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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought a very nice MKVII alto awhile back and I'm thinking about a potential full repad.

Who ever had this horn must have been in a damp climate. The springs are all pretty rusty. The horn plays fantastic as is, but I wonder with a full job repad if spring replacement would be worthwhile..

And for the pro techs, approximately how much extra cost for a spring job?? I never had springs replaced, I'd like a general idea of what that part of the job should cost.

Thx
 

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Distinguished Technician & SOTW Columnist. RIP, Yo
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Surface rust can be removed - I use a miniature wire brush in a micromotor and piece - and to resist future rust. I use Ardrox AV30.

When the rust involves significant pitting, then the spring is significantly more likely to rust, and should be replaced. If they are replaced, I would recommend some treatment to prevent rusting again. Unless replaced with stainless steel (from Kraus).

Replace the pads only if they need replacing. Most of the time they just need some decent adjustment.

On a Selmer you may as well replace all other soft materials (other than tenon cork) with better, modern materials. (I can't believe Selmer has been using such substandard felt for so long. Modern Selmer springs seem to rust particularly easily. I've often see it start to happen within a year of purchase.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I've played my VI tenor over 35 yrs and I keep my springs oiled, when I oil my keys every couple months I lightly oil my springs as well. never had a rust problem. But this alto I got the springs are pretty well pitted already.

When I first got the horn a tech had to replace 3 or 4 small pads to get it playing well, but even a lot of the "good" pads don't look so hot at this point..some are so old they're almost flat and turning gray.. I'm pretty sure a major repad is needed. I usually don't pad the whole horn all at once to cut costs. Maybe I'll end up doing the springs a few at a time to cut costs as well. I'd love to do it totally, everything all at once, but the cost is prohibitive for me. Luckily the horn really does play fine I can whisper a subtone Bb so I know it's OK but I just don't like a horn that's not up to par and could go bad anytime.

I'd love to have a full enchilada deal like tenor madness or somebody do it where they completely strip and replace everything but man I know I'm lookin' at huge expense for a job like that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I guess if I cleaned the rust off the springs with very fine sandpaper I'd remove the blueing and need to reapply blueing (or just oil them and keep them oiled..?) Vegas doesn't have a lot of good techs, the best I knew just left town, but there is a new kid at Sam Ash I may give him a shout for an opinion.
 

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The springs are all pretty rusty. The horn plays fantastic as is, but I wonder with a full job repad if spring replacement would be worthwhile.
As Gordon stated, you can remove surface rust easily in a lot of cases. Wire brush in a rotary tool or steel wool work the best, IMO.

The best time to replace the springs is when the entire sax is apart for an overhaul, of course.

And for the pro techs, approximately how much extra cost for a spring job?? I never had springs replaced, I'd like a general idea of what that part of the job should cost.
I always quote that part of the job with the horn on my bench. There's just too much variation in the labor involved to charge a flat rate. The main variable is how long it takes to get the old springs out, which can be tedious on some horns.

I am overhauling three Conn New Wonder altos right now...90-year old saxes. Two of the three need new springs. On one of them, the springs took a while to remove and I used almost every trick in the book to achieve that. On the other, the springs came right out with almost no effort, even though they were pretty rusty. Probably took about five minutes...once in a while, you get lucky!

Installing the new springs is generally a known quantity. The parts are inexpensive, and it doesn't take a lot of time once you develop a procedure that works for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well I got some of the best tech feedback on the planet goin' on right here and fellas I highly appreciate it..!!

I'm looking hard at my springs now and actually only a couple were as bad as described with quite a bit of surface rust. I've cleaned and oiled all the springs and overall they don't look nearly as bad as I first thought. Replacement may not be in the cards (Vegas joke) after all.

Joe, I don't deal with Kesslers..yrs ago I took over the Bari chair in Wayne Newton's Orch from one of their repair guys. I went in for an adjustment on my horn after the fact, the guy copped an attitude and said they wouldn't work on my horn. Well of course I told him with an attitude like that I wouldn't let them touch it anyway. Chuck had to come out and calm the dude down. I never went back and probably never will.

Most Pro's I know here in town go to other places for work on their horns. Kesslers is more of a student type store actually..anyway the Kesslers are not sax players, they are sax sellers..saxophone.com's owner/sax player Garrett Hypes had the best repair guy Steve Bartee, but I hear Steve has recently moved out of the state and not doing horns anymore.

In my experience I've found most of Vegas' best tech's are underground and word of mouth..I just heard about another cat today, we call him Bill #2..I haven't met him yet, but one of my most respected sax pals says he's supposed to be good. (oh yeah Bill #1 is OK in a pinch for a pad or 2 but not the first call guy)

..welcome to Vegas..
 

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Distinguished Technician & SOTW Columnist. RIP, Yo
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You can re-blu them.
I've been reluctant to do that when springs are still mounted. It is inevitable that some of the blueing agent will wick where the spring is inside the post, creating perfect conditions for galvanic corrosion. I suppose if it would be better if that area had oil wicked into it first.

But that's why I use the Ardrox AV30, which is like a synthetic version of "Fishoilene" but without the fishy smell. (The local aircraft maintenance facility uses it.)
 
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