Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
554 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Guys

Just got delivery of my C melody sax. It looks in great condition with no dents. HOWEVER during transit since the horn was not secured and since the plug was not pushed into the neck cavity, the octave pin has been bent through 90 degrees! It is bent from about 1" down.

Bummer.

Looks like it will bend back OK but has anyone any tips how to ease something like this back without snapping it off or putting any permanent kinks into it? Will heat help?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
554 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I'll see if I can get a photo uploaded. Can you give me some detail on the annealing? Presumably this is brass under the silver plating?

I believe heating then cooling slowly will soften the material, or should I bend back whilst it is still hot? And how hot?
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member and Champion of the C-Me
Joined
·
2,057 Posts
Such a severe bend, I would not do it without first annealing the mechanism, most mechs you can bend with slight damage but 90 degrees is pretty serious
Probably very sensible. I've had several of those, 20's C-Mels seem prone to it if the neck socket is rammed into the case cutout designed for the (missing) neck plug, because of the way the lever pokes up above the socket.

I've managed to rebend all but one of mine by doing it gently and progressively, letting the metal rest after each slight straightening. But be sure that you're just keeping the 'bending' to the lever itself, it is all too easy to then be faced with the difficult task of straightening the tube(s)/mechanism below - if you accidentally bend those whilst straightening the lever, you then have a much more difficult task.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Technician
Joined
·
3,112 Posts
To anneal brass, copper and nickel silver, you will need to heat it up to red hot and then either set it aside to cool down slowly or quench it in water - it won't harden like steel does if you quench it.

The heat needed to anneal it will also run the risk of the plating being damaged and the silver solder joints melting, so try to localise the annealing to where the bend is on the 8ve shift lever, but the heat will be conducted through the entire piece.

Then once cool enough to touch, straighten it out with smooth jaw pliers or pliers with protected jaws, or mount it in a vice (but not the hollow key barrel) and bend it back to the right angle gently in several stages instead of all in one go.

If the key barrel is hollow and you need to apply force to it, put the rod screw all the way in so it doesn't bend or collapse - the key barrel and rod screw can be straightened out fairly easily provided they're not bent or kinked excessively.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
554 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for all that - I'll put all that annealing info in my head for future reference!

When I got home I had another look and realised that it was not as severe as I had originally thought (not being familiar with this particular mechanism). Still there was a bend of around 70 degrees about half an inch from the tip.

So I carefully bent it back whilst cold.

Cmelodysax your description is exactly what happenend. The plug was in the case though - if only they had used it!

Then I took to it with some polish - wow! There was tons of tarnish which just fell off to reveal a beautiful finish. I'm guessing this horn hasn't been properly played in >50 years (some music dated from the 40s in good condition still in the case).

The pads look in pretty good condition too and carefuly bending some of the keys seemed to re-align those that were out quite nicely.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Technician
Joined
·
3,112 Posts
In most cases the metal is usually soft enough to bend while cold as it has already been annealed during manufacture, but any serious bends may require further annealing as the metal may have become work hardened if bent alarmingly.

Some people think heating the metal up to around 100°C is required to soften the metal in order to bend keys instead of bending them cold, but that's not going to soften the metal any more than it already is while it's cold, so keys can always be bent to a certain point while cold (but care still has to be taken to avoid fractures or broken solder joints) and any slightly warming things up a little bit is completely unnecessary.
 

·
Distinguished Technician & SOTW Columnist. RIP, Yo
Joined
·
17,204 Posts
While doing the re-bending, and experienced tech will have a feel for whether it will need annealing or not. And it will depend on how localised the bend is, whether a "stress raiser" is involved, and whether it is more twist than bend.

Annealing runs the risk of hard soldered parts coming apart, or changing position, and especially if flux is not used, may wreck the silver plating. So avoid it if possible.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2014
Joined
·
2,600 Posts
I always ask that the seller put in the neck plug or something to act as a neck plug, giving a detailed explanation of how it works and what it does as if talking to a 5-year old child. I know that it offends those sellers who know more about saxophones than I do, but you can see the amount of time and aggravation it saves if the horn is shipped without any protection. I could send a two-page description on how to ship a horn, but that would offend every seller. Still, it would only take me 15 minutes to write and propably save me hours of repair.

Mark
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2009
Joined
·
4,507 Posts
Bend it back, if it breaks, well, no one wants to listen to a C mel in the second register anyway... :twisted:

Nos seriously, you need to at least partially relieve the stress heating it almost to the point where you'd heat for brazing, then quenching it in water. Then after you've bent it back, work harden the piece (hammering the part you've heated on a silversmith's anvil or something like that)
 

·
Distinguished Technician & SOTW Columnist. RIP, Yo
Joined
·
17,204 Posts
I reckon you'd have to distort the metal quite a lot to work harden it by hammering.
Perhaps bend it to and fro a few times to harden it.. Hehe!

I reckon that with any luck, you can bend it back uneventfully without annealing. If it does break, then silver-solder it. But as I wrote before, it depends on the exact nature of the original bend... how severe and localised the distortion of the metal already is.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top