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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For those of you who deal with this regularly, what's your usual solution for noisy key rollers that have worn away significantly on the inside?

Do you have some particular method for bushing them, or do you try to find replacement rollers?

I've got a couple of these on an older horn. Most of the time, I just use MusicMedic's thick Ultimax pivot and roller lubricant, which alleviates any rattling/noise issues. However, on this particular horn, the wear is significant enough that the lubrication solution doesn't last very long. Moreover, the gap between the roller and the rod screw is large enough that when I try to fill it, the lubricant seeps out and makes a sticky mess.

I've thought about just using epoxy to build the inside of the roller back up, but I'm not sure about the best approach to doing this without having the epoxy bind to the rod screw, and I don't have access to a mini-lathe (which would allow me to fill and accurately re-ream the roller).

I'd appreciate any advice. Thanks.
 

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I'd measure the rod screw and then look for tubing or bushings of appropriate sizes. My first go-to would be McMaster-Carr. Metric and Multistandard Components would be another to try.

If you put a bushing and it's undersize it's easy to drill it out to the size you need - much easier than filling the hole completely with epoxy and then trying to make a well centered hole.

You'll probably need some odd sized drills as well, which you can definitely source from McMaster or MSC Supply. I don't think reaming is necessary, this isn't a precision mechanism. I think a good new sharp twist drill will do just fine.
 

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Do you have a drill press, vise, and V-blocks? If so, you can make rollers from rod stock. Yes, a lathe is preferred, but a drill press can do this.
 
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I made a roller for the C spatula on a curved soprano that came to me missing the roller. I simply put a wrap of thin teflon around the rod and then wrapped carbon fiber thread around the teflon tape while carefully soaking the thread with superglue (or you could use epoxy but water thin superglue and accelerator are terrific for fabricating a part). It sets up in seconds with the accelerator and then you can sand it to shape and degree of finish texture you desire. I didn't care at all about appearance and only went for function - this took less than 10 minutes to make. If you spent more time you could make it look much better but this works perfectly for my needs. Feels great and spins freely without any looseness or rattles.
The advantage to this method is you get a perfect fit (you fabricate it right on the rod) without any need to drill or any power tools at all. Just a file or sandpaper to shape the outside.
PXL_20210504_165457811.jpg
 

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I have in the past used Yamaha plastic rollers which are easily obtainable at Yamaha24x7.com or on Ebay. For the Yamaha site you need to open a "consumer account". I cut them to length and drill the appropriately sized hole. You can also find Chinese ones on Ebay that might work. I have also used plastic "tube beads" but they are harder to find in the needed dimensions. To drill the hole I chuck the drill bit in my bench motor and bring the tube to it held with a pair of pliers. An electric drill in a vice works as well.
 

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I made rolles from knitting needles they were exactly the size I needed.


104574


you can buy material to make fountain pens in bars and make them but you need a lathe.


indeed it is possible to use a number of materials such as the one you suggest and using a lathe .

But serendipity has put this knitting needle in front of me and I am quite happy but , who knows!

Thanks.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Do you have a drill press, vise, and V-blocks? If so, you can make rollers from rod stock. Yes, a lathe is preferred, but a drill press can do this.
I have a vise and V-blocks, but no drill press. I do have a dinky Dremel plunge-router attachment that could work, but I don't think I would trust it for this application.

I made a roller for the C spatula on a curved soprano that came to me missing the roller. I simply put a wrap of thin teflon around the rod and then wrapped carbon fiber thread around the teflon tape while carefully soaking the thread with superglue (or you could use epoxy but water thin superglue and accelerator are terrific for fabricating a part). It sets up in seconds with the accelerator and then you can sand it to shape and degree of finish texture you desire. I didn't care at all about appearance and only went for function - this took less than 10 minutes to make. If you spent more time you could make it look much better but this works perfectly for my needs. Feels great and spins freely without any looseness or rattles.
The advantage to this method is you get a perfect fit (you fabricate it right on the rod) without any need to drill or any power tools at all. Just a file or sandpaper to shape the outside.
View attachment 104569
This seems like a pretty cool solution, and I suppose you could just add tinted epoxy on top of the thread if you desired a really smooth finish.

Just one point of clarification: did you use the plumber's type (i.e., non-adhesive) teflon tape? And, if so, did the tape stick to the thread, remaining an integral part of the roller, or did it come off?

I have in the past used Yamaha plastic rollers which are easily obtainable at Yamaha24x7.com or on Ebay. For the Yamaha site you need to open a "consumer account". I cut them to length and drill the appropriately sized hole.
Good old Yamaha! If only parts could be obtained so easily from every manufacturer.

To drill the hole I chuck the drill bit in my bench motor and bring the tube to it held with a pair of pliers. An electric drill in a vice works as well.
This seems like it would be pretty challenging to get right.
 

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Just one point of clarification: did you use the plumber's type (i.e., non-adhesive) teflon tape? And, if so, did the tape stick to the thread, remaining an integral part of the roller, or did it come off?
I was just trying to remember and I think instead of plumbers tape what I actually used this time was the paper backing from some metal foil tape (slick surfaced paper like postage stamps come on, you peel the stamp off and the slick paper backing is left behind) and wrapped the paper (slick side down) around the rod. Then wrapped the thread around the paper and the slick sided paper remained as a slick bushing. I know I've done it with plumbers teflon tape before too and the teflon does stay attached to the thread and becomes your bushing but as I recall the fit was pretty tight unless you are very careful not to pull the thread tight until the first layer or two has cured to shape (pulling tight would be binding the teflon too tightly against the rod . You can also get thin sheets of teflon (Music Medic has it in various thicknesses) that are stiff like paper and will hold their shape. You could even use waxed paper. Just something that won't let the superglue get on the rod.

I make all sorts of things and repair all sorts of cracked things with carbon fiber and superglue - it's amazingly strong and light. You could use regular old sewing thread - I'm guessing most "normal" people don't keep carbon fiber on hand like I do :p

You could probably take a small rectangle of that slick sided paper or sheet of paper thin teflon and wrap it around your rod and slide your worn out roller over the paper and with a little skill you should be able to fill the gap between the paper bushing and the roller giving a custom fit bushing to your roller.

This is the kind of paper I mean - same stuff as when you buy a pack of postage stamps
PXL_20210504_181216722.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You can also get thin sheets of teflon (Music Medic has it in various thicknesses) that are stiff like paper and will hold their shape. You could even use waxed paper. Just something that won't let the superglue get on the rod.

I make all sorts of things and repair all sorts of cracked things with carbon fiber and superglue - it's amazingly strong and light. You could use regular old sewing thread - I'm guessing most "normal" people don't keep carbon fiber on hand like I do :p

You could probably take a small rectangle of that slick sided paper or sheet of paper thin teflon and wrap it around your rod and slide your worn out roller over the paper and with a little skill you should be able to fill the gap between the paper bushing and the roller giving a custom fit bushing to your roller.
Yeah, I have a few different thicknesses of that MusicMedic sheet teflon (which I find very useful for all sorts of things). I also have some pretty thin (<90 microns) adhesive-backed teflon tape, which is why I was asking what type of tape you used. It seems that one possible use of the tape would be to use it as a bushing (as you did), while another would be just to keep the epoxy/superglue from sticking to the rod screw (i.e., removing it from the rod after the epoxy has cured). I'm not sure whether my sticky teflon tape is thin enough to serve the second purpose, but I hadn't thought of trying to use the teflon directly as a bushing.
 

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Actually the existing hole is a guide for the drill bit and if you are not making a drastic change in size and feed it slowly, it is not that difficult. If the hole change is a large one, you just do it in steps with increasingly larger diameter bits.
 

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this (please see URL below) would be my first advice. After that your options are limited. Bushings, if fabricated, would not want to have the existent rollers binding in any manner. A very thick lube / grease may also assist. Best of luck.

 
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