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Discussion Starter #1
How many hours does it take an experienced technician to do a repad?

Let's assume that they are also tightening the mechanism l and there are no grave problems.

Over the last year I have repadded 5 saxophones. In each case, I got to play the low b flat with a ‘pianissimo and entrancing tone’ this being jbtsaxes criterion for a completed job.

He wrote this in a post which was accidentally deleted.

I believe I spent close to 300 hours on these saxophones, adjusting pads till I almost went out of my mind but enjoying myself all the same.

Without having practiced in this manner I would not be able to appreciate the help I am receiving in this forum

I would like to know how long experienced members take to do a repad so as to have an idea of my relative ineffectiveness

Perhaps in a way the world could be divided between those who practice and those who don’t to, the extent one can meaningfully divide the world .

I can only assume that those who love to practice love to learn.

In my case saxophone repair has enriched my life with many pleasant hours of research into the nature of this bewitching instrument.

I am a player so I have some idea of what I am aiming for…

This forum is a trade school corespondance course and you are my teachers…
 

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I think I could 'repad' a sax in 2 hours. One hour changing the pads, and one hour adjusting.

However, I've never done that. Changing the pads is almost always a rather small part of making a sax play well and reliably. So do you mean a non-cosmetic overhaul?

If things go well, 5-8 hours. Includes cleaning but not buffing or re-doing surfaces. If horns are in a mechanical state where they would be thrown out if they were any other mechanical contraption, then they can take considerably longer.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Sorry Gordon about the duplicate posts. I will try to be more careful in the future.

I have in mind repadding a student saxophone such as the yamaha 23 with no problems other than pads which need to be changed.

I understand that the conscientious technician will do some swedging all the while keeping in mind the limitations of such an instrument.

From what you wrote I asume such an instrument would take you between 5 and 8 hours, but perhaps closer to 5 if it is, apart from the pads, in good condition.
 

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Sloppy stack key pivot tubes (and rods within posts) are pretty standard for student Yamahas.

Expect a high standard of adjustment to be difficult (actually impossible) and unreliable (especially as pads get firmer with time, or if you use firm pads, which are less accommodating) unless you attend to this issue.

On the plus side, Yamaha's acoustic design seems to be so good that they play well in spite of a few small leaks.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So you are saying it’s a good thing to try to tighten the mechanism of the Yamaha 23 so as to finish the work which was never done at the factory in this regard, especially since the hardening of pads brings to the surface the effects of the sloppy stack key pivot tubes, also of rods within posts all the while keeping in mind that time is money and also that the Yamaha 23 is so well designed accostically that that there is some margin for a less than prefect mechanism.

I am gathering that there is concensus that pads that are not in good health should go, and that’s about it.

Thanks for the help, Gordon. I am comfortable with things not being spellt out entirely as for as proceedure is concerned.

The technician has to be able to think for himself or herself and come up with creative ideas, with the light of his or her understanding.

Your help as well as the help of other forum members is making a big difference.
 

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Always, investment in levelled tone holes is good, for longevity of adjustments, no matter what the instrument.

The technician just has to get efficient enough at doing it to make it viable. I seldom change a pad now, without checking the levelness of a tone hole and doing something about it unless it is very close to perfect.
 

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Gordon (NZ) said:
I think I could 'repad' a sax in 2 hours. One hour changing the pads, and one hour adjusting.

However, I've never done that. Changing the pads is almost always a rather small part of making a sax play well and reliably. So do you mean a non-cosmetic overhaul?

If things go well, 5-8 hours. Includes cleaning but not buffing or re-doing surfaces. If horns are in a mechanical state where they would be thrown out if they were any other mechanical contraption, then they can take considerably longer.
With that in mind, does "considerably longer" completely explain the pricing and time estimate on this:
http://www.saxquest.com/tmrestore.asp
 

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Pgraves said:
With that in mind, does "considerably longer" completely explain the pricing and time estimate on this:
http://www.saxquest.com/tmrestore.asp
The pricing and time estimates in your link are self explanatory. 40+ hours for a complete overhaul is not an exaggeration. If refinishing is included it can be 100+ hours. An overhaul is considerably more than simply swapping out pads. Also, consider that higher quality, more precise work takes longer as well. Vintage saxes will usually take even longer because of the great deal of cork-work involved. Modern saxes have been designed to minimize the need for this labor intensive process
 

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just an example...i recently overhauled a yamaha 61 alto and an old Conn stencil. The yamaha was probably around 4-6 hours of work...mostly because the adjustment process was simply turning adjustment screws once the pads were leveled to the toneholes. The Conn stencil was probably in the 10-12 hour range, because there was much more prep work (leveling toneholes, cleaning, adjusting action, etc) and the fact that all the adjusting was done by sanding corks and bending. I'm not a professional, but i don't think either one took an exorbitant amount of time. also consider that neither horn needed anything in terms of body work or springs, and very little work on the action/swedging etc. also though, the work has to be spread out over a few days at least, to give the pads a chance to seat and the horn to settle in after adjusting. each took about a week start to finish. peace- mike
 

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Pgraves said:
With that in mind, does "considerably longer" completely explain the pricing and time estimate on this:
http://www.saxquest.com/tmrestore.asp
I cannot comment on what any technician says he does, and how, or the extent to which he does it. Doing anything to a slightly higher standard than 'well' takes a lot longer than doing it well.

I agree with the comments in the last two posts.
 

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i can usually get through a student overhaul in about a day's work. the idea is to get keyfitting and toneholes close enough to facilitate assembly. a pro overhaul generally takes between 32 and 40 hours: the horn is straightened, keyfitting is done until every key fits tightly without play or binding, toneholes and keycups are perfectly leveled, the horn is cleaned and then assembled to seal with as light a touch as i can manage.
 

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My baseline is 20 hours for a full repad (all new pads, all new corks, chem cleaning, leveled toneholes, minor dents removed) and 40 hours for a full overhaul (full repad plus mechanical restoration of the keywork). That is just a baseline! Add in any major dentwork, soldering, spot plating, etc. and the hours can really start piling on- and they usually do.
 

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In my shop with all of the body, tone hole, key fitting prep involved (including replacing steels where necessary), and replacing springs followed by pad installation and testing with a Magnehelic leak meter and then the extensive play testing and necessary adjustments (thanks Curt), 3-2 weeks is looking like the average for me as well.

Just a yearly C. O. A. (clean oil and adjust service) or "new instrument service", which involves disassembly and re-assembly of the instrument, takes us 3-8 hours. A flat rate of 4 hrs of shop time plus materials is charged.

David Wilson
A. B. Repair Service, Inc.
 

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Dave,

If you would like your repair service included in the U.S. Dealers and Tech listings on the forum, take a look at the submissions outline and PM or Email me with the pertinent information.

Welcome to the forums.
 

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wilsaxo said:
Just a yearly C. O. A. (clean oil and adjust service) or "new instrument service", which involves disassembly and re-assembly of the instrument, takes us 3-8 hours. A flat rate of 4 hrs of shop time plus materials is charged.

David Wilson
A. B. Repair Service, Inc.
Let's get all this in perspective. If I took that long on student instruments, and charged plumbers/electrician's wages for it, I would have no customers.

I can only assume that some technicians do not work on student instruments. That is the bread and butter for most of us. Unless the work is done to a quite high level, with great efficiency, there is no money in servicing saxes. IMO
 

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Yea, I agree with Gordon. This past summer I got about 150 saxes in all at once from all the local schools. That’s just the schools -- I still get customers horns in on top of that (pro and student) So, if it took me 20 - 40 hours to do a repair, I’d never get anything done. I need to get things done as quickly as possible, without being sloppy, of course. Don't get me wrong, some horns and overhauls do take me that long, but that's only when people dig their 1930 conn out and bring it to me with moldy pads and cob webs inside it. Broken post bent keys and all. But, with a normal working horn student or pro, I normally have it finished between 2 to 6 hrs.
 
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