SYOS

Troubleshooting & Emergency kit

saxyjt

I have saxophone withdrawal symptoms
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3,292
Location
France
Since I can't find time to play at home very much lately, I took my horn with me to the office to play before hitting the road, avoiding some of the traffic.

The only trouble is that when I picked it up and started to blow. It didn't sound right all the way up and down. Vaguely ok down to G, then erratic at best, leaving me with a strong suspicion of a leak somewhere and not a minor one given the symptoms.

But of course I don't have a leak light or anything with me. So, I tried a visual inspection that finally led me to a possible issue with one of the pads. But why all of a sudden?

After a closer look, I find out that the rid that holds most of the upper stack is loose.

IMG_20190807_115414882.jpg


Of course I don't have any screw drivers with me, let alone one small enough to fit in there. So the question is, what should I have with me to sort such minor, yet unavoidable circumstances?

What's the optimal minimal emergency kit to always have in the bag?

In my case here it's no big deal, but if this happens just before a gig... :w00t:

Let us know what you take in the gig bag.
 

Greg Strange

Well-Known Member
I have a kids pencil case where I carry a set of small jeweller's screwdrivers, a spring hook, a leak light aka mini mag light with some string attached, cork grease and various bits and bobs for an emergency repair kit - it's amazing how much stuff you can cram in one of these cases and I can pick them up for 2 bucks from a "Two Dollar Shop"...here's an example...

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Greg S.
 

nigeld

I don't need another mouthpiece; but . . .
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Bristol, UK
I also have a pencil case, containing:
- one of those things with a spring-hook at one end and a screwdriver at the other
- another small screwdriver with a larger size
- a pair of flat nosed pliers (for adjusting bassoon reeds - I’ve never used them for saxophone)
- a hobby knife (ditto)
- a pair of nail scissors
- a roll of plumber’s tape
- a roll of insulating tape
- a small square of self-adhesive cork
- a small piece of fine sandpaper
- Yamaha powder papers for stuck pads

In practice, I think the things I have actually used when not at home are the spring hook, the screwdriver, and the insulating tape, plus scissors to cut it.
The flat-nosed pliers, hobby knife and powder papers are primarily for my bassoon.

I also carry cork grease in my music bag.
 
OP
saxyjt

saxyjt

I have saxophone withdrawal symptoms
Subscriber
Messages
3,292
Location
France
I'm lucky this time, I could get a screwdriver from the supermarket as I went to grab a bite. So I'm back in business!

Feels good to have that horn playing again so easily. I can't get how these screws got loose. I had another occurence recently, but missed that one completely.
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
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Burnley bb9 9dn
Victorinox Swiss army knife. All the tools I ever need. A little clear nail varnish on the screws stops them moving. I carry a small amount of self adhesive cork sheet in each case too. I can usually fiddle a sliver in with the tweezers if any goes awol or gives up the ghost.
 

jbtsax

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Beautiful Springville, Utah USA
Lacking the skills to regulate without adjustment screws, straighten bent keys, or reseat pads a small screwdriver and a spring hook are the primary tools that you can use. A portable battery powered leak light is helpful to find leaks, but is of little use in an emergency situation without the skills mentioned above.
 
OP
saxyjt

saxyjt

I have saxophone withdrawal symptoms
Subscriber
Messages
3,292
Location
France
I must say that I was cought off guard when I couldn't find what the issue was.

But I finally had a great session at the end of my working day. Just what I needed!
 

Greg Strange

Well-Known Member
Victorinox Swiss army knife. All the tools I ever need. A little clear nail varnish on the screws stops them moving. I carry a small amount of self adhesive cork sheet in each case too. I can usually fiddle a sliver in with the tweezers if any goes awol or gives up the ghost.
Ah yes the old nail varnish trick. A number of years ago I got my Yamaha 62 series alto serviced by a guy in Auckland who use to play tenor sax in the Rodger Fox Big Band. Said repair man decided to use nail varnish on my horn. When I went to pick up the horn from a local music store acting as pickup point / agent and I opened the case it looked like my sax had caught the effing measles or chicken pox - he had used bright red nail polish on all the screws!!! :w00t: Sax still recovering to this day...

A small set of tweezers which I have in my kit is a valuable asset for mucking around with lumps of cork and felt...

Greg S.
 
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saxyjt

saxyjt

I have saxophone withdrawal symptoms
Subscriber
Messages
3,292
Location
France
If only it was pruple to match the logo! :doh:
 

Stephen Howard

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,624
Location
UK
saxyjt said:

What's the optimal minimal emergency kit to always have in the bag?

@Stephen Howard . :)
£50 in cash, and my phone number :)

I think everyone's pretty much covered it - and JBT's nailed the most important point about the skills required.
Has anyone mentioned elastic bands though? You gotta have elastic bands...but you also gotta remember not to leave them on the horn after the gig, because they can break down quite quickly and damage the finish.

I'd also add a small roll of clingfilm - and when I say small I mean a good few wraps around half a pencil...just enough to cover a couple of split pads and wrap over the top of a key cup.

As a 'nuclear' option I'd add a small tube of flexible superglue gel (the kind with rubber in it). Hardware store sell them in packs of three - and they'll last a very long time if unopened. Because it's a gel it's less messy to use, and it could just save the day if a pillar gets knocked off when the crowd rushes the stage to get your autograph (happens alllll the time). Don't worry about messing up the finish, a tube of superglue remover will take any spills right off long after the glue has set.

Not that I carry any of this stuff around with me; if I'm going to a gig I sling a backup horn in the boot of the car, complete with mouthpiece, sling and spare reeds.

And yeah, you can never go wrong with a Czech vice...or two.
 

Stephen Howard

Well-Known Member
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1,624
Location
UK
I put your name as a suggestion that 'You' were the optimal item to be in the emergency kit.
This might make you laugh...in a vaguely 'just about on-topic' kinda way...

I have a recurring dream. I've fixed a client's horn, and by way of a thank-you I've been given tickets to see them play at a very prestigious event.
I duly turn up on the night, take my seat, and watch my client do their stuff.
About 15 minutes into the performance a key falls clean off the horn and the whole gig comes to a grinding halt as the errant key hits the deck and bounces its way across the stage.
There's an audible gasp from the audience.
The client takes a step forward to the mic and says "Is there a woodwind repairer in the house?".
I hear a rustle behind me - and I turn to see that every single member of the audience has raised a hand.
 

Pete Effamy

Member
Messages
416
Location
UK
£50 in cash, and my phone number :)

I think everyone's pretty much covered it - and JBT's nailed the most important point about the skills required.
Has anyone mentioned elastic bands though? You gotta have elastic bands...but you also gotta remember not to leave them on the horn after the gig, because they can break down quite quickly and damage the finish.

I'd also add a small roll of clingfilm - and when I say small I mean a good few wraps around half a pencil...just enough to cover a couple of split pads and wrap over the top of a key cup.

As a 'nuclear' option I'd add a small tube of flexible superglue gel (the kind with rubber in it). Hardware store sell them in packs of three - and they'll last a very long time if unopened. Because it's a gel it's less messy to use, and it could just save the day if a pillar gets knocked off when the crowd rushes the stage to get your autograph (happens alllll the time). Don't worry about messing up the finish, a tube of superglue remover will take any spills right off long after the glue has set.

Not that I carry any of this stuff around with me; if I'm going to a gig I sling a backup horn in the boot of the car, complete with mouthpiece, sling and spare reeds.

And yeah, you can never go wrong with a Czech vice...or two.
Your prices have gone up...:yess:
 
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