Sax on the Web Forum banner
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
702 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an Indiana alto that I really like to play but have an issue changing from Bb to C# as there is no part of the C# key to slide my finger on when making this change.
Moving my finger across the linkage is inconsistent and I am looking for a solution or another saxophone.
I have been looking at pictures of the later model Imperial altos, top picture below, and they have a setup that, to me, looks more desirable. Looking at pictures, it looks like the rods and the posts are in the same location on the Imperial as the Indiana and I was wondering if anyone would know if the C# key/rod/cup would swap over from the Imperial to the Indiana with no or little modification? Martin built a bunch of the Indianas along with some Imperial and Medalists at the same time and the parts may be interchangeable. If this would work, I would need to start a post to find a parts horn or this individual C# key/rod/cup. I would like to keep playing this horn and this looks like it could be a solution.

Tire Land vehicle Wheel Vehicle Automotive lighting
Musical instrument Wind instrument Brass instrument Woodwind instrument Reed instrument
 

·
Registered
JS Crescent, JS NOS, Selmer SBA, Couf Superba I, Conn, Buescher, King
Joined
·
1,768 Posts
I don't have one of each here so I can't answer the swapability question, but even if you do have a match -- just one horn to another -- chances are the pivot rods will be different lengths, which means the work to actually alter the C# keytouch to be more like what you want is not quite as much more labor as you might initially think than just "swapping" if that's possible.

You (meaning you if you have the DIY knowledge needed, or your tech if s/he/they do) could make that alteration simply by tooling a piece of brass to soft solder onto the original C# touch, and finishing it to your specs. You could even plan into that a wing, if you wanted and lengthen the roller to run the full length of the inside edge of the keytouch (this would actually be almost the simplest part of the alteration, because it would involve the simplest "sculpting").

MusicMedic has been doing this kind of alteration for quite some time. I would say go to them and pay a bit more before trying to save money with someone you don't know to be dependable. There was a notorious personality that did this kind of work on this board like 10 years ago. If you research that, you'll see why I say it's better to pay more for an outcome that is knowable than less for one that, really, isn't.

Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
702 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank You for the reply. I had thought about doing what you have recommended, but was hoping for a simple solution even if it did mean shortening or spacing the rod to fit. Prior to this post, I had also considered modifying this key pretty much as described along with adding a post and roller from the Bb key placing it beside the B key similar to the Magna. This is work that I would do myself. I do not mind working on and doing things like this on my own horn and with it being of lower value, I would not even consider doing anything like this to equipment that is valuable or collectible. Per the reply, I do have this question. The reply had mentioned soft soldering the extension onto the key, I was of the understanding that on keys/rods/cups that these should be brazed due to the strength needed. Would soft soldering hold up under use if a key extension would be added to the key? I imagine that if I go this route, I could try to soft solder and if it breaks off, clean it up and redo by brazing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,341 Posts
I'd add the extension.

I have done a lot of this work by soft soldering; the very important key is to have as near to zero gap as possible. With minimal gap, the strength of the solder is not a key factor in the durabiltiy of the joint. If you can't do the fine fitting to achieve that, then the strength of the solder becomes a factor and you'll have to silver solder/braze it.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2016
Joined
·
19,230 Posts
OK so...I have an Indiana here and I have an Imperial parts horn. Indiana is a brass-keyed one, serial 83,xxx.

The Imperial C# key FITS the indiana...there IS a small gap between the end posts, around 1mm or so, so probably one end post would need to be slightly moved. As the upper end post is also the post for the G# barrel, either the G# barrel would need to be slightly shortened (no big deal) or you just move the bottom post on the bow.

Unfortunately, that MAY not be the end of it. The top of the Imperial C# keytouch does NOT align to the top of the original Indiana B keytouch. The latter is a good 6mm higher than the C# top.

So THAT becomes the larger issue. I hope this makes sense, as I have explained it (?)

I'll gladly sell you, @jth121 , the key (although it is missing its roller and rod but a tech would be able to offer a replacement...I might have one, maybe not but can check.

PM me or email me [email protected] and provide your cell # and I can text you a pic.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,341 Posts
Well, if you were to lengthen that C# rod by some heavy swaging in the middle of its length, you wouldn't have to fool with either post; you'd reduce the misalignment at the north end; and the horn could always be returned to original configuration very easily.

I'd suggest that the misalignment of the keys won't be noticed in actual play, but if it is, one could solder a 4 -5 mm extension onto the end of the C# to make it even. (You have to leave a hole for the roller's screw.) We're not talking about high collector value horns here; just modify as needed.

I assume the swapped key lines up OK down at the C# pad area? Spring mounts line up? G# linkage OK?
 

·
Registered
JS Crescent, JS NOS, Selmer SBA, Couf Superba I, Conn, Buescher, King
Joined
·
1,768 Posts
Thank You for the reply. I had thought about doing what you have recommended, but was hoping for a simple solution even if it did mean shortening or spacing the rod to fit. Prior to this post, I had also considered modifying this key pretty much as described along with adding a post and roller from the Bb key placing it beside the B key similar to the Magna. This is work that I would do myself. I do not mind working on and doing things like this on my own horn and with it being of lower value, I would not even consider doing anything like this to equipment that is valuable or collectible. Per the reply, I do have this question. The reply had mentioned soft soldering the extension onto the key, I was of the understanding that on keys/rods/cups that these should be brazed due to the strength needed. Would soft soldering hold up under use if a key extension would be added to the key? I imagine that if I go this route, I could try to soft solder and if it breaks off, clean it up and redo by brazing.
I've seen some DIY brass sculpting that was pretty good, but the main reason I suggest having a pro do the work is that (IMO, at a minimum) you should hard solder (silver solder) any extension additions, and silver soldering is more complicated, and better left to someone with experience with it, than soft soldering.

Yeah, even as I write and reread your post the idea of soft-soldering is more and more yucky to me.

IMO, professionally speaking, it's "wrong," as a consensus notion, but there are good reasons for that, primary among them that (1) someday someone may not know it's soft soldered, and put heat on it that melts your soft solder when, if they reasonably assumed correctly that it ought to be soft-soldered, they assumed wrongly, and (2) it's a high traffic, high-pressured spot usewise.

IMO no pro is going to tell you to soft-solder that, unless they don't give a **** what other pro's think of them or will say about them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
702 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
This is great, Thank You all for the replies with help suggestions and JayeLID for taking the time and effort to do this for me. I will email you as mentioned to get more details to see how close it is to the keys on my alto. My horn has an 85K serial number from 1961. I can soft solder and braze, but I do not have much experience brazing brass. My torch is larger and even though I can adjust it down, brass heats up rapidly and things overheat quickly when brazing with an Ox/Ace torch. My experience is with steel bicycle frames, much different than a musical instrument.
Turf3, this is not a hollow tube, it is a long solid rod, not sure you could swage this.
I did not want to make this an in depth project, but I am willing to try some simple modifications. As I mentioned previously, I like this horn and it plays extremely well. I will update when I decide which way I decide to go.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,341 Posts
Turf3, this is not a hollow tube, it is a long solid rod, not sure you could swage this.
I have done that very thing, to lengthen a rod (brass). Though I didn't do it with swaging pliers. I just gently peened the rod against the anvil of a vise, working my way round and round the rod, till it reached the desired length. Easy peasy.
 

·
Registered
JS Crescent, JS NOS, Selmer SBA, Couf Superba I, Conn, Buescher, King
Joined
·
1,768 Posts
This is great, Thank You all for the replies with help suggestions and JayeLID for taking the time and effort to do this for me. I will email you as mentioned to get more details to see how close it is to the keys on my alto. My horn has an 85K serial number from 1961. I can soft solder and braze, but I do not have much experience brazing brass. My torch is larger and even though I can adjust it down, brass heats up rapidly and things overheat quickly when brazing with an Ox/Ace torch. My experience is with steel bicycle frames, much different than a musical instrument.
Turf3, this is not a hollow tube, it is a long solid rod, not sure you could swage this.
I did not want to make this an in depth project, but I am willing to try some simple modifications. As I mentioned previously, I like this horn and it plays extremely well. I will update when I decide which way I decide to go.
If you can soft solder the key, you can resolder the posts to move them to take up any space or to allow for more space.

If you just think about it logically, where this is possible without causing other problems, it's the best solution physically/mechanically in the majority of similar situations. Most people never think about this type of problem logically/rationally. They just regurgitate something someone else once said that they thought had "cred," but who was just doing the same because they figured that was safe and people would validate it (or because, more innocently, both just had no clue). That's life. 🤷‍♂️
 

·
Registered
JS Crescent, JS NOS, Selmer SBA, Couf Superba I, Conn, Buescher, King
Joined
·
1,768 Posts
(Counterskinking is a normal/traditional solution but a less than ideal one, because if you have a true shoulderless, pointed pivot when you countersink you'll produce a situation where the hinge tube can never be flush to the pillar again, without changing the hinge tube's inner status as well -- it makes a lot more sense to preserve the pivot/hole relationship and move the pillar, if that can be done without harming other relationships. People have been agreeing that countersinking is the way to go for years & years purely because it's consensus policy that nobody's bothered to question, which is totally bizarre. If you just think about it, and aren't mentally deficient, this kind of obvious; the thing is, apparently nobody has ever stopped to think about it. It actually isn't that big a deal to retool the hinge tube, and I wouldn't hesitate to do that myself, but IMO for a DIYer who is confident/competent in soft soldering in some other area, say a high skill plumber, moving the pillar makes more sense. To do the finer reworking and counterskinking, you need additional tools and some idea as to how to use them, and if you go wrong it's a lot more complicated than if you mess up on something where the basic technique is already familiar to you. I wouldn't recommend the same, necessarily, to someone who didn't say they were confident/comfortable with soft soldering.)

"But wait...there's more...." [lol edit follows hereafter]

Actually...(here is the edit, leaving the above because it has its own value, IMO)...because your horn is the model it is, you probably have straight pivots, i.e. not pointed, just pegs. In that case, it could come up that if you countersink you'll have to drill the pivot holes deeper (probably won't come up, but it could). In that case, the drilling involves a risk of hitting the sides of the existing "peg hole" while drilling, which could cause play to develop between the pivot "peg" and the hole, but counterskinking wouldn't produce the complication the parens above. Probably you do have a non-pointed pivot, based on the make/model.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW member, musician, technician &
Joined
·
5,079 Posts
I have done that very thing, to lengthen a rod (brass). Though I didn't do it with swaging pliers. I just gently peened the rod against the anvil of a vise, working my way round and round the rod, till it reached the desired length. Easy peasy.
Yes definitely possible, this is the "no special tools" method. There are some special tools made for this specifically. I have the Ferree's one (which works but I don't particularly like it) and the Boehm one which basically works the same as what turf3 described, but with close matching contour around the rod.

Well, if you were to lengthen that C# rod by some heavy swaging in the middle of its length, you wouldn't have to fool with either post; you'd reduce the misalignment at the north end; and the horn could always be returned to original configuration very easily.

I'd suggest that the misalignment of the keys won't be noticed in actual play, but if it is, one could solder a 4 -5 mm extension onto the end of the C# to make it even. (You have to leave a hole for the roller's screw.) We're not talking about high collector value horns here; just modify as needed.
Yes I guess it depends how much it is felt when playing and how accurate whoever has it done wants them to be.

The photo doesn't look like it, but going with JayeLID's post of a 6mm difference, so 5mm if it's touching the upper post (I tried to find a translation... there doesn't seem to be a good word for this in English), I guess the question is how close you want it.
It could probably be adjusted closer by slightly curving the C# and maybe minor S bends in the B and Bb, which might be good enough for the OP, or not.
There's the issue of the rollers being apart and there's the problem of the gap between G# and C#. An extension to the C# touchpiece is definitely an option and it will solve the latter but not the former (assuming it's just an extension at the top... the touchpiece could be modified more).

I've seen some DIY brass sculpting that was pretty good, but the main reason I suggest having a pro do the work is that (IMO, at a minimum) you should hard solder (silver solder) any extension additions, and silver soldering is more complicated, and better left to someone with experience with it, than soft soldering.

IMO no pro is going to tell you to soft-solder that, unless they don't give a **** what other pro's think of them or will say about them.
I guess the question is what is "that".
If someone is going to put a significant extension, let's say about 5mm (going with JayeLID's measurement), on a hinge rod (solid), with this extension area being the one that is supporting the hinge against the screw, then yes I'd want to braze it (hard silver solder). So in this case, sure.
If it's a small extension, say about 1mm in this case (if not moving the posts), it will make no difference to the support since most of the contact is not at that very short end (I would want to verify that, or fix it if that's the case), then I would probably use soft silver solder (silver bearing solder).
Even more so on a hinge tube where it would make no difference and especially with lacquered keys (which isn't the case here).
Just to add that it's more about the exact details rather than a general idea that key extensions need to be brazed.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2016
Joined
·
19,230 Posts
I have been in contact w/OP and will sell him the Imperial key, no problem.

Good points made above. So swedging, per Turfs method, could get the key barrel long enough to fit tight to the posts. As could simply scooching up the bow post of the C#....the keycup would still cover tonehole OK, maybe with just a tad of key armature bending.

Then adding some brass to the top of the replacement key touch will eliminate the gap which would otherwise exist between it and the G# touch...and which IMHO would be a problem if a gap that large were just left there....

I suppose the added brass at the top of the replacement touch could then be drilled so a new roller rod could be inserted thru the new brass touch extension, thru the original roller rod hole, and into the bottom threaded hole.

I don't THINK that add'l brass atop the replacement C# touch would NEED to be silver-soldered; there wouldn't be much shear/lateral/tensile force ever applied to the touch which would make the touch surface 'fail'.

Any gap or touching between the new roller and existing roller of the B touch could be dealt with by a bit of key bending or in a worst-case scenario, actually scooching over a post just a wee bit so the rollers clear each other.

So the only compromise then...would be the replacement key roller on the C# and the original B roller....would not align north-south. Aesthetically a little cockeyed, but functionally something of no consequence, probably.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
702 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I am purchasing the key shown in post #6 above from JayeLID to modify the spatula keys as discussed. We have been in contact and if both of our measurements are correctly communicated and measured, the rod is 1mm longer than the rod on my horn and there is a 3.5mm difference at the top of the key comparing to the key on my horn. The distance between this key and the B key is 1.5mm closer on the replacement key also. We will see better what it looks like when it arrives here and I try to install it.
 

·
Registered
JS Crescent, JS NOS, Selmer SBA, Couf Superba I, Conn, Buescher, King
Joined
·
1,768 Posts
@clarnibass Sure. But IMO you're only thinking of it from your perspective, not the DIYer or the customer (real or abstract). If it's a smaller addition, or one incurring less leverage, then there isn't a lot of concern as far as adhesion or non-flexion, but if someone is paying for work such as seems to be the topic, it's up to an hour of labor, maybe more, and to do it in a way where a future tech might accidentally unsolder the addition, where that wouldn't happen with silver solder -- so that the customer's earlier investment is wasted or undone -- just seems needlessly inconsiderate and stupid.

(Stupid because inconsiderate/unethical, due to lack of self-awareness, which is sort of my definition of "stupid.")
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top