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I see some saxes with cork on the stack feet bottom and felt between foot and cradle (correct name?), and others the reverse. Which is correct and/or what is the theory? Thanks.
 

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OK, so...the 'cradles' are what the needle springs tuck into, on the key barrels :bluewink:.

I think you are asking what material in the area between the underside of the key benches and the topside of the key feet.

I always use cork, sometimes cork with teflon sheet. I never use felt, although I have seen/played horns which had felt and they seemed ok. But IMHO, cork is much easier to regulate/trim/thin out.

I would not, however, go so far as to insist that felt is 'incorrect'....

 

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Discussion Starter #3
Apologies. Yes, which material goes between the "key bench" and key feet, and between key feet and sax body. Thanks.
 

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Cork can be bouncy and even a bit noisy. The Mark 6 and my Yany 990 have cork on the key foot and felt on the body. Probably a bunch of others which copy these designs.
 

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I agree that Cork everywhere seems to be standard with a landing of felt on the body to keep the cork silent is what lots of high end manufacturers seem to do. Now, the way I do it is a bit different.

At the "key benches" I use a neatly wrap of leather. Cork can fall off and Felt can compress. I gently bend the bar until everything is regulated.

On the bottom side of the feet, I will use Cork or cork with felt glued to the bottom of the cork. Rarely do I glue felt to the body unless I've been specifically asked to do so.

I know that there are those who might agree or disagree with me, but as I was told years ago, there are 100 ways to skin a cat, but every way hurts the cat!
 

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I am reading some terminology such as "key benches" that I have never heard before in terms of saxophone adjustment and repair. The terms I am familiar with are the "back bar" from the F# on the lower stack and the C on the upper stack, and the "tops of the key feet" which make contact with the "back bar" as part of the regulation where one key closes one or more other keys.

That said, the material I currently glue to the tops of the key feet is .4mm synthetic felt which I hammer on my jeweler's block to make it even less likely to compress. I used to use thin "techcork" for this application, but found the synthetic felt from JL Smith to be just as stable but even quieter. On the bottoms of key feet I like to use traditional 1/16" cork except when a round cork pad of a different thickness is called for. I prefer traditional cork because it is easy to sand to remove lost motion and in this location compression is not a significant issue. I will typically adjust the key heights of the lower stack a bit too high so that a felt disc attached to the body under the foot cork results in the desired key height. I like to add soft felt under the cork foot to absorb any bounce and to quiet the action. I will sometimes add felt under the key feet of the upper stack, but typically it is not necessary. I used the term "currently" because my choice of materials keeps evolving as I learn new techniques and ideas.
 

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I am reading some terminology such as "key benches" that I have never heard before in terms of saxophone adjustment and repair. The terms I am familiar with are the "back bar" from the F# on the lower stack and the C on the upper stack, and the "tops of the key feet" which make contact with the "back bar" as part of the regulation where one key closes one or more other keys.
Well now you have expanded your lexicon :)

the material I currently glue to the tops of the key feet is .4mm synthetic felt which I hammer on my jeweler's block to make it even less likely to compress. I used to use thin "techcork" for this application, but found the synthetic felt from JL Smith to be just as stable but even quieter.
Interesting. Is the synthetic felt sandable/file-able ? Or some other method-able to thin it ????
 

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Ditto with synthetic felt. I find it's already pretty compressed and takes a lot to "flatten" further. Having said that, saxoclese has a good idea to hammer it to prevent pretty much any compressing. I prefer it over traditional felt, which definitely is mushy and easily compresses. In some cases where there's a wide gap needed for cushion material, I use a combination of both cork and synthetic felt. In those cases, I measure the gap with various thicknesses of the cork and syn. felt and use accordingly. I usually do the cork on the key and the syn. felt to touch the body. Plus, it looks spiffy!
 

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View attachment 224038

I see some saxes with cork on the stack feet bottom and felt between foot and cradle (correct name?), and others the reverse. Which is correct and/or what is the theory? Thanks.
All cork except Selmer puts round felt under the lower stack feet, glued to the body, to reduce bounce. Whatever Selmer does is good enough for me. I like to keep a sax as original as possible. The thing is, if you're going to do some corking yourself, you have to know the key opening heights or you can screw up the intonation and projection of the horn.
 

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With synthetic felt as well as tech cork I just use the thickness required without having to sand. I test how compressible a material is by first measuring the thickness with my digital calipers and then squeezing it using a lot of pressure. The change in thickness under exaggerated pressure gives me a feel for how stable it will be as a regulation material. I am currently testing some beaver felt that I get from a local "hatter" to see if there are any useful applications in sax repair. It is incredibly dense with interlocking fibers and can be sanded and cut just like traditional cork. After the hats are cut out from various thicknesses of the felt they always have a lot of scraps left over.
 

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Abstract cloth is felt that is woven not pressed.
I use it in piano repair.
It's way tougher and stabile that regular felt.
Comes in different thickness/colors and density.
It's meant to withstand abrasion and compression.
 

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.4mm , then hammered, is pretty thin already...
True...although I regularly use .4mm sheet cork as a regulating material and at times actually sand it down some, in order to get the regulation spot-on. Which is why I was asking whether the felt is 'workable'.

Abstract cloth is felt that is woven not pressed.
I use it in piano repair.
It's way tougher and stabile that regular felt.
Comes in different thickness/colors and density.
It's meant to withstand abrasion and compression.
Interesting. Would this be readily available to a guy like me ?
 

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Had to repair my tenor recently for this sort of thing when whatever was used there disappeared. I used cork, and had to shave it a bit for better regulation, and it's been good to go since.
 

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I was taught to bend key feet for regulation when there are no adjusting screws. In a lot of cases when there are adjusting screws I back them out all the way and use key bending instead. To me it is more stable and there is more contact area between the parts. In my technique the "regulating material" between the tops of the key feet and the backbar is the same for every key. To work best it needs to be thin, non compressible, and quiet. I know other techs use different techniques, but this is what works for me.
 

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So, thinking in principles, I see the parameters of (1) noise reduction, and (2) firmness of transmission of motion between links. Both areas need appropriate material to reduce noise. As to transmission of motion, there is none at the key feet, so no issue there. But should the padding at the "back bar" be as firm as possible (while still quiet) or should it be less firm? If so, why? Thanks.
 

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So, thinking in principles, I see the parameters of (1) noise reduction, and (2) firmness of transmission of motion between links. Both areas need appropriate material to reduce noise. As to transmission of motion, there is none at the key feet, so no issue there. But should the padding at the "back bar" be as firm as possible (while still quiet) or should it be less firm? If so, why? Thanks.
All correct in my book.

Another parameter is friction, where a linkage has a rubbing action, eg where the G# lever closes the G# key. IMO one surface of Teflon is called for here, but Teflon is very noisy, so inappropriate on its own.
Another parameter is how much noisy, slapping action there is, which is dependent on how far the location is from the fulcrum, and the area of contact. Thickish techcork is fine for High D but not for say G# lever.

I choose the material that is IMO the best compromise for the particular requirements of the particular situation, which is actually different on different instruments. And that means choosing both material(s) - often more than one - and thickness.
Then I adjust (venting and linkages) by bending, except where there are (useful!))adjusting screws. I reckon that is what manufacturers do because you never see ex-factory different thicknesses of material on stack keys.

In spite of what Selmer and others persist in doing, I never use natural cork for linkages because of its on-going compression, hence need for regular compensatory adjustment.
I also would not copy Selmer with their semi-glued, ultra-squishy felt in some linkages!

Finally, I never used the self-adhesive-backing materials that many manufacturers are now lazily using. When that type of glue is used on such small surface areas, the material tends to slide or peel off the key.

Other materials I don't use are the various types of foamed synthetic cork, for quite a few reasons.
 

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True...although I regularly use .4mm sheet cork as a regulating material and at times actually sand it down some, in order to get the regulation spot-on. Which is why I was asking whether the felt is 'workable'.



Interesting. Would this be readily available to a guy like me ?
The woven felt is hard to sand down but there are many other high quality felts used in piano work.
I have used a razor on woven felt to make it thinner.
Hammer felt is very dense and fairly non-compressible.

https://www.awhainsworth.co.uk/our-brands/hainsworth-technical-felt/
Looks interesting.
I buy from Schaff but they only sell wholesale or if you are in the business, but there are plenty of other sources.
 

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I have spent time in a piano restoration workshop and handled the range of materials used. I found nothing I considered useful in woodwind repairs, compared with what is readily available to us.
 
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