Saxophone Forum


by loudogskank
(11 posts)
9 years ago

How the hell long does an overhaul take?

ARRRR my damn sax has been in for repairs since April 21st.... Everytime I call the tech says it will be a few more weeks... Im contemplating going downtown with a gun in a few days... Anyone else have to deal with horriffic waits to get your horns fixed?

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  1. by jamterry
    (573 posts)

    9 years ago

    Re: How the hell long does an overhaul take?

    Kristy, the prices here in LA and in Chicago are the same as what you said for NYC. Here in LA i go to Stein on Vine in Hollywood. In Chicago i go to Paul Maslin. If you go to Stein on Vine you will meet Gary Chen. Gary speaks jazz !!!! They do work for a lot of pros here, but you can bet that are backed up. Gary will give you a loaner. I've known Gary for 20 Years and i highly recommend his store. Also you can rent any instrument there, and Gary charges me $50/day plus refundable deposit. It might be more for someone that he doesn't know. Paul Maslin in Chicago ia the best setup person that i know. Fred Hemke recommended him to me. From what i hear Fred is still alive. Such a nice guy. Paul plays saxophone quite well, and personally tests every horn. He is the go to person for serious stuff. He will charge you top dollar, but you get what you pay for. As Kristy already said, it's better to make an appointment. Keep your horn until they are ready to work on it. :)

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  2. by Sax Mom
    (964 posts)

    9 years ago

    Re: How the hell long does an overhaul take?

    That does seem like a long time. What specific work did it need? Are you getting new lacquer, too? Is the tech waiting for a part that needed to be custom built? Ask questions, "What still needs to be done?" "What's been done so far?"

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    1. by blackfrancis
      (396 posts)

      9 years ago

      Re: How the hell long does an overhaul take?

      Other question to ask: when will it be finished? Set a deadline, and if it isn't done, take it elsewhere. Ask to see your horn in its current condition so you can see how far he's really gotten with it.Tell this person that you've been patient long enough. Do all this in a polite but no-nonsense way, and do it IN PERSON.

      Reply To Post


      1. by loudogskank
        (11 posts)

        9 years ago

        Re: How the hell long does an overhaul take?

        All it needs is springs and a pad job. I am getting impatient so today im gonna go down there and put my foot down.... hopefully not in the techs face, but who knows...

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        1. by tsax_player
          (76 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: How the hell long does an overhaul take?

          I had springs and pads put on my tenor last April. It took about two weeks. The job itself should not take more than a few days, but some shops are very busy and backed up. As someone mentioned ask to see the horn and talk to them in person. The time frame you have had is unacceptable.

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      2. by JZ
        (83 posts)

        9 years ago

        How the hell long does it take to get a response from Loudogskank on a reply to the overhaul?

        So the joke is: This Loudogskank guy isn't getting ripped-off on his horn, he just never got around to picking it up. Because he practices so much, apparently. There's like 50 responses on his overhaul question, an HE won't reply. Probably the repair shop kept calling and he forgot that he had a sax in the shop. Etc. Soooo. Whatever happened on the horn, Loudogskank???? This guy's a tenor player, right?

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      3. by JZ
        (83 posts)

        9 years ago

        I’d like to tell you about my overhaul experience.

        Back in 1978 I got a Yanigisawa alto from Michael Irwin at Marin Woodwinds in Fairfax Cali-fornia. He said it was their copy of a Mark IV and I had no idea what that was, but I trusted him. It was a great horn. Solid, heavy, dark tone, I loved it. At one amazingly crazy point in my life in the early 1990s there was so much going on that I knew I would not be able to touch the sax for months. So I took it to a different repair shop in Marin since Marin Woodwinds had moved away. This other repairman said, "I'll make you sound like David Sanborn" and "I always thought the Yanigisawa was a bit too dark". I liked the dark. I told him that there would be no rush on the jazzier pad job since I was amazingly distracted. He had the repad job done in no time. When I flew into the shop one day to grab the sax and run, I noticed that it felt very different and the tone was all over the place. However, on my horn there were two keys that had fingerprints in the lacquer job, and they were present on this horn. The horn sat in the closet for months just as I said it would. After I got some of the craziness cleared out of the way I picked up my horn to play some blues, because that's how I felt. Then I realized that it wasn't even my horn. I know this sounds absurd, but that's how insane my life was and I was keeping it together. This guy switched around a whole bunch of parts off my near-perfect horn, and gave me some cheap piece of crap, knowing that I wouldn't be looking at it for months. I'm not a professional sax player, I'm just some guy who played the sax in high school and kept playing it as an adult. That was a terrific horn that he stole. If the repairman went through all that, it must have been a pretty good horn. I was flabbergasted when I realized what I had allowed to happen to me. I called another repair shop and asked if it is likely that a repair guy would switch around parts on a horn, and this other repair guy said, "Sure, it happens all the time. Who did it to you?" The cops.

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        1. by loudogskank
          (11 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: I’d like to tell you about my overhaul experience.

          Oh Jesus. Now im scared haha. Thought im sure theyd have a hard time switching out parts on a Series 1 new wonder haha. Still, that sucks and would definitely make me go on a killing spree.

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          1. by knorter
            (205 posts)

            9 years ago

            Re: I’d like to tell you about my overhaul experience.

            An overhaul only takes about a week or two. Shops can get backed up so make sure you set an appointment in the future and a deadline. Also ask if they will provide a loner horn. April? This guy is taking serious advantage of you. I'd contact the better business bureau in your area or at least tell the repair person that is what you've done. See how fast you get your horn back then. See if they've started the work yet if not take the horn back now. Also how much do they charge for an overhaul? In NYC the best charge around $600-700. Good luck.

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            1. by knorter
              (205 posts)

              9 years ago

              Re: I’d like to tell you about my overhaul experience.

              BTW who is the repair person? Others should be warned. In the future Bill Singer in NYC is awesome, honest, and you can ship the horn to him. He takes appointments which can take awhile to get but once he has your horn he is committed to getting it done in a timely fashion. (a few weeks)

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            2. by connsaxman_jim
              (2336 posts)

              9 years ago

              Re: I’d like to tell you about my overhaul experience.

              Pads and springs is shouldn't take more than a couple weeks. If there was any dent work, or a relacquer, that could take longer, but still not more than maybe 6-8 weeks depending on how backed up the shop might be. Unfortunately, bad thoughts are running through my mind. I'm wondering if they either lost your horn, sold it by mistake, or perhaps they repaired it and are loaning it out to some other student. Hopefully, it's ok. I recommend that you take pictures of your horn before taking it to a shop that you don't know. I have Luke at The Wind Works do all the repairs on my horns that I don't do myself, and I completely trust him, and his work is top notch! I guess I'm pretty fortunate to have a good tech only about 6 minutes from where I live! His shop is near Flint, MI. I can pass along his number if interested. Just drop me an email.

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            3. by SaxMan
              (559 posts)

              9 years ago

              Re: I’d like to tell you about my overhaul experience.

              wow! so many experts here who don't know anything about repair. To rebuild ANY selmer saxophone, from the super sax on up, it will take about a month, if hard felt pads are used, which last longer and will let your horn play better. Selmers are extremely difficult to rebuild and very rarely do they ever do something nice for you, like a pad seating perfect the first time. Granted, 6 months or whatever it works out to is rediculous, unless you were told it would take that long. If there is more work in the shop ahead of you, then be patient, but if you are jsut waiting and waiting, take it somewhere else.

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            4. by definition
              (963 posts)

              9 years ago

              Re: I’d like to tell you about my overhaul experience.

              Oy saxman: 1) It aint a Selmer horn 2) Ive never seen a padf job take more than a few days tops from a good tech Bsaed on your comments, you need a new tech yourself. Selmer horns arent any harder to setup than any other horn.

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            5. by SaxMan
              (559 posts)

              9 years ago

              Re: I’d like to tell you about my overhaul experience.

              then your tech uses crap pads that should only used be on student model horns, or perhaps not at all. your tech probably neither is replacing the corks. This set up stuff is a bunch of snake oil by the way. There is a difference between a good tech workign on a horn, and an incompetant one doing the same. It was either done right, or wrong. If the latter is true, then it will play like crap. Any horn that plays bad, is going to play bad no matter what any tech does to it. But most horns out there, really don't play bad, shitty technicians have just worked on them. few days tops huh? dream on. cutting and putting the corks on a selmer alone is going to take around an hour and a half I should think - as far as I know noone else uses those cup deals in the stacks. You obviously aren't a tech, so stop talking.

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            6. by definition
              (963 posts)

              9 years ago

              Re: I’d like to tell you about my overhaul experience.

              Im not a tech? live and learn kid. I keep the pads I like to use available to me so i already have them when I need them(I use roo pads for nice horns). As for selmer horns being the hardest, Id say they are the easiest because just about every modern horn COPIES the selmer horns, making it the most common design that a tech gets to work with; making it pretty easy to do. Average time when I do a total overhaul, including cleaning, pads, springs, corks, regulating, play testing, etc i just over a week, doing one horn at a time. As a side note, no one has any use for the unimformed, scathing, sarcastic, and mostly unhelpful posts you have been giving. Stick to what you know and what you do.

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            7. by connsaxman_jim
              (2336 posts)

              9 years ago

              Re: I’d like to tell you about my overhaul experience.

              SaxMan: "Any horn that plays bad, is going to play bad no matter what any tech does to it. " That really depends on the horn. If it's a cheap student model horn, this is probably true. Many of these horns have soft keys and do not hold adjustments very well, and their pads are poor quality. Most reputable techs will let you know up front exactly what your horn needs, and rather it's worth the cost of the repairs. A reputable technition wants you to be satisfied with the repairs. Most offer some type of warrenty, and encourage you to bring the horn back to them in a few weeks for readjustment at no cost. Often after the horn is played for a little while, some fine tuning is needed. A qualified technition can get any horn to play it's best. Selmer is really no different from any other horn when it comes to repairs. In fact, I think they're the easiest horns to work on. SaxMan is well known for his arrogant, sarcastic, mis-information not only here at Saxquest, but on other forums as well. Most 16 -17 year old kids think they know everything. I remember myself at 16. Later after I graduated highschool and got my first job in the "real world", I found out I didn't know nearly as much as I thought I did! Jim

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            8. by SaxMan
              (559 posts)

              9 years ago

              Re: I’d like to tell you about my overhaul experience.

              definition. One horn at a time? then you most definiley are not a tech. And look at a roo pad. or any piece of nice kangaroo leather for that matter. Look how enormous the grain is. Do you really think that those will seal with out a seat the size of the grand canyon? connsaxman jim - if I remember right wasn't it you that said that lyon and healy made saxophones at one time - or was it wurlitzer? Selmers easiest? dream on - try the yamahas - buy some yamaha cork and some of those shit pads, and you could finish one in a day or 2. then the bundy II. Jim, check my profile, I am 96 years old. I don't think I know everything, I know it buddy!

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            9. by definition
              (963 posts)

              9 years ago

              Re: I’d like to tell you about my overhaul experience.

              DUDE! yamaha easier than a selmer???? YAMAHA IS BASED ON THE SELMER DESIGN, THEY ARE NEWRLY IDENTICAL!!! do us a favor and know what you're about to say before you but into the discussion, we dont need arrogant posts that help no one

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            10. by JZ
              (83 posts)

              9 years ago

              Adolphe Sax . . . True story ! !

              Circa 1848, Adolphe Sax, a Belgian woodwind maker, created the saxophone (Le Saxophon) just to get these characters out of the clarinet section. And now . . . And now it’s a multi-billion dollar industry. And they argue about which kind is the best.

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            11. by sax_maniac
              (984 posts)

              9 years ago

              Re: Adolphe Sax . . . True story ! !

              Assuming I have all the precise replacement parts in hand... Top to bottom teardown, cleaning, repad and adjust - for me - takes about 10-14 hours. And that assumes no surprises, and no major dent work, though it would include fitting the neck tenon to the receiver and other incidentals I might come across. To totally respring it, add another 3 hours I guess - figuring adding the springs and having to adjust the action accordingly. It does help to have the horn for a few days to revisit the adjustments and even get some playtime on it to initially break things in before really calling it "finished". As far as the grain on kangaroo leather pads causing pad leaks - that comment is pure supposition and is of no cause for concern. If anything, it's the porosity of the leather that might lend an otherwise perfectly fitting pad to leak. And the roo leather is much more thicker and durable that standard leather. Aside from a few mechanical items unique to a particular brand or model, I go through the same steps to refurb a vintage Conn as I would a new Selmer. Differences maybe being that on a new Selmer, I'd not expect to run into hinge screws (though I may run into rusty resonators...)

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            12. by chiamac
              (586 posts)

              9 years ago

              Re: Adolphe Sax . . . True story ! !

              if I could side-track this thread for a little bit. Where could I find (or read about online) a good book on repair and stuff? I don't really want to do this on my own, but I do want to know a lot more about this subject. thanks!

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            13. by definition
              (963 posts)

              9 years ago

              Re: Adolphe Sax . . . True story ! !

              Steve Goodson sells some nice books and videos on his site, but they might not be extremely avaialble right now since he is still rebuilding from the hurricane in new orleans

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            14. by johnsonfromwisconsin
              (767 posts)

              9 years ago

              Re: Adolphe Sax . . . True story ! !

              I am not a trained tech, just a basement hack learning as I go. I am not, however, an idiot. Most of the repad difficulty will come down to several factors: Levelness of the toneholes Allignment of the key cups state of the soft regulating materials thickness/flatness of the pad used I'm not sure what brand is harder than the other. The above represent the sum total of my limited experience

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            15. by johnsonfromwisconsin
              (767 posts)

              9 years ago

              Re: Adolphe Sax . . . True story ! !

              ----------------------------------------------------------------- I am 96 years old. I don't think I know everything, I know it buddy! ------------------------------------------------------------------ :sigh: He's a young adult studying to become a repair tech with Yamaha envy and marginal veracity of fact

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            16. by Sax Mom
              (964 posts)

              9 years ago

              Re: I’d like to tell you about my overhaul experience.

              SaxMan, if you actually are 96 years old, then I'm very sorry that you never grew up and attained the maturity that is expected of us when we reach even young adulthood. The trouble with our profiles is that we can put whatever age we want into them. However, immaturity shows, no matter what our age in years. You need some maturity. I pray you will get it before you die of old age.

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            17. by connsaxman_jim
              (2336 posts)

              9 years ago

              Re: I’d like to tell you about my overhaul experience.

              SaxMan, Although most Lyon and Healy saxophones were made by either Buescher or Martin, they did in fact build a few of their own. They were very similar to the Martin horns with bevelled tone holes. I heard that they were designed by the same person who designed the Martin horns, though I'm not positive. I forget his name. The Wulitzer horns were stencils made by both Conn and Martin. The Wurlitzer company was better known for their keyboard instruments; pianos and organs, and their very popular juke boxes back in the late 1940's and 1950's. SaxMan, you really need to read and listen more and post less!

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            18. by blackfrancis
              (396 posts)

              9 years ago

              Re: I’d like to tell you about my overhaul experience.

              So to get back on track, just curious... Loudogskank, did you get any results on your horn?

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            19. by SaxMan
              (559 posts)

              9 years ago

              Re: I’d like to tell you about my overhaul experience.

              no, they built non of their horns. they helped design one series, then it was martin, I think that built them. basically all lyon and healy did was rebuilt them, but only they started with no pads or felts. you mean, you people don't check your pads for a few days to make sure they are still sealing? That is a HUGE mistake - a played in sax can get leaks, or fix them just sitting there, let alone a new one....

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            20. by connsaxman_jim
              (2336 posts)

              9 years ago

              Re: I’d like to tell you about my overhaul experience.

              SaxMan, First of all son, I was playing sax when you were no more than a scratch in your daddy's pants! I was playing with some of the best cat's around when your momma was still changing your diapers! And now, you're going to argue with me when you "think" ot was Martin that built Lyon and Healy's horns? You say Lyon and Healy never made their own horns, but you "think" Martin did? You need to do some research and get your facts straight kid! Let me tell you a few things about Lyon and Healy that you probably didn't know. First of all, they are a very old company, and they are still in business today. They've been based in the Chicago area since 1889. They make mostly stringed instruments; violins, harps, pianos, mandolins, dulcimers and other string instruments. Their harps are some of the best in the world! Lyon and Healy wanted a piece of the then very lucrative saxophone market. First, they contracted Buescher to build several horns for them, including a tenor, alto, and the very popular (at that time) C Melody. They also began designing some of their own horns. This was taken from saxpics: www.saxpics.com/martin/misc.htm "Lyon and Healy DID make some of their own horns in the early 1900's, including saxophones, but they couldn't really compete with the big names, so they decided to stencil some horns, but a little differently: they decided to DESIGN some of their own horns and have other companies make them." Lyon and Healy could not compete with the big names because they did not have the facilities and machinery to produce saxophones and other horns at a cost that was competitive. Their main focus was their stringed instruments. So, they contracted Martin and Buescher to build THEIR horns; instruments that were designed by Lyon and Healy! They were not stencils! A Lyon and Healy saxophone was not a Martin or a Buescher with their name on it, it was THEIR design, THEIR specifications, built by Martin or Buescher. They were some of the best saxophones available at that time. In fact, the beveled tone holes seen on the Martin holes was actually a Lyon and Healy design! So, run along home now SaxMan with your tail between your legs, and remember... A smart dog always sniffs the ground before he barks! Jim

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            21. by sax_maniac
              (984 posts)

              9 years ago

              Re: I’d like to tell you about my overhaul experience.

              Interesting - I'd not heard that the beveled toneholes was from L&H. Learn sum'n new every day... I refurbed a old horn years back that had "Bandmaster" engraved on it. I though it was a Martin stencil on account of the toneholes, but maybe it was Lyon and Healy afterall. My sister plays a Lyon and Healy orchestral harp. Very nice accompaniment for solo pieces if you can find a willing accomplice!

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            22. by connsaxman_jim
              (2336 posts)

              9 years ago

              Re: I’d like to tell you about my overhaul experience.

              I forget the man's name that designed the beveled tone holes. I had heard that some of Lyon and Healy's sound boards had beveled holes to improve the sustain and volume of their instruments. Maybe they thought that the beveled tone holes would improve their saxophones. Of course, tooling was very expensive. Martin was a fairly new company then too, and my guess is that L&H and Martin struck a deal.....we'll give you the rights to this design and help supply you with tooling, etc. You build us so many horns at such and such a cost! Again, I'm just speculating, but it kind of makes sense, doesn't it?

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            23. by Dave Dix
              (421 posts)

              9 years ago

              Re: I’d like to tell you about my overhaul experience.

              I have an early 40's lyon healy built by conn and its one of the best alto's i have played, 6m key work and chu pinky table. Of course Jim is spot on about L/H why would they have their own serial number chart for saxophones if they never manufactured them ? Dave

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            24. by connsaxman_jim
              (2336 posts)

              9 years ago

              Re: I’d like to tell you about my overhaul experience.

              For a long time, only Buescher and Martin built horns for L&H. I'm not really sure why or when Conn came into the picture, but in later years, their horns were made by Conn and Martin. My guess is that about this time, Buescher began making more stencil horns for other companies, including the American Selmer horns, and maybe L&H struck a better deal with Conn? I've never seen one of the later L&H horns up close. Very interesting horn, Dave. Most definately a collector's model from my perspective.

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            25. by Dave Dix
              (421 posts)

              9 years ago

              Re: I’d like to tell you about my overhaul experience.

              Hi Jim, Here is a link to my Lyon & Healy alto pictures. I've estimated it to be manufactured around the early 1940's but if you know any different, let me know ! Also it has the standard Conn set screws on the pivot posts but doesn't have the standard Conn Merc logo on the low C guard.

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            26. by Dave Dix
              (421 posts)

              9 years ago

              Re: I’d like to tell you about my overhaul experience.

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            27. by Dave Dix
              (421 posts)

              9 years ago

              Re: I’d like to tell you about my overhaul experience.

              Damn i'm good (more like the wife is ) on computers Back to lyon healy, the pictures worked and there is a couple of pics of my martin standard special and my berg tenor slant signature mpc for some strange reason !! The L/H has the set screws used only by conn and the conn style serial numbers without a letter prefix but no merc style low C guard. If you can give me a guidence of the manufacturing date it would be much appreciated, i reckon its around the early 40's but i may be way out. Dave

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            28. by kelsey
              (793 posts)

              4 years ago

              Re: I’d like to tell you about my overhaul experience.

              About 2 weeks.............
              Barry Kelsey

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            29. by kelsey
              (793 posts)

              4 years ago

              Re: I’d like to tell you about my overhaul experience.

              About 2 weeks.............
              Barry Kelsey

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            30. by kelsey
              (793 posts)

              4 years ago

              Re: I’d like to tell you about my overhaul experience.

              About 2 weeks.............
              Barry Kelsey

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            31. by kelsey
              (793 posts)

              4 years ago

              Re: I’d like to tell you about my overhaul experience.

              About 2 weeks.............
              Barry Kelsey

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            32. by cuber
              (653 posts)

              4 years ago

              Re: I’d like to tell you about my overhaul experience.

              kelsey, did you really have to dig this up?

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            33. by kelsey
              (793 posts)

              4 years ago

              Re: I’d like to tell you about my overhaul experience.

              Just trying to bury that rip off post that was obviously a scam!!
              Barry Kelsey

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            34. by cuber
              (653 posts)

              4 years ago

              Re: I’d like to tell you about my overhaul experience.

              oh ok

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            35. by knorter
              (205 posts)

              4 years ago

              Re: I’d like to tell you about my overhaul experience.

              Don't worry Kelsey, I took care of it for you.

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            36. by kelsey
              (793 posts)

              4 years ago

              Re: I’d like to tell you about my overhaul experience.

              Sorry Korter, I should have left it up to you in the first place...........Kelsey
              Barry Kelsey

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            37. by kelsey
              (793 posts)

              4 years ago

              Re: I’d like to tell you about my overhaul experience.

              Kathy, sorry to not type you name right. I just broke my glasses and am having trouble seeing....Kelsey
              Barry Kelsey

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            38. by kelsey
              (793 posts)

              4 years ago

              Re: I’d like to tell you about my overhaul experience.

              Kathy, the jive artist rip off guys are back!!!
              Barry Kelsey

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            39. by chalazon
              (547 posts)

              4 years ago

              Re: I’d like to tell you about my overhaul experience.

              about two weeks

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            40. by knorter
              (205 posts)

              4 years ago

              Re: I’d like to tell you about my overhaul experience.

              It's Kristy but close enough, I'll remove them and try to send an email to tell them to back off. :) Good times.

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