Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey there everyone, my main Bari, a 1970's Conn 11m Low A Bari, has been out of commission for a while due to the high E natural key bent bent out of place where the pad is located. It's bent to the point where it's creating enough of an air leak that makes it unplayable. I wondered if any of you had any tips on how I could fix it myself, as my local repair shops wants to charge way too much to fix just this. Thanks in advance!!
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
1,813 Posts
Hard to tell but it looks like that post is pushed in. That might shift the position of the key so it won't seat correctly, rather than the key itself being bent.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,814 Posts
Hard to tell but it looks like that post is pushed in. That might shift the position of the key so it won't seat correctly, rather than the key itself being bent.
You're absolutely correct. The high E post is noticeably pushed in and that's what is creating the pad cup to be badly misaligned. It's a pain on bari because of where that post is located on the neck. They would most likely need to remove the neck to push that post back out. I'm fairly confident that's why the local repair shop has quoted the price (whatever it is). Bite the bullet and get it done.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
TENOR, soprano, alto, baritone
Joined
·
7,444 Posts
Right. You don't want to bend the key to fit and have to bend it back when the real problem is corrected. However, there is a cheap trick that will allow you to play until it can be done - have the shop shim out a new pad to make up for the misaligned key.
I can tell that horn needs an overhaul but you can save money by ordering a pad job and dent work. They'll still take it apart, clean it, fix the dents and put new pads in, making adjustments.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,022 Posts
I will probably get "flamed" for posting this, but there are a couple of "stop gap" solutions you might try to buy some time before taking it in to be properly repaired. When a pad is touching in the front, but not in the back it can be the result of the post getting bent toward the tonehole. It is sometimes possible to carefully "tap" the post back the other direction using lots of "small taps" with a plastic or rawhide mallet. If the solder joint is weak or if the tapping is too aggressive there is a risk that the post will come off. In many cases when a post is pushed in, the post needs to be unsoldered anyway in order to properly remove the dent. You can always remove the key and put a rubber stopper in the hole if this happens.

The other "stop gap" remedy would be to heat the key, remove the pad and insert a half shim at the back to push the pad down enough to seal. Before removing the pad it is important to make a pencil mark on the pad so it can be put back in the same "orientation" after shimming.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,034 Posts
You start bending that key going the cheap route and you’ll find yourself paying out more to find the vintage bari key you snapped.
Suck it up buttercup and take it to a shop.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2014
Joined
·
4,315 Posts
Remove the post and get the right deny rod and a good friend to help you push it out
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
TENOR, soprano, alto, baritone
Joined
·
7,444 Posts
Most repairmen know that the post may pop off when the dent is pushed out so definitely 'don't try this at home'. This job is like a can of worms - full of slimy surprises.
 

·
Distinguished Technician & SOTW Columnist. RIP, Yo
Joined
·
17,204 Posts
You have probably been quoted expensively because the technician wants to unsolder the posty, unsolder the bow from the body, straighten the body, resolder the bow to body, resolder the post to bow, then repad, or something like that. (Or he could just do my last suggestion, with a slightly less cosmetically perfect result, and overcharge.)
He may also be factoring in other work to make your horn play better so that he can have some pride (and customer delight) in how it leaves his worship.

But the request was for a DIY bandaid possibility. So here goes....

You start bending that key going the cheap route and you’ll find yourself paying out more to find the vintage bari key you snapped.
Suck it up buttercup and take it to a shop.
IMO this is misleading scaremongering. It is really difficult to "snap" a saxophone key. You would have to bend it a long way back and forth many times.

... However, there is a cheap trick that will allow you to play until it can be done - have the shop shim out a new pad to make up for the misaligned key.
I can tell that horn needs an overhaul but you can save money by ordering a pad job and dent work. They'll still take it apart, clean it, fix the dents and put new pads in, making adjustments.
I agree. A band-aid job with a new pad and plenty hot melt glue behind it would do the job. And you could quite likely do that yourself.
You might even get away with using the present pad.
(Buy your pad from Musicmedic.)

... You don't want to bend the key to fit and have to bend it back when the real problem is corrected....
I can't really see why not. It would take a technician around a minute or less to bend it back.

Band-aid, basic equipment method:
Fold a bank note enough times that it is say 2mm thick. Place this under the 1/3 of the pad, furthest away from the key cup arm.
Now give sharp taps (with a small hammer) on the key cup arm a little away form the key cup area, using a short piece of hard timber as a punch between the hammer and the key cup arm.
The tricky part is knowing when you have achieved what you want. You really need a light inside the sax and a darkened room.
How easily this works depends on how stiff the key ckup arm is. They vary a lot.

Another band-aid method:
Take the key off and plug the tone hole with putty, Bluetac, Sugru, a disc of gummygork or similar. I'm assuming you can play most pieces without this tone hole being opened.

Finally, a possibility with some risk attached.
Using pliers with parallel jaws (either smooth-jawed, or serrations well covered with cloth), grab the entire post
Bend it to the left while strongly pulling it out from the instrument.
Then bend it to the right while pulling it out.
Use this rocking motion until the post is no longer pushed in.
The risk is that if the soldering is not well done, the entire post may pull off the body tube.
But that's not the end of the world because you could still plug the hole and avoid that note. :)
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top