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Discussion Starter #1
As I mentioned in a recent thread; In the past year I repadded 5 horns.

This however doesn’t count exactly as repair.

It is my intention to try to save the pads of the next few horns which come my way.

It might have been possible to save most of the pads on the Vito- Yamaha 21 I recently repaired.

My impression was that a number of the pads on this instrument had shrunk, hence the distance between the pad and the tonehole.

There seems to me three ways to treat this kind of problem

1) I mark the pad, remove it and the cup as well, use shellac as filler, then replace the pad into the cup respecting the marking and place the key back in place attempting to align the seat of the pad with the tone hole. Conceivably I could be clever and note with calipers or simply by eye the ammount of protrubance enlargement necessary before putting the key back in place.

2) I leave the delinquent pad in the cup and adjust the cup and make tiny needle and micro torch adjustments after.

3) some combination of the two.


As an aside I mention that somebody suggested to me the possibility of treating shrunken pads with lanoline so as to relax them to their original size. Off hand this seems to be a poor solution since it must create a sticky surface; further more it seems unlikly that the pad could be restored sufficiently this way.

I gather it is better to adjust the cup rather than fluff the pad all the more so since old pads are fluff resistant.

Thus my question is: How do you revive shrunken pads?
 

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If they have shrunk,. they have almost certainly also hardened and are useless, unless they happen to still seal well.

my guess is that the hardening comes for both compression of the felt, and from the absorption of the (stalactite-like) minerals from the moisture that repeatedly gets into them and dries out. You can't undo that.
 

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I used to try and rescue pads. I found it took longer and didn't work as well as replacement. I was trying to save the client money but it didn't work. Now, if a pad is in really good shape I leave it in and adjust. everything else gets replaced. This is a PC system of course. On re-paddings everything gets replaced. Tried treating pads (Neatsfoot oil). Didn't work very well.
Hans
 

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Your question raises a lot of issues. I'll see if I can address some of them. When doing a "play condition" on a saxophone it is common to replace pads that are encrusted or water hardened such as the palm keys and low Eb that seem to catch the most water and "groceries" that go into the sax.

Other pads that are in satisfactory condition but show a leak with the leak light can often be "reseated". This is where some experience is helpful. Try to determine the cause of the leak. If it is a bent key---straighten the key. If it is insufficient glue under a portion of the pad---heat the key cup, raise or remove the pad and apply more heat glue or shellac (do not mix). This can be done with the key on the instrument, but is much easier when it is off. You are correct that marking the pad to put it back in the exact position is critical. If the pad rotates slightly, the existing pad seat will not match the tonehole and you are better off replacing the pad if there isn't a mark to guide you.

It is not uncommon to find pads on the stack keys that are light in the back. Usually insufficient glue, poor seating at the factory, or compression of the felt over time (shrinkage?) is the cause. Usually bending the key arm to lower the back of the cup solves this problem. There are tools made specifically for this or you can place a wooden tongue depresser under the front of the key and give the back a tap using a piece of a wooden dowel and a delrin or rawhide hammer.

If the cause of the leak is a very uneven tonehole, level the tonehole and then replace the pad no matter what its condition is. The seat will have a "memory" of the uneven tonehole and be almost impossible to seat on the level one.

If you are "repadding" saxophones without levelling toneholes as part of the process, my suggestion is that you get a set of good round tonehole files and add this to you repertoire before repadding any more instruments. There are so many variables to address when seating a pad, and the levelness of the tonehole in my opinion is the most critical in effecting the outcome.

If you are serious about learning repair, I recommend the "Complete Woodwind Repair Manual" by Reg Thorpe that can be purchased from NAPBIRT at this link http://www.napbirt.org/cart/products.asp?cat=10 In my opinion, it will be the best $73 dollars you have ever spent for repair "tools and supplies".

I'm with Hans on treating pads to rejuvenate them. Been there, done that. Don't waste your time. :)

John
 

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Gordon (NZ) said:
my guess is that the hardening comes for both compression of the felt, and from the absorption of the (stalactite-like) minerals from the moisture that repeatedly gets into them and dries out. You can't undo that.
The only cleaning method that actually works is using steam (plus proper after-treatment which I'm not all sure about). But the time spent on each pad would outweigh the cost of new ones and probably only pays off with otherwise irreplaceable parts. (and finding a steam nozzle/mop small enough would be a challenge of its own kind)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you for your replies.

The geneal idea is that if the pads are gone, they are gone.

Nevertheless jbtsax suggests that if they are not gone, they can be revived more or less in the ways I outlined.

The question is how do you tell if a pad is gone or not?

I will summit this as a thread.


Thanks John aka jbtsax for the tip about the Thorpe repair book. Based on the quality of your help, John I will procure it in the coming weeks.

By the way I use the Ferre filing kit…
 

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Pads Rejuvenation

I have in an emergency, to refurbish a pad, taken the resonator off and applied the bare pad to a steam iron to flatten the tonehole crease then replaced the resonator and re-installed the pad --- works
 

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Pads are cheap. Labor is expensive. I know an oldtimer tech who will replace the pad if he has to take key off of the horn because of this. I think this a little extreme but he also sells pads.

David
 

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Old tight loose pads ROO $$

Yup I only reuse a pad if I don't have another one to fit ..

Also I have found that tight pads is not the way to go since they wrinkle and cause problems.. despite some information that calls for a close fitting pad ..

Have you checked the price of Roo Pads lately -- especially in the large sizes ?
 
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