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Discussion Starter #1
I have a Buescher True Tone Alto, the bell brace has broken and needs to be soldered back to the body. The thing is that this is right between two other key posts.

How do I solder this in place without affecting the other posts?
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member/Technician
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A few ways, the trick is to keep the two posts cool whilst soldering the brace, there is a gel that can be used , you can use wet rags, ice, tec


The other way is a hot flame, and quick hands, this keeps the other posts cool as well, I personally have an oxy / acetalene attached to a smith torch which is super hot, so I solder the bit on and then use a pray bottle to cool the posts and area down with water
 

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or strap down the posts with wire so that if they do get hot they do not move. sometimes depending on the situation I will put the keywork on with no pads to hold everything else in place...

make sure you get everything clean clean clean clean... and thatt you have a torch that can get hot and be controlled. depending on how it broke off you might want to desolder the bell side too so that you really clean everything. also address any body damage that might have also happened prior to resoldering the brace (look for a depression in the tube where the brace attached).

soldering is not hard, but it requires a definite feel that can not really be explained but learned through practicing.

also once you get things hot, the solder weill flow and you will need less than you think. i see so many horns come through with wretched solder work, where there is too much and it always looks like home depot plumbing solder...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the advice, most soldering I've done has been on key guard feet or low C# key post etc. I'll be using a micro torch, so hopefully the wet rags and wire will do the trick.
 

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the harbor freight torch ( 8 bucks) which is i believe a copy of the blazer, works well. you will need more heat than you will for a key guard.
 

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Not much more heat...the TruTone braces are pretty minimal in my recollection
 

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Rember heat travels. Put the torch right on the spot you want to solder.If you remove the heat just at the right time the heat will not get to the other posts. Post fall off because the solder will not run and too much heat is used. MAKE SURE THE PART TO BE SOLDERED IS CLEAN, DOWN TO THE BRASS.
 

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Sometimes more heat is safer than less heat. A hot torch will get the job done faster, with less heat transfer to other posts, etc. Start the heating process on the most massive part of the assembly - probably the brace itself. Make sure the spot to be soldered is squeaky clean!
 

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In really tight situations, I will get both surfaces 'squeaky clean' including lightly sanding away existing solder, use minimal flux, and then tin both surfaces with just a flash.
 

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"I will get both surfaces 'squeaky clean' including lightly sanding away existing solder "

Another great use for a dental lab micromotor, with various burs. Many times quicker, and more thorough than sand paper.
 

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Agreed...
I have found the MusicMedic soft abrasive wheels to be absolutely amazing at letting me only remove the solder and minimal brass.
 
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