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After recently cutting myself on one of these needle springs I thought of how many other saxophone players this has probably happened to. Anyone have any injury stories caused by these little guys?
 

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About 50 years ago I was polishing a Conn curved soprano, hit a spring with my finger, jerked back stabbing another in the opposite direction. I ended up with two opposing springs entirely through my finger. Rather than cut the spring off, I slid one all the way in so I could lift the other one out. No damage to the horn!!!
 

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Gross! I got poked a few times polishing a silver chu but nothing nearly as gory. I was thinking of chopping up wine corks into small pieces to cover up the spring tips next time I need to polish a silver horn.

It did however get a fishing lure hook in my earlobe once. My friend and I were wading in River and casting and he hooked me. I had to push it all the way through because with the barbs there was no backing out.
 

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About 50 years ago I was polishing a Conn curved soprano, hit a spring with my finger, jerked back stabbing another in the opposite direction. I ended up with two opposing springs entirely through my finger. Rather than cut the spring off, I slid one all the way in so I could lift the other one out. No damage to the horn!!!
Blood,Sweat & Tears saved the horn. True dedication to the craft!
I can only say as of last night I'm still red on the inside.
 

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Years ago I was pulling on a low Eb spring with my pliers to get it snug in the post on a vintage sax. The post came unsoldered and sent my hand directly into the opposite facing spring in the low C post which went completely through my RH little finger close to the knuckle joint. I was able to remove my finger from the spring and drive to the emergency room. Needless to say I developed a different technique for installing springs.
 

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OOOH, OOOH, here's a doozy, akin to Bruce's:

Cannot even remember what horn I was working on, but it was a Tenor for sure. Around 2-1/2 years ago. I was polishing the disassembled body after a chem bath and rinse, and was going around the C and Eb lower spat posts (this horn had the keys on the same rod, in between 2 posts, with the C spring mounted on lower, Eb on upper, thus they were 'pointing' toward each other with maybe 1-1/2" or so in between).

As I was buffing the polish off with a microfibre cloth, my hand slipped towards the bow and I impaled my wrist, palmside right where the wrist meets the palm, into the C needle. Lotsa PAIN.

Knee-jerk reaction of course = pull away from the puncture.

:|....

Which I did, immediately.

But that ended up impaling my wrist, same area...on the Eb needle....

WITHOUT having even removed the C needle from under my skin. So...pain to the north, pain to the south...simultaneously.

ANY WAY I moved my hand, it was nasty pain. Even when I held still, nasty shooting pain. I couldn't therefore move my hand either way, or ANY way, without pretty excruciating pain.

Now in theory....:|...one could have made the decision "move the hand one direction, and just man-up on the pain so you can free the opposite needle".

Easier said than done. You know how hard it is to knowingly inflict such pain on yourself, to physically do it ? I couldn't do it. It was too painful.

I literally picked up the body with my free hand (mind you this caused pain on the impaled one as well), and almost crying I walked out the back door of the house and found my property-mate, who lived in a vintage Airstream in the yard. Told him to grab a pair of cutters and cut one or the other needle off its post. I then slid my hand off of the opposite needle, freed myself, and pulled the other needle still sticking out of my wrist.....out.

If he hadn't been home, crap.....I imagine I would have walked, gingerly, down the street, in tears until I found someone who was in.

Eeeesh.....yeah, that was nasty. Thanks for reminding me.
 

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I finally ( after several minor pricks, not nearly as bad as those above) learned to put electrical shrink tubing, shrunk with a hot air gun, over the nasty guys.

Much better!
 

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Reading these stories makes me cringe! I've stuck myself a number of times, but never as bad as what some people describe! When polishing horns (which seems to present the greatest risk) I've waffled back and forth between trying to just 'be careful' vs. taking the extra time to temporarily remove the springs. Considering that one can work faster without them in place, I think I'll definitely be removing springs the next time I polish a horn!
 

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I prefer not to remove springs unless I absolutely have to (like, getting the butt of a broken one out of there). Since I am not a professional repairman and only work on my own instruments, I don't keep a stock of parts. There are too many things that could go wrong in removing all the springs on the instrument - breaking one, buggering up the hole in the post, or finding out that the hole was previously wallowed out and someone applied a kluge fix to it that falls out when you pull the spring out, even though it was working fine.

I say, little pieces of cork, or the idea I'd never heard before - shrink tube.
 

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I've been repairing instruments for right at 40 years and I've been lucky to have never had a spring go completely through a finger. I've had more trouble with nasty burns and some scary fires when soldering.
 

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Dang. What model of horn used those ???? :dazed:
Heh, a little off topic but it was all I had. I was out on the river late at night with my dad, drinking beer. I caught a small catfish and was taking the hook out so I could throw him back. He didn't appreciate my kindness.

I'm still cringing over your getting the finger stuck between the two springs story. I take it there was no way to take a cutter to it with your other hand. Still cringing.
 
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