear surrounding saxophone repair and that its all a bit of a black art. I am certain that some aspects of instrument repair require expert knowledge and skill, but I have often had to do the odd repair out of necessity when working and living in the middle east for a number of years, no techs out there!

I recently did a complete rebuild on my old Yamaha YTS 61, I did also visit our very own griff to have the dents removed but the rest I done myself, Griff furnished me with the new materials I needed, cork, felts and some pads and was very enthusiastic about me having a go myself


I fitted new pads where required, which turned out to be most of them in the end, I used a hot melt glue gun to fix the pads to the cups instead of the usual method using shellac, this i saw to be easier and less messy. I managed to fine tune the pad seating by heating up the keys with an electric heat gun when fitted to the sax this worked a treat.

A bit of tweaking of the stack adjusters after replacing all the corks, and after a small problem with the octave spring tension resolved the horn is an absolute sweetheart to play.

Just have a go yourself, but do........

Be patient dont try and rush to do it all in one session, make notes/ sketches as you go along as to where everything goes. Take photos if you need to remember how something goes.

Use a decent set of small screwdrivers of the right size, so as not to munge the screw heads, some can be quite tight. a decent set of small pointed nose pliers will be useful also

Get some sealable poly bags for screws and other small items and label what it is and where it goes, a tin or box with a lid for bigger stuff


Whats the worse that can happen if you do it wrong? You just end up taking it to your tech!

Regards, Mike
 
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