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Discussion Starter #1
Are all the springs on a Martin flat on one end? If so, can you buy them that way because I can't find any. If they don't exist, how can you flatten them out? I tried putting new springs in a vise, hitting them with hammers, nothing.
 

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They are flattened where they go into the post. That's how they are retained and it also keeps them from rotating. Lay the end (not the pointy end, the other end) on theanvil of your vise and tap it with a small ball peen hammer till it flattens out.

This is standard for all saxophone springs (except the screw-in kind).


They're not pre-flattened because you need to cut the spring to the correct length (you cut the butt end, not the pointy end) and then you flatten it out.
 

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Then are all springs flattened?
As far as I know, all saxophones except the small number of Bueschers that use a special screw-in spring assembly, use a spring that is flattened at one end to retain it in the post and keep it from rotating. I assume here you're speaking of the "needle" springs (on your Martin, they will look just like needles only black and no eye, with sharp points; though many more modern instruments use non-tapering stainless steel wire without sharp points, those are still flattened at the butt end). Of course there are also flat springs typically under palm keys.

There are probably some exceptions; the saxophone's been around about 150 years and a lot of companies have made them; but the vast majority are as I've described.
 

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Couldn’t you use a little heat on the end to help with the flattening process?
Or is that just my blacksmiths mind at work.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks everyone. So my other question, is there info somewhere I can find out the size of all the springs?
 

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No, you have to get out a calipher and measure it by yourself. (But I think that quite a few people would welcome the documentation in the martin forum!)
 

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Couldn’t you use a little heat on the end to help with the flattening process?
Or is that just my blacksmiths mind at work.
It's better not to. To heat it enough to help, you would lose at least some of the temper in that area. You really want the spring temper all the way to where it is touching in the post, which basically means at least to the beginning of the flat area at least, so... better to have it all the way really.
Also there is no problem flattening springs without heat... so it's a none issue anyway.
 

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Just be careful how you hold them as you flatten the end. More than once I've been impaled by a spring that jumped when I struck it. (I should be more careful)
 

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No, you have to get out a calipher and measure it by yourself. (But I think that quite a few people would welcome the documentation in the martin forum!)
There are sometimes changes in diameter within model runs, so I would not trust a chart.
Besides, it is not uncommon for a spring to have been be replaced with a larger diameter one, with a larger hole reamed through the post.
It is easy to overdo that. (The stiffness of a spring is proportional to the diameter to the power of 4!6 So 0.6mm would be more than twice the stiffness of 0.5mm.)
 
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