Saxophone Hinge Tube Bushing

This is an advanced repair that can be undertaken when a hinge tube in a saxophone (or other similar musical instrument) has been so worn or has so little expose hinge tube that normal swedging will not fix poor key fit.

The pictures and text for this article have been graciously provided by Larry Gerhardt of Gerhardt Music in Saint Joseph Missouri.

This is a detailed but still rough outline of the procedure, and to undertake this repair you should already be an accomplished repairer with a lot of experience with key fitting- otherwise you will not understand the implied parts that have been left out such as rod making, hinge tube facing, etc.

Original text and photos from Larry below.

 

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I have a long time customer that has several Vito 35 (Johnny Hodges model) and Leblanc Paris System saxes. He travels the country teaching college master classes and symphony guest performing. He sent this Vito 35 to me for a mechanical restoration/re-pad and I last performed this work to in about 6 years ago. Anyway, most of the key-work has held up well and not a lot of that to do this time around, but the neck octave key had an enormous amount of wiggle. There isn’t much tubing that is exposed for swedging and a new hinge rod to fit would be hugely over-sized and would necessitate reaming the tube true (making it VERY thin) and reaming the un-threaded post to fit the rod (again, making it very thin). So, I decided the best course would be to sleeve the tube. I’ve explained in each picture what I’m doing.

 

 

To start, I mounted an appropriate size straighte chucking reamer in the lathe head stock collet. The diameter chosen should completely ream the length of the original ocatave key hinge tube leaving a smooth, even diameter hole from end to end.

To start, I mounted an appropriate size straighte chucking reamer in the lathe head stock collet. The diameter chosen should completely ream the length of the original octave key hinge tube leaving a smooth, even diameter hole from end to end.

 

reaming2

A short piece of hinge rod stock is also mounted in a chuck in the tail stock to keep the tube aligned on-center for feeding it to the reamer.

 

 

Finished reaming.

Finished reaming.

 

A brass rod turned in a collet an a center drill starting a hinge rod hole.

A brass rod turned in a collet an a center drill starting a hinge rod hole.

 

Just a small dimple to keep the beginning drill centered.

Just a small dimple to keep the beginning drill centered.

 

Turn the rod to match (maybe .0005" under) the reamed hole in the key.

Turn the rod to match (maybe .0005″ under) the reamed hole in the key.

 

Finished turning to diameter.

Finished turning to diameter.

 

Fits nicely.

Fits nicely.

 

Here, I've already drilled a rod hole and now reaming to near (just a couple thou under) hinge rod size. Cut to slightly over length.

Here, I’ve already drilled a rod hole and now reaming to near (just a couple thou under) hinge rod size. Cut to slightly over length.

 

Good fit.

Good fit.

 

Soldered into key tube. I have done this sleeving proceedure before with just Thread-Loc in place of soldering but by soldering, I can finish this today and not have to wait a day for the Thread-Loc to set.

Soldered into key tube. I have done this sleeving procedure before with just Thread-Loc in place of soldering but by soldering, I can finish this today and not have to wait a day for the Thread-Loc to set.

 

Flush fit both ends.

Flush fit both ends.

 

Has been reamed to final diameter just .002" over original and a new rod made for it. I ended up-sizing the rod .002" because the original had a little play in the posts.

Has been reamed to final diameter just .002″ over original and a new rod made for it. I ended up-sizing the rod .002″ because the original had a little play in the posts.

 

 

 



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