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Thread: How difficult is it to change pads

  1. #1

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    Default How difficult is it to change pads

    Can someone please tell me how difficult is it to change pads on a Martin Handcraft Alto sax. I would like to do it my self. Can one of you guys lead me to the right kind of instruction etc. and where to get a set of pads online.

    I would like to avoid having to send it off to a repair shop. I would rather learn to do it myself as I am pretty good at fixing things as long as I have an idea of what direction to go in. .........Thank you for your help.

    Incidentally - the Martin H/C sounds fantastic - great tone and well worth fixing up.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: How difficult is it to change pads

    Check out:

    http://www.musicmedic.com/info/articles.html

    Lots of good info there.

    You may have lots of trial and error at first. Given enough time, you can get good at it. But for me, as someone that just dabbles in fixing their own saxes, I find pad height adjustment and regulation to be the harder part. Floating and seating the pads is fairly easy once you have the right supplies and torch.


    Good Luck,

    Enviroguy
    _____________________________________________
    Buescher 400 Tenor, Pre-War Big-B Aristocrat Tenor, True Tone Alto, Conn New Wonder Bari, Antigua 590 Soprano

  3. #3

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    Default Re: How difficult is it to change pads

    Okayyyyyyyy I now see that my request was rather unrealistic ...........I think I shall take it to a tech and pay up .......thanks for the info

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    Forum Contributor 2009 Humbled's Avatar
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    Default Re: How difficult is it to change pads

    I have to admit that I was affraid to mess with any one of my saxes as it relates to any kind of repair but it is not hard at all. The key as mentioned is the right tools. It is mostly common sense and if you take your time and look at it through and through before you take it apart, you will be surprised how easy it is. Even regulation isn't all that difficult if you take your time and think one or two steps ahead. It only goes back together one way so you can't mess that up. just take your time. I for one am more reluctant to mess around with dent removal, especially if you dont have the right tools but short of that, it's easy and when you finish your first horn you will kick yourself for paying a guy to do it. especially speaking of pad replacement. Alot of techs you pay to replace pads will charge alot of money and they sometimes tend to cheat by digging out the old pad and jamming a new one in without ever removing the key itself. IMHO, that is a lazy way to do it. Just take it all apart and note how big the corks are and everything you can see. then just clean, oil, pad, and reassenble. You will be much proud of your instrument as well as alot more carefull with it when you are done.
    Bill

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    Forum Contributor 2010 Maarten's Avatar
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    Default Re: How difficult is it to change pads

    With you I can talk.
    Lots of people in the Netherlands say that I have to bring my horn to a repairer, and then pay 400to700€ for an overhaul.

    I'm just doing it myself, with patience, and being gentle. I think I will come far, for just 100$.
    It's anyway going to be better than it is now! I also like the aspect of getting to know your horn better.
    If you play your horn, why shouldn't you repair it. (apart from dent removal and stuff)

  6. #6
    FranzKafka's Avatar
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    Default Re: How difficult is it to change pads

    Quote Originally Posted by Maarten View Post
    With you I can talk.
    Lots of people in the Netherlands say that I have to bring my horn to a repairer, and then pay 400to700€ for an overhaul.

    I'm just doing it myself, with patience, and being gentle. I think I will come far, for just 100$.
    It's anyway going to be better than it is now! I also like the aspect of getting to know your horn better.
    If you play your horn, why shouldn't you repair it. (apart from dent removal and stuff)
    If you meant paying 400€ for just a repad you're def. asking the wrong tech..

  7. #7

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    Default Re: How difficult is it to change pads

    What tools would you consider essential,
    and then what tools would you consider desirable (but perhaps not essential),
    for doing a re-pad?

    For starters, I'll suggest the obvious:

    Essential: leak light, pad pin (padding needle & holder); pad slick; handle that will grip feeler tape; stick shellac; butane torch; fine-tipped screwdrivers

    Thanks!

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    Michael's Avatar
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    Default Re: How difficult is it to change pads

    DON'T BUY ANYTHING YET.
    Learning repadding is not as easy as it seems. You may say you are sure you wan't to learn now but may realize why it costs what it does for pad changes. It takes time, skill, and effort. You should practice repads like practicing an instrument; daily and in a usual schedule.

    You will need:
    1. Leak light (greatest thing in the world)

    2. Pad pin items: Not NEEDED but it very necessary for safety. I tried it without my first time and couldn't place the pad well because I was scared of the scalding hot glue.

    3. Shellac or hot glue (shellac doesn't last as long but hot glue expands. I feel hot glue is better overall but takes a lot of skill to deal with so I'd grab the shellac)

    4. Butane torch or open-flame stove (the torch adds flexibility but unless you have the huge butane torches I have trouble holding the torch in place which can be dangerous. The stove stays consistently hot, you don't run out of fuel, and it stays in place, and is very safe)

    5. Screwdrivers to take off sax parts.

    6. Cold water (you burn yourself, you need some safety items)


    PS: you WILL suck the first time no matter how much you know. I thought I knew it all, HA! I had to repad 3 times to do an OK job on 1 pad.
    The cure to procrastination is the realization that procrastination in its essense is the failure in understanding that the work you are doing is to your own benefit, not the benefit of others.

  9. #9
    Michael's Avatar
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    Default Re: How difficult is it to change pads

    btw if you really want to repad get the MusicMedic kit. VERY WELL WORTH THE MONEY
    has pretty much everything for every job
    The cure to procrastination is the realization that procrastination in its essense is the failure in understanding that the work you are doing is to your own benefit, not the benefit of others.

  10. #10
    SOTW Pragmatist cpete's Avatar
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    Default Re: How difficult is it to change pads

    If you have built an airplane it is not difficult to change pads, overhaul a horn or reface and baffle a mouthpiece. What is difficult is to resist the urge to improve the damn things.

    In other words if you are *truly* mechanically inclined I have to say that sax work is dead simple, and there is almost nothing that can't be undone if you do mess up.
    Think about it, couldn't be that difficult because:

    "Welcome to the *********** world headquarters here in the birthplace of the egg sandwich" (-:

  11. #11
    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
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    Default Re: How difficult is it to change pads

    Quote Originally Posted by Maarten View Post
    With you I can talk.
    Lots of people in the Netherlands say that I have to bring my horn to a repairer, and then pay 400to700€ for an overhaul.

    I'm just doing it myself, with patience, and being gentle. I think I will come far, for just 100$.
    It's anyway going to be better than it is now! I also like the aspect of getting to know your horn better.
    If you play your horn, why shouldn't you repair it. (apart from dent removal and stuff)



    I've just completed my first re-pad of a saxophone and it is a lot more difficult than what one thinks. Changing a pad or two is a different thing altogether than taking the whole ting apart, stripping it bare and then replacing all the pads and then all the corks (these are very important in most saxes to regulate timing and key heights, if found this the most challenging part of the whole operation!) and felts.

    To add food for thought to the discussion, I've bought at least two saxophones " revised" by some amateurs who didn't know what they were doing.......the pads were replaced alright but the horn wasn't playing right. The problems weren't so much the obvious " leaks" caused by badly placed pads but especially the ones caused by badly regulated regulation corks.

    A good tech does a lot that you do not at first glance see for your horn and having done this has given me even more respect for this profession

  12. #12
    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
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    Default Re: How difficult is it to change pads

    Quote Originally Posted by FranzKafka View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Maarten View Post
    With you I can talk.
    Lots of people in the Netherlands say that I have to bring my horn to a repairer, and then pay 400to700€ for an overhaul.

    I'm just doing it myself, with patience, and being gentle. I think I will come far, for just 100$.
    It's anyway going to be better than it is now! I also like the aspect of getting to know your horn better.
    If you play your horn, why shouldn't you repair it. (apart from dent removal and stuff)
    If you meant paying 400€ for just a repad you're def. asking the wrong tech..

    I know of one competent tech in Haarlem who does a repad for 250€ but any other tech in Holland that I know of ( and I think I know many all over the country). Would indeed charge 400 to 700 exactly as Maarten said, for a complete repad job (which invariably involves some degree of other work as well as the pads). If you know of cheaper and competent technicians (not the guy who has the video on you tube.....he is using Chinese pads.......not even Chinese sax makers use Chinese pads!) please, share it with us.

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