workshop workshop workshop

the title is an imitation of stanley, who enjoys saying “workshop” with no context.

this, however, has context, so it’s not as amusing.

i fixed an alto saxophone for a colleague this afternoon. i started on it on monday, prepared the neck for a new mouthpiece cork, and then discovered that 3 of the 4 pads it needed were ones that i didn’t have… 😒

so i ordered pads, which arrived today.

three of the four pads were also on the left-hand side keys. the high F key is normally activated by the palm of the left hand, but it has a rocker underneath it, which is activated by the high F auxiliary lever, which is part of the left-hand stack, and activated by the left index finger… and the high F rocker was bent WAY out of whack, so that you couldn’t actually activate the high F key with the high F auxiliary lever.

so, as well as having to replace the pad on the high F key, i had to completely remove the left-hand stack, and the side E key, which is activated by the palm of the left hand, in order to adjust the high F rocker.

that was easy enough, but, because of the fact that i don’t actually work on as many saxophones as i used to, i had to assemble, and disassemble the left-hand stack no less than three times, in order to get the jigsaw-puzzle of keys to get to fit together in the right way…


i had to get the B♭ bridge under the F# bridge, which is part of the right-hand stack, and i had to get the C key, which has an actuator that goes behind and above the other keys of the left-hand stack, installed correctly, and i had to get the side E key under the top of the left-hand stack, but above everything else, which meant that i had to carefully install the side E key with the left-hand stack in place — minus the top two keys — but not held in place by the long steel that goes through the hinge-tubes of all the keys.

i ended up not having a problem, once i figured out how to proceed, but it was a hassle, putting it most of the way together, and then remembering that something had to go underneath the keys that i had just installed, and having to take all the keys off again to fix the problem.

it was definitely worth the $100 that i’m going to charge him.