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Discussion Starter #1
Hi

Just wondering if there's any particular glue I should use, or if something like super-glue is okay.

I need to re-apply a piece of felt that has fallen off the back of the A key on my tenor.

Thanks in advance
 

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Super glue tends to be wicked into the felt, making everything quite hard after it has dried, not quite what you want with a felt. Plus you'd need tons of glue because the felt is so thirsty.
I'd go with something hot-melty or, in a pinch, thin double-sided adhesive tape.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you

Hot glue will be a problem. I don't have the tools for it. So I'm wondering if something like Tarzan's Grip or Araldite (do you have these in your country?) would work.
 

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If you use a spray adhesive to lightly prep one side of the felt, it tends to avoid the excessive thirst of the felt for absorbing the glue. Might be a little difficult on a small piece but that's what I do with the sheets.
 

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Double-sided tape is a good emergency fix until you can get it replaced with a new piece. When using hot melt glue, you don't need a glue gun - just melt the glue stick in a flame and apply it to the felt, then spread it with a heated knife to coat the felt evenly and stick it in place while the glue is still hot and active.

Chances are you'll have to make some small adjustments to put your sax back into regulation once you've stuck the felt back in place, so using a leak light in the bore, check the closure of the pads closed by LH2 and gently bend the key arm with the felt disc stuck to the underside until both pads close together with light finger pressure.
 

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A trick I was taught for attaching felt pads is to heat a pad slick (iron) and apply stick shellac until it has a thin coating. Then you rub the felt across it lightly coating the surface with the shellac. That way when the contact cement is applied, it does not soak into the felt, and provides a much better bond to the key.
 

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Problem is, the first thing people like the OP may try to reach for is a contact cement branded by Elmers, which in my experience is fine for attaching felt eyes to sock bunnies, but very poor at reliably holding felt to brass or nickle.
 

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If it has to be a super quick emergency repair I use liquid shellac. Micro sells it in a small tube, but I make my own by mixing flake shellac with denatured alchohol. If I can take the time to do a better/stronger repair I use hot glue. You have to take the key off of the horn and the trick with hot glue is to lightly heat the back of the key before applying the felt with a small amount of hot glue on it. If you put hot glue on a cold key, the cold metal cools the glue before it is able to "grab/stick".
 

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The time it takes for the micro liquid shellac to dry and "set" is quite a while---especially when it has soaked into a felt piece. I'm not sure I would use that on a quick repair where the instrument needs to be played right away. With properly thinned contact cement, wait 5 minutes, put the parts together and it is solidly in place.
 

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I use contact cement....apply to both sides and let them dry and stick them together....if you have to ever replace it, its easy to remove. Super glue can release solvents that can turn felts a while color and also if it wicks into them the felt gets very hard when the glue dries. I think there are a lot of ways to do it, but contact cement is one of the easiest and cleanest.
 

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The time it takes for the micro liquid shellac to dry and "set" is quite a while---especially when it has soaked into a felt piece. I'm not sure I would use that on a quick repair where the instrument needs to be played right away. With properly thinned contact cement, wait 5 minutes, put the parts together and it is solidly in place.
It depends on how thick the liquid shellac is when you apply it. I mix it thicker than Micro. It doesn't seem to soak into the felt too far and if anything sometimes it sets up too quick.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I used contact cement, which seems to have done the trick. The fiddly part was making sure it fitted onto the brass properly. I didn't really want to get into removing the key itself - I didn't have the confidence for that. On that subject, is it easy to remove the key itself and then how hard is it to re-attach?
 

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I find that superglue wicks in far too much. The gel form is better.

However I find contact glues far more reliable long term. Most contact glues wick in far too much, making the felt too solid.

However some special contact glue formulations are available, sometimes called thixotropic. (One is "Ados F3") These have a consistency more like margarine and can be thinly spread on the surface of the felt. Leave to dry. It acts like a sealer. I apply it to a whole sheet of felt at a time. Then normal contact glue can be used, and should never fail.

Double sided tape, on small surface areas, tends to allow the felt to slide off, especially in warm weather.
 

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I've used gel type super glue and accelerator. Apply gel thinly to the key and spray the felt with accelerator. When the felt is placed on the key, the bond is instant and the glue doesn't have time to wick into the felt. works every time!
Dan
 

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I didn't really want to get into removing the key itself - I didn't have the confidence for that. On that subject, is it easy to remove the key itself and then how hard is it to re-attach?
You'd have to take several keys off starting with the LH3 (or 'G') key, the high E key, the high F# key and then remove the screw that holds the LH main action in place until the LH2 key is loose enough to remove. Sometimes you may need to remove all the LH main action keys (the C# vent, the front F key, LH1 and LH2) and also might need to undo the Bb bis key to get the LH2 key off depending on the make. You do run the risk of altering the spring tension if you don't disengage them beforehand. If you're a novice and unsure what does what or what goes where, don't do it as you could make things worse.
 
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