Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Forum Contributor 2007 Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
820 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here's a curiosity that I've notice in my sax that I play regularly. Let me qualify this by saying I take very good care of my saxes. They are not closet queens, I play them a lot, My main sax anyway but I regularly do maintenence and such.

I've notice that after a couple of years of playing my sax develops a very slight bend in the body tube. The center of the bend seems to be the strap ring. I have noticed this twice over the past few years on two different tenors.

I am wondering if as I play I am inadvertently applying pressure with my thumbs and overtime this bend develops. It's no big deal. Doesn't effect playing and can easily be remedied at the next repad. I was just curious if others experienced this.

Usually when I see a bent body it is from impact and it is bent at the bell to body brace.
 

·
Distinguished Technician & SOTW Columnist. RIP, Yo
Joined
·
17,204 Posts
Do you swing it around while playing?
Do you put the case down heavily with the sax inside?
Do you 'drop' the sax to a position where it is hanging from the hook.

I doubt that the forces applied during normal playing would bend the body, and as far as bending goes, there is no time issue for a material such as this; you get a permanent distortion by forcing the material past its elastic limit. You do that by using EXCESSIVE force - forcing the mouthpiece on while the neck is on the body? or by use of inertia, as suggested in the examples above, or by impact.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,317 Posts
Many times this type of bend occurs with tenors and baris due to poor or worn-out case blocking in the center of the main body tube. Over time, due to the weight of the instrument not being properly/evenly supported, the mass of the instrument is concentrated in between the neck socket area and the low Eb key guard.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
Banana sax

Do you use a Berkeley or similar case (minimalist), These have little protection/clearance around the bell nad can sustain damage if knocked here. I've replaced mine with Hiscox cases which are so solid and well made, effectively similar concept to motorcycle crash helmets.
UKsaxman
 

·
Forum Contributor 2007 Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
820 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm using a protec case. It is a snug fit but not overly tight. I used the same case with the other tenor as well so that could explain it. There is certainly a common denominator involved as the bend is the same in both. but my back up tenor also has the same type case and no bend. The difference is I don't play that horn much. So it must be something I am actively doing that is causing it. Again, no big deal it is so slight and is causing no problems with alightment or regulation of the horn so I will ignore it until I have the horn down for some other reason.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
76 Posts
Body Bends

Forward bends on tenor tubes are very common, especially for tenors that are played while standing. According to an article by Emilio Lyons in Sax Journal, it comes from pushing down with the upper teeth on the mouthpiece, working against the neck strap ring as the fulcrum. Causes necks to bend too. Tenors have several tone holes on both sides of the tube in the vicinity of the strap ring and thumb rest, creating a structural weakness there, and that's where it bends. Very noticable on Selmer tenors, especially Mark VI. There are devices to help bring the tube back into allignment. Sometimes the bend is so pronounced that the high F# cup no longer completely covers its tone hole. Altos can bend too, but generally not as much because of its shorter tube.

Sax builders would do us a favor if they installed metal ring inserts in those tone holes to keep them from collapsing from playing pressure.
 

·
Forum Contributor 2007 Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
820 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I do most of my playing and practising while standing. It makes sense that it was something I was doing while playing simply because only my main horn has the problem. Both have the same cases and both get toted to gigs. Playing was the variable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,888 Posts
Ferree's Tools sells a tool to straighten body tubes but you'll need some intestinal fortitude to use it! :D :shock:
 

·
Forum Contributor 2007 Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
820 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
yep. I have said tool and have used it before. Feels kinda weird banging your sax against the bench the first time out. I generally just sight down through the neck receiver with a light at the bottom and eyeball it, bump, eyeball it some more. Any more sciencific ways to make sure the body is straight.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,888 Posts
spiderjames said:
yep. I have said tool and have used it before. Feels kinda weird banging your sax against the bench the first time out. I generally just sight down through the neck receiver with a light at the bottom and eyeball it, bump, eyeball it some more. Any more sciencific ways to make sure the body is straight.
Nope, the old eyeball is a pretty good indicator. :shock: ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
841 Posts
tbone said:
Ferree's Tools sells a tool to straighten body tubes but you'll need some intestinal fortitude to use it! :D :shock:
The first time I saw this particular tool being used to straiten a tenor body it scared the crap out of my to see my baby getting smacked into the bench like that. That summer I used the tool almost daily with all the school saxes coming through, most fun I'd had in a long time! :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :D

-Scott
 

·
Distinguished Technician & SOTW Columnist. RIP, Yo
Joined
·
17,204 Posts
TenTenTooter said:
The first time I saw this particular tool being used to straiten a tenor body it scared the crap out of my to see my baby getting smacked into the bench like that. That summer I used the tool almost daily with all the school saxes coming through, most fun I'd had in a long time! :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :D

-Scott
What scares me, is that some day - just some day - a sax may fold in half while I am carrying out that operation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,888 Posts
TenTenTooter said:
The first time I saw this particular tool being used to straiten a tenor body it scared the crap out of my to see my baby getting smacked into the bench like that. That summer I used the tool almost daily with all the school saxes coming through, most fun I'd had in a long time! :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :D

-Scott
Think it's fun now? Wait 'till after you're married a bunch of years and the little woman goes out of her way one morning to really pizz you off. That tool can be quite exhilaratingly! ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
654 Posts
bent tube

spiderjames said:
Again, no big deal it is so slight and is causing no problems with alightment or regulation of the horn so I will ignore it until I have the horn down for some other reason.
If the body tube is bent, it will cause leaks, particularly in the left hand and side C. When straightening a bent tube, it can be amazing how well the keys return to their original adjustment. If a sax is bent but has no substantial leaks, the keys were probably "adjusted" to match the bent tube at one point. You stated that this bending had happened on several previous occasions. Body straightening should not become routine saxophone maintenance. Think of a coat hanger. Every time it is bent and straightened, it becomes weaker (and more likely to bend). My recommendation is to straighten it and do whatever is necessary to keep it straight.
 

·
Forum Contributor 2007 Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
820 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I make routine checks and adjustments on my horn so any small misalignment would have been adjusted out. I agree that this is not something I would want to do routinely. I do routinely check for bends when rebuilding a sax and I did straightened the body on this particular sax when I first overhualled it.

This slight bending of the body has happened twice but on two different saxes over a period of time. I would like to find out why and change some behaviors so i don't have to straighten and re straighten my sax. The only common thread is that both were saxes that I played as main horns and both have the same style case. Again it is slight. Someone just looking at it would probably not notice unless it was pointed out. However, if you sight down the body you can see it and the straphook seems to be at the center base of the bend.

I have been paying attention to my behavior as I play lately and I don't feel as though I am putting undo outward pressure on the thumbrests and I always use two hands and support the neck as I put the mouthpiece on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,317 Posts
I still think it's your case(s) causing the body bends.

When you are transporting your tenor (especially using a Protec) there is no center budy tube support. While in the carrying position the bell is facing up, and the neck socket/endplug on the upper end, and the low Eb guard on the lower end, is all that is supporting all of the instruments weight. One "hard" case set-down or minor dropsie is all it takes. We repair flattened Eb guards all the time on instruments transported in gig/flight type cases including Protec and the older Selmer moulded flight bags. As has been mentioned this is also a critical area due to the location and concentration of various toneholes in that central unsupported area. 98%of all body bends are forward (towards the bell).
 

·
Forum Contributor 2007 Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
820 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I know this thread is a few months old but I think I have figured out why this is happening. I think it's from adjusting the mouthpiece on the tenon cork without supporting the horn properly. the strap hook is the fulcrum point and the repeated outward pessure on the sax from pushing in the mouthpiece bends the upper portion of the body tube away from the straphook. since I adjust and de-leak my saxes on a regular basis severe leaking from it is never an issue. fast forward a couple years or so and the bend starts to become visibly noticable. I will change some habits and see if there are positive results.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
3,561 Posts
Someday take a close look at Gary Smulyan's bari, and you will immediatly see that the body of his sax is so incredibly banana-bowed its beyond me how the thing works at all. Its utterly contorted, and he seems to like it that way!
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top