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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi everyone, I am going to cut to the chase. I recently purchased an antique Buescher C Melody Stencil which I am going to overhaul by myself. I believe it is nearly identical to the True Tone (I will try to attach some images that lead me to believe this), but I have had trouble finding a lot of detail on the horn. If anyone knows anything about the sax (when it was made, the quality, really anything) Please let me know! I want to know all I can about it. Also if anyone has any advice on the overhauling process, I would love to hear that too, I have never done anything like that before! Thank you for your help, I will try to stay active on this thread.

View attachment 157969 View attachment 157985 View attachment 158001 View attachment 158009

Here is a link to a document I just created with pictures of all the tone holes with missing keys, and one with all the keys I have that are detached. I think I have all the missing keys, except I'm not sure if I have the octave key.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1FsLxTncjwPheowaJB8Ui5a_Mc_inQqP1UifFYd426HU/edit?usp=sharing
 

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Cool horn Matt. I really dig C-Mels but wow, that's a project! Looks like it's missing a pad cup for a rather unimportant tone hole. Necks looks great though.

Your enthusiasm is there but you may want to reconsider overhauling a C melody stencil.


Edit* I failed to see your text under the photo's - you are cleared for take off! Man those neck braces are the coolest.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Cool horn Matt. I really dig C-Mels but wow, that's a project! Looks like it's missing a pad cup for a rather unimportant tone hole. Necks looks great though.

Your enthusiasm is there but you may want to reconsider overhauling a C melody stencil.
Ah yes, I probably should have mentioned that most of the keys are already taken off of the saxophone and stored in the container. I will add that.
It does look like quite a project, but I'm excited to start, and I think it will be fun being able to learn about how it works and all the different customization options.
 

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Of all the possible horns you could learn to do this on, this one seems particularly appropriate.
 

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If it follows the Buescher numbers, it would be from 1920 which looks about right. That missing rear Eb can just be plugged off.
 

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Can't help with the ID but just wanted to show my support for the DIY overhaul. Nice choice! I'm actually looking for a project sax to fix myself. :)
 

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Just document where every single part was located and make sure they go back to their ORIGINAL locations!
 

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I agree with Bruce about the open tone hole shown in the photos. It is the seldom-used alternate Eb (sometimes called a "forked Eb"). If that part is determined to be missing, just plug it with a piece of cork and move on. I would not advise soldering it shut, however - that may be too permanent. DAVE
 

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My first saxophone DIY project was a TrueTone CMel. It didn't look much better than yours and cleaned up beautifully. I then had to start learning how to play. I used the "seldom-used alternative Eb," not knowing any better, and had to unlearn that later. If you've got all the parts, I'd go ahead and repad the Eb.

Having all the parts is going to be the question. Sometimes there is a reason for the horn being in a box. And, even more than with a jigsaw puzzle, putting it together and missing several pieces reduces the fun. I would suggest putting all the parts that you have together to see if you have a complete horn that can be rebuilt. A missing part, or maybe even post threads that were damaged during tear down might make you change your mind as to whether the project is worth the time, effort, and money. I ended up with a horn that I learned on, sold at a profit (with $0 for my time), and bought a real saxophone. Just kidding, CMels are fine although they can be limiting.

Look at the Music Medic saxophone repair kit to get an idea of what you will need. If you've already got a jeweler's screw driver set, a tiny butane torch, a razor knife, etc., it may not be worth buying their kit, but some of their items will come in handy (leak light, oil dropper, Teflon tubing, spare springs, etc.). You will need a caliper to measure the pad cups. If you do buy the MM repair kit and use the same pads as come with the kit, you might save a few bucks on pads (although MM has a pad kit price that is usually hard to beat).

Once you get it stripped down, buy a bottle of Tarnex and go at it in a wash tub with an old toothbrush. Just keep the Tarnex going over and over. Rinse under hot water. Make sure that your tetanus shots are up to date (you will learn why). You may be surprised at how it cleans up. That being said, don't obsess about the finish. It will be what it is. Missing silver plate doesn't effect the playing.

I advise against white (period correct) pads on a silver horn. Polishing the horn gets black smudges on the pads. Good luck.

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you for responding everyone! I will look tomorrow and look at all the parts I have. I had tried putting them together without screwing anything in, but being an amateur, I didn't get very far, and I wasn't too sure where everything went. I can probably figure it out tomorrow though.
 

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Matt, I agree with Marks comments...get started right you will finish right. Go slow! Matt Stohrer has kindly made some YouTube videos you need to see. Several others to choose from too. If it is bent find out why!! What you see as bent may have been the “ hand fit” of the day. Try not to pick it up by the body, picking up gently by the bell lessons the chance of getting stuck by the springs.
 

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Of all the possible horns you could learn to do this on, this one seems particularly appropriate.
I overhauled my 1916/17 C Mel myself, figuring "Why not". Burned the lacquer on a couple of pad cups. But it turned out very well and plays very easily. For fun, I used new pads with metal resonators. Combined with a metalite mouthpiece, it is definitely not a quiet and subdued C Mel anymore. I since picked up a very early post- selmer 400 tenor that I also overhauled. My point is I'm only into the 400 about $350 or so, and it's a beast. So go to it with the C Mel. It's a good one to learn on.

Oh, also plan on spending at least twice as much time fiddling and adjusting to get everything right as you spend on the actual" overhaul"
 
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