All profit supporting special needs music education and Help Musicians
SYOS

That Martin Indiana

jeremyjuicewah

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,890

Some time ago I bought this thing off e bay. Its running into silly money now, but I've started so I will finish. I have the nasty thing polished up and wrapped in clingfilm and now have the pads and cork and felt and the shellac. When I took the old pads off I didnt melt the old shellac, I just peeled them out. I was looking on you tube and saw a fix where the tech glues a short spring behing the pad, assembles and warms the cup so the spring seats the pad, then allows it to cool, hey presto. But, he is using what I think is a hot glue stick. I already have the shellac and would prefer to use it, but, is it tough enough to hold against a compressed spring for indefinate time? The spring is only about the strength of one in a ball point pen cut down to 2 or 3 mm.

I am going slowly with this one, its very labour intensive and not something I would recommend to anyone who is not real techy minded. I have spent:

sax 250 usd
carriage 80 usd
duty 92 euros
kit to clean and dismantle about 40 euros, inc a small gas torch and a metre long strip of leds for a leak light
pads and stuff 82-00 GBP

I will laquer it soon, was going to spray with a proper two pack, but have decided now to use aerosol. Guess that will be another 30 euros

What do you reckon to the spring idea? I liked the look of it very much for a good seating.

Cheers all
Mike
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
The glue should hold it, so should shellac - but why do it? For me you're making life complicated for yourself and having a ball point spring isn't going to make the pads seat evenly on the bigger tone holes - in fact I doubt it would work well on smaller tone holes. Going to be a pain in future when you need to tweak a pad, cos it's going to pop out..
 

jrintaha

Senior Member
Messages
283
The smaller pads were relatively painless to get right on my first alto repad. I don't see why you'd need a spring down there. The big pads (about low E and down) are where it gets interesting / frustrating. Shellac is very tough, at least the non-bleached (dark brown) variety. Shellac can be used to waterproof boats. I don't know how much bleaching affects its strength, but accordion / concertina repairmen advise against using blonde / clear shellac. It may be that it only affects its properties when dissolved in ethanol, which is the way it's usually done in free-reed instruments.


Don't worry about the pads, just take your time to dry-fit them well, and I'd leave it overnight after fitting the pads because the leather might expand a bit. You don't want to be too eager (like I was) and discover a leak has developed in the A pad overnight, after you've put all the keys back on... Be patient and I'm sure you'll get it right.


Good luck with your project, please take some pictures of your progress, I'd love to see them and I'm sure other people would too!




Cheers,
Jori
 

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
Messages
8,000
Forget the spring idea. It is not worth the effort. It will not, I repeat, will not seat the pad. Follow the directions given by Curt Altarac in these articles: Four Variables, Dry Fitting, Push and Pull. The "tap" as Curt calls it when the shellac is still in the plastic state does a remarkably good job of getting the pad to come close to seating itself. Beyond this trick, if there were a "silver bullet" method of seating pads, professional techs would have discovered it years ago. The truth is there are no shortcuts. It requires skill, practice and the right tools, materials, and know how. You can't go wrong following Curt's excellent advice.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
13,064
Keep it simple and don't over think it. Some stuff will go well and some stuff won't. Keep the faith.
 

jeremyjuicewah

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,890
Thanks guys. Glad to hear the spring idea is not good. It looks so fiddly, but on you tube, the video is impressive. I guess I have to reassemble and dry fit the pads, I knew it really, just didnt want to. I have pics of progress, will post when I have achieved something. There is a thread running here about pad glue with lots of good info and links, so thanks all.
Mike
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
On the dry fitting, I tried to aviod it. Never again... When the cups are flat, tone holes straight, adjusting the pads is very little work. If you don't it's an incredible effort to sort out later.

Just accept that many keys will be fitted and removed quite a few times during the rebuild. And don't even think/dream about regulation or key heights until every key closes exactly, all the way around with not more than feather pressure on it.... Pay special attention to the keys that are closed by springs, and when you get them right, do the all the others to the same standard or higher. It's so easy to press a touch too hard on a key, think it's closing properly, hook the spring on and see leaks...
 

jrintaha

Senior Member
Messages
283
Oh, and pay extra attention to the G#, A and aux F pads. Double and triple-check the seating before putting the keys back on. I didn't, and the A and F turned out to be a real pain.
 

jeremyjuicewah

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,890
Thanks for those tips. Soon as I am back at work (ha ha) next Wed I am going to clean out the old shellac and reassemble and try all the pads. It may take a while. Get back to you.
Mike
 

jeremyjuicewah

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,890
Lest anyone thinks I am gone into the woodwork and the sax is now an ornamental beetle in my mantlepiece, here is my admittedly slow but surprisingly satisfying progress. Thanks to all for the advice. The thing is reassembled. It took about four hours. Some keys came on and off a few times since knowing where to start would help, but the person whos name I forget (apologies) who posted somewhere that he didnt take photos or bother too much about disassembling in good order, was in my opinion right. There is only one place for everything and once you start its not a hard puzzle. I have dry fitted the pads but measured two wrongly. Waiting on the right ones now. This week I will test with a leak light and report. Nasty note; through my own silliness I snapped a post off when reassembling so had to solder it back. When doing so , the torch went up in my face causing some singed hair and a bit of a burn. I have been smashed in the face by an airoplane prop, crushed into mush in sporting time, bitten by pieces of car and motorbike, but I never thought I would be immolated by a saxophone. Truly, nature is wonderful. Sorry about the italics, pressed something, cant get rid of them.
Cheers all
Mike
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
good to hear you're making progress, keep us posted, espeically the funny bits...
 

jeremyjuicewah

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,890
This week I glued in the pads. Few comments may be of use to anyone who hasnt done this before. I am feeling a bit guilty over my dry fitting last week, because it doesnt seem hard enough. I found leeks in about 8 of the bigger pads, nothing I could see on the small ones, but its not as easy as it sounds. First, I found it physically hard to get around the sax, to all angles, above and below, and hard to move the thing as dry fitted pads can fall out. I marked up the cups with a felt pen and have shimmed with cardboard under the pads where required. This project has been an eye opener for me. I hadnt realised I had become so patient over the years. If I have to take it to bits again, so what. Its not that big a deal. Here are a couple of does and donts:

I put a masking tape sticker on every cup with the internal diameter on it so that if the pads got mixed up I could easily put the right ones back. The cups are silver on this sax, best remove the stickers, if you use them, before heating the cups. Polishing them is going to be twice as difficult on half a dozen of mine now.

I also put a small piece of sellotape over the pads to keep them in their cups until this week. Shouldnt have done that as I am using really nice soft brown leather pads and on a few now I have taken a very small amount of leather off when removing the tape. An unneccessary bit of damage that really annoys me.

When cleaning the old shellac out of the cups dont assume it hasnt melted just cos it isnt puddling. You can overheat the cup, as I have a couple of times, though not terminally I hope. Heat gently, an inch and a half or so out of the blue flame of the lamp, (mine is a very weak hobby lamp though its hot enough for soldering) for a minute or less and then wipe the inside of the cup. Even when it doesnt look as though it is at all melted, it often is, and will wipe out nice and clean without hurting the finish of the cup.

I was worried about the keys with the finger buttons on but they seem much tougher than they look, and no damage at all occurred when melting the shellac. Use a bit of common and keep them away from the flame as much as poss though.

Lastly I was using dark brown shellac and it melts easily and is really easy and pleasing to use. Very sticky too. I have had a bit of a fear of this stage of the job, but its the easiest bit so far, I think. Just nice and steady and no harm done.

I would say that something that I have learned with this project is dont do anything that cant be undone. Its probably the wrong thing to do.

Best wishes
Mike
 

llamedos

Senior Member
Messages
431
Thanks for the ongoing story, Mike; it is really great that you are so open about your little mistakes or misjudgements. You will no doubt save others from some of the pitfalls. It is also true that he who never made a mistake never made anything.

Keep up the good work and good luck.

Dave
 

jeremyjuicewah

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,890
I'll get back soon Dave. But, oh ha ha, I think I meant I found a few leaks in about 8 of the bigger pads. The whole thing was in a desperate state but it wasnt growing veg. in the crannies. Have a good weekend,
Mike
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
On the key touches - plastic ones are more sensitive to heat, but MOP still gets wrecked from too much heat. Stephen Howard recommends shielding the touches with aluminium foil. This works well, but be careful you don't end up funnelling heat onto the pearl. If it's like this, better to remove the touches, then replace once the pads are set and the regulation OK. I found keeping the key touch lower than the flame, so that the hot air rising from the flame doesn't heat the touch also helps a lot.

Another trick I read somwhere is to seat the pad dry, then mark it where it is closest to the key arm. This stops them going out of whack from rotation, cos they're rarely exactly the same thickness all round. Alos a must if you remove a pad that's already set, and will be refitting it instead of replacing it.
 

jeremyjuicewah

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,890
Good point on the pads Kev. Hadnt thought of that. Another variable. Anticipate it coming apart again but should be able to try it this week. Get back to you
Mike
 

MMM

Senior Member
Messages
911
Also, another small tip: you can write the pad size on the keycup using a permanent marker, that way, in a few years when you need to replace any pads, once you remove the old shellac, the size will still be there!

Can recall if you checked the toneholes were level before starting the repad... if you didn't, that may account for the need to shim the pads.
Cheers,
M.
 

jeremyjuicewah

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,890
Didnt check they were level but they are great heavy things with a flat top to them and the only way I think they could be out of level is by a dent in the body. Had one, actually a hole in the thing, but the tone hole ring is so heavy it survived level and the rest of the body crumpled around it. Soldered that one up. Will reassemble this week and give it a blow. Dont think the shimming need is excessive, actually closed one of the larger cups with a slight twist of with my fingers. Keeping them things crossed now for Sat.
Best wishes
Mike
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Maybe it's a bit late now, but the aim of dry fitting is to make sure the Pad/tonehole/padcup are exactly in alignment as the pad touches the tonehole and that the pad touches evenly all the way round. Toneholes shoud be flat/level before you start, and the keycups should be flat. If one side touches first, then it's a bend of the arm. If it touches back before fron, the pad is too thick - but you can probably correct by bendinging the arm. If it touches front first, the pad is too thin and you can either bend the arm or add a shim. Trying to get those minor leaks out by bending a firm pad are pretty futile (as I found the hard way).
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,797
Make also sure that the keycups are centered over the tonholes. Look at the old pads! This is often a problem on second line brands because there were less quality control done.
 
Saxholder Pro

Members online

Help!Mailing List
Top Bottom