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These comments by Eric Brand about the Holton Rudy Wiedoeft model in his well known instrument repair manual always make me smile. Don't hold back Eric. Tell us how you really feel. :)

"If ever there were changes made on saxophones,
the Holton Company made them.
What would normally seem to be changes for
the better. made this saxophone in the past
seem like a farce. The high Eb trill key put out
by the Holton Company with the advent of
their Rudy Weidoft Model was a museum
piece. Their attempt of clarification of the middle
D by the insertion of the C auxiliary tone
hole was. without question, the worst key
arrangement that could possibly be conceived
by the minds of men.
Their G# trill lever was, without any doubt,
one of the biggest mistakes ever made by any
saxophone company. The insertion of an
extremely long rod to hold the Eb trill lever
and the high E key was undoubtedly a horrible
mistake in saxophone planning. However, the
more recent Holton instrument, although it
cannot be considered among the finest in the
professional field, has made such fine
improvements that it ranges as one of the top
instruments for the amateur student lines."
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
These photos show the model with gold plated keys that I have on the shelf waiting for a "restoration". The "original" pads on mine aren't nearly in as nice a condition. Mine is slated to get white roo pads when finished.
Oh those comments from Eric are hilarious. I don't think he is very fond of Holton engineering . Were there any accompanying comments as to the sound quality?.... sounds like a wounded sea lion with a bad gas?

Your project example is quite good-looking with those gold keys. It's difficult to tell but it looks like the upper stack rods are part silver and part gold. That almost makes me think it's a high-quality gold lacquer. Regardless I think it would be really good looking with that color combination and white roo pads. If I repad my unit I will go with black Roo.

I did a quick and dirty search today on the history of chrome plating. It appears commercial processes for chrome plating first came into play around 1924. Nickel was developed in the early 1800s. I'm not entirely convinced these key cups are silver. Chrome would have been cutting edge technology in 1927 when Horton first started producing this line of product. I think they would've advertised that new technology?
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
The keys are most likely brass or nickel with silver plating.
Well Bruce whatever it is. This cleans like silver. The whiteness is like blue chrome. In a blind spot I tested the hardness with the tip of an X-Acto knife. It's harder than silver. I didn't carve down to the base metal. Although it's really got my curiosity. I may just pull out a microscope I have and have a looksee just for fun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Some small progress over the weekend. It’s a hobby not a job so what’s the hurry. As a sidenote on my background I have a wealth of mechanical experiences. 30+ years repairing watches. As a hobby only.
I got to the point where I just couldn’t see to do the work anymore for fun. Ever drop a part and say oh where did it go? This watch is about 40 mm. Not small !
 

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Entertaining thread so far. Looking forward to seeing the final result. The only thing I would question is keeping the original pads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Entertaining thread so far. Looking forward to seeing the final result. The only thing I would question is keeping the original pads.
Thanks! Yes I am doing this solely for entertainment. I've only managed to dislodge a few bits of cork. Mostly on the foot positions like the palm keys. So when I get it all back together hopefully I'll only have a little work to do on regulating. That will give the best chance as close to original for test play. Once I get it all sorted I can always re-pad it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 · (Edited)
Next to painting a house, cleaning tedious little parts is my least favorite thing to do. At least that is now done. I took a couple of each before and after pictures for this post. As not all of the stains completely cleaned out. There is a slight contrast difference in the metal. Although it is not like a sulfur stain. Respectable,nice clean and reasonably even.
 

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So with all the info generously shared with you from members over the past several months you hold out on sharing your secret polishing recipe? Very pig-like indeed.:bluewink:
 

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So with all the info generously shared with you from members over the past several months you hold out on sharing your secret polishing recipe? Very pig-like indeed.:bluewink:
+1 :) I am on vacation so I don't have it in hand, but you can buy a nickel testing solution that turns the metal pink if it contains nickel. The test for silver is to put the piece near liver of sulphur. It will tarnish very quickly. As an aside comment while working on a gold plated vintage Conn Tenor I discovered that Haggerty's spray silver polish does a very nice job on gold plating as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 · (Edited)
So with all the info generously shared with you from members over the past several months you hold out on sharing your secret polishing recipe? Very pig-like indeed.:bluewink:
I was wondering when somebody was going to ask. Top-secret stuff. Don't share this with anyone please.

In a cup I mix a thin paste of Dawn dish detergent and baking soda. I apply with a big soft parts brush. Using just the tip gently work it into all the crevices/surface. I stayed away from the highly polished engraving area. This technique is cleaning a satin finish. I do this in the bathtub on top of a big rubber bath mat. No I don't use tinfoil. That's an electrolysis process. The mix is wet enough to where it doesn't dry to a goo. I go over the piece about every five minutes for an hour or longer. To clean the inside of the tube I used a plastic scouring pad for pots and pans. I tied it in the middle of a couple feet of plumbline twine. Using the same and cleaning concoction I pulled it through body as much as possible each direction multiple times. Rinse throughly with warm water. Dry with a hair dryer on low heat. Apply gun oil on springs. I didn't get tagged by the springs too many times.

I have deleted in post #15 about using mineral oil. Yes I do. But if not done correctly you can destroy silver and the reason I don't share that. Mineral oil's contain sulfur. Just like a rubber band or a hard rubber mouthpiece. Big no-no to have around silver.
The same reason I am surprised some greases and oil's are sourced from automotive. I can't remember if it was Matt Stohrer or who mentioning using automotive rear axle oil as a lubricant. That has a massive amount of sulfur in it. Ouch! I source lubricants from watch/clock repair. Formulations made for steel on brass or brass on brass. Long service and temperature stable.

Oink,Oink ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Saxoclese, you just reminded me. I have a metal test kit around here somewhere. Haggerty's spray is one I have not tried. Does it leave any white residue in the crevices?

This is mineral oil...not motor oil that is also mineral oil.
The gun oil used on the springs after cleaning. Springs only.
I like the service life of clock oil over gun oil for hinge rods.
The source for clock oil. https://www.nyelubricants.com/history
Brush was sourced at Harbor freight tools.
This size 18 pocket watch I cleaned 18 years ago using same processes. Still running.
 

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Haggerty's spray polish dries to a pink "haze". That is then ragged to deep silver shine. To get it from hard to reach places I use pointed cotton buds and soft bristle tooth brushes. Once the body is ragged to a shine, it is washed in Dawn detergent to remove all remaining traces of the polish and then dried with compressed air. To polish silver sax keys a trick I learned is to spray a very small amount of the Haggerty's on a spinning soft cotton buffing wheel. It produces a beautiful shine with no clean up except to wipe with a soft clean cloth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
Have to adjust cork on G & Octive linkage and it should play. Nice to have more than one key that moves now. No rust in the hinge tubes the grease had just dried out. Will take better pictures later.
 

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I can't remember if it was Matt Stohrer or who mentioning using automotive rear axle oil as a lubricant. That has a massive amount of sulfur in it. Ouch!
Nope, not me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
Nope, not me.
Hi Matt, thanks for letting us now. My apologies. I remember seeing a video of a quality tech using 80/90w GL5 gear oil as a lubricant. I couldn't remember where. The service was on brass not silver. I didn't think much about it until sulfur & silver in this thread. Thanks for your many great videos and the open source project.
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
Well it’s alive and plays just ok. Very fussy with this funky original Wiedoeft mouthpiece. The tip opening measuring.030 and face length about .500. No cork neck...no options. Room for improvement. Overall I’m happy so far. I started with a good condition sax that really needed cleaning. I didn’t set my expectations unreasonably high on the cosmetic end. I contented myself with it being cheerful pleasing clean. I can always do more later.
 

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