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What's the proper way and tools to swedge keys? I have a problem with the key stacks having play at the post and in between each other.
 

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If you have this play, then you probably also have lateral play between the pivot tubes and rod.

If you have longitudinal play between posts, then posts may be knocked out of alignment, or the body may be bent.

The play inside the post is not corrected by swedging. It requires making and fitting an oversized shaft, or somehow bushing the post, either with metal or a less robust method using superglue. Quite specialised operations.

Swedging requires using the tools and method which produce the best result and do least damage in any given situation. There are collet types, and quite a variety of plier types.

Take a look at #562 & #513 at
http://boehmtoolscom.t3-kundenserver.de/uploads/media/special_pliers_cutters_woodwind.pdf
Alternatives are available from Ferrees.

Swedging tends to lengthen tubes, making them jam between posts. Swedging can also make tubes jam on the shaft. Other tools are needed to deal with these situations.

There are other means than swedging to lengthen tubes between posts, eg adding metal to the end of the tube, or using washers.

This whole area is probably best left to an experienced technician who has the gear and experience.

By using the search function of the forum, the following showed up:

Try the 1st 11 posts of
http://www.saxontheweb.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=11795

Try also:
http://www.saxontheweb.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=49876
and
http://www.saxontheweb.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=7263

There's also a lot of info here:
http://test.woodwind.org/Search/ind...esc&clarinetBBoard_index=clarinetBBoard_index
 

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Thanks Gordon for that summary of threads on the topic. I would like to know how many techs only swedge the keys when they are on the instrument using the swedging pliers. I know that there are many different techniques that techs use. Is this a viable method?

John
 

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jbtsax said:
I would like to know how many techs only swedge the keys when they are on the instrument using the swedging pliers. I know that there are many different techniques that techs use. Is this a viable method?
Some keys you can't swedge while on the instrument so how is someone going to swedge them if they swedge keys ONLY when on the instrument? Also I think swedging is usually safer when the key is off the instrument.
 

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I agree with griff36 & Clanibass.

Also, if you swedge while on the instrument, how can you effectively determine whether or not you have cause slight binding of the tube on the rod?

Also: It is easy to distort metal in an inappropriate way when swedging, mainly if the pliers are not quite at right angles to the axis of the tube. I find it is far easier to get alignment right if I turn the key within the pliers (a hand and forearm twisting-together motion), rather than rotate the pliers around the key (with the whole hand moving around an arc along with the handles of the pliers).

The former is pretty well impossible while the key is on the instrument.
 

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Gordon (NZ) said:
I agree with griff36 & Clanibass.

Also, if you swedge while on the instrument, how can you effectively determine whether or not you have cause slight binding of the tube on the rod?

Also: It is easy to distort metal in an inappropriate way when swedging, mainly if the pliers are not quite at right angles to the axis of the tube. I find it is far easier to get alignment right if I turn the key within the pliers (a hand and forearm twisting-together motion), rather than rotate the pliers around the key (with the whole hand moving around an arc along with the handles of the pliers).

The former is pretty well impossible while the key is on the instrument.
Well said Gordon. I raised the question because a well known sax repairman who charges $100 per hour shop rate has this statement on his website:
It is absolutely mandatory that the swedging be done with the keys on the horn and the rods in place!
One would think that at those rates, the repair tech would know the proper way to swedge a key. If he works on a customer's sax after regular business hours the rate doubles with a three hour minimum. Reminds me of the old song "Nice Work If You Can Get It".

I have good luck with the Ferrees collet swedger mounted to the bench with a needle bearing washer sandwiched between two regular washers under the handle to remove friction and give a sensitive touch when tightening. That along with lubing the key with "Tap Ease" for non-ferrous metals does a nice job without leaving significant marks on the keys.

John
 

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jbtsax said:
Well said Gordon. I raised the question because a well known sax repairman who charges $100 per hour shop rate has this statement on his website:

One would think that at those rates, the repair tech would know the proper way to swedge a key. If he works on a customer's sax after regular business hours the rate doubles with a three hour minimum. Reminds me of the old song "Nice Work If You Can Get It".

I have good luck with the Ferrees collet swedger mounted to the bench with a needle bearing washer sandwiched between two regular washers under the handle to remove friction and give a sensitive touch when tightening. That along with lubing the key with "Tap Ease" for non-ferrous metals does a nice job without leaving significant marks on the keys.

John
Is that the same dude that charges about $2000 for an overhaul?

John, where can I get a needle-bearing washer? Anyone using the collet-type swaging sets: Do you only tighten the collet down on the subject key to swage, or do you also twist or pull the tightened collet (with lube of course)? I have the Ferrees set but it takes me quite some time to get results without marring the finish.
 

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Gordon (NZ) said:
I agree with griff36 & Clanibass.
Thanks Godon ;)

To rotate the pliers like that seems mostly impossible. I swedge in the same way you explained.

Hornimus Prime (I still haven't seen your new film :)) I also use the Ferree's collet swedger and I rotate it while it is tightened on the tube. I sort of screw it out - rotate and the key moves out of the swedger (almost without pulling). I use the collet to remove the play of the rod inside the tube, and not to lengthen the tube, so I don't need too much force and usually there isn't a lot of marring the key if at all.

I usually just hold the collet in my hand when using it. If this isn't enough force I hold it with something less slippery than my hand. If even that's not enough I put it in a vise. I have no idea what a needle bearing washer is (where can I see it?).
 

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hornimus said:
Is that the same dude that charges about $2000 for an overhaul?
Is that with or without the cryo treatment? :)
hornimus said:
John, where can I get a needle-bearing washer? Anyone using the collet-type swaging sets: Do you only tighten the collet down on the subject key to swage, or do you also twist or pull the tightened collet (with lube of course)? I have the Ferrees set but it takes me quite some time to get results without marring the finish.
Jerry answered your first question. I can check at the shop Monday and see where we ordered ours from and what size works the best. As I said previously our collet tool can be mounted to the bench when doing a mechanical overhaul. I have good results both tightening and lengthening the hinge tube by slowly tightening the collet and turning the key slowly 360 degrees (whenever poslsible). I then remove the key by slowly loosening the pressure while still turning the key and "unscrewing" it from inside the collett. Using the "Tap Eze" is a trick I learned from a JL Smith clinic and it works great.

John
 

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hornimus said:
I have the Ferrees set but it takes me quite some time to get results without marring the finish.
Often the inside surfaces' of the jaws on the Ferree's collets are too coarse for use "right out of the box" and need polished. Gordon mentioned a great way to do this a few years back, but now I forget. I had to interior polish all of our collects years ago, prior. I used a "split-stick" and micromesh with everything held in the lathe.
 

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Thanks Jerry, I trust you are well? I'll see what I can do. Lately I've been using the large Marius Kowalski (spelling?) sax swaging plier with lots of STP out of an aversion to marring the finish on hinge tubing with those collets. Anyone using the Boehm collet set?

John, I think there are a lot of people with these tools that may be relying on them too much in an effort to compensate for other problems mentioned by Gordon (namely posts knocked out of line or lateral rod wobblies inside post holes). /tech hat off.
 

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Glad to see that I am not the only one that likes to use tapp ease, or parafin wax if I am out of tapp ease at the time. They both work well, but tapp ease is so much easier to apply.
 

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clarnibass said:
.... I sort of screw it out - rotate and the key moves out of the swedge (almost without pulling)..."

I don't. I just rotate, then ease off the collet before removing. If I allow the tool to wind off the tube, then just before it comes off, it exerts far greater pressure because of the low surface area it is operating on, and can sometimes make a messy job of rounding off the end of the tube.

"...I use the collet to remove the play of the rod inside the tube, and not to lengthen the tube, so I don't need too much force and usually there isn't a lot of marring the key if at all...."

Likewise. Different swedging tools favour either lengthening the tube, or reducing tube ID.

Re the needle bearing washer, I've never had a need for one. I increased the torque I can exert when adjusting the tool, by increasing the diameter of the Ferree tool itself, by gluing thick composite cork around it. Adjust the collet tight around the tube, rotate collet around tube, then re-tighten and rotate again... done.
 

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Gordon you are right, but usually that is not a problem. Also I forgot to say that a lot of times I "screw" the key out and just before it comes out I would open the collet (basically prevents the problem you explained).
 

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"...I use the collet to remove the play of the rod inside the tube, and not to lengthen the tube, so I don't need too much force and usually there isn't a lot of marring the key if at all...."

Gordon,

You still are lengthening the hinge tube, maybe not as much but it is growing in length.
I will also turn the steel when swedging.

Carl
 

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True.

The smaller the contact area by the tool on the outside (and the more the tool hugs around the circumference of the tube), the more squeezing and the less lengthening occurs.

So it depends on how the tool is used, and which tool.

With large area, sure, SOME lengthening occurs, but it is minimal, sometimes negligible. If I specifically want lengthening (which is not very often on saxes, because the posts are relatively mobile!), then I usually use a plier-type tool of appropriate width, so that there is less shrinking of ID, and more lengthening of tube. The collet tool, by its very nature, is less suitable for lengthening the tube, IMO, but ideal for shrinking ID.

I allow the rod to do its own thing inside the tube while swedging. Why do you rotate the rod in the tube... just for a bit of burnishing action for a polished surface? I don't think it would contribute to the actual swedging.

The rotating of the tube relative to the swedging tool, by contrast, is because the tool does not actually apply even pressure all the way around the tube, especially if the tool is the plier type.
 

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JerryJamz2 said:
Often the inside surfaces' of the jaws on the Ferree's collets are too coarse for use "right out of the box" and need polished. Gordon mentioned a great way to do this a few years back, but now I forget. I had to interior polish all of our collects years ago, prior. I used a "split-stick" and micromesh with everything held in the lathe.
I guess I have to prod Gordon to part with this valuable piece of information. Also what technique do you "plier swedgers" use when lengthening a hinge tube?

John
 
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