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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2017
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Discussion Starter #1
OK. I know there is no "easy" tasks when repairing leaks, but I have what seems to be a simple one. I've always taken my saxes to a tech, but I was just there (Thursday) and don't feel like going back today. Problem is I've never even attempted a fix and couldn't fathom where to start. In this case it's the final pad that closes when you play a low Bb on the tenor. The horn is a '23 New Wonder. I have a back-up so I'm willing to give it a go and if I fail, I can always take it in tomorrow. Is there available somewhere, or can someone really helpful provide a brief layman's tutorial on how to make a minor adjustment? I'm not trying to take work from any techs out there. I just play out 3-6 gigs a week during the summer and there's some travel involved. It'd be nice to know how to make "simple" adjustments...

Thanks
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member/Technician
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Buy the haynes manul to start with, a leak light, a good set of screwdrivers and then lets begin...

Your question whilst easy enough for those of us that do it for a living is almost in no way different than saying, I drive my car a few times a week, it makes noises in the engine area, how do I adjust.

You need a manual, then some tools
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2017
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Discussion Starter #3
Understood. I have a light source and some basic tools. The book I can order now. In the mean time. What's a good starting point? I'm pretty handy. Until last month, I've never done a car repair, but when the ignition went out in my classic Jag convertible at the beginning of spring, and the only classic Jag mechanic in the area told me it would be a month before he could get to it - I ordered and installed the switch successfully. No way I was going to miss the sweetest time of year to cruise. :) (I'm actually kinda proud of that one)

So - I've got a hammer and saw ready, and am awaiting your reply - does that help ? I'm determined to take a shot at this.
 

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I don't know that model of sax but some horns when not correctly set up,
can open the C# pad slightly when you play Bb.

Close the keys and see if there is anything else lifting.
Maybe the G# pad is opening slightly.

Does the Bb pad seat squarely on it's tonehole ?

You can figure out a lot just by eyeballing it.

When you know what is causing the problem, only then can
you determine what is the best remedy.

So far, all we have to go on is a symptom.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2017
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Discussion Starter #5
I've got a little light showing through on Bb pad. Not much and just around the edge away from the body. I can still honk out the note just fine, but it would speak a bit more smoothly if the pad was seating well. It really was fine after my tech adjusted it and I didn't even play it - just secure transport. I'm thinking maybe it got bumped or something. IF so, it wasn't hard...
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2016
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17,955 Posts
Hmmmm.

The low Bb usually speaks fine if there's a slight leak on that bellkey pad and everything else is sealing.

As Kavala mentioned....it might not be the pad at all.

Do not depress the pinky table keytouch. Just close the pad with very light finger pressure on the top of the cup itself.

Does the leak still appear ? Or is it now gone ?

1) If the leak is gone...it wasn't the pad or keycup, it is the pinky table keytouches. Pressing the Bb touch closes both the B and Bb, but if the B closes completely and the Bb does not, then the Bb touch is closing the B key too soon. I hope that makes sense.

In this instance, just a tad of cork needs to be taken off of where the B and Bb touches meet each other.

2) If the leak is still there....you have 2 courses of action:

~ touch the key to lightly close it to the hole, & heat the back of the keycup with a torch to allow the shellac in the cup to liquify. Them with moderate pressure push the key closed (probably with a tool as the cup will now be hella hot).

Don't really 'squeeze down' the key onto the hole as hard as you can, or this will make the shellac displace from behind the pad...and you don't wanna do that.

Hold it there for about 40 seconds. MEANING: 40 seconds after you remove the flame. This will possibly 're-float' the pad in the shellac and make it conform to the hole again. See if that helped any.

~ Get a pad spatula and go opposite where the leak is (i.e. if leak is from 2 to 4 o'clock, put the spatula at 8 to 10 o'clock), close down the key and push with slight force on the 2-4 o'clock edge. This will bend the keycup where the leak is and hopefully seal it. If done w/too much force, it may also open a leak where the spatula was, so you gotta moderate....

That's what I would try in your situation.

Again, I am still thinking that a slight leak on the low Bb shouldn't require you really honk to get the note out...so would suspect something somewhere else is also leaking....
 
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