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  1. #1
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    Default Snap-in pads, overhauls, help!

    I have been to probably 6 different techs (including the guys I am apprenticing with), and have gotten 6 different answers on how each would repad a buescher sax with all of its snap-ins intact. Discounting the three that said they would "grind the suckers off" and install normal pads, I was left with still three differing opinions.

    What I would like to ask the SOTW tech community is:

    1. How do you do your snap-in repads?
    a. What pads do you use?
    b. How do you seat the pads? Use shellac? Hot glue? Magic? Nothing at all?

    2. What is your opinion on the pads available today with metal backing?

    3. I was surprised at the number of techs at reputable shops in NYC where I live that advised taking out the snaps! I thought it was generally known that Bueschers are supposed to keep their snaps. What is up with this?

    Thanks for your time.

  2. #2

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    Email Curt at www.musicmedic.com. He's got the pads and the expertise to help you - and could do a fantastic overhaul for you as well.
    Phil Brewer aka tophatsax
    phil_brewer "at" hotmail "dot" com

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    I'll defer to the usual antagonists for discussion of the more controversial pro/con aspects re acoustic differences, but aren't the snap-in spuds soft-soldered in? Shouldn't be any reason to mechanically grind out something that will usually fall out with a focused handtorch flame in a few secs.

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    tophatsax: I actually emailed curt just before I posted this, and I am in fact on his waiting list for an overhaul. Curt is a great guy, and has helped me with a lot of questions- to anyone reading this, I highly recommend him and his products as well. I am currently apprenticing in a shop, so this question is also for my own personal experience vs. just this one bari overhaul.

    windmill: yes, they are soft-soldered in. I think the guy said that just to illuminate his disdain for snap-ins.

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    i guess the search function isn't working for me... i had tried searching this forum for what i was asking and came up with nothing, but then came up with nothing when i searched "buescher" in the buescher section later. soooo i assume it is on the fritz for now. anyways, i am doing it the old-fashioned way and just reading back through and i found a few things regarding my questions:

    [Links outdated - sorry, HR]

    I did also read that snap nubs are silver soldered... let me go check my sax. Mine definitely look soft-soldered, with the solder visible beneath the snaps. Hmm.

    Although the two links above are very helpful, I would really appreciate anything anyone can add- especially about pad thicknesses on the snap-in pads vs. kid pads vs. roopads.
    Last edited by Harri Rautiainen; 05-13-2009 at 04:52 PM. Reason: removed links

  6. #6
    Distinguished SOTW Technician tbone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Snap-in pads, overhauls, help!

    Quote Originally Posted by abadcliche
    1. How do you do your snap-in re pads?
    a. What pads do you use?
    b. How do you seat the pads? Use shellac? Hot glue? Magic? Nothing at all?

    2. What is your opinion on the pads available today with metal backing?

    3. I was surprised at the number of techs at reputable shops in NYC where I live that advised taking out the snaps! I thought it was generally known that Bueschers are supposed to keep their snaps. What is up with this?

    Thanks for your time.
    Here's how I like to do Bueschers.

    1. Make sure that your key cups and tone holes are level. This includes, but is not limited to, careful filing if necessary. The major drawback to snap ins is that you can not "float" pads to aide in seating.

    2. Once all of my prep work is done: leveling, straightening, aligning, etc. I apply a small amount of shellac to the inside of the cups and let them cool. Next install the pad and snap. Insert pad in cup over spud, place snap over spud, place snap/ pad/ cup on bench anvil (snap side down) and give the rib of the cup a firm tap with a small rubber/ plastic tipped hammer. Force should be sufficient enough to lock the snap in place but not so hard as to distort the key cup. once the pads are all in I heat the back of each cup with a heat gun to re-melt the shellac. I find the shellac to stop the pads from rotating later. Shellac, of course, is totally optional. Re-assemble the horn and adjust the seating/ alignment by way of bending the key-work. Bending wedges from Ferree's can be quite handy.

    3. Choice of pads: I use the metal backed pads from both Ferree's and Musicmedic.com I find both to be of superior quality. Musicmedic.com seems more helpful to beginners with Curt's willingness to try to answer all emails!

    4. Many techs want to grind out the spuds and use glue in pads out of both fear and/or necessity. One broken snap and your tech is now scrambling to find a replacement. There just isn't an aftermarket source for them. Some of us are lucky enough to have a stash of a few extras but good luck getting someone to part with one. They can be very pricey.

    This is what works for me. Other techs have different opinions on leveling tone holes. Sometimes that discussion gets quite heated. I have my way of doing things. They seem to work for me and my clientèle. If you would rather bend key cups and shim pads to seal a pad on an unlevel tone hole then, by all means, be my guest! Level tone holes just make more sense to me. I hope this is of some help and look forward to seeing further questions and opinions/ techniques.

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    Distinguished SOTW Technician tbone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wind_mill
    I'll defer to the usual antagonists for discussion of the more controversial pro/con aspects re acoustic differences, but aren't the snap-in spuds soft-soldered in? Shouldn't be any reason to mechanically grind out something that will usually fall out with a focused handtorch flame in a few secs.
    The spuds are silver soldered in from the factory. If you have one that's soft soldered then it may have been replaced by a tech at some time.

  8. #8
    Distinguished SOTW Member Chu-Jerry's Avatar
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    I just completed a restoration/overhaul on a 211K TruTone alto.
    Since it had its original pads when I started, all the snaps were present and in fine condition.

    I used the Buescher snap-in style replacement pads from MusicMedic. I installed them with no shelac or glue, just press fit. There wont be any trouble with rotating pads because I mike'd all the cups and got just the right size for each so that they pressed in very snugly. The originals did not use glue either.

    One thing you will find is that the snaps for the original octave pads are built right into the pad. The replacement octave pads don't have the snap and are intended to be glued in. You can drill a small hole in the backing cardboard to clear the snap stud if you don't want to remove it. I went one step further and actually removed the old snap from the original pad and dissected the new pad and integrated the snap into it as per the original.

    The horn plays beautifully by the way.

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    I have seen spuds that are soft soldered and also some that are silver soldered. I guess they did them both ways from the factory at different times.

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    Got email replies from Curt

    "Matt,
    It seems I've installed nearly every pad in a Buescher nearly every way.
    I have tried Shellac, no shellac, hot glue, Georges glue, confetti shimming,
    partial shimming, full shimming. I use metal backed pads, RooPads, Buescher
    Roo's (my own metal backer Roo pads). The conclusion is, RooPads shellacked
    in with the original metal snaps is the way to go.


    Curt Altarac
    www.MusicMedic.com
    -US Distributor of Precision Pads
    -Premium repair supplies and service"

    and Gayle Fredenburgh

    "Hi Matt, Leave the snaps. They work great. If your tech doesn't want to reuse them, find another tech.

    I've tried a lot of variations over the past 20 years. I've settled on the following.

    I use a regular thin (160) pad and use a punch to make a hole in the pad that is large enough for the resonator to go through. I like to reuse metal backings from Buescher pads and I have a supply of them. If the pads that are in your bari have a metal backing, I take these out of the pads and reuse them behind the regular thin pads. I then shellac the pad and backing in the pad cup and snap the resonator in place. I float the pad in just like any other pad.

    I've found the following-- Resopads available today (Ferree's has them) are too thick. The back of the pad hits first and then the pad cup must be bent. I don't like to bend keys.

    If I don't use shellac to help hold the pads in place, they will rotate as they age and cause hairline leaks.

    If I use the metal backing with a thin pad it is just the right thickness to meet the tone hole evenly.

    Gayle Fredenburgh"

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    Seems to me, an ideal solution would be a roopad with a hole in it, with a metal backing covered in thin cardboard or another layer of felt. Obviously the thickness of the felt etc. would have to be played with in order to come out right, but then at the end you have kept the original weight/stiffness of the metal backing, and you can shellac/glue/whatever to float it in (because the back of the pad is felt or cardboard and not metal) and keep it from rotating and already has a hole for the snap. Seems that these are the goals that everyone is getting at- keep it as original as possible while allowing for shellacking. Anyone want to make some pads?

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    Quote Originally Posted by KEN K
    I have seen spuds that are soft soldered and also some that are silver soldered. I guess they did them both ways from the factory at different times.
    I certainly won't bet any money on it, as I've hardly worked on any Bueschers, but I did remove the spud flanges from a True-tone alto. Removing its old rivet pads revealed that it once had spuds; the tips had already been "decapitated" mechanically (ground down or sawed or nipped off). The flanges remained and were so cleanly attached I thought they would be silver soldered, but it was plain lead solder. They fell out with only minimal heat, probably less than would've been required to desolder the average post.

    I also have a stash of dozens of old snap-ins and spuds--again, all the spud bases have residual soft solder.

    I would like to know (anyone?) if Buescher silver-soldered these spuds in on specific models?

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    Looks like Gayle and I both basically use the same technique.

    Aristocrats and later True Tones (I believe they started with the crescent G# models) have the silver soldered spuds. There is a hole in the pad cup and the spine of the key where the spud is anchored and silver soldered. The early true tones are soft soldered in.

    You can tell by looking. The soft soldered spuds have a large base that is bigger than the bulbous head of the spud. The silver soldered variety has a tiny base that makes you think, "this can't be soft soldered, the contact area is too small." If one was going to buy a parts horn for the snaps it would make sense to buy an older True Tone. The value is less, the depreciation would be less and you can get the spuds out.

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    Curt, thanks for that info.

    I wonder what reasons compelled Buescher to use silver-soldered spuds on the later models? The force of a snap-in applied to or removed from a spud alone certainly wouldn't warrant it.

    Could they have possibly switched to a process at the factory that allowed keycups to be silver-soldered on both sides simultaneously (key arm on upside, spud beneath), or could they have simply used different temp grades of ss for the key arms and spuds (and on some keys, the pearl holders)? I'd guess the latter.....

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    In correspondence with abadcliche, Gayle F is quoted as stating:

    "If the pads that are in your bari have a metal backing, I take these out of the pads and reuse them behind the regular thin pads. I then shellac the pad and backing in the pad cup and snap the resonator in place. I float the pad in just like any other pad."

    So, is there a layer of shellac on both sides of the metal backing--one against the key cup and the other against the pad?

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    I've already emailed asking that same question. Will post her answer here when it arrives.

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    My repad of a 1926 TT alto went like this.

    White Roopads had extra size holes punched. Smaller pads (down to E or D ?) were just fixed with white shellac and then snapped. Bigger pads had metal backings from older pad set glued on with contact cement and then just snapped in. The result is very good, as confirmed by my local vintage tech. And the white Roos on the burnished gold sax looks stunning too.

    ToreH

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    gayle replied
    "I usually select a metal backing that doesn't quite go to the edge of the pad cup. I lay it in the pad cup, melt a good bit of shellac in the center and when I put the pad in it squishes the shellac outward. I quickly snap the resonator in place and then seat the pad with heat by moving the shellac around as normal."

    Interesting.

    I will be getting some white roos from musicmedic soon, and I will post here (in a month or so most likely) when I can get the time to repad the horn and let you guys know how i ended up doing it and what the results were.

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    FYI, you might try the RooPads in the cups without shellac before you decide. The RooPads are likely the proper thickness with a little shellac. The metal disks may make the whole rig too thick.

    Good Luck!

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    My experience is that Roos plus metal backing is too thick for the smaller pads, but is just right for the bigger ones. That's the reason for my mixed solution. And I feel That the metal backing adds more too the weight and feel of the lower keys.

    ToreH

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