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Discussion Starter #1
It has been quite a lot about levelling tone holes lately, so while we´re at it I have another question to you techs. When you check/level a tone hole, do you just see to to that it is "level with itself" or do you make sure that the whole line of tone holes are level with each other?
 

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Each tone hole will be levelled individually - there's no point in bringing a group of tone holes to an exact level with each other as it isn't a requirement of the mechanism.
They'll need to be reasonably equal, of course, but any small differences are easily accomodated by the amount of adjustment possible within the action.

Regards,
 

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I beleive that in a new sax the ideal situation for making key mechanisms work properly is to have all of the keys in a stack as close as possible follow a line so that the key heights over the tone hole can be adjusted more easily and lost motion between keys that articulate can be kept to a minimum or elliminated. Not nessesarily fall in the same plane as suggested by the OP.

In an instrument that is being repaired for having unlevel tone holes, the repairer must determine the cause and the best plan of action before doing the fix. ( I think the do no harm moto is a good one) All too often I see instruments that the person doing the previous repair decided to take a file to the tone hole without removing the dents around the tone hole. This in my opinion might be fixing the problem at hand but is doing the customer and instrument a disservice. Later on when the customer decides to have the instrument more completely repaired, body dents/ bends removed and repadded... the tone hole will be unlevel again and in addition to that there will be less material and possibly enough change in tone hole height to affect the pitch. So, with that said, for the sake of future repairs and maintaining the integrity of the instrument for future repairs, IMO it is better to leave the files and tone hole finishers in the tool box, if the customer is unwilling to have the root cause of the problem fixed. If you are a newbie un skilled in the art of dent removal wanting to do a repad on your sax or a seasoned pad changer that never got the hang of pushing metal around, leave it alone! Shim, add glue, bend pad cups, but don't "Level" the tone hole because you are just damaging the instrument for future repairs.
 

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Does anyone ever use a small pocket stone to check and repair small problems? I find it quick and easy.
Get a new stone from the hardware store so it will be flat,place it on the tone hole with index finger in center of hole,with ends of stone between thumb and 3/rd finger and just enough pressure to keep it stable,rotate the stone very lightly a couple of times and you will quickly see the high spots. Try to use full lenght of stone to keep it flat. A little burnishing with aluminum foil should finish it up..
 

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Just repaded a flute. It had a low spot on the f tone hole. If you hold the flute straight up the low spots were at 12 and 6 o'clock. It had rolled tone holes. To raise the two spots I put a mandrel with a dent ball on it in a vice and inserted it into the flute . Put it right under the low spot and hit it from the bottom (the rebound method) and wit two hits the tone hole was level. I always try to raise the tone holes up where they are low. Don't like to file tone holes.
 

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Ken, I dont know if youve seen the tool JL Smith has, same idea, its a mandrel with specific holes in them and grub screws, placel the hole under the applicable tone hole, adjust the grub screw and drop a ball bearing in and then ride the flute inner edges over the ball it raises the spots as required, its not bad and a bit more controlled
 
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