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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I am somewhat new to this forum so I didn't know where to ask this.

Any way, let´s get down to business. I am found this old saxophone in a junkyard(No idea how it got there). It turns out it´s a 1924 Conn C Melody. Now a while back I asked on this website to see if they had any value. I was told that they weren't very special. Kind of a bummer.

I am a mechanic and I have always had a thing for classic cars. Especially a style called rat rod. Apparently this taste in style has spilled into my taste in saxophones. Since this is getting quite lengthy... I would like to restore the sax to playing condition but I have a strange desire for it. I would like for the body to be left as it is(Cosmetically I mean) and for the machinery to be restored to new. I don't know if I used the correct word. By machinery I mean bolts, rods, springs keys, etc... That sort of thing. Also to have the inside of the bell, at least as far as the eye can see, polished.

Since this is not a very valuable or rare sax I intend to have fun and have it more as decoration.

Could any of you sax veterans give me an example of how a sax like this would look? Although my mind is pretty made up about it I still would like to have an idea of how the saxophone would look like that. Or at least something similar. Any advice or pictures that slightly resemble my description are very welcome.

PS: Sorry for my bad English. I am not a native English speaker.
 

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Forum Contributor 2016-17
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Your sax probably had a satin silver finish on the body and keys, with a shiny gold wash inside the bell. Does that help?

p.s. I have a '59 Chevy and a '68 Olds Cutlass convertible.
 

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What you're trying to say be machinery would be keywork. I'm not exactly sure how this would look, though, I haven't seen anything that looks like this.
 

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What you're trying to say be machinery would be keywork. I'm not exactly sure how this would look, though, I haven't seen anything that looks like this.
Then you haven't seen a NEW Keilwerth SX90R Vintage. It has a "finish" on it that's ugly as sin, and bright shiny Silver Plated keywork. It's so ugly it's pretty! It has a clear coat over it (like some modern rat rods do) so it can't corrode any further than their chemical corrosion finish already did.
 

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I'm not exactly sure what the question is, but if you're wanting to know what a Conn C Melody from the 20s looks like, restored, then take a look at the listings for Conn (and other) C-Melodies on EBay. I just received a C-Melody as a gift and I'm wondering what to do with it, so I've done this myself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
For some reason mine just looks like regular old brass. Once again, since I don't plan on selling it due to the awesome origin story I don't think I will do the original finish.

Awesome Cars. I am currently in the process of restoring a 79 Camaro, 50 Chevy Pick Up and a 20th anniversary Mustang. But my everyday is this 69 Chevy C10 Piece of Junk. But it's My piece of junk so that makes it special haha :3
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the correction(not sure if that's the word), I'm kind of new to the saxophone world.

I hadn't either up until that Keilwerth NissanVintageSax mentioned
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You sir understand me! Thank you sooo much for that reference to the Keilwerth. That's exactly what I want with mine except for the clear coat on it. Mine would be just bare brass. Although if mine could look like that I would pretty satisfied.

And yeah! Rat Rods have that old ugly look to them that makes them have so much character. They kind of remind of those dogs that are so ugly the are pretty. That´s what I was looking for. Thank you very Much NissanVintageSax
 

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You're welcome :) BTW, the "Nissan" in my screen name is a 1993 (partly) Nissan D21 Rock "Truggy" project on 40" tires (which is still a work in progress!). I love Rat Rods too :)
 

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DCorbala: Welcome to the site. Like you've been told, a 1924 ANYTHING, let alone a C-Melody, isn't going to create a lot of sales interest. However, there are a few of us who really appreciate the old saxophones and drool over one that has been re-done ("drool" doesn't translate into sales, though).

Most old saxophones will turn out surprisingly nice if done right. There have been recent threads about SOTW posters who have done their old refurbs - one about an old Martin alto turned out to be stunning. There are photos in that thread.

But it probably requires that the whole horn be dis-assembled, all the metal work washed in some method or other, and then probably re-padded, etc. It should be an interesting do-it-yourself project for you. However, if you are not a saxophone player, maybe the project would be better done by a repair-tech (for which you will pay). A non-saxophone player would not have a clue as to how to set up the horn after re-assembly. DAVE
 

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Here's the thing....if you are gonna actually attempt to get the horn playable (which it seems, you are)...then what you need to do is clean the body with something.

Now, it is an old Cmel in either bare brass or just a very worn lacquer finish. I would disassemble the sax, and at least give the body and neck a soap and warm water bath, rinsing well afterward. Try to get inside there, fingers through the toneholes with a sponge and get out any nastiness inside the horn. t least then, the body will be clean and free of grime and stuff.

Then you can proceed with doing a full cleaning on the keys and installing new pads.

This is a big job for someone who has never done sax work before, though. Most people do not start out with repadding an entire sax, but rather they start with a horn which needs maybe a few pads or the like.

Dave is right, though. It is really gonna be impossible to do this correctly if someone isn't around to playtest it along the way, during the procedure and all.

If you have no intention of playing it....then all you are really doing is reassembling a sax to be a replica, in which case you don't have to worry about much more than removing & cleaning the rods, keys, screws....removing the pads, felts, corks....replacing the pads (if you really wanna do that...a set costs around $50)...reassembling the keywork...probably lubing the mechanisms...and that would be that.

The cleaning of the keys...to make them shiny compared to the body...would likely require some sort of chemical bath, then a hand-polishing. This can be done by a tech (just bring them the loose keys), or there are products at the hardware store which can give decent results.

Honestly, if you are gonna just hang it on a wall....spare yourself the money and don't install pads at all. Just remove the old ones and leave it like that.

IF your intention is to make it playable, there are plenty of threads here with suggestions on where you can get direction and advice on how to do that. You WILL have to invest a good $150-200 in tools and materials, however. Woodwind repair tools are very specific...using just hardware or auto tools, it will just compromise your ability too much. Screwdriver set, leak light, pad spatulas, pliers, springpullers, pads, corks, felts, adhesives, etc. are readily available online (instrumentclinic.com, musicmedic.com, etc).

It isn't THAT crazy to refurb a C Melody. Most people juyt don't do it because, well...it's a lot of labor to fix up a saxophone which nobody uses anymore.

For that same amount of work, you can fix up an Alto, which is much more desirable in this world.

Best of luck. Your english is excellent, BTW.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I'm actually not gonna do the work myself. I´m gonna get a professional repairman to do it. But since like Dave Dolson mentioned it's gonna cost me some money so I wouldn't want to spend money on something that I would regret later on, but after seeing the SX90R I don't think I will. Thank you all very much for your advice, You all have been very kind.

I might come back to this thread once I get the work done ;)
 

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Someone on e-bay has a DVD of him/her restoring a C-melody sax:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/DVD-VIDEO-O...979021?hash=item1a0864e28d:g:P24AAOSwwbdWOT~U

I have no idea how useful it might be to you (I haven't seen it, don't know the seller), but it might help.

By the way, I know someone who painted his sax matte black (true Rat Rod! although I think he went with black because it was the only colour that would cover the safety orange he had painted it before).

Good luck and have fun with your project!
 

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What you are talking about is called a "overhaul". That includes all new pads, cleaning the sax & regulating all the keywork. These cost a minimum of $800. If you get that done, it should be a fine playing saxophone. Most people would not put that kind of money into a 1920s horn (which is what you have), because you can't ever get your money back when you sell it. I had an overhaul done on a vintage C-melody and it came out great. But it was still a bit hard to deal with the 1920s design and intonation. In the end, I sold it… but not for what I had put into it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I´ve actually considered painting mine black. But I have a few doubts... I am a guitarist, and I have found that guitars that are painted. Not when the wood is sort of tinted, like a reddish wood, but rather when there's truly a coat o paint on it, they dont have such brilliance and resonance. I´m not sure if that happens to the saxophone but I am kind of afraid of something like that happening. But other than that... I would love to paint it flat black with the keywork in white and the rim of the bell red. Copying the true style of the rat rod.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Im not planning on selling it really. But, I have found this workshop down to the south of Mexico, I live in Sonora(Border State), that does amazing restoration jobs but a much lower price than normal. So the restoration TOTAL(A neck I bought from Australia and the material and everything) will be around 500 dollars, still pricey considering exchange from dollar to pesos. But either way, I am a lover of the old and I would like to bring this back to life.

Old cars are certainly not as comfortable and functional as new cars. But they have a "something" that just call to me. I feel this is the case with the saxophones
 

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…A neck I bought from Australia …
You didn't mention that before. Using a non-original neck on your sax is a gamble. Often, they do not play in tune well. I know what you are saying about vintage saxes having something different, but I would recommend saving your money and time with this C-melody and getting an alto or tenor sax from the 1940s or later. Preferably a good brand like King, Selmer, Buescher, Conn, etc.
 
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