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I spent this year learning how to make flute headjoints & now want to make some tenor necks, anyone know where one can learn such a thing?
 

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In Holland at the Blazers atelier in Tilburg


 

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It's like sculpting... Start with a block of brass and grind and hack everything away that doesn't look like a sax neck.

Seriously, are you looking for references (books, websites, etc.) or a place you can go to learn?

I've made a few soprano necks (curve and straight) and one alto neck. I'm sure after I've made 100 more necks, I might get a method down that doesn't take a rediculous amount of time and finishing work. The most important tools are a properly tapered mandrel and a custom tube-bender. I had trouble all along the way, for example, I couldn't devise a reliable method of brazing the tube together from end to end (the tube must be held together somehow as it changes shape as its heated). I used Cerrobend to keep the tube from collapsing when bending the neck. It seems that most factories use some sort of frozen soapy solution (less expensive, less hazardous) but I think Cerrobend is the way to go for making necks one at a time since.

Well, I have to run, but I'd love to hear from others that have information on making necks. I've got several vintage tenors and bari's that need necks.

BTW, there are several YouTube vids that give some insight into how the factories form sax bells, bodies and necks. Like this one at 2:35: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dua4ah0rSMU
 

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"Spot welding" to keep from over heating a small section and changing shape of the tube, instructional videos are readily available. Sand or ice also works when bending to keep it from collapsing. Remember to bend with even pressure and not to jerk or strong man it.

K

44 yrs of happy sax
 

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"Spot welding" to keep from over heating a small section and changing shape of the tube, instructional videos are readily available. Sand or ice also works when bending to keep it from collapsing. Remember to bend with even pressure and not to jerk or strong man it.
"Spot welding" brass? Never heard of such a thing nor could I find any instructional videos for use on brass. When you say "spot welding", are you saying that a different process be used in spots along the seam? Or are you saying that the brazing be done in sections so as not to overheat the tube? What I found was that whether I tried to heat the tube uniformly along the seam or tried to heat one section, the seam would want to separate somewhere. In the end, I used binding wire to hold the tube together in several places up and down the tube but it was a pain.

I've seen the use of a "zipper seam" on bells to hold them together for brazing, but haven't seen this used on necks.
 

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necks can be done in the zipper seam fashion. Also, if you tack one end, tack the other end and start to put a spot of brazing dividing each subsequent segments in halves until there's sections of about one inch or less to be closed) the result is way better and you don't need to tie up the cone with wire or anything.

I take that when spot welding is mentioned nowadays, we're referring to electric spot welding like you'd use for assemblying battery packs together or that. I know Selmer has sarted to spot weld some pieces like the ribs for the palm keys or such. They position the rib in place, tack it, and then once's secured they just fill in the gap with soft solder as usual. Neat for fabrication I'd think, a mess if you ever need to remove the spot welded part.
 

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necks can be done in the zipper seam fashion.
I just now noticed that the tubes in the pictures above have zipper seams. It looks like they may have used "fingers" on each side that hook or half-twist together. They look much easier to create than the type that fit together like a jig-saw puzzle.

Also, if you tack one end, tack the other end and start to put a spot of brazing dividing each subsequent segments in halves until there's sections of about one inch or less to be closed) the result is way better and you don't need to tie up the cone with wire or anything.
Maybe that's what kwgrinnell meant above. I tried that but had a hard time getting the solder to flow in one section without opening up the next. My brazing technique isn't the best.

Juan, I know you've mentioned that you have made necks from scratch. Do you have any sources of information or pointers that you can add?
 

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So, Dirk, are you looking to make replacement necks (to replace those that are lost or damaged) or upgrade necks that are superior to the originals? Just curious.
 

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I wonder if the place in holland would take me in for a week for a fee?
I think that you should give it a try! They might not be making necks all the time and perhaps do the fabrication every so often. I know that someone from the Blazers atelier is a member here but I would definitely get in touch with them and discuss the situation. There is an element of creating yet another competitor in the world of saxophones but since you are at the antipodes they might overlook it. Offering to pay a fee is a very good thing.
 

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Dirk, It's just like Jorns says. It's a lot of trial & error. I made them mandrels, doctored them up after the first bends, doctored them up again.... you need to lear to compensate for the amount of deformation each bending technique has and then adjust your tooling "backwards" to get the end result you're seeking for. If you change the filler and the bending method, your mandrel, although right for some bending technique, may not be ideal for other procedures. It's like mastering any other manual craft, it requires practise and a brave heart :bluewink:
 

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PS: I like cerrobend for recurving already formed necks, but for making necks from scratch I prefer good old (and toxic!) lead.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Actually I have a couple of necks I want to reproduce, one is a late SBA neck & the other is a MKVI neck.Both are outstanding players.....there is no commercial gain especiall in australia. It was like doing the flute headjoint making, I wanted to understand how to make & perhaps improve already existing necks...........I will try & look into this further, thanks for the discussion so far.Its been something I really enjoy thinking about & working on.....
 

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I take that when spot welding is mentioned nowadays, we're referring to electric spot welding like you'd use for assemblying battery packs together or that. I know Selmer has sarted to spot weld some pieces like the ribs for the palm keys or such. They position the rib in place, tack it, and then once's secured they just fill in the gap with soft solder as usual. Neat for fabrication I'd think, a mess if you ever need to remove the spot welded part.
Do you think they might be using a resistive heating technique and solder (perhaps high melting temperature) - rather than "welding" (which to me means melting the base metal)?
 

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Hey Geo
No, I mean those electrodes that actually melt the base metal fusioning together the 2 parts of metal at a very tiny point. After it's permanently attached this way, they fill in the gap with soft solder
 

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Hmmm, interesting. So what happens when you melt brass then rapidly quench? Don't know that I want to think about it.

Thanks, Juan.

Glad I'm not a Selmer snob anymore. :twisted:
 

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Hmmm, interesting. So what happens when you melt brass then rapidly quench? Don't know that I want to think about it.

Thanks, Juan.

Glad I'm not a Selmer snob anymore. :twisted:
I don't think there's room for annealing at all. Anyways, we've commented this on other threads... many horn's are annealed after forming anyways

In the case of this spot weld, it's really tiny and it has little effect on the structure, besides holding in place the rib until it gets "floated" in soft solder.
 

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It´s possible to use the spot welding technique on brass?.- I was convinced it works only on inox or iron not on brass or copper, because copper is used on the welding points conductors which conducts the electricity and welds on both parts.
 

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yes, it's AFAIK inductive. They're spot welding gold, platinum, etc nowadays with this sort of equipment.
 

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Im guessing brass can be spot welded, I only know this because my spot welder has copper fittings for transferring the current, and if you dont put steel between and press the button, the two copper tips stick together pretty good. As to the strength of spot weldling brass this way, I have no idea.
 
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