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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just acquired a very nice Buescher Aristocrat (141) but the left hand "G" finger pearl cup broke off of the arm right at the cup and is missing. Even if I had the cup a repair would be weak, if possible at all.

I'm wondering if the later Selmer/Buescher Aristocrats, which are cheap and very common, have the same "G" key rod assembly? That would be a simple swap if the later cheap Aristocrat could serve as a parts donor.

Any other ideas or possible donors? True Tone? Early Bundy? Maybe a Bundy II?
 

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I just acquired a very nice Buescher Aristocrat (141) but the left hand "G" finger pearl cup broke off of the arm right at the cup and is missing. Even if I had the cup a repair would be weak, if possible at all.

I'm wondering if the later Selmer/Buescher Aristocrats, which are cheap and very common, have the same "G" key rod assembly? That would be a simple swap if the later cheap Aristocrat could serve as a parts donor.

Any other ideas or possible donors? True Tone? Early Bundy? Maybe a Bundy II?
That part was originally silver-soldered on, just like every other joint in the keywork. Any competent repairer with a junk pile of any size can cut off a keytouch from a junk horn and silver-solder it on in a half hour or less. The repair would be at least as strong as the original, and if you sistered the new part and old part it might well be stronger. I would do that before I ran around trying to find the one key that would fit. Besides, there would be considerable fiddling needed to put a key from a whole different sax on there. The G key comes right off; if you just silver solder a replacement touch on you probably wouldn't even have to do any adjustment. (The pad's on a whole separate arm.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That part was originally silver-soldered on, just like every other joint in the keywork. Any competent repairer with a junk pile of any size can cut off a keytouch from a junk horn and silver-solder it on in a half hour or less. The repair would be at least as strong as the original, and if you sistered the new part and old part it might well be stronger. I would do that before I ran around trying to find the one key that would fit. Besides, there would be considerable fiddling needed to put a key from a whole different sax on there. The G key comes right off; if you just silver solder a replacement touch on you probably wouldn't even have to do any adjustment. (The pad's on a whole separate arm.)
The issue here is the nearest competent repairer (of this type anyway) is 4 hours away and who knows if he has a junk pile; I will ask him.

I do all my own repairs because of the reason above, but in this case I'd need an acetylene torch to silver solder (Mapp gas maybe?), and I'd have to buy a donor part. Sure seems a lot easier to swap in a complete rod assembly, considering there's a pretty good chance it is the same assembly as the early Bundys......
 

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The issue here is the nearest competent repairer (of this type anyway) is 4 hours away and who knows if he has a junk pile; I will ask him.

I do all my own repairs because of the reason above, but in this case I'd need an acetylene torch to silver solder (Mapp gas maybe?), and I'd have to buy a donor part. Sure seems a lot easier to swap in a complete rod assembly, considering there's a pretty good chance it is the same assembly as the early Bundys......
MAPP is fine. (You know, you can't buy the real MAPP gas anymore, but the substitute is what I use for silver soldering brass and steel.)

I often see horns being parted out on Ebay.

The torch repair:

Since all G key assemblies are more or less the same in concept, I think any G key assembly with the same finish as yours (nickel plate or brass) would do. Cut the donor arm off at some distance from the pearl so you don't scorch the pearl, make a scarf joint to reproduce the length of the original, clamp a big honkin' C clamp at the pearl for a heat sink, braze the parts together, clean up. Put the key back on the horn, probably don't need to do any adjustment or anything.

The whole part repair, assuming you can find one from the same/similar make/model:

Test fit new part (it's almost certain it will not fit perfectly, these are 50+ year old saxophones that have been through a lot, and they weren't built for total parts interchangeability anyway)
Swage rod to correct length if too short
Shorten rod and make new pivot hole if too long
Tweak keycup arm to center over tone hole
Tweak octave-mechanism arm to get key opening and octave mechanism operation correct
New cork at upper end
New pad
Re-regulate octave mech.

Your choice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm def watching for an Ebay parts horn, like a no neck Aristocrat or something. An exact replacement would be perfect, but still a bit pricey that way.

If I did the silver solder wouldn't it be better to make the splice right at the rod and replace the whole arm?
 

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I just acquired a very nice Buescher Aristocrat (141) but the left hand "G" finger pearl cup broke off of the arm right at the cup and is missing. Even if I had the cup a repair would be weak, if possible at all.

I'm wondering if the later Selmer/Buescher Aristocrats, which are cheap and very common, have the same "G" key rod assembly? That would be a simple swap if the later cheap Aristocrat could serve as a parts donor.

Any other ideas or possible donors? True Tone? Early Bundy? Maybe a Bundy II?
As the person that was bidding against you on shopgoodwill, I would like to know if the horn had a neck with it. I couldn't tell from the pictures and it kept me from bidding more aggressively.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
As the person that was bidding against you on shopgoodwill, I would like to know if the horn had a neck with it. I couldn't tell from the pictures and it kept me from bidding more aggressively.
Not at first, but they found it. I thought the neck was there all long, since I thot I saw it in the reflections. But I didn't notice the busted G key..........

I know they mean well, but EVERY bid on that site is a gamble. They shipped the sax with zero packing or padding, in a box twice the size...... to the wrong address.

That said, it looked like a relac in the pics but it isn't. Still has the original pads and snaps.......
 

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The collection of "raw parts" I purchased a few years back include pearl holders. If you can't find a better solution I would be happy to send one to you if you send me a PM. If you could provide a picture I'm sure some of the tech's on the forum could offer advice on silver soldering it to the arm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
That would be awesome! I have a jewelry torch, just have to get something hotter than propane for silver solder.

I think rather than cut and splice the arm, it would be a better and less noticeable repair to just attach the pearl holder, maybe even slightly further up on the arm. That way the solder is completely under the cup.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The collection of "raw parts" I purchased a few years back include pearl holders. If you can't find a better solution I would be happy to send one to you if you send me a PM. If you could provide a picture I'm sure some of the tech's on the forum could offer advice on silver soldering it to the arm.
PM sent!
 

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... An exact replacement would be perfect, but still a bit pricey that way...
As turf3 explained, exact replacement almost certainly does not exist. Parts and mountings are adapted for the particular sax during manufacture. And there are often changes to the geometry of keys even within models.

... If I did the silver solder wouldn't it be better to make the splice right at the rod and replace the whole arm?
Either. Your choice. For full arm replacement you introduce the complication of attaching it with good alignment (rotationally).

BTW you could probably get a local jeweller/silversmith to do it.
 

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I don't know if another model would fit and I second the comments about a key from the same model requiring fitting too, but maybe you could try to get the cheapest sax that would have a part that fits (i.e. just the pearl holder and a length of arm if you want it), or even just some random parts if you can find any. Then have a local jeweler braze it for you, or a metal shop that does silver brazing. At least here there are tons of them compared with musical instrument repairers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Rather than me learning on this horn (it ain't no Bundy!) I'm going to have a professional do it for me. I pulled the "G" key rod and shipped it to Saxoclese - he's got a collection of donor parts and silver solder experience.

I'll add silver soldering to my toolbox on the next student horn that needs it. Last week I learned how to make missing brass saxophone parts from rifle brass.......... :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I got the part back from John and it is BEAUTIFUL! Thanks John for an excellent repair, and fast!

Here are some before and after pics of the broken key:
Broken: https://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w85/parts_pics/sax/20190905_172921.jpg

Repaired: https://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w85/parts_pics/sax/20190914_103853.jpg

After I received the repaired part I installed it and I can't believe how well the sax plays, from top to bottom, with no adjustments on original pads. Even the rods were still fit tight. The axles were a little gooey with old lube but that's easy to remedy.
 
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