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Discussion Starter #1
I conclude from what Gordon says in a recent thread that hard pads are perhaps overrated when it comes to fast action. Said differently pads which are medium hard- let's say- do not make for a significantly slower action.

Nevertheless they speed up the technicians work!

I was wondering what other members have to say on this issue.
 

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"I conclude from what Gordon says in a recent thread that hard pads are perhaps overrated when it comes to fast action."

I don't think I really said that. I don't think it is a fair interpretation of what I said, because it includes a value-judgement. Firm pads on a well prepared instrument are fine.

"pads which are medium hard- let's say- do not make for a significantly slower action"

Correct, PROVIDING they are well installed, and that the slight softness is not used as a bandaid for a sloppily prepared instrument, such that the sealing will quickly revert to unreliable sealing.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Gordon, please excuse me if I said the wrong thing. So I will start again .

You seem to be sugesting that the technician- especially if he is starting out- could make his life a little easier by using high quality pads that are on the softer side, as opposed to hard high quality pads.

I have both hard high quality pads and soft high quality pads.I find the hard pads are more difficult to install.

Perhaps you are are of the view -please tell me if I am wrong- that hard pads are preferable over softer pads in terms of a quicker action, however the difference is not all that great.

It is of interest to technicians interested in very refined work.

I would like to do very refined work myself, but at the same time I would also like to be able to finish a student model horn in a about a day and a half.

This is not the case right now.

It goes without saying that soft pads should not be used to cover up shoddy work.

I seem to be having particular difficulty with the low e flat c and c sharp with the hard pads.


Are there significantly better files than the Ferre round cast metal files in the yellow box, or am I blaming my tools for nothing?

I am sorry again. I love the way you straiten out my half baked ideas…
 

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The larger the tone hole, the softer the pad needs to be to have the same effort (playing pressure) reach the tone hole surface as a smaller pad. This is simple physics. I've learned, through my magnehelic testing, that the pads held closed by springs are the ones that need this principal applied to the most. Octave pads and left hand palm pads are very easy for the spring tension to close on their small tone holes, but the high e and f# will have problems if their springs are located at the end farthest from the pad. The spring tension gets weakened through torsions and mass and often allows the pads to blow open when playing lower tones (low G blowing open high f# is very common).

As the tone holes get bigger, starting with side C , Bb, G# and continuing down, the problem increases. Low C# is almost impossible with the miserable amount of force making it from the spring near the left pinky to the tone hole and a firm felt pad with even contact all around. These all need softer pads and often stronger springs. A player can't squeeze these pads to make them seal so they actually define the playing potential of the instrument.

David
 

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You can't check the flatness by just noticing freshly exposed metal all the way around the tonehole. You need to use a standard on the tone hole with a light in the horn. Use a dental mirror to see everywhere. You can make your own flatness checkers/finishing files by obtaining optical flats or mirrors and using a peal and stick superfine abrasive 3M makes available from The Japan Woodworker. They also sell the 3M diamond stuff that JS and Ferree's uses. I made my first ones from fender washers which I lapped flat on a surface plate (a long process, but cheap) and then put the diamond stuff on them. I told Jim Schmidt about this stuff when I started using his pads and he switched to it and Ferree's copied him. Jim's have the flatness checking surface, which is why I use his.

If your Ferree's files have the diamond surface then you just need good surface checkers. Somewhere like Edmond Optical or even a crafts shop that sells round mirrors would be more economical. Optical windows are flat on both sides so you can stick the fine abrasives to both sides for different grits and to block light as a flatness checker.

David
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks David for your interesting reply..

You are clearly a inventor of some kind…

What you say about softer pads over larger tone holes makes sense..

I am particular interesed in your advice concerning the low c sharp, since-you are right- its spring is on the weak side…

I am not using Ferre’s diamond files. I am using the old style cast metal ones.

I am not blaming my tools but I gather the files I am presently using are not the best files around.

I am intrigued by the possiblity of eventually making my own files.

A question: I would imagine that having a rotary action such as have the ferre files would be a necessity.

I doubt filing with a homemade diamond paper file resembling a ordinary file would be advisable..

For checking whether tone holes are level or not you seem to be suggesting I use a flat piece of glass

Also a dentist’s mirror…
 

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wilsaxo said:
The larger the tone hole, the softer the pad needs to be to have the same effort (playing pressure) reach the tone hole surface as a smaller pad. This is simple physics. I've learned, through my magnehelic testing, that the pads held closed by springs are the ones that need this principal applied to the most. Octave pads and left hand palm pads are very easy for the spring tension to close on their small tone holes, but the high e and f# will have problems if their springs are located at the end farthest from the pad. The spring tension gets weakened through torsions and mass and often allows the pads to blow open when playing lower tones (low G blowing open high f# is very common).

As the tone holes get bigger, starting with side C , Bb, G# and continuing down, the problem increases. Low C# is almost impossible with the miserable amount of force making it from the spring near the left pinky to the tone hole and a firm felt pad with even contact all around. These all need softer pads and often stronger springs. A player can't squeeze these pads to make them seal so they actually define the playing potential of the instrument.

David
If you take the friction out of the key mechanism, it doesn't matter where the spring is.
 

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"If you take the friction out of the key mechanism, it doesn't matter where the spring is."

If this were true, and possible, I might be able to get 100 mpg from my Dodge Dart with the proper friction reduction.

Check the force that the spring is exerting at its contact point and then check it at the tone hole surface. The further it is away the less it will be. Torsion of the key and losses at contact points and through cushioning materials on compound keys would still have influence reducing the force even if the friction were nil.

David
 
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