Sax on the Web Forum banner
21 - 40 of 40 Posts

·
Distinguished SOTW member, musician, technician &
Joined
·
5,049 Posts
This might be possible if you went with a very fine Dremel etching bit, actually. But, again, it'd take a pretty experienced hand not to mess up the interior of the post hole (which is made of softer brass, of course).
I do this with a dental micromotor, first suggested by Gordon in this forum actually. But it's like a dremel only in that it turns bits. It's a million times more precise, with better control. It is entirely possible to do this without damaging the post. Since starting to use this method I had to resort to other methods maybe once or twice.

By the way the rod screw stuck in the key hinge tube is the most common scenario, maybe about 90% of stuck rod screws I see are like that.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2016
Joined
·
19,000 Posts
I do this with a dental micromotor, first suggested by Gordon in this forum actually. But it's like a dremel only in that it turns bits. It's a million times more precise, with better control. It is entirely possible to do this without damaging the post. Since starting to use this method I had to resort to other methods maybe once or twice.
Interesting. Yes I'd imagine its far more focused a tool than a Dremel...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,684 Posts
Interesting product, I had never seen nor heard of it before. Looks like availability in the US there are a few versions of it:

http://www.wurthusa.com/web/en/website/produkte_1/chemicals/lubricants/lubricants.php
Speaking from strictly automotive experience, Wuerth makes some great products.

This one sounds like the same idea as an aerosol product I've used, called "Component Cooler" that I obtained from Radio Shack before they went out of business. It was intended for cooling electronic components but I found it very effective when using the lube/heat/quench approach on corroded car parts.
My preferred penetrant these days is PB Blaster. It is very good stuff.
As some have pointed out, the heat/quench approach for this situation may not do much. Standard practice in my shop is to heat the assembly and then quench the inner (male) part. But who knows... simply putting the pieces (of dissimilar metals) through a few expansions/contractions would, I should think, have an impact on the bond between the parts. It couldn't hurt.

I've been thinking that a soldering gun would be a good way to apply heat to things like posts/rods/screws, without danger of subjecting adjacent parts to flame.
I was thinking about this specifically for the "grub screws" in my Conn tenor, should they ever need any "friendly persuasion"...
Thoughts?
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2016
Joined
·
19,000 Posts
I've been thinking that a soldering gun would be a good way to apply heat to things like posts/rods/screws, without danger of subjecting adjacent parts to flame.
I was thinking about this specifically for the "grub screws" in my Conn tenor, should they ever need any "friendly persuasion"...
Thoughts?
Also an interesting idea...theoretically speaking, it'd seem like it may do something.

I can claim with some surety that when I move to the heat-quench method (after the penetrating oil followed by heat method fails) it oftentimes IS what breaks the frozen rod; so it must do something.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2016
Joined
·
19,000 Posts
Speaking from strictly automotive experience, Wuerth makes some great products.
This one sounds like the same idea as an aerosol product I've used, called "Component Cooler" that I obtained from Radio Shack before they went out of business. It was intended for cooling electronic components but I found it very effective when using the lube/heat/quench approach on corroded car parts.
Interesting thing about the Wurth product (at least the "Blue") is it seems to be a combined cooler and penetrating oil....which is kinda neat...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Thank you for all the responses. I would use some of these strategies, but Gordon makes a good point. I don't want to get too deep into this repair, especially since it's my first, because I don't want to risk ruining the instrument. I will probably finish replacing the springs, and I've already finished repadding the keys I can repad, so I will just get the rest of the screws taken out by a professional. Hopefully, the next one I do I can do right the first time. Does anyone know how much it might cost me for this?
 

·
Distinguished Technician & SOTW Columnist. RIP, Yo
Joined
·
17,204 Posts
Interesting. Yes I'd imagine its far more focused a tool than a Dremel...
By comparison, a Dremel is like the old treadle drills that were used to grind away at my teeth as a kid. Ugh!
 

·
Distinguished Technician & SOTW Columnist. RIP, Yo
Joined
·
17,204 Posts
... I don't want to get too deep into this repair... I will probably finish replacing the springs....
Why? The only good reason is that they are badly rusted. Getting out rusted springs (and installing new ones) can also be a can of worms unless you have quite a variety of rather expensive specialised pliers. Without them you are likely to mess up the alignment of the pillars, and create a lot more work for the technician who eventually deals with the situation.

It is not for nothing that technicians invest quite a few tens of thousands of dollars in specialised equipment.

Does anyone know how much it might cost me for this?
It depends on what state it was in and what state it is now in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,596 Posts
I tend to lie awake at night thinking how to solve repair problems like this one. I have been successful one or two times cutting a new screwdriver slot using a "micro bit" in my dremel tool with a flex shaft hand piece---certainly not as good as a "micro motor". I have also cut through the frozen rod using a very fine jeweler's saw blade to remove the keys.

Let me float an entirely new idea (for me) and see what the other techs think. This would be for an upper stack or lower stack rod that is frozen (rusted) inside the hinge tube and the screwdriver slot is trashed.

- Find the best fitting size of swedging pliers and grip tightly the second key from the end post.
- Then rotate the first key up and down watching to see if the rod is turning or not.
- If it is not turning that means the first key has broken or is breaking loose.
- Repeat the procedure with each key in succession to the end of the stack.

- To unscrew the rod, grip the first key with the swedging pliers and rotate it closed.
- Release the grip, move the key to its open position and repeat. This could take a while.

The principal, of course, is that you are "squeezing" the rod through the walls of the hinge tube to turn it bypassing the need for a screwdriver.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2016
Joined
·
19,000 Posts
I will probably finish replacing the springs, and I've already finished repadding the keys I can repad, so I will just get the rest of the screws taken out by a professional. Hopefully, the next one I do I can do right the first time. Does anyone know how much it might cost me for this?
I agree with Gordon. replacing springs is something many people think is necessary....yet very, very few times does a tech actually install new springs during an overhaul/refurb. Again, unless they are broken, severely rusted, or have lost their tensions.

Releasing buggered rods is not like fitting a neck tenon to a receiver or replacing a few pads, where the tech really KNOWS how long the latter two are gonna take. So it's hard to give you an estimate of cost, there. The stripped slot ends are not gonna make it cheaper, that I can tell you. I mean...I'd expect it to come out under $120, that's about the guesstimate I'd make. Not sure if that'd include new rods made or not, actually. It really depends on how stuck they are.

When it gets to the point where the heads are stripped, and penetrating oils + "heat-quench" has failed...I just start unsoldering posts. There have been a couple of times where I literally removed an entire stack of posts to resolve the problem. Of course, by the time that was over with I needed to get new rods made.

Best of luck, Matt. Probably a wise decision at this point.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,596 Posts
On vintage saxes that I restore it is more often that I find springs that are not only rusted, but pitted as well. In my experience it is more common to replace many or all of the springs on an overhaul than it is to leave them. There are tricks to clean the rust off old springs, re-blue, and shine them but in terms of time used it is often more cost effective just to pop the old spring out and put a new one in.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2016
Joined
·
19,000 Posts
To each his own...I find no 'trick' to be required to clean a bit of rust off of springs actually. Generally my policy is if the spring is still doing its job and it isn't severely rusted, just an abrasion to clean 'em and a drop of lube to finish 'em works fine, no detriment to the instrument.

Most techs I know do not include brand new springs in their overhaul scope.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Technician
Joined
·
4,702 Posts
On vintage saxes that I restore it is more often that I find springs that are not only rusted, but pitted as well.
And you will find those springs with the pits in them, will likely still outlive you and I should you leave them fitted.

I find it very uncommon to have to change springs, out of say 800 saxes a year maybe 3 saxes will have a couple of springs changed

Steve
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,596 Posts
And you will find those springs with the pits in them, will likely still outlive you and I should you leave them fitted.

I find it very uncommon to have to change springs, out of say 800 saxes a year maybe 3 saxes will have a couple of springs changed

Steve
I suppose I am a bit AR when it comes to the cosmetics of my work---especially when doing a "restoration".
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Technician
Joined
·
4,702 Posts
Restoration is a very open ended word, it could mean, new lacquer, new springs, new pads, new plating, or it could mean make it playable

This is my idea of a restoration, not an overhaul or repad but restoration

Steve
 

Attachments

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Technician
Joined
·
4,702 Posts
My customer called this one a restoration, I simply called it - dent work and service

Hence, terminologies in this industry mean almost nothing.

Steve
 

Attachments

·
Distinguished Technician & SOTW Columnist. RIP, Yo
Joined
·
17,204 Posts
Let me float an entirely new idea ....
Off the top of my head, from my similar attempts in the past:
- It may work on some occasions. (Other methods would probably have worked too in these cases.)
- Swedging pliers do not tend to apply a great amount of force between the tube and the rod. Yes, some, but typically not enough to adequately grip the rod. If you could apply enough force, it is likely to chew/distort the tube.
- Without removing the jammed keys, there is typically not enough space to operate swedging pliers, especially ones that are robust enough to apply the required force. Different saxes differ.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW member, musician, technician &
Joined
·
5,049 Posts
- Find the best fitting size of swedging pliers and grip tightly the second key from the end post.
- Then rotate the first key up and down watching to see if the rod is turning or not.
- If it is not turning that means the first key has broken or is breaking loose.
- Repeat the procedure with each key in succession to the end of the stack.

- To unscrew the rod, grip the first key with the swedging pliers and rotate it closed.
- Release the grip, move the key to its open position and repeat. This could take a while.

The principal, of course, is that you are "squeezing" the rod through the walls of the hinge tube to turn it bypassing the need for a screwdriver.
The problem is that (if I'm following your idea) at some point one of the keys is going to rotate the rod screw with it. Either the only key it is stuck in (if it was just one), or the last key it was stuck in the hardest.
If a rod screw is stuck in a stack, checking each key while holding others is the first thing you check.
Then for this to work the grip on the rod screw with swedging pliers on the loose key needs to be stronger than the strength of the rod screw stuck in the other key.
In cases where it works reslotting the screw should definitely work too. It may be a good option to try for someone without the ability to reslot the screw but who does hav swedging pliers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,596 Posts
My customer called this one a restoration, I simply called it - dent work and service

Hence, terminologies in this industry mean almost nothing.

Steve
Amazing dent repair. I would call that a "restoration" to its original shape and form. :)
 

·
Distinguished Technician & SOTW Columnist. RIP, Yo
Joined
·
17,204 Posts
Steve: "... terminologies in this industry mean almost nothing."

And with that awareness, there is little to discuss. Clear communication with a technician depends on asking the right questions, like "What exactly will you do?", not in flailing around meaningless terms.
 
21 - 40 of 40 Posts
Top