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Stuck low Eb/D# and C rollers on Mark VI alto

saxmad

New Member
Messages
19
The rod screws are stuck inside the rollers and I can't remove them. Trying to unscrew them is impossible despite soaking each of the keys in penetrating fluid, or using a hot soldering iron on the tip of the rod screw, or using a shim to stop the screws rotation and ease the roller.

The only solution I can come up with would be to saw through the roller, and its screw, in half using a jewellers saw and attempt (not sure how I'd do this bit) to remove enough of the roller to use grips to remove/unthread one part of the rod screw, and then the other.

Finally I'd need to find new rollers and rod screws to make good the alto. Any suggestions or alternatives?
 

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
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7,586
The techniques I was taught to loosen or remove frozen parts are: 1) penetrating fluid 2) heat 3) tapping. Is the roller stuck on the rod itself, but the rod will unscrew a bit from the threaded side? Or is the rod also stuck in the threaded portion of the key?

I'm not sure if it is available where you live, but I find PB Blaster to be effective most of the time.
 
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saxmad

New Member
Messages
19
The techniques I was taught to loosen or remove frozen parts are: 1) penetrating fluid 2) heat 3) tapping. Is the roller stuck on the rod itself, but the rod will unscrew a bit from the threaded side? Or is the rod also stuck in the threaded portion of the key?

I'm not sure if it is available where you live, but I find PB Blaster to be effective most of the time.

On both keys the rollers are stuck onto the rods and they do both unscrew a little. On one of the keys the rod emerges slightly but one side of the rod (that you insert a screw driver into) has broken off, making it nearly impossible to get a grip of.
We don't have PB Blaster in the UK although I have used various other penetrating oils without success.
 

JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
Messages
1,327
Everything @jbtsax has stated is the typical approach, and with patience it works more times than not.
If it is that bad ....you can take the horn to a tech and have them give it a whirl. Indeed the problem with the heating aspect is....you don't wanna burn the rollers, so a torch is out and probably the soldering iron wasn't a bad idea.

But if you have soaked in penetrating oil (and personally I have found Liquid Wrench to be as effective as PBlaster....although WD40 not so much) and now the head slot on one has busted off....you are very near a Rubicon.

In cases where the whole affair just gets too stubborn, indeed I just cut or burn the rollers off to get to the pivot rods, and usually I can unscrew the rods using small pliers and salvage them (after more de-rusting with sandpaper or such).

In a worst case scenario where the rods get mangled in the process, a well-tooled woodwind tech can make new rods for you.

There are sources for new roller material. Perhaps @Stephen Howard can chime in and suggest a source in the UK ?
 

h4yn0nnym0u5e

Member
Messages
176
Disclaimer - I am not a tech, though I did meet one once...

Assuming you're resigned to destroying the rollers and rods, might it be possible to first use a Dremel or similar to grind enough roller away that you can pop the remains off the rod; then grind opposing flats on the rod so you can grip it to unscrew it? Maybe after more heat, oil, hot oil, oily heat and so forth... perhaps a few cycles from hot to cold to loosen the rod by thermal shock, too.
 
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saxmad

New Member
Messages
19
Many thanks for all the replies so far - I have managed to locate replacement rollers and shall, hopefully tomorrow, commence by cutting away at the rollers in order to remove the screw rods.
I will report back on my progress.
 
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saxmad

New Member
Messages
19
Success!!
Job completed - I used the Dremel to slowly cut away the rollers without damaging the rod screws and once the rollers were completely off I used grips to unscrew the rod screws.
I managed to find a replacement for the rod screw with the missing screw slot and using a jewellers saw cut the replacement screw to size and cut a new screw slot.
The replacement rollers finished the job off well and all is good.
 

h4yn0nnym0u5e

Member
Messages
176
Excellent news! Good to hear how you found a solution - so many don't report back, so we never know the story ends...
 

JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
Messages
1,327
Many thanks for all the replies so far - I have managed to locate replacement rollers
For posterity sake, can you post the supplier of rollers here on this thread ? It would be useful info for this community.

Well done !.... yes that is basically the 'nuclear option' and it sounds like it went off without a hitch.
 
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saxmad

New Member
Messages
19
I bought two 18.3mm rollers from Dakes Music here in the UK. They were each about 4mm too long and I ground each end equally in order to fit. I'm sure in the US someone like Ferrees would be able to supply similar.
 

RodS

New Member
Messages
6
Thanks for the info on Dawkes. Have just started using them for bits and pieces. Good to know they have a wider range than I realised.
 

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
Messages
7,586
Straight cylindrical rollers are quite easy to find. The ones that are more difficult are the "barrel shaped" ones. The only "current model" Selmer Paris ones I have found in the U.S. are from Allied and they cost $1.40 to $4.05 depending upon the length. I really like that Dawkes shows pictures of the parts they sell. This is really great news for those in the UK Music News
 
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saxmad

New Member
Messages
19
The cylindrical rollers I used were 18.3mm in length each and I shortened them to fit the gaps. They were 50p (50 pence) each!!
 
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