Saxophone Forum


by kennyz
(31 posts)
7 years ago

----- Loosen keys on old vintage alto -----

Hello to everybody I have to start a job of general revision on a True Tone alto, pre-1926 (no rollers on G#, no altissimo front key) There are no dents, the springs are good and also the pads... the only job would be on the mechanics. In fact many keys are (I don't know the proper term) loosen, there is that is a "play", it moves among the two posts. this concerns some keys with the rod screw and some with the pivot screws. I have really noticed 2 types of "play / gap", that horizontal and another type that mainly concerns the palm keys. On these there is not the horizontal move but when the key is open "it swings", as if the tube is slightly wider than the screw. How can I do to eliminate this drawback? I thank whoever wants to help me

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  1. by Sax Mom
    (964 posts)

    7 years ago

    Re: ----- Loosen keys on old vintage alto -----

    If the rod screws are worn thin, you may have to replace the rod screws, or add some thickness to them in some way... some kind of tape? Though how you'd get the tape on and still get the rod through the tube, I don't know. If the tube of the key is flayed causing the play, you might need to have it CAREFULLY compressed in all directions. I'd suggest a pro machinist if that is what you need.

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    1. by definition
      (963 posts)

      7 years ago

      Re: ----- Loosen keys on old vintage alto -----

      Look up "Swedging"

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      1. by kennyz
        (31 posts)

        7 years ago

        Re: ----- Loosen keys on old vintage alto -----

        Thanks I've read about "swedging" and found also the plier on MusicMedic, but I'm from Italy and I really don't find this word on dictionarys...what it mean? How the plier works, the tube must be squeezed simply or moving to the post?

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        1. by definition
          (963 posts)

          7 years ago

          Re: ----- Loosen keys on old vintage alto -----

          a combinaton of both

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        2. by bonzokat
          (3 posts)

          7 years ago

          Re: ----- Loosen keys on old vintage alto -----

          make a pair of swedging plyers from a cheap soft metal needle nose plyers. clamp the plyer jaws in a vise and drill a hole near the tip. make the hole a bit smaller than the key hinge you want to shrink. polish the drilled hole with fine emery cloth to remove all traces of scratches. the more polished the better. with the key off and the steel in the key. squeeze the key hinge around the steel. even and lightly at first, till ya see how soft the key is. a key of harder brass will require more pressure. you can streatch the hinge by pull ing towards the edges as you swedge. you will need to true theends of the key hinge where it contacts the key posts after streatching. the novice tends to squeeze tthe hinge oval making the the steel bind. its easy to see, just squeeze it round again.

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        3. by kennyz
          (31 posts)

          7 years ago

          Re: ----- Loosen keys on old vintage alto -----

          Thanks for all suggestions !! I have to do this with the dismounted key and then to assemble to see how it works or could I do it with the mounted key ?

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        4. by Slausonm
          (51 posts)

          7 years ago

          Re: ----- Loosen keys on old vintage alto -----

          There are many diferent methods of taking the play out of keys. "swedging" will reduce the diameter of the hinge tube as well as lengthen the tube. Making a pair of swedging pliers is not quite as simple as what one respondent suggested. In actuality you don't want to drill the hole in the plier smaller than the hinge tube diameter, you want it a bit larger than the tube diameter. I use to work for Erick Brand and here is how it was done. We used plier blanks that started off soft then were hardened, you can do the same thing by anealing a pairof needle nose pliers then drilling them with a cobalt or carbide twist drill of the appropriate size. Cut a piece of brass shim stock that is .020-.030 thick hold the shim stock in the pliers so that it holds the jaws of the plier open. clamp the pliers VERY tightly in a good drill press or milling machine vise. Drill through the pliers with a drill size that is slightly larger (.005-.010")than the diameter of your tubing. If you have a reamer that will help too. Polish the inside of the jaws with emery and tripoli compound. Re harden the pliers, polish again. In addition to removing play by swedging, you can also lengthen hinge tubes which requires silver soldering. You can also move posts on a sax by unsoldering and moving them over slightly, or if there are dents in the horn...Take the dents out! Regards, Matt

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        5. by kennyz
          (31 posts)

          7 years ago

          Re: ----- Loosen keys on old vintage alto -----

          THANKS !!

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