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Discussion Starter #1
Today I started working on repairing an Alto saxophone. It needed a few repairs and after my private lesson teacher showed me how to do pads, I repalced a couple, and made some adjustments.

But while I was working it was almost fun, I was working on my own horn. Something I had picked up for the project a Selmer Bundy II, so their was a small amount of pressure, but not much.

What I am wondering is do techs get that kind of feeling on horns that they work on?
 

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Most of the time, I really love what I do. That feeling you describe is one of the reasons I chose to repair instruments. Prior to repairing instruments, I had over 25 different jobs, just trying to find something I could stand doing. With repair, I actually physically change the world around me by repairing something that is broken, and music can be made as a result. In my book that is hard to beat.
 

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Well, yeah. When I'm working on my own horns. :)

But seriously, I got into this business by "repairing?" my VI while in HS. That was 28 years ago, after attending repair school at age 18. It's the only "job" I have ever had. The smiles on our customers faces and the thanks we receive every day are what make this job so rewarding. And it pays the bills. :shock:
 

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A Particularly Well Known UK tech overhauled my Selmer New Largebore alto and Martin Handcraft Committee tenor. My friend picked them up, asked what he thought of them, and he just shrugged and said, "a couple more old saxophones."
 

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I, the technician, would probably tend to a similar sentiment. I don't get emotional over saxophones, any more than I do over an old vehicle that is more likely to drop oil, blow a head gasket, or break an axle than my Corolla.

It takes all sorts, but it is probably best for all concerned, for an instrument technician to focus primarily on precision engineering.
 

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Gordon (NZ) said:
I, the technician, would probably tend to a similar sentiment. I don't get emotional over saxophones, any more than I do over an old vehicle that is more likely to drop oil, blow a head gasket, or break an axle than my Corolla.

It takes all sorts, but it is probably best for all concerned, for an instrument technician to focus primarily on precision engineering.
I see your point, Gordon, but the friend who collected the horns is actually a guitar builder and repairer himself, and gets as much pleasure from building a high-end acoustic for John Renbourn (or an improved electric 12 string for me) and restoring a nineteenth century Martin parlour guitar.

So maybe it's more like the division between people who get a sense of history in an old house and those who think it's bunk because new is better.
 

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Hi Carbs;

I get a good feeling when I overhaul anything from musical instruments to cookoo clocks, or my sailboat.

When my wife an I were first married and money was tight we bought a piano for $100. When we called in a tuner he explained that the piano was untunable because a repair process involving glycerin and expoxy was used to was used to tighten the pins. The glycerin swells the wood and the epoxy locks the wood. Process works but once the pins become loose again the only further course of repair is to re-pin (Which was out of the question). I borrowed a book on piano repair and found a repair procedure where each pin is removed, wrapped with emmery cloth and driven back in. I disassembled the piano and had it laying on it's back in the middle of my living room for almost 6 months while doing this. Tuned as best I could with a guitar tuner. When all was finished and we called in another tuner, he offered me a job as an apprentice. I couldn't pursue that but after 19 years the piano still holds tune.

It is a great feeling to bring new life into something which would otherwise be disposed of.

Right now I am working on an Autoharp which was my Great Grandfathers. It has spent the last 30 years or so in an attic and the wood joints were completely split and warped. Got the body back together and am now working on the finish. At some point I plan to pursue learning how to repad and recork my sax as as well but at the moment I'm still learning how to play it.:D
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I don't think being a tech. is my thing at least not right now. I worked for awhile on it. But to do it, I would probably need training which I may try to get in college. I could tell the horn had problems near the end of working on it I just did not know where to look. *shakes head*
I'm taking the horn to a tech. today to get the problems worked out.
 
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