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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thorp in the Manual of Woodwind Repair say he uses pad irons to put pads in place

He says he heats the pad irons so as to give them a seat.

However he says too great a seat is conterproducive.

What do you think of his process?
 

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Distinguished Technician & SOTW Columnist. RIP, Yo
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zagzig said:
Thorp in the Manual of Woodwind Repair say he uses pad irons to put pads in place

He says he heats the pad irons so as to give them a seat.

However he says too great a seat is counterproductive.

What do you think of his process?
Be careful. Thorp writes carefully. I think you are mis-representing his instruction.

"He says he heats the pad irons so as to give them a seat."
i cannot see that anywhere. He makes it clear that 'seat' means impression. He makes it clear on page 198 that the pad ironer is used "to stabilise the felt". That is to make it more flat, not to create a seat.

His process is fine. There are many variations and alternatives. As I recently said, this book is only a beginning.

I do not iron sax pads, but I do sometimes iron clarinet pads.

Be aware that if you iron sax pads by the method he suggests, with the ironer between the pad and the tone hole, then unless you have special ironers that are tapered, thinnest at the hinge-side of the tone hole, then your ironing will put more pressure on the back of the pad than the front. You must be aware of the possible downstream effects of doing this. Thorp may be undoing some of the effects by the fine detail of exactly how he carries out the next operation (His Pg 198, 1st paragraph, last sentence.) These effects are one reason I do not use sax pad ironers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The paragraph in question on page 198 says.

‘’Heat the pad ironer for a few seconds, insert it under the pad, press the key down firmly onto it and hold it there for a few seconds to stabilize the felt. Whilst it is still warm press the pad onto the tone hole rim using normal playing presure and hold it there till it cools; this will form a light seat impression in the surface of the pad.’’

You are right; it sounds like he is ironing the pad ,ie flattening it with the iron, however it also sounds like he is using the heat imparted to the leather to help form a seat in the leather. Otherwise it unlikely that he would press the leather down onto the rim of the tonehole while the leather is still warm.

I had been wondering about the flatness of pads. Here is one way to perhaps deal with pads that are not entirely flat.

Another way apparently is to remove the resonators, iron the pads with a conventional iron and replace the resonators.

The preceeding paragraph ( Pg 198 first paragraph) read:

‘Remove the key, apply pad cement (either in the key cup or the back of the pad). Take care to spread it out to the edge of the pad as well as in the middle. Insert the pad in the key cup reasonably level and rotate it from side to side to evenly distribute the adhesive. Remount the key, insert a pad ironer between the pad and the tone hole rim, reheat the pad cup and press it down onto the pad ironer. Open the key, remove the pad ironer and press the centre of the pad up into the key cup by placing a heavy pad slick across the tone hole and pressing the key down onto it.’


I don’t quite understand the sentence ‘Thorp may be undoing some of the effects by the fine detail of exactly how he carries out the next operation(his pg 198 first paragraph last sentence)’
 

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Presumably the glue is still a little soft, and slightly mobile.

"Open the key, remove the pad ironer and press the centre of the pad up into the key cup by placing a heavy pad slick across the tone hole and pressing the key down onto it."

This has can have the effect of slightly moving the pad so that it projects a little more at the back of the pad. I use a similar approach to re-align clarinet pads at times.
 
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