Sax on the Web Forum banner
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Forum Contributor 2015-2017
Joined
·
190 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

Some of my needle springs have developed a fine fuzz of rust. I suspect this is because of 'condensation' dripping out of the middle C tone hole (and nearby tone holes) onto the springs below, and I'm so far too much of a newbie to have picked up on this earlier to prevent it occurring.

I've done a forum search for this topic, and while there a plenty of threads outlining how to prevent rusting of needle springs, there are few threads that I can find that detail how to remove rust.

Two questions, then:

1: How do I go about removing rust from needle springs?

2: Is rusting of needle springs considered "par for the course", that is, normal wear 'n tear and therefore nothing to be overly concerned about?

Cheers,

Dennis.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW member/, Official SOTW Sister
Joined
·
19,924 Posts
Using a bit of oil on a piece of old t-shirt or flannel will remove most, if not all, of the rust if it hasn't gotten too bad.
WD-40 works ok.
I've also used the solvent for cleaning the bore of firearms on a patch in a pinch. Be very careful with that stuff though....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,529 Posts
I'm just wondering: is it necessary to remove any "fine fuzz of rust" that might exist on some of the springs on a sax? I see some of this on the springs for my side Bb and side C keys. I have owned my main horn for 35 years, and while I have not spent much time examining any rust that might exist on my horn's springs, I think a little bit has been on some of its springs for a long time. Disclaimer: I am not a tech, or even a tech wanna-be. But are we sure that we really need to worry about this at all?
 

·
Distinguished SOTW member, musician, technician &
Joined
·
5,136 Posts
You can try gradually increasing abrasive paper/fabric with or without oil. Just fabric with oil is unlikely to remove much before you get too bored unless it's only a tiny amount. Especially if you use something like WD-40 I would clean it all off after. Mainly for flat springs but also for needle springs a lot of times I use different bits on the micromotor like brass or steel brushes and different abrasive bits.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Technician
Joined
·
2,547 Posts
I'm just wondering: is it necessary to remove any "fine fuzz of rust" that might exist on some of the springs on a sax? I see some of this on the springs for my side Bb and side C keys. I have owned my main horn for 35 years, and while I have not spent much time examining any rust that might exist on my horn's springs, I think a little bit has been on some of its springs for a long time. Disclaimer: I am not a tech, or even a tech wanna-be. But are we sure that we really need to worry about this at all?
Having a little rust on springs isn't ideal, but it doesn't mean the spring is about to disintegrate. The 'fine fuzz' is pretty much harmless in most cases, and probably won't go any further if you wipe the springs with a reasonably heavy oil from time to time.
It's when the rust goes deeper that the problems start, or when it builds up around the point where the spring leaves the pillar.

Regards,
 

·
Distinguished Technician & SOTW Columnist. RIP, Yo
Joined
·
17,204 Posts
The operation of some springs on some instruments is pushed pretty close to its limit. This is often the case especially for the G# lever spring.

If this is the case, then it needs very little rust in a certain location on the spring, for the rust damage to act as a "stress raiser", enabling the spring to break.

But I agree, for most locations on most springs, you can get away with a little surface rust.

I usually remove it with a small wire brush spinning in a dental micromotor, then treat the surface with a material that dries to a firm, waxy, water-resistant film, applied with a "spring hook", which probably does much the same as steel wool.

The disadvantage of any oily or waxy application is that dust can accumulate more readily.

The steel needle springs currently available (and used by manufacturers) seem to rust far more readily than the blue-surfaced ones that used to be available. IMO top quality stainless steel springs (from Kraus... not the substandard ones from Ferrees) have pretty much superseded steel for spring replacement, unless cosmetic matching is a player's priority.

I find that in most cases, if springs are rusting, then the player is putting a wet sax or a wet cleaning cloth or "mop" inside the closed case. This creates close to 100% humidity for long periods, which is ideal conditions for rust.
 

·
Distinguished Technician & SOTW Columnist. RIP, Yo
Joined
·
17,204 Posts
I am concerned about getting that powerful electrolyte in the gaps between the spring and spring post, where it could set up severe galvanic corosion. Perhaps seal that gap with oil or Loctite first.
 

·
Distiguished SOTW Tech
Joined
·
1,545 Posts
The spring could also be removed, treated and reinstalled so that the liquid bluing does not touch the brass. I find that careful application with a cotton swab with a cleaning and oiling after works just fine. I have to admit that this is generally not on my list of things to worry about as I seldom find a need to do this to blue steel needle springs. I generally keep bluing around to treat tools I make for repair.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top