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Discussion Starter · #61 · (Edited)
* A note I forgot to include *
Prior to washing the body I checked for leaks around all the tone holes. This applies to units with soldered tone holes only. No matter the brand . This unit is reasonably new compared to others that would possibly have galvanic corrosion. I did this with a few drops of lighter fluid around the base of the tone holes. The fluid will appear on the inside if there is a leak. This can be viewed with a strong flashlight or by finger. No leaks detected
. If the leak is minor and the tone hole is solid. Repair can be made with superglue.

In post #57 I sized all the rods to locations. I then lightly tightened all of them. Standing the horn vertically I tapped on the bell side several times. This will expose anything loose. It should have a nice ring. Any rattle or buzz is a rod that is loose in a through hole in a post.
Long distance between posts in the upper stack. The rod was loose. A little fitting with post fitting pliers took care of the issue. Be gentle, you don鈥檛 want to overdo it here. The rods should glide through but not be loose. No movement. This also removes the illusion of a loose key on a hinge tube. The key moves but not on the rod. It鈥檚 wiggling in the post. loose parts can cause leaks !
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Same issue on the lower stack. I also gently tapped over the one post out of alignment.
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Before & after
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I used a bit of chopstick and a rawhide mallet. Using a steel punch and hammer you chance knocking the post off the body. Too much shock ! I cleaned the chopstick mark off after I took the picture馃檮
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Time to do key fitting and dry fit the pads.

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Discussion Starter · #62 ·
I installed both the stacks. Make sure the tubes are clean & dry. Only a couple needed swaging. This also benefited the end to end play between posts. Next I loosely installed the pads to check heights. This is the upper stack. The leaks shows the pads are still a tad thick. A leak to the hinge side the pad would be too thin or just right for a layer of shellac.
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I removed the pads and measured the thickness.
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.183 is a tad thick. The original pads removed were around .162 or less even with some residual shellac still on them. With a heated pad slick iron down the back. Do this in a circular pattern. Pushing from the outside in can shrink the diameter. Same goes for working from the inside out. Although the technique works for shrinking or enlarging a pad some if needed.
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Not like this.馃毇
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The difference! All under .160 ! Many were low .150鈥檚
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Results were difficult to photograph. Setting thickness also gave me space on the regulation to the backside. this is no shellac and no pressure whatsoever. Natural gravity fit only.
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Discussion Starter · #63 ·
Lower stack.
Two keys noted were adjusted for alignment sideways. Then repeated the check on the lower stack. I ended up ironing all the pads everywhere. Pads smaller than 20 mm I replaced the rivets. MM uses solid tube rivets. Switching them to a hollow tube rivet allowed for a little more compression. I didn鈥檛 want the pad teetering on the back of the rivet. This was most obvious on the palm keys. Taking a pair of wire(side cutters) cutters it only takes a second to remove the rivet.
Before ironing.
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After Ironing. For giggles I leaned a close pin on the D cup just enough weight to seal the pad. Notice some of the others have a light leak to the hinge side. This is a good thing. It will allow me just a fuzz of float with shellac. Work the tolerances !!
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Next I gently lifted the F# key to check the timing of the back bar to F,E,D
The closer the better. This is regulated by the cork under the back bar. At this time there is none. This looks like a lot but actually it鈥檚 only about .003 difference.
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A sidenote about the back bar (F# key assembly). While checking all the key work it is highly important to make sure the alignment is correct. Common place for binding. Check the back bar with a straight edge if the rod does not drop in with perfect alignment. Otherwise adjustments will be made at the key arms.
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Discussion Starter · #64 · (Edited)
Pad time 馃榾
Knowing that I only needed a thin layer I chose one of my small (3/8 x 3/8) homemade shellac sticks. I鈥檝e make these from flakes in different sizes. A small allows me more control on a light application. Both in heat and flow. A smaller diameter stick heats quicker and allows a thinner layer. If you make your own make them square so they don鈥檛 roll off the workbench and shatter.
Unlike a Buescher, Conn, Grassi, Holton, King or others. This Martin has a very flat cup. Be careful not to overfill the pad. And yes I filled the back of my pads. I feel being solid on the backside gives the horn a better response. No spongy feeling at the touches. Maybe a little brighter too. Additional weight ??
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While the shellac is still hot iron it flat. Quickly heat the cup. Toss the pad in. Then give it 1/2 turn. Maybe a little more heat on the cup top. Then iron flat to finish.
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i鈥檝e never had problems with bubbles on the outer edges. But you sure don鈥檛 want them in the middle. Bubbles in the middle will drive you crazy trying to get a pad set.
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This will become net once it gets heated in the cup. The dot on the edge was for photography. I try to take the pictures in the same location always.
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Note to self. Next time fill both torches before starting馃う鈥嶁檪锔
Yes I work with the torch facing me. Pad over the anvil and slightly lower than the heat. Heat the shellac and bring it to the pad.
There is a small fire extinguisher to my right on the floor. Another one 6 feet away. Always keep a safe shop !
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The pads smaller than a nickel I put the shellac directly into the cup. Warm the cup some, few drops of shellac. Drop in the pad and level. Don鈥檛 fill the cup or you will have shellac oozing out the sides. Trying to peel the shellac off will removed the tanning of most all pads. Anyone trying pad work for the first time I recommend Music Medic clear shellac. Technically I think it鈥檚 a hotmelt glue. It performs very well and is user-friendly. I don鈥檛 use it here in toasty Southern California. It melts at a lower temperature. Just like on the marching field. Although I can鈥檛 say I鈥檝e had any complaints from it.
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Discussion Starter · #65 · (Edited)
A quick note on cleaning. After I cleaned the body I did give it a good waxing. Cleaned up some of the red rot areas (000 extra fine steel wool). This would be the time for those of you who have silver units to do polishing. After I did the key work cleaning I leave it alone. On lacquers waxing or applying any gloss enhancing chemicals. This can cause issues when installing the pads. Wax/ polish everything except the top side of the cups.
Heat may cause discoloration !
On silver plate it鈥檚 OK to go ahead and polish out the key work. Although it may require some additional polishing/cleaning after installing the pads. It鈥檚 no big deal. It鈥檚 actually better than trying to polish the key cups with pads installed. It鈥檚 difficult to get polish off a pad !!
lastly anything you polish stay away from high powered buffing wheels. Do everything by hand !! I can do a quicker job by hand than a Dremel or Moto tool.
A bench top buffing wheel will snag a part out of your hand quicker than you can say oh ! And for the guy out there that says he knows what he鈥檚 doing. Enjoy your taco shaped key cups.

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I鈥檓 getting tired just by looking at all the work that is involved. Time, patient, tools, parts, knowledge and a little pink piggy to assist you. Good job
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Discussion Starter · #67 · (Edited)
Once all the pads were installed I let them sit overnight. this allows for some natural rebound. I installed the upper and lower stacks and proceeded to final fit. A little heat with an air torch. Proceeding with a pad ring between the pad & tone hole. A quick light hit. Just enough to make sure pads are pancake flat. Next check the fit with the leak light. I set the pads where they just minutely touch the heel / hinge side earlier than toe / front. areas that were high ice smooth down with spot heat and a pad slick. Areas that needed A minute lift I spot heated and went in from the side edge with a pin prick.
If the pad touches net you will end up with a leak on the hinge side sooner or later. Nature of how the contact is made in a arc. None to little impression.
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Work in a dark room with a light source within hands reach.
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I finished out the upper stack then lower. Give it all a rest.
With the instrument propped up all the keys facing the sky. I let everything set overnight weighted only by gravity. I don鈥檛 clamp or wedge keys closed. I feel it takes some of the engineered natural compression away from the pads ability.
Follow up the next day checking the work with a leak light and a .002 1/8 x 2鈥 paper feeler gauge. Checking contact pressure all around each pad as final check.
Often referred to as cigarette paper. The paper can be acquired from a shoebox tissue. You want to cut the pieces with the grain going the length way. Otherwise they will constantly tear in use. Gently tear the piece of paper two different directions. Up/down, right/ left. The direction this tears easy/straight is the grain direction.
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The next day I set the Palm keys, side keys and Bell keys / LH table.
The side and palm keys I set with the springs removed. Once again obtaining a natural leak free fit. Each key / pad fit and leveled individually one at a time. Fit and remove once cooled. They are very close together. You don鈥檛 want to burn one or upset what you just leveled. Air torch and a small pad ring is handy. Heating one of these spring loaded you will end up with a deep impression and possibly shellac oozing out the sides ! The picture below shows all three installed. At this point I was checking the key height to my cork requirement under the foot.
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Side Bb & C pads installed with no springs. Good fit / seal but one looks skewed. Not a problem but I didn鈥檛 see it in the dry fit.
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Referring back to the disassembling pictures the OE pads. They may have collapsed down some over the 60 years. Minor difference but not enough to effect tuning or performance. If it doesn鈥檛 work out it鈥檚 easily changed.
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For those wondering at the beginning about Long screwdrivers. This would answer your question. The straighter on the better !
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Discussion Starter · #68 ·
like the upper stack C key and the lower F# assembly arm with the back bar. Some bell keys are fabricated the same way. Make sure the alignment is true and straight. Bell keys are very lightly sprung so you鈥檙e not killing your LH pinky closing them. Any misalignment will cause friction and binding. Alignment pictured below is a complete fail. The rod should drop straight into the hole.
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Everything removed. I checked the fitting tolerances of all the peripheral hardware. Octave mechanism, side C arm, front F fork and G# lever.
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After two days of checking fit from last adjustments. The pads of relaxed to their natural state. Everything sealed beautifully before I removed them. There is almost no visible impression.
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Time for cork work.

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Discussion Starter · #69 ·
I have a decent assortment of cork materials on hand. Small starter assortments are available. Buy the best quality product available. The material is not cheap. Consistency of thickness and imperfections will drive you crazy.

Tech cork , natural cork, sheet Teflon, #9 razor blades, Contact cement, cutting block, steel ruler, (not pictured) rubbing alcohol & Q-tips, #150 to #200 sandpaper.
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I like the cork grain facing long in most locations. To determine grain direction gently bend the material. It will flex easier in one direction. Usually is parallel to size marking,
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Most of the cork I鈥檝e already removed along the way. Cleaning off old glue with chemicals doesn鈥檛 always work these days. Some scraping is sometimes necessary. Once everything is clean degrease each location with alcohol or lighter fluid. I鈥檝e placed the parts in groups according to my thickness head top notes Aka memory.
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Discussion Starter · #71 ·
As part of my degreasing process. I tally up the length and average the width of each grouping. Then I make a cutting list.
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I鈥檝e added a little extra to the width for final trimming. Be sure to keep the cutting blade good and vertical !
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Refresh your razor blade often. You don鈥檛 want to tear the material. The strip on top is already becoming ragged on the edge. That was after two 4 inch cuts. Notice the knot along the edge. I鈥檝e added extra length to the material list to work around these areas if needed.
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Discussion Starter · #72 ·
Holding the material with a pair of forceps. I brush a thin layer of glue on. I like to apply the glue on the cork with a flat 1/4鈥 wide brush. Be careful to keep the glue off the edges. I coat all but the last little bit where the forceps are holding the part. This allows me to hold it by hand when installing the material. Depending on the cement you鈥檙e using most clean up with lighter fluid.
I lay the pieces across the bench and somewhat in sequence of installation. Be careful they don鈥檛 touch! I could鈥檝e ruined those two pieces touching.
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it takes about 15 minutes for the glue to set. Working time is about one hour. Anything beyond that you take a chance that it will not bond as the glue has locked out. The way I lay the parts out on the bench鈥. I can pick one up apply the glue and put it back. There鈥檚 a reason to the organization. Reduce the chance of damage to pads or sticking parts together.

For the parts I like to apply glue with a needle. Contact cement sets very quick. After applying a drop and spreading to a smooth film layer. I wipe the needle off. Otherwise you will end up with a big gooey tip. Difficult to do when using a brush. Keep your fingers out of the glue. Keep your hands clean so you don鈥檛 soil the pads while handling.
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Discussion Starter · #73 ·
By the time I finished gluing the last parts the earlier ones were ready to start installing.

Holding the cork on the end without glue, align the piece and set it down. There is no adjusting. One shot to get it right. The moment contact is made that鈥檚 where it will be.
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Turn the part over and trim off the excess with a new sharp blade.
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Previous service left plenty of indication as to where to trim the parts in the middle. This one鈥檚 done. Time to do everything else. The clock is running!
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Discussion Starter · #74 ·
Yes I corked everything. At different times I have been paying attention to the thickness needed. Not always a wise choice but a good time saver. It鈥檚 a judgment call and experience thing.
All the cork installed I didn鈥檛 end up with a bunch of leftovers.
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In my material list I did forget the regulation here 馃槒
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When cleaning don鈥檛 forget the areas that the touch felts go馃槈
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Discussion Starter · #75 ·
When it鈥檚 time to trim hold the razor slightly angled and flat to the edge. Moving forward and drawing the direction of the metal. A nice slice will produce a smooth cut. No sawing action. Refresh the razor blade often.
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It鈥檚 wise to let the contact cement cure for a day. Otherwise you鈥檒l end up with cuts like this. Peeling the part off and rubbing the rubberized glue off the edge will only ruin the edge bond. This particular bit I did for display. It鈥檚 actually a slice of vibration dampening on a part.
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Discussion Starter · #76 · (Edited)
With the other parts set aside I proceeded to the neck cork. It鈥檚 going to need a little cleanup work. It appears the cork width has varied over the years on previous installations. Looks like 2鈥 at one time.
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The neck cleaned up and cork area prepped. I hammered the cork with the ball end of the hammer to soften it. Done on the anvil with light blows on both ides. This prevents the cork from cracking when wrapped around the part. Mask neck off net to the cork length for gluing.
I bevel the cork end by hand. 30掳 is about right for the lap joint. At 45掳 it鈥檚 too steep for good contact. At 20掳 you鈥檒l end up with little meat on the face. This increases the chances of the cork joint ripping when putting a mouthpiece on. Use a new razor !
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I like to do my cork all in one step. I glued the bevel and then turn it over and put a light glue coat over the back. Let it dry for about 15 minutes or until it has a gloss appearance. With a light coating on the neck portion. I then quickly peel the tape off for a nice crisp edge.
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Place the beveled edge on cork starting at bottom side of neck. Install on a slight angle. The correct angle can be practiced before gluing but after softening Is best. Letting the cork hang off the end to trim isn鈥檛 always a option. Some have a support ring that hinders this option. Buy two if you鈥檝e never done this before.
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With the palm of your hand smoothly wrap all the way around to just before making contact to the bevel. Lift up on the last portion while smoothing down the last area to obtain a good angle of contact to the bevel.
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It takes practice getting starting angle correct so when the part is wrapped around the ends it meets smooth and flush.
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I immediately trim off the excess鈥..
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Then on a bench peg give it a few swipes with #60 grit sandpaper. Sand in same direction of wrap. Otherwise you will roll up the joint and ruin it.
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Lastly, I coil a layer of masking tape around the overall part while holding good tension on the tape. I want the tape to work as clamp.
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leave it alone for a day.

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Discussion Starter · #77 · (Edited)
Finishing the neck cork.

Using a bench peg secure the neck to sand. I like to tape off the area beyond the cork. A couple three layers will do for scratch protection. I鈥檒l begin with a 100 grit sandpaper with light strokes over the joint. Remember to go the direction of wrap. The sandpaper is cut just to the inside width of the cork. If the paper is too wide you鈥檒l end up with cork the shape of a barrel.
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With light even pressure downward sand like you鈥檙e shining a shoe. three or four strokes. Turn the part 1/8 turn, repeat. I have one old alto plastic mouthpiece dedicated for this. ID .625/ 5/8鈥 or 15.87mm
Sanding all the way around continually checking if the mouthpiece will slip on.
With a light twisting motion I get it on the first half inch. Always twist the direction of the wrap so you don鈥檛 tear the joint.
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Viewing the impression above I continue sanding with 150 grit sandpaper. Same technique. Keep an eye on the end. Keep the work the same thickness/ round to the metal. Go easy check often. Using the same twisting motion and slightly snug the mouthpiece slides on about 90%.
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Viewing the impression it鈥檚 right where I want it. I checked the surfaced to see if it鈥檚 reasonably true. Just a tad of a hollow spot in the middle. No big deal as the first 3/4 of an inch is very solid. You don鈥檛 want leaks on the end. I finish with 400 grit just a couple strokes to polish.
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I鈥檒l let you guys be the judge of what鈥檚 round.
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I know there鈥檚 viewers in the peanut gallery cringing at the appearance of the cork. I actually like it. The pores hold cork grease practically forever. Very seldom after I do this next step do I need to add cork grease. Mouthpieces glide on my work and I haven鈥檛 had a single complaint about pull down.
I completely coat the work with cork grease鈥..
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Then with a very low heat from my air torch I melt the product into the cork and let cool. Once cooled, I glide the mouthpiece on slowly with a gentle twist. The mouthpiece will go on 100%
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Discussion Starter · #79 ·
Additional note on neck assembly. Make sure the octave key halo is symmetrically located. Level and midway to octave lever on body. At this point don鈥檛 worry about the distance/clearance on the body lever.
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Discussion Starter · #80 · (Edited)
Time to do some regulation. I installed the G# key, pinky G# touch and Low C#. Checking the table height as everything has new cork. All within my needs.
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This particular mechanism is kind of buried between things. I wanted to make sure I had clearance to add Teflon around the tip. A short piece will work but I鈥檝e had better success wrapping Teflon all the way around. The reason for the extra cork.
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I applied the Teflon and let it dry. Finishing out the edges with a heated pad slick. I haven鈥檛 touched the foot cork and there鈥檚 plenty of room for sandpaper. Pressing the G#, The key opening is less than the original measurement by 1 mm. Action is quick and smooth. no spring adjustments necessary.
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