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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thorp in The Manual of Woodwind Repair makes the following points.


Springs should curve gently like a the shape of a feather (My image).

The spring should be bent a little further than you might think necessary as it is fairly easy to bend it back a little if necessary when the horn is put together.

Add a drop of oil to the cradle

Spring can be burnished to revive them.
 

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Distinguished Technician & SOTW Columnist. RIP, Yo
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"Springs should curve gently like a the shape of a feather (My image)."
I like them to be straight when the key is at rest. Largely aesthetic. This means that when the spring is out of the cradle, it needs more curve at the 'post end than the other end.

The spring should be bent a little further than you might think necessary as it is fairly easy to bend it back a little if necessary when the horn is put together. "
I'd replace the first word 'bent' with 'pre-tensioned', to avoid ambiguity.

"Add a drop of oil to the cradle"

If there is a rolling action of the spring in the cradle, then it is hardly necessary. However it will reduce sluggishness if there is a sliding action between the metals in the cradle. It is to do with spring diameter and cradle design, and the geometry of the area.

"Spring can be burnished to revive them."

That needs context. Does the burnishing refer to making the surface smoother, or to work hardening a non-steel spring material, say copper alloy silver or gold? (The latter should be necessary only if the spring has been over-heated; these metals do not go limp with use. Nor does steel.) When you refer to the writings of Thorp, perhaps you should give page number and paragraph.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My point is the question How Do we get the Most out of Springs?

I think it is a decent question though I admit I am asking far too many questions.

Nevertheless, since I raised for discussion the topic of How to Get the Most out of Springs I should follow through with a few quotes from we know by now which book so as to give the reader of this post some food for thought.

On page 14 paragraph 5 Thorp writes ‘Tension the spring by bending it in a smooth curve, toward the side of the key to be lifted by the spring action. This gives an even feel to the key action throughout its travel. When under tension the spring should appear straight. It shouldn’t feel like the spring tension increases as the key is pressed down. Bendling the spring upward slightly, as well as outward, will give it a more positive action and help prevent key bounce.


The technique for curving the spring is describe in the first paragraph at the top of page 15

The spring may be bent by gripping it close to the pillar with a small pair of smooth jaw pliers,applying a twisting pressure and drawing the pliers along the spring, in a straight line towards the opposite pillar and off the far end. This action forms the spring into a gentle curve and can be repeated until the desired curvature is achieved.

At the beginning of the 6 th paragraph on page 14 Thorp offers the following tip.

It is a good idea initially to put slightly more bend in the spring than is necessary, to allow for adjustment when the instrument is assembled.

In paragraph 3 page 15 our author writes.

‘The strength of a spring can be increased by burnishing it. In the case of a round spring, this can be done with narrow smooth faced pliers in much the same way as bending it but using more pressure. Grip the spring firmly at the pillar add a little twisting pressure, draw the pliers along it in a staight line and off the end. Repeat this several times to achieve the desired result. It works well to bring new life into old and tired springs.’

And in the second paragraph on page 15 he writes. ‘A spot of oil or gease on the tip of the spring where it bears on the spring latch will improve its action.’
 

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Distinguished SOTW Columnist TSGT(Ret)USAF
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your springs are fine....
Please go practice.
That is what the saxophone is for ....
making music.
 

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Distinguished Technician & SOTW Columnist. RIP, Yo
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My comments on burnishing still stand.

"The strength of a spring can be increased by burnishing it."

Unless I am living under a long-standing misapprehension, not for steel. Thorp should have made that clear.

Are you making sort of summary, section by section of Thorp's book, or are you actually asking something? Remember that Thorp's book is only the beginning. If it were a FULL treatise, it would be at least 5 times longer.

Instrument repair consists of analysing the situation, and with a large background knowledge and experience, choosing and carrying out solutions to the problems discovered.

To turn that into a recipe book, would be far, far too cumbersome, so Thorp's book is just a superficial guide, but a good one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Does curling the spring in a curve as Thorp describes add quality to the action of a horn?
 

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No.. But putting a curve in it is what puts sufficient 'pre-tension' in the spring. If that were not there, then the spring would not be strong enough to do its job.

If you put a sharp bend in the spring, near the post, the spring may break more easily, or even break while being bent, but it would otherwise function the same as if it had a curve. It would LOOK amateur.

However, looking at the tiny detail... Where the spring contacts the spring cradle, the spring should be parallel with the axis of the hinge, and the mounting of the spring should be collinear with that section of spring.

Otherwise there is a rubbing action (in the direction towards and away from the spring's mounting) rather than a minute rolling action when the spring cradle rotates around the hinge axis during use. Any rubbing action involves more friction than a rolling action.

In practice, this issue is just fine on most saxes.

However a similar issue involving the way flat springs rub along the body when the key is moved, is a significant friction issue on many saxes. Usually a little lubricant is an effective band-aid, and should really be there anyway.
 
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