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Soldering low C/Eb post back on

saxmad

Member
Messages
31
I need tips guys - the post has come off and needs to be resoldered. My dilemma is how to solder it back on to ensure the low C and Eb pads both seat correctly.

Help!!
 

MarkSax

Member
Messages
175
I need tips guys - the post has come off and needs to be resoldered. My dilemma is how to solder it back on to ensure the low C and Eb pads both seat correctly.

Help!!
I used Gorilla Super Glue and fit it exactly as it was before using the past grooves as guide. No problem since.
 
Messages
70
I need tips guys - the post has come off and needs to be resoldered. My dilemma is how to solder it back on to ensure the low C and Eb pads both seat correctly.

Help!!
Have you done any soldering before, on a sax or other stuff (e.g. plumbing)?
 

Jazz Bo

Member
Messages
36
Soft soldering is the correct way to do it. Clean the surfaces, add flux an heat with a “creme brulee torch” and add tin solder When it is hot enough.
But take care ..... laquer can be burned and other solders can go loose
 

JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
Messages
1,612
Glues and epoxies are ephemeral solutions to post resolders, actually. They will hold for a while but should the post take a knock, or any sort of significant shear (lateral) force/hit, the glued joint is likely to fail.

If you aren't adept at torch soldering (this CANNOT be done with a soldering iron), then it needs to see a tech, really.

The proper DIY methodology would be to clean both solder areas with some sandpaper (until they look 'shiny silvery', apply some flux, then using a hand torch position the post in the footprint on the bidy, hold it there, and hit the post foot with the flame until the solder flows. Personally, I (and most techs, I believe) would clean off ALL the old solder completely and apply new solder to do this.

What can 'go wrong' if you aren't an adept solderer ? As Bo notes...burned lacquer. Also, as you note, perhaps the pads will not then seat correctly (yes, even if you hit the 'footprint' exactly on). In which case you'd need to do a slight refloat on the pads...which can also be done with the torch (and crossed fingers that there's enough shellac/glue under the pad to actually do the refloat).
 

MarkSax

Member
Messages
175
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This stuff is better and cleaner than anything I’ve used in the past. Sure some places need solder but in this case: try you will be amazed.
 

JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
Messages
1,612
I am glad it worked for you, truly - I am just saying (from 17+ years of restoring horns)....it's a compromised solution compared to a correct solder job.

So one can either use a DIY compromised solution.... and hope they remain lucky (and lucky you would need to be should the horn ever take a good bump at the post)...or they can properly repair the way the horn is supposed to be repaired.

But if you wanna try glue and hope it can 'get you by' until you get it to a tech....I suppose you can, as a temporary measure. Just do not bank on the bond to be able to withstand a whole lot for more than a relatively short time.
 

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
Messages
7,902
Soldering posts can be tricky. Both connecting parts must be shiny clean and wiped with a de-greaser. I would do the soldering with the keys on, being careful not to direct the flame toward the Eb pad. If the keys are hinged on a hinge rod it is a bit easier to wire the post down to hold it into position. In any event it is not unusual one or more of the pads may need to be re-seated or replaced.

I like to use a Blazer ES-1000 butane torch, and Tix solder which is more expensive but flows at a lower temperature. After adding a tiny drop of Tix flux and wiping away the access, I lay a short piece of solder next to the foot of the post curved to match the shape. Then I direct the heat toward the opposite side of the bottom of the post. If it goes well, the heat will draw the solder towards itself and you get a clean solder job with just the right amount of solder.

That said my best advice is to take it to a professional since lots of things can go "sideways" when one lacks experience. Also it is common for professional soldering to cost more when the part has been previously "glued" due to the extra time it takes to properly clean the parts, or a "surcharge" by the tech to encourage the player not to do it again. :) (In the shop where I trained, the charge was automatically doubled when the part was previously glued.)
 

MarkSax

Member
Messages
175
I am glad it worked for you, truly - I am just saying (from 17+ years of restoring horns)....it's a compromised solution compared to a correct solder job.

So one can either use a DIY compromised solution.... and hope they remain lucky (and lucky you would need to be should the horn ever take a good bump at the post)...or they can properly repair the way the horn is supposed to be repaired.

But if you wanna try glue and hope it can 'get you by' until you get it to a tech....I suppose you can, as a temporary measure. Just do not bank on the bond to be able to withstand a whole lot for more than a relatively short time.
Agreed. I have no idea how long it will last so I’m a bit more careful with the Eb post on mine. One question if you can kindly answer: Part of the solder under my LH thumbrest has come undone. Can I just add solder or do I have to remove the whole thing, clean, and resolder? Thanks.
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
12,953
Reparing an instrument with molten metal is quite a skilled job. Just like playing, one needs regular practice to keep fluent. Soldering skills soon get rusty.

If you have any questions about heating your horn with a blow torch and applying molten metal, it probably means you should be seeking the skills of a professional.
 

MarkSax

Member
Messages
175
That would be the wise thing to do but in these times it’s impossible for me to take it to a tech.
 

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
Messages
7,902
I hate soldering! 'cause I'm bad at it. I wish it was different. :oops:
Just don't use too much solder, too much flux, or too much heat and you'll do fine. ;)

I'm still trying to do cleaner work after 20 years of practice. The "big three" I listed above have taken me all 20 years to learn. :)
 

saxyjt

I have saxophone withdrawal symptoms
Subscriber
Messages
3,891
I'm still trying to do cleaner work after 20 years of practice. The "big three" I listed above have taken me all 20 years to learn.
My sporadic experience can't lead to perfection. But when I have time, I have an old beater that will suffer in my hands... >:)
 

Stephen Howard

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,855
Also it is common for professional soldering to cost more when the part has been previously "glued" due to the extra time it takes to properly clean the parts, or a "surcharge" by the tech to encourage the player not to do it again. :) (In the shop where I trained, the charge was automatically doubled when the part was previously glued.)
Ouch! Seems a bit harsh. Sure - clearing up a glued-on fitting takes extra time, but not very much at all. I've never come across a glue that didn't give up the ghost in double-quick time when the gas torch hit it.

I've sometimes advised clients to glue fittings on (with superglue) - typically because it's the day of a gig and there's not much choice. The big drawback turns out to be that sometimes the glue joint lasts...and lasts...and lasts. And if it's on something as non-critical as a key guard, there just isn't the incentive to bring it in and have the job done properly.
 

Stephen Howard

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,855
Part of the solder under my LH thumbrest has come undone. Can I just add solder or do I have to remove the whole thing, clean, and resolder? Thanks.
As a general rule of thumb it's always going to be a gamble to add new solder to old - with the odds very heavily stacked against you. If there's any dirt or surface oxidisation present, the new solder just won't flow. This usually results in trying to use more heat for longer, more flux and more solder - and the result is usually more mess. And a failed joint.
You may be able to clean some of the dirt/oxidisation out from inside the gap, but you'll never get it all.

For someone attempting the job who's experienced with soldering I'd say that it's likely to fail around 90% of the time - so I'd recommend biting the old bullet and taking the thing off and refitting it.
But it may well not need it. The hook doesn't take a lot of stress, and it wouldn't be the end of the world if it fell off. Might be worth leaving well alone until you can have it done properly. It's your call.
 

just saxes

Member
Commercial Supporter
Messages
102
On the glue front, I did that once, 20 years ago, on a pre-Chu (my 3rd overhaul ever, I think), and the guilt has plagued me ever since. But I used "Marine Goop." And that's why I'm posting.

Marine Goop is a godmanned miracle. I have made so many bizarre repairs with it over my lifetime, not related to saxophones (I think I have mainly used it as adhesive for pearls, over the years, can't think of another, though I'm sure there have been some), that it's the equivalent of duct tape in my personal Macguyver kit. I'm very familiar with Gorilla Glue, as well (I use it in surfboard repair, for numerous purposes).

Fixing a floppy sneaker sole, gluing up broken glasses frames, you name it, Marine Goop can handle ridiculous tasks. Frederick Sheppard (RIP) once glued up his bifocals with Marine Goop, in the shop, in a pinch when the broke before a gig. It held up better and longer than his old fallback, JB Weld (lol -- every tech has seen that on a horn in her/his lifetime, and rued the day).

If I were (by necessity, not on purpose) boobytrapping a saxophone by attaching a post with a glue, I'd go with Marine Goop over Gorilla glue.
 
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