Thursday, August 12, 2010

Saxophone Gets a Bath

I as I mentioned this horn, like most old ones (1922), smells pretty musty.  As a first step in cleaning it, I put it in the sink and used dishwashing detergent and a tooth brush (no longer used on teeth, of course) to scrub it.  That took care of most of the really heavy stuff.  All of the pads and keys have been removed, so the water really can’t hurt anything.  It won't rust or tarnish because I’m going to dry it off with a hair dryer as soon as I’m done.

Now that some of the tarnish has been removed, you can better see where some of the plating has worn.  The case has a strap with a buckle on it that goes right around the bell.  That's most likely the reason for the wear here.

One problem that a I didn’t anticipate was the number of springs that had rusted loose.  I ended up collecting them in a small container, but I think a few are lost.  To prevent any more from falling out, I decided to pull the rest myself.  As shown in the previous post, most of them are blue steel "needle" springs which push against small notches on the keys.

Pipe cleaners help get into the really small parts.

Next deep cleaning and polishing...

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