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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got a sax into the shop today and the student had bent the heck out of it. Installed new pad but there is a gape in the outside of the pad. Can I do like a flute and just build it up underneath that side of the pad or is there a real way to do this? I don't usually do dents for lack of equipment.
 

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The "real way" is to remove the dents, at least enough to get the tone hole level, but you already knew that. If that option's off the table, I'd consider either of these:

1) Bend the key cup to more closely match the deformity of the tone hole. This is considered a dark art by some, but again, we've already shelved the best remedy.
2) Make cardboard partial shims, like in flute repair. The problem is that your gap is certainly larger than the .0005", .001", .002", etc. gaps we deal with on flutes. So if you need to install a piece of card stock, say, .015" thick, you're causing part the pad to project out of the pad cup quite a bit, which makes for a less secure installation. And then there's the old saying that every partial shim creates two leaks. In our example, there would be a .015" step where the shim ends that the pad will tend to conform to. In two separate locations. This can be alleviated through careful application of shellac, but it's a nuisance.

Either of these methods will warp the pad so it sort of matches the tone hole. Use a soft, squishy pad that forgives more easily than the hockey pucks some of us like to use. You could order a MusicMedic soft pad (they'll sell individual pads) and those would work pretty well for this purpose.

Again, I'd strongly recommend doing it the "real way," even if it means outsourcing that aspect of the repair.
 

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Yup. Even a MusicMedic SoftFeel pad is really a medium pad, it's not all that soft and it sure ain't squishy. But trying to bend the keycup a bit to make the gap smaller, then shimming with a business card inside the keycup is about all one can do sans dent tools.

You might wanna consider investing a few hundred in some simple dent rod/ball set. Votaw has the best deal around on a simple set, VERY cool due to the flex cable:

http://www.votawtool.com/saxophone-dent-system.html

or if you don't have $400 you can buy individual rod with basic dent ball set for around $280.

these pay off VERY fast, because even if you have an outside tech who does dent repair, he'll probably charge $30-50 per horn at least if the dents are simple enough; so you can see how quickly owning your own set'd pay off.

Best of luck...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you both for the advice. I'm farming out this particular repair but am seriously considering investing in the equipment to do a proper job.
 

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Yup. Even a MusicMedic SoftFeel pad is really a medium pad, it's not all that soft and it sure ain't squishy.
I agree with this. But what else is out there - in 2017 - as far as a decent quality pad that is a little more pliable? I have an assortment of "new old stock" pads in the shop that are much softer than what we're all using today...
 

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Instrument Clinic IC pads are the next step in the soft direction, IMHO. Pretty good pads....I still would not consider 'em 'soft'...more like soft-medium.
 

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Instrument Clinic IC pads are the next step in the soft direction, IMHO. Pretty good pads....I still would not consider 'em 'soft'...more like soft-medium.
Agree with that, too.

Look on eBay as well, occasionally there's a tech there retiring and selling off his/her tooling...
NAPBIRT classified ads sometimes have techs selling used tooling, too...
 
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