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Discussion Starter #1
I am currently tightening the mechanism on a Vito-Yamaha 21 . I have swedged the keys; nevertheless they wobble from side to side due to wear on the inside of the ends of the tubes.

If I am not mistaken it is possible to fill the tubes with epoxy and drill a slightly narrower tube within the tube.

Could some body kindly outline for me the steps of this operation?

I presume one alternate solution would be to replace the rod with a rod of slightly larger thickness. This would mean enlarging the insides of all the tubes sharing the same rod, also enlarging the thread in the post.

Is this more invasive that the epoxy technique?

Another question: If the crease is not narrow and crisp but rather wide and vague due to wobbling, how much air will leak?

The main reason for tightening the mechcanism is to have air tight pads. The second reason is comfortable action. Have I got this right?

The was no acid corosion on the thumb rest of my my vito- yamaha 21 ie. the body of the instrument is pristine. Nevertheless the key work has that side to side wobble that swedging and washers I presume will not help.

Said differently, it left the factory less than perfect.

Conceivably the restorer could create on such an instrument an action tighter than it ever was were he or she to swedge the tubes and also deal with side to side wobble by either the epoxy way or else the thicker rod replacement approach.

This brings me to the question:

Would such an endevour create a significantly better horn?

My uneducated guess would be that it would make a modest but real difference in airtightness, pad life and comfort of action.

However I don’t know for sure, and thus I turn to you my teachers…
 

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"I am currently tightening the mechanism on a Vito-Yamaha 21 . I have swedged the keys; nevertheless they wobble from side to side due to wear on the inside of the ends of the tubes."

I don't think that is from wear. It would take many decades to do that. That is the way student Yamahas are made, &/or a result of what you have done to it.

May I suggest you have used an inappropriate swedging tool. To shrink the tube around the rod, the the tool must contact the tube most of the way round. Otherwise it just makes the tube thinner walled and longer. After appropriate swedging, you should need other tools to stop the tube binding tightly on the pivot tube. Really, swedging tools can be put in 2 categories; those that largely lengthen the tube, and those that largely shrink the tube to the rod. It depends on both contact area AROUND the tube, and contact area along the tube. For the former, the limit is to just use smooth, flat jawed pliers, which will actually INCREASE the tube ID. For the latter, the longer the contact area, the less tube lengthening.

"If I am not mistaken it is possible to fill the tubes with epoxy and drill a slightly narrower tube within the tube."

Should work. Tin/silver solder would be better.

"Could some body kindly outline for me the steps of this operation?"

Fill one end. Drill it out from the other end with an UNDERSIZED drill. Use a fine round file &/or broaches to enlarge the hole to the right size. Then do likewise with the other end.

"I presume one alternate solution would be to replace the rod with a rod of slightly larger thickness. This would mean enlarging the insides of all the tubes sharing the same rod, also enlarging the thread in the post. "

Yes, possibly, but you most likely cannot buy exactly the size you want, so fitting is still required. Basically, it was made with low precision, and if you want to upgrade that precision, then it is quite an involved process. BTW, the rods are probably a sloppy fit in the posts as well. :)

"Is this more invasive that the epoxy technique?"

It is more refined. To do it well is very time consuming... a lot of fitting involved. Not a job for an amateur. (eg, how would you accurately adjust the fit of the holes in the stack key posts?

"Another question: If the crease is not narrow and crisp but rather wide and vague due to wobbling, how much air will leak? "

Closing of linked keys, that you don't actually put your finger on, especially Bis, F#, G#, will be unreliable. Wobbly pivots primarily affects LINKAGES, making them thoroughly unreliable. (My main bone of contention with student Yamahas; they don't do this with their flutes!)

"The main reason for tightening the mechanism is to have air tight pads. The second reason is comfortable action. Have I got this right?"

I don't think so. See above.

"The was no acid corrosion on the thumb rest of my my vito- yamaha 21 ie. the body of the instrument is pristine. Nevertheless the key work has that side to side wobble that swedging and washers I presume will not help."

Swedging may well remove lacquer. Many swedging tools have unpolished work surfaces, which is quite damaging, unless you do something about correcting the tool.

"Said differently, it left the factory less than perfect. "
Sure did. It is a long way from being a Yanagisawa professional. That's cos it was cheap! But in other ways, it was a lot more perfect than some Chinese and Taiwanese horns.

"Conceivably the restorer could create on such an instrument an action tighter than it ever was were he or she to swedge the tubes and also deal with side to side wobble by either the epoxy way or else the thicker rod replacement approach. "
For sure. But it all takes a lot of time hence money.

"Would such an endeavour create a significantly better horn?"
The pads (providing they were good ones) would close a lot more reliably. Less leakage.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Gordon for you erudite answer. Also you are right; the tubes on my Vito- Yamaha 21 are wobbly because they were manufactured that way. The problem has nothing to do with wear.
 

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zagzig said:
I am currently tightening the mechanism on a Vito-Yamaha 21 . I have swedged the keys; nevertheless they wobble from side to side due to wear on the inside of the ends of the tubes.
Do you perhaps mean "wear on the inside of the ends of the posts".
As Gordon said proper "swedging" of the keys should eliminate the end wobble and also the lateral (side to side) motion of the key between the posts and/or adjacent key tubes.

The Ferree's collet tool is the swedging tool I use most of the time. With the proper size collet and a good lubricant, the cosmetic damage to a key can be minimized. I only use the swedging pliers when there is not an end of the hinge tube on the key to get the collet tool around.

If the problem is that the key is snug on the rod (after proper swedging) but that the rod wobbles in the post, there is a solution. Either spread a tiny amount of super glue around the circumference of the hole in the post or "flash" a tiny amount of solder inside the hole. This second method requires the hole to be spotlessly clean and the use of a good flux. The use of a solder with a slightly higher silver content (not silver solder) makes a more lasting repair. If the rod won't pass through the post after the treatment, the hole can be reamed slightly with the proper tool. If you have a spare steel pivot rod of the same diameter, you can make a reamer by grinding the end at a 45 degree angle to produce a point and sharp cutting edges on the sides. A long rod made this way is useful to reach all of the posts on the lower stack of the sax reaming one post at a time.

Fitting an "oversized rod" to the keys and posts is an advanced repair technique best left to those with training or experience. Usually proper swedging and the post treatment described above suffices without going to those extremes.

John
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Dear John.

Thank you for your contribution. I probably didn’t spend enough time swedging the tube in question with my Ferre tool- the one with the collet.

Without making excuses, is it nontheless true that nickel plated tubing is more difficult to swedge?

The pivot rods are not loose in the posts on this sax, Nevertheless your advice is precious information I will retain.

I can only presume that there must be instances when swedging will not eliminate end play; in such a case I presume Gordon’s solder fill and drill out technique would be to thing to do.

A question remains unanswered; I presume a crisp crease is better than a vague, wide one.Nevertheless I am gathering that the Yamaha 21-23 came out of the factory with at less a few keys prone to making wide vague creases.

So my question is the following:

a) Is a small crisp crease better? (I presume it is)
b) How much margin is there for a few pads having wide vague creases. (presumably there is such a margin for otherwise these horns would not play except after intensive technician intervention)

Perhaps this question touches on the thread you posted dealing with the scientific study of leaks…

Nevertheless I would like to hear from somebody with pratical experience in the matter.

I presume if I can play the low b flat with light finger presure I am on the right track.

I can only presume the technician must balance the quest for excellence in horn repair with pragmatic considerations…
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Dear John.

Thank you for your contribution. I probably didn’t spend enough time swedging the tube in question with my Ferre tool- the one with the collet.

Without making excuses, is it nontheless true that nickel plated tubing is more difficult to swedge?

The pivot rods are not loose in the posts on this sax, Nevertheless your advice is precious information I will retain.

I can only presume that there must be instances when swedging will not eliminate end play; in such a case I presume Gordon’s solder fill and drill out technique would be to thing to do.

A question remains unanswered; I presume a crisp crease is better than a vague, wide one.Nevertheless I am gathering that the Yamaha 21-23 came out of the factory with at less a few keys prone to making wide vague creases.

So my question is the following:

a) Is a small crisp crease better? (I presume it is)
b) How much margin is there for a few pads having wide vague creases. (presumably there is such a margin for otherwise these horns would not play except after intensive technician intervention)

Perhaps this question touches on the recent thread dealing with the scientific study of leaks…

Nevertheless I would like to hear from somebody with pratical experience in the matter.

I presume if I can play the low b flat with light finger presure I am on the right track.

I can only presume the technician must balance the quest for excellence in horn repair with pragmatic considerations…
 

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zagzig said:
Without making excuses, is it nontheless true that nickel plated tubing is more difficult to swedge?
Absolutely. Nickel can be HARD. Try swedging a student clarinet key sometimes. :)
zagzig said:
I can only presume that there must be instances when swedging will not eliminate end play; in such a case I presume Gordon’s solder fill and drill out technique would be to thing to do.
I have never had an instance where swedging did not remove the "wobble". Sometimes it is impossible to "lengthen" the hinge tube enough to take up the
lateral motion on the rod. In such cases I either move the post depending on the situation or solder an extension on to the hinge tube and cut it down to size for a snug fit.
zagzig said:
A question remains unanswered; I presume a crisp crease is better than a vague, wide one.
By "crease" I assume you mean the pad "seat". The answer is yes---only because the wide or dual crease indicates that the key is moving unnecessarily on the rod. If the "crease" is not a uniform depth, or if the pad touches the tonehole somewhere between the separate seats, there is a good chance of an air leak.
zagzig said:
Nevertheless I am gathering that the Yamaha 21-23 came out of the factory with at less a few keys prone to making wide vague creases.
Unfortunately, I have seen newer YS23's in which the keys are quite loose on the hinge rods.

The main place where this "sloppy" key problem is a serious issue in in the lower stack F#, F, E, D, and G#. My teacher called this area the "Junction" and it is in this area that the most exacting regulation must take place in order for the sax to play properly. Oftentimes I will swedge keys to eliminate noise or to get a better feel of the key in other parts of the sax. In this area I swedge to get a decent regulation of the F# to G# and Bb bis keys.
zagzig said:
I presume if I can play the low b flat with light finger pressure I am on the right track.
Add the words "pianissimo" and "entrance". ;)
zagzig said:
I can only presume the technician must balance the quest for excellence in horn repair with pragmatic considerations…
There is a lot of wisdom in those words. The level of perfection sought by the technician working on a beginning student's Bundy II and a professional player's Yamaha Custom are two different worlds. That does not mean that you don't try to get the Bundy II to play as responsively as possible in the low register within the time and budget constraints of the job. This is why the pro pays up to 3 times as much for the "play condition" of his instrument as does the parent of the beginning player.

What is most interesting is that the majority of Bundy II players will never learn or be required to play the low Bb in their band class, but as a tech you want it to work just in case that one talented kid comes along who will need to play that note. ;)

John
 

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Discussion Starter #8
John, thank you for the illuminating reply.

The tip about soldering on and filing down a piece of hinge tubing is a beautiful tip- as is the idea of using the end of an old pivot rod as a knife to help trim filler in a too large post thread.

However you are also helping me develop better judgement in assessing how much work I should put into a student quality horn.

What you say about the junction of the horn agrees entirely with Gordon’s statement about linkages i.e. the f# g# and bis b flat.

It goes without saying the the very sound of the word junction evokes the idea of linkage.
 

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zagzig said:
Without making excuses, is it nonetheless true that nickel plated tubing is more difficult to swedge?
I think not really. It is hard, for sure, but so thin that it does not add a lot toughness to the key. However it is hard on the tool, and the swedging process can easily cause the plating to crack or peel off, possibly leaving sharp edges that are even harder on the tool. However some key metal is far more work-hardened than other.

BTW, in case there is confusion, clarinet keys are not nickel. They are a largely copper/nickel alloy, around 80% copper, and although tougher than brass, a lot softer than nickel.

I can only presume that there must be instances when swedging will not eliminate end play; in such a case I presume Gordon’s solder fill and drill out technique would be to thing to do.
I only mentioned the technique because you asked for possibilities. I have never used this on a sax, But there are keys on a clarinet which have appendages soldered over the entire length of the outside of the key, so swedging is impossible without first milling the outside cylindrical, e.g. F/C key often. Sometimes G# on a flute.

b) How much margin is there for a few pads having wide vague creases. (presumably there is such a margin for otherwise these horns would not play except after intensive technician intervention)
Some pads, especially high F, can develop a wide area of sealing. Sometimes this is no problem at all. Likewise sometimes movement between posts for stack keys does not matter much (because it does not affect linkages). It is not ideal, but some pads, in some situations, accommodate it well, and seal no matter what the alignment of tone hole against the wide sealing area.

I think that if swedging with appropriate tools is insufficient to take out play between posts on a sax, then you really do need to look at the alignment of those posts. It does not take muck of a bump on a sax to jar posts out of alignment.

However if you need to lengthen a pivot tube, then an easy option is to put a blob of tin/silver solder on the end, drill it from the other end, ream it, face it, and shape the outside if necessary. A slight colour difference, but barely noticeable over a fraction of a mm.

Many options. So many decisions! - balancing "the quest for excellence in horn repair with pragmatic considerations" :twisted: :)
 

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Gordon (NZ) said:
BTW, in case there is confusion, clarinet keys are not nickel. They are a largely copper/nickel alloy, around 80% copper, and although tougher than brass, a lot softer than nickel.
Leblanc Paris, Noblet, Normandy and even their Vito clarinet's are power forged nickle-silver keys. In 30 years of repair I have never found a better built key.

Where do these keys rate in comparison, in your opinion?
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Thanks Gordon for the illuminating answer

I sum up.

I need to practice swedging more since clearly it is the main ingrediant in tightening the mechanism particularly in the lower stack where there linkages are affected by wobbly keys.

If I learn to swedge well it is unlikely I will have to bother with treating a tube with with epoxy or solder.

A wide area of seal are not ideal, but in many situations it is acceptable. One finds this commonly in the high f key for example.

It is good to know there is a margin of tolerance for a wide area of seal in some situations because this way I do not waste my time trying to fix a problem that may not be very important as far as leakage is concerned.

Don't be afraid of nickle plated keys.

A hidge tube can be lengthened with a gob of solder worked on in the manner you describe.
 

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I have, on occasion, just turned a custom washer for taking up excessive endplay, rather than relocate a post if everything is perfectly aligned (I wonder if 1) the play has always been there, 2) the horn has taken a subtle bump that I can't figure out or 3) it's just end wear from, e.g. playing without lubrication).

Is there anything inherently wrong with this practice...I generally just size the OD of a brass rod in the lathe to match the hinge tube OD, center drill to the size of rod and then cutoff the right thickness. I install it on the input side so the threads don't get entangled...sometimes I just superglue it to the rod end.
 

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It takes decades to get significant wear here.
And apart from Selmer Bundy II (I squirm to even mention the brute!), very few new saxes have significant end play between posts.

Logical conclusion: Horn has suffered a knock. Possibly the whole body is slightly bent, so that the tips of the posts have parted.

Fix?: Straighten the body &/or re-align posts. It takes very little time.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
I gather the Selmer Bundy II is a horn technicians love to hate.

What do members think of its immediate predecessor the Bundy as well as its successor the Selmer Prelude?

And how do these instruments compare to the yamaha 23?
 

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Sorry, I haven't seem a Bundy for a while, and my memory does not recall models well, but every time I see Bundy on a sax I squirm.

Yamaha 23? The ones I see may not be the same as the ones you see, particularly the pads. For the ones I see, great student instrument except:

1. Tone holes not as level as they could be (which is typical for most saxes.)
2. They have chosen to use rather hard pads.
3. Sloppy pivots (and rods within posts) for the stack keys.
4. Lacquer on tone hole edges interferes with accurate use of leak light.

This combination can make make adjustment tricky and somewhat unreliable. However acoustic design is so good that they play very well in spite of this.

Give me this over a Bundy any day. In my experience 1 & 3 are far worse, and the pads are really squishy as a pathetic bandaid.
 
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