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Which neck tenon expander?

Carolus

New Member
Messages
3
Hi, I'm new to the forum. Been an amateur sax player for a few decades, and have recently been building up my repair abilities toward full saxophone overhauls. I've purchased several tools and made some others.---Tools are expensive; maybe I should buy a lathe and make the rest.

It's hard to select which sax repair tools to buy sight unseen, no hands-on, as we often must in our modern Web based world. Currently, I wish to buy a neck expander. I'm trying to determine which type of expander, "can opener" or "expanding rod", may be more advantageous. Ferree's offers both types:
the H59, H59 Tenon Expander
and H61, H61 Saxophone Tenon Expander (Tenor)

Just focusing on function (not price), I've read that the "can opener" type works well and seems preferred. But suppose for example a tenon has a slightly visible flat spot. Can the "Can opener" be used to round out the spot? Would the "expanding rod" be the better tool in this case? Or would the flat spot be resolved with other tools/methods first, then fitted? If so, what tools/method? Aspiring repairmen want to know! Thanks.
 

JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
Messages
1,363
Coming late to this question of yours, but go with H61....most techs I know will us an H61-esque expander for 75% of their Tenon work, then occasionally ned to resport to using the 'can-opener' style H59.

I have been using the H61 version for years, and I have not yet found the need to purchase a can opener style one...
 

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
Messages
7,615
My experience is different than @JayePDX . I have used the Ferree's H59 "can opener" expander for years and most professional repair techs I know do the same, although I own the other style in all sizes as well. Your question about a tenon that is slightly out of round on the end is a good one. The H61 is probably the better choice for that application. Regardless of the style you choose, you will eventually want to buy the H58 Swedger as well. No matter how experienced and careful you are, a tenon sometimes gets away from you and becomes over expanded. Not all brass is the same. As I wrote in another post, I sometimes like to "over expand" a tenon just a bit and then use the "shrinker" to insure that it is perfectly round. That and a bit of lapping on a pro sax neck tenon can make it feel superb.

H58 Heavy Duty Tenon Swedger

If you do buy the H59 send me a pm. There are a couple of modifications that I can show you that will make it work even better.
 
OP
C

Carolus

New Member
Messages
3
Thank you both. I'm pleased my intuition seems to be on the right track. Slightly over expanding then shrinking seems very desirable; but the shrinker is expensive (for an amateur). If one does accidentally over expand, do you think rolling the tenon between two bench blocks might save the day? (Planning ahead.)
 

JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
Messages
1,363
Slightly overexpanding then shrinking is really unnecessary IMHO, to the degree where one would need to then be required to use some sort of shrinking apparatus beyond just lapping compound.

One need not over-expand then bring it back down to get the proper fit.

The can opener takes more touch, has more of a learning curve. The 61 type is pretty foolproof, user-friendly - it is pretty hard to mess up with it; and the times I have over expanded a bit, it was easily w/i the range of a quick lapping in the receiver; no add'l tooling req'd.
But I've found that 80% of the time with the 61 you don't end up over expanding, you just hit the mark....


Not that it's bad to have a reducer tool in the shop, of course. But I have gotten by without one for quite a long time....

My 2 cents....
 

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
Messages
7,615
Thank you both. I'm pleased my intuition seems to be on the right track. Slightly over expanding then shrinking seems very desirable; but the shrinker is expensive (for an amateur). If one does accidentally over expand, do you think rolling the tenon between two bench blocks might save the day? (Planning ahead.)
Nope. Sanding is your only recourse if over expanded without the shrinking tool. It is important to note that tool requirements are different for full time professional repair techs than the occasional or amateur repair buff. A professional shop needs to be able to take care of anything that comes in the door, and that means a lot of tools, supplies, and parts. I started buying tools over 12 years ago and with the addition of a lathe last year, I am almost where I want to be.
 

Ivan

Undecided
Subscriber
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7,151
Very interesting to read about the different ways to (un)crack the saxophonic egg

I admire those of you willing and able to fettle horns. I know that if I were to try my hand it would absorb hours I don't have and likely end up in a bodge anyway

I get the impression from the above discussion, as with all skills, that experience is key and there isn't a right right answer
 
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kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
22,006
I get the impression from the above discussion, as with all skills, that experience is key and there isn't a right right answer
I've dabbled a lot, but not with necks. Skills can be acquired, with time, patience and tuition. But when there's more than one way of doing a job, each with it's dedicated champion, best for all to accept there's more than one way and respect the others' views.
 
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C

Carolus

New Member
Messages
3
[QUOTE="...I started buying tools over 12 years ago and with the addition of a lathe last year, I am almost where I want to be.[/QUOTE]

Yes, it hasn't slipped my notice that with a lathe I could make most tools myself and easily save the cost of a new lathe.
 

JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
Messages
1,363
Very interesting to read about the different ways to (un)crack the saxophonic egg

I get the impression from the above discussion, as with all skills, that experience is key and there isn't a right right answer
No, there is no single answer - and I didn't mean to imply one is a right choice, the other 'wrong'. Techs can use different tooling to achieve the same results. There's a lotta tools out there. Some are 'old-school', others new. I have old-school tools, and also contemporary ones which didn't exist 15 years ago...
 

Tommysug

New Member
Messages
1
My experience is different than @JayePDX . I have used the Ferree's H59 "can opener" expander for years and most professional repair techs I know do the same, although I own the other style in all sizes as well. Your question about a tenon that is slightly out of round on the end is a good one. The H61 is probably the better choice for that application. Regardless of the style you choose, you will eventually want to buy the H58 Swedger as well. No matter how experienced and careful you are, a tenon sometimes gets away from you and becomes over expanded. Not all brass is the same. As I wrote in another post, I sometimes like to "over expand" a tenon just a bit and then use the "shrinker" to insure that it is perfectly round. That and a bit of lapping on a pro sax neck tenon can make it feel superb.

H58 Heavy Duty Tenon Swedger

If you do buy the H59 send me a pm. There are a couple of modifications that I can show you that will make it work even better.
So how much would it cost, ball park, to have a neck expanded. I have a '22 Buescher and a Yammi YTS 23, both need expansion :( Thanks
 

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
Messages
7,615
So how much would it cost, ball park, to have a neck expanded. I have a '22 Buescher and a Yammi YTS 23, both need expansion :( Thanks
In my shop it starts at about $15 U.S. I would suggest you get in touch with shops in your area to see what they charge.

On a few "pro" restorations I have spent as much as 2 hours expanding and then "lapping" neck tenons to correct flaws in the receiver, and get a perfect fit. Some techs have the lathe "chops" to just make a new receiver. I'm not there yet. :(
 
Messages
60
Some techs have the lathe "chops" to just make a new receiver. I'm not there yet. :(
I'm not a tech but got challenged by one to make a tenon /receiver set. Assuming you have a decent lathe, it's not easy and you still have to do some lapping to get perfect, airtight fit. Plus make neck screw bushing, braze it to the receiver and cut the slot. It's only worth doing as the last resort.


20161003_095419.jpg
 
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