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It's been an ongoing struggle with saxophones that strictly use cork to adjust proper timing, any tips on how to make this job easier? I was almost considering just modifiying it to work with a screw setup for easier adjustment in the future
 

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I knew what he meant.

Tear off a little narrow strip of #200 grit wet or dry sandpaper, put it between the cork and the foot or appropriate metal piece, with the grit facing the cork, press lightly on the key to give just a bit of pressure on the sandpaper, pull out removing a tiny amount of cork, repeat till the adjustment is where you want it. If you go too far, glue a little piece of paper onto the cork.

Pain in the rear? Yep. Which is why a lot of instruments have adjusting screws, especially for the stack keys. Unfortunately none of my 8 saxophones has adjusting screws except for my baritone where I had them added. Adding adjusting screws to a mechanism that wasn't designed for them is a decidedly non-trivial undertaking.
 

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I have also seen some other type of cork replacment on music medic which is apparently harder to work with but does not compress down the same way cork does over time, but i'm most likely gonna end up modding it for a screw adjustment because on the New wonder II there is a lots of space to work and would make adjustments a breeze
 

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It's been an ongoing struggle with saxophones that strictly use cork to adjust proper timing, any tips on how to make this job easier? I was almost considering just modifiying it to work with a screw setup for easier adjustment in the future
Clearly, instrument makers do not adjust the thickness of these timing corks. And most certainly not when there is felt in the linkages.
So do what they clearly do; adjust the geometry of the kicker relative to the key cup.
If you feel you are unwilling to do this, then take it to a technician, as you would with any other appliance, the normal adjustment of which was beyond your means.
 

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Clearly, instrument makers do not adjust the thickness of these timing corks. And most certainly not when there is felt in the linkages.
So do what they clearly do; adjust the geometry of the kicker relative to the key cup.
If you feel you are unwilling to do this, then take it to a technician, as you would with any other appliance, the normal adjustment of which was beyond your means.
Sometimes you can't get to the key foot, sometimes it's strangely shaped and very stiff. I'm going to keep sanding the corks. I don't have to achieve rapid turnaround like a professional technician or an assembly line worker at a manufacturer.
 

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Interesting thread. I am assuming "timing" refers to when one key must close another. The term techs use for this is "regulation". Adding or sanding natural cork between the tops of key feet and the back bars of the upper and lower stacks seems to be a common DIY method. Experienced techs generally use a thinner, non-compressible material for noise reduction that is the same thickness for each key and do the "regulation" by bending the foot of the key up or down after the back bar is at the optimum position. The purpose of this technique is to provide regulation that is stable and reliable over a longer periods of use than using thicker, more compressible material.

Regular cork is more commonly used at the bottoms of the key feet where they contact the body of the saxophone. At this location one or more of the corks can be sanded to eliminate lost motion. Cork is an ideal material to sand and has the added benefit of being relatively quiet and bounce absorbing. At this location the cork is not subjected to the same amount of pressure so compression is not an issue. Some techs like to attach a felt disc on the body under the key feet to add additional quieting and bounce absorption, especially on tenors.
 

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i’m going to follow this. my horn has so many individual adjustment screws that i am ready to have my tech replace a lot of them for something more permanent.... especially for the lower stack
 

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i’m going to follow this. my horn has so many individual adjustment screws that i am ready to have my tech replace a lot of them for something more permanent.... especially for the lower stack
No, adjustment screws are good. Cork pieces are no more permanent when they're attached to key arms than when they're attached to the tips of adjustment screws.
 

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Sometimes you can't get to the key foot, sometimes it's strangely shaped and very stiff. I'm going to keep sanding the corks. I don't have to achieve rapid turnaround like a professional technician or an assembly line worker at a manufacturer.
It's a matter of having suitable specialised tools, often made or adapted by the technician.
As saxoclese points out, fiddling with the thickness of a compressible material in a linkage makes for pretty unreliable linkages.
But if you want to go for the instrument being historically accurate, from an era before much better materials were developed - and easier for the DIYer - go for it. :)
 

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No, adjustment screws are good. Cork pieces are no more permanent when they're attached to key arms than when they're attached to the tips of adjustment screws.
That's why natural cork and elastomers are bad in regulator-screw linkages too.
 

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It's been an ongoing struggle with saxophones that strictly use cork to adjust proper timing, any tips on how to make this job easier? I was almost considering just modifiying it to work with a screw setup for easier adjustment in the future
Yes I lust after a Feerres stack adjustment jig. Yamaha style is the only way for precise ongoing regulation. Use artifical cork for long time stability. Imho

Sent from my Nexus 6P using Tapatalk
 

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My first week as a repair apprentice my mentor taught me how to make several tools I would be using. The one shown in the photo below is one I have 18 years later and still use to "adjust" key feet up or down to regulate the action. I have since added a strip of roo leather to the contact areas so as not to make marks on the brass keys. I would think it would be easier to make and learn to use this type of tool than to modify every old saxophone you come across with adjusting screws. I have done that modification myself once and it is a PITA.

View attachment 235616
 

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My first week as a repair apprentice my mentor taught me how to make several tools I would be using. The one shown in the photo below is one I have 18 years later and still use to "adjust" key feet up or down to regulate the action. I have since added a strip of roo leather to the contact areas so as not to make marks on the brass keys. I would think it would be easier to make and learn to use this type of tool than to modify every old saxophone you come across with adjusting screws. I have done that modification myself once and it is a PITA.

View attachment 235616
Be aware that there's at least one common model, the Conn 12M, where the bar is on the pad cup side of the axle, not on the foot side. So you can't bend the feet to make this adjustment, the feet aren't involved in the regulation that way. The extreme difficulty of adjusting these is what led me to install adjusting screws.
 

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I am and have been in the sanding camp as opposed to manipulating(bending) the feet, although I will bend when needed or justified. I use only tech cork/gummy cork/or hycotex for this adjustment, as it is extremely stable over time. Now when doing a overhaul, all of the stack keys are adjusted so that they are venting properly in relation to one another and so that the bar key is closed to the same degree by each key. Bar key would be F# for lower stack with the F,E,D being the stack keys. I use from .5 to a max of one mm adjustment material between the stack and bar key and have little sanding to do. Adding some packing tape to the back side of the sandpaper makes it easier to use, and protects the instrument from scratching(the back side of most sandpaper is equal to about 3000 grit sandpaper.
 

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.... I use from .5 to a max of one mm adjustment material between the stack and bar key and have little sanding to do. ....
I reckon this linkage adjustment needs to be at least as good as 0.02mm. Do you rely on sanding "techcork" for that?
 

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Saxoclese, about how long is that tool?
It is about 6" long, but the length can vary. It is made from 1/4" steel rod that has been ground thinner on each end. The cutouts are done first and then the ends are bent using a vice. The "S" shape allows you to come at the key foot from either side. I am hoping someday to make one out of delrin or some other strong material that will not leave marks on keys.
 

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After about 30 years of doing this full time, I'm pretty aware of the fine tuning required Gordon. I find sanding teck cork one pull at a time with 400grit paper to be much more precise for final adjustments than bending the key foot . Sure it takes much longer to do, but works very well. The key to cutting down some on time is setting things up before final adjustment. I get everything almost to almost work perfect before adding the material with .5 or .8 etc, but just slightly proud and then make final adjustments. So I guess the set up part is manipulating the keys to a degree. My customers seem to like it, and my own personal horn has been playing for close to 18 years now with maybe two or three trips to my bench , each time after being knock over or dropped. I'm just a weekend warrior, playing maybe 10 to
12 hours a week total though, but the horn plays just as effortlessly now as it did when I overhauled it.
 
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