Hi, my name is Pete, I've been playing sax for about four years now. Can anyone help me in tracing the history/manufacturer of this sax. Saxismyaxe who is a regular contributor of "The Breakfast Room" web site, has asked me to post my story here. I have not added all the replies that I received (if you want to read them, they are in the breakfast room under Technical section under the heading of "What have I gone and done!"
So I shall do the copy and paste thing and you can all see where I'm at.
Oh dear.... and ooops are two sentiments that spring to mind.
What exactly have I done I hear you all cry?
I've bought a dead sax. I found it hidden in the backroom of a music shop in Coventry and labeled as "Scrap." Its a "Dearman" (if anyone knows anything about these I would be very interested to here from you) It comes in a battered hard case and it has several pads (not spare pads, just several pads!) It seems at first glance to be fairly straight and a good tenor for a beginner's restoration project. I shall post some pictures as soon as I can.
No doubt I will be picking the brains of the likes of Griff, Pete, Steven Howard and Saxismyaxe, to name but a few of the tinkerers (professional and amature alike) on this site.
Before I start, I shall probably open up a few well buried worm cans, such as "To lacquer or to leave bare."
I'd like to hear your thoughts, especially if you've "Been there, ate the pie and wore the "T" shirt." Even if you haven't, I'd be interested in knowing what you'd do with a "blank canvas" so to speak.
My plan of action is to take my time with this and hopefully create a nice "Vintage" sounding sax. I plan to post lots of pictures as I go so that you can follow the restoration (demise) of this instrument and maybe, if you have any ideas you would like to share, then feel free to post them.
(I wont post all the replies,)
Well here she is, in all her glory. Although she is almost unplayable, a few notes are possible, she is not in as bad a condition as I remembered from my first visit to the shop. The bell has received a knock, flattening the outer edge by a few millimeters, there is a small dent about three inches below the thumb rest. The left hand palm keys look to be slightly bent as does one of the pillars. When the bell received it's bump, the bell brace area was also damaged. this has been repaired but on the tube side the repair is of a very low standard. There are several very small dents around the body, but none that will effect the tone (when I can eventually get one ) and I believe most of the pads are history. There is only one pad missing although a complete re-pad is going to be on the cards. (Hopefully done by me)
The lacquer is in better shape than I first thought, although the way it is coming off is quite unsightly, this may improve after I have striped the sax down and washed it.
Other than that for the moment at least, she will gather a little more dust as I prepare my game plan and seek some advice as to where to start. She doesn't appear to have anything else written on her other than Dearman and the serial number which is 6643. Also the tone holes are not rolled.
In the mean time, here are some pictures of the old dear
I could have sworn that I said in a earlier post, that I was going to take my time with this project...
As I type this post, the dreaded "Nitromors" is eating its way into that horrible old lacquer.
I sat down this afternoon and looked at the Dearman.
Suddenly this feeling in the pit of my stomach started to grow.... out came the tools. I couldn't stop myself
I started off by buying some self sealing sandwich bags, not cos tinkering with saxes makes you peckish, I thought they would be good for keeping small groups of parts together Then out came the camera, as I decided where to start, I knew that photographic evidence would be very helpful when it comes time to rebuild the old girl.
I had her totally striped down in about two hours, during this time I realised that this is not the first time that an amature has taken her apart, although to what extent I cant be sure (possibly a partial strip) Some of the rods that the keys pivot on had damaged screw slots and where very difficult to remove, also a general build up of crud caused a few problems. I think the rods will probably clean up ok
Once everything was "Bagged 'n' Tagged" (I've always wanted to say that ) I took the time to give the bodywork and the tone holes a good inspection. One pillar is slightly bent, but I think it may be ok to leave (Griff?) It is on one of the keys that was playable. Also one of the tone holes is warped, this is beside the bell support bar. As I said in an earlier post, she has had a knock at some time in her life, so I may need to get that professionally sorted.
Well its time to go scrub the "Goo" off and see what I'm left with.
Till the next exciting episode...
Thanks for the input Griff, the key has an "Axle" so I will probably leave it alone as everything lines up without binding.
I have just finished removing the lacquer to find a tiny "Made in Italy" stamped on the front of the horn on the seal where the bell meets the bow.
Does this strengthen the theory that it could be a Borgani and Grassi and stenciled by Kielwerth.
Griff with two of the tone holes being slightly warped, what are your recommendation, I could remove the solder holding the bell brace in place, then using a soft'ish rod, place the rod through the opposite tone hole and gently "massage" the indented area, using again gentle pressure from a soft headed SMALL mallet.
I know this could literally go pear shaped but is it worth trying or not in your honest opinion.
Also as the pads are history, what sort would you recommend and what sort of price would I be looking at.
Thanks again all for your words of wisdom
Well that's as far as I've got so if anyone has any information, or any ideas, I'd love to hear from you.