Self service

Taz

Busking Oracle
Messages
3,626
Location
Rugby UK
I have been doing a lot of reading recently and one of the things I've read is Stephen Howards very informative web site. On another thread I've pointed out that I'm in the market for a pro model horn at the moment. This brought me to thinking about the condition of my present horn. I've owned it for about four and a half years and I know, from contacting Amati, that it was made in 1960. Now not knowing it's history, I had it serviced at Sax.co when I first got it, but I've played it hard since I've owned it, gigging most weekends and going to jams most weeks as well. Could this be a good time for a deep clean and service? Why not I thought.

So armed with a couple of screwdrivers, a packet of pipe cleaners, several cloths, a tub of good quality engine oil and several tooth picks, I booted up the lap top, logged on to Stephens website and started to strip the sax down to the tube. I had already decided that stripping them all off at once might not be such a good idea, but deal with them in clusters instead.

I was surprised at how dirty everything was. Its only when you get the rods and keys off the sax that you actually see all the grime! It was not very pretty, I can tell you. Old oil had oozed from the rods and dribbled down the posts gathering dust and grime over the years. (I always thought that giving it an occasional clean was sufficient) Finger prints had hardened in places that I though were impossible to touch, and the rods appeared to have been lubricated with a weak mud/tar solution!

As I said, I decided to remove the keys in groups so as to make putting it back together again a little easier. Whilst the keys were off, I took the opportunity to give the pads and the tone holes a quick wipe with a very mild solution of warm soapy water. I then removed the point screws, cleaned and replaced them, and then I gave the rod screws a good clean. Removing the old grime was easy. I then ran a pipe cleaner through the barrel (the shaft down the inside of the key) to clear out the grime from there too. Then, using a tooth pick, I dribbled a small amount of oil down the inside of the barrel, and gave the rod a quick smear as well. As I replaced them, I was very careful to wipe any excess oil off as I went. I then dabbed a small amount of oil on the point screws as well.

Well, it took me most of the day. (I'm sure that if you know what your doing it must be so much quicker) but at the end of it I had a great feeling of satisfaction. I had even cleaned the crook using the warm vinegar method mentioned by Stephen. Now that was disgusting! :eek:

The best part was taking it back upstairs to my practice room (Ok then spare bed room ;}) and giving it a good blow! Did it make a difference? Could I feel the improvement? Damn right it did! I think the keys definitely feel a lot quicker, a little less resistant and without the stickiness that I was starting to notice. As for the sound? Well I think there is a noticeable improvement. I'm sure it sounds a little brighter, somewhat more resonant and slightly easier to play!

Is this all in my head? Could it be just my imagination? I mean after so much hard work it should have made a difference. Shouldn't it?

Try it for yourself! Go on, you know you want to!

:thankyou::thankyou:
 
OP
Taz

Taz

Busking Oracle
Messages
3,626
Location
Rugby UK
I've just finished playing for a couple of hours and I can definitely feel and hear the difference. I must say I feel very pleased with myself.
 

griff136

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,045
Location
I live in Exmouth Devon.
good effort Taz,

It always encouraging to see people have a go at stipping and cleaning their sax.

Nick

If you dont go Taz's route I only charge £150 for a service!! with a donation going to Petes charity.
 

half diminished

Senior Member
Messages
1,361
Location
Buckinghamshire
I've a rattly side Bb key which seems to be getting worse and worse. The griffmeister did a fix earlier in the year but it's returned again with avengance. I hope I'll be getting SH's book for crimbo and I will certainly be looking to keep my 66R in fine fettle, though I may not survive till then.

Now where can I get a bit more plastic tubing!
 

griff136

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,045
Location
I live in Exmouth Devon.
I've a rattly side Bb key which seems to be getting worse and worse. The griffmeister did a fix earlier in the year but it's returned again with avengance. I hope I'll be getting SH's book for crimbo and I will certainly be looking to keep my 66R in fine fettle, though I may not survive till then.

Now where can I get a bit more plastic tubing!
The tubing in question is it the stuff that fits on the spigot on the end of the key (with the pad on it)?

you could try removing the key and twisting the plastic tube through 90 degrees and see if that helps - assuming it is the linkage thats noisy and not either of the keys. - check that the pivot screws are not loose and also check the rod (axle) that the key with the pad on is secure and give them a light oil - i use two sroke oil - apply sparingly with a needle to getthe oil just where you want it.
 
OP
Taz

Taz

Busking Oracle
Messages
3,626
Location
Rugby UK
Griff, one thing I did find was a point screw that had become threaded. I believe the problem lies within the pillar. Is there an easy fix (not quite a bodge Ptfe tape, glue?) or alternatively how would you fix this type of problem?
 
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