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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is something I should have done a long time ago. I know a lot of people here are aware of this DIY hack, but I just wanted to share this video to let everyone know how easy it is to do, and what a significant improvement it is on an alto.

You don't even have to take the keys off, although the results are better if you do. Let me know if you have any questions...

 

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Just did mine yesterday with Sugru. Same as you. Should have done it long ago. I have been playing a year and a half with palm keys that were too low. I have rather big hands and I thought I could get used to them being how they were. Not so. Always struggled with those keys, timing was off because of the big wrist movements I had to make.
BTW, a friend of mine recommended your lessons. It turned out I already saw some Youtube clips of yours so I can understand his recommendation.

I went Sugru because of all the positive feedback on this forum. (I would also like to mention Stephen Howard’s tutorial about it)
As commented before… Is it pretty? No. But it is so effective!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks SoulMate. The Sugru stuff is so easy and fast there's almost no instructions needed. As far as being pretty, you can spend some extra time to get the lumps to be not so lumpy. I don't think it looks that bad...
 

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Great video although the part I wanted to see the most was how you applied it and every key you applied it to you sped up the video so I can't see how you did it. You might have covered this and I missed it but how hard is it to take this stuff off if I decide I don't like it later? Thanks, Steve
 

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I didn't see you "pick" your desired height. My point is higher isn't always better!

The downside of course, of big risers is accidental contact when moving around the stack which does a whole lot of ugliness in a hurry. Also of course, is that movement should be minimal! and therefore the risk of contact should be minimal. But, in my world of always improving but amateur, I have made risers (of various materials) that were too high and then I was contacting them because my hand movement is not as well controlled as it should be.

Sheet cork is one of my favs...looks and feels good. You can see Matt Storher spend an hour on it, in a quasi-art form of buildup. Or less so with similar results by stacking

Message/bottom line: figure out just how much height you need before hand. Yes, you can trim it down with a razor knife afterwards, but it doesn't look as nice as the "one and done" smoothness if you "measure twice, cut once".

Or, write to your congressman/woman and seek legislation that requires all saxes to be made with height adjustable left hand palm risers, like ________ does.
 

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Long time ago, I had some ________'s. No palm key issues. They were nice...sigh.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Great video although the part I wanted to see the most was how you applied it and every key you applied it to you sped up the video so I can't see how you did it. You might have covered this and I missed it but how hard is it to take this stuff off if I decide I don't like it later? Thanks, Steve
Steve, I filmed the whole process in detail and then maybe over edited down. The thing is, until you've tried it, you don't realize how easy that stuff is to work with. It's like play-doh. There's really no need for instructions. you'll see what I mean. (I should have left one example not sped up though)...

I haven't removed it yet, but I get the impression that it comes off pretty easily and doesn't leave any residue. Maybe someone else can confirm this? I don't think it actually sticks to the key. It's wrapped around the back and that's what holds it in place. It's kind of like a slightly harder version of silicone.

I'm going to use it on my tenor as well now...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I didn't see you "pick" your desired height. My point is higher isn't always better!

The downside of course, of big risers is accidental contact when moving around the stack which does a whole lot of ugliness in a hurry. Also of course, is that movement should be minimal! and therefore the risk of contact should be minimal. But, in my world of always improving but amateur, I have made risers (of various materials) that were too high and then I was contacting them because my hand movement is not as well controlled as it should be.

Sheet cork is one of my favs...looks and feels good. You can see Matt Storher spend an hour on it, in a quasi-art form of buildup. Or less so with similar results by stacking

Message/bottom line: figure out just how much height you need before hand. Yes, you can trim it down with a razor knife afterwards, but it doesn't look as nice as the "one and done" smoothness if you "measure twice, cut once".

Or, write to your congressman/woman and seek legislation that requires all saxes to be made with height adjustable left hand palm risers, like ________ does.
I expected to have to do lots of adjustments afterward and tried to make them all as high as possible so that I could cut and sand down where necessary. Turns out I don't need to remove any material for thickness, but with an exacto knife and some sand paper, you can make it look nice if you do.

Each packet is just about the right amount for one palm key riser.

I may actually add some more to the high F key. With these key risers, my finger tips rest right on the key pearls, more like on tenor, instead of going past the keys if you know what I mean.

I'm going to play on them as they are for a while and then see what adjustments need to be made if any...
 

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I have Sugru on my King Super 20 alto. One packet is all I used for the D-palm key, both thumb rests and side C. It's super easy to put on, even a 2 yr old can do it, and it's super easy to take off!...I've had it on for a couple of yrs now, and it stay's put, super easy I say!:whistle:
 

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I have Sugru on my King Super 20 alto. One packet is all I used for the D-palm key, both thumb rests and side C. It's super easy to put on, even a 2 yr old can do it, and it's super easy to take off!...I've had it on for a couple of yrs now, and it stay's put, super easy I say!:whistle:
So, how would one take it off? Just curious. Am considering doing this for my Con 10M, as I've heard people say that the palm-key risers one orders don't fit their key configuration.
 

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I would use a box cutter or a Xacto knife. I would take the key off first, while being careful, of course, if I were to take mine off...I like this sugru so much I used it on my Super 20 tenor as well...It's so easy to put on/to use. I'm sure you're going to like it CD!
 

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My experience was that it peels off easily once you get it started. A little damage to the Sugru riser, but I wasn't going to use it over again so no problem. I also used it for a single pearl vintage thumb rest that was uncomfortable. I made the thumb button shaped more like a vintage Martin, but with the pearl still showing. Simple and lasted as long as I had the sax (several years). I got a good deal on some of the slip-on rubber risers which worked fine and haven't needed to go back to Sugru again for other horns. I did learn that the shelf-life on the packages is fairly accurate. After a couple of years the material is too stiff to mold properly. You get a price break when you buy a bunch of packages, but it might not be a good deal if you don't use them quickly.

Mark
 

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I really like this stuff, but, if you don't do a full "wrap" around the surface (not just a surface application) it will not last for long; it will come off.

yes its a no brainer to take off with no residue or damage beneath

Refrigerate for longer life; once the packet is open, you have to use it all up. Not cheap.
 

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...there is a You Tube on how to make your own Sugru like substance somewhere. I did it and it is true-- it was pretty darn cool stuff, except for the adhesive part or aspect of it. {Unless I messed up the recipe. } OTOH, you can use some good rubber cement or other, once you make it yourself.
 

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You don’t need to do a full wrap at all.
All you need is just a little going onto the underside to help with grip.
I had sugru risers in my MKVII for several years without issue.
And the new owner simply peeled them off when he got it so as to apply them again at his preferred heights.
Also used it to fashion a more comfortable thumbrest on my old Conn alto.
 

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I really like this stuff, but, if you don't do a full "wrap" around the surface (not just a surface application) it will not last for long; it will come off.

yes its a no brainer to take off with no residue or damage beneath

Refrigerate for longer life; once the packet is open, you have to use it all up. Not cheap.
Good information on refrigerating it; I'll start doing that. And true about having to use it all. I usually look around for some other little project to
use the leftover material. It usually takes about 3/4 of a packet for either set of palm keys for me.

I used a full wrap the first time I used it but have since gone to just applying it to the top of the keys and have never had any sugru slip whatsoever. Here are a couple of examples, in various colors of sugru that i thought would work with a particular horn's esthetic:
8175D845-F940-488D-AF9E-BDF06372D3FD.jpeg
On this one I used gray to match the older silver-plated keywork, and I still need to sand and smooth that D key that i built up a little to high and have whittled down with a scalpel. Notice I left the F key in cork since it was working fine, which should give some solace to the cork-riser contingent of this thread.
EB4CF7BA-2CF2-46EB-B271-E48C119A5E16.jpeg E503E433-C159-465A-9F19-43D6973B1F42.jpeg
 

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I did this on a matt/brushed lacquered instrument. When I sold it it took quite a long time to remove the Sugru residue from the keywork. I used lighter fluid, and it did come completely off.
 

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FYI, Sugru is now also available in a Family-Friendly formula claimed to be kinder to skin. I recently used it to make experimental key extensions on my non-ergonomic Buescher TT. The new formula handles the same as the original. After curing, it seems slightly more flexy & less grippy -- yet still adequate to the task. Easily removable without a trace. YMMV, & I need to experiment further.

Incidentally, I tried twice to order an 8-pack of Family-Friendly Sugru through Amazon; they kept sending the original formula instead. Differences in the packaging of the two versions are subtle, so the mixup is understandable. I ended up ordering direct from Sugru's website & was third time lucky.
 

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Well, I tried this on my tenor, and I like it! It makes fast passages with the palm and side keys much easier to accomplish. It also fixed the hard edge on the thumb pearl under the octave key that I had previously had trouble with because of my arthritis. I love this forum! I learn so much! My Sugru adaptations don't look as beautiful as some people's might, but they feel wonderful.
 
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