Brazing Worn Hinge Tubes
November 12, 2021
This particular baritone sax is a Conn Transitional. It has seen a lot of action, the pearls are worn and almost all of the lacquer is gone. The hinge tubes of the keys also have heavy wear.
There is no way I would be able to take the play out of the upper stack keys by swedging.
Fortunately I had some brass stock exactly the size of the hinge tube of the saxophone. Fabricating a small washer was easy – I made two, one for the B1 and one for the B key.
After leveling the hinge tube, I melted a small amount of 63/37 solder onto the washer. Holding the key in a vice, I placed the washer on top and heated it until the solder took hold of the hinge tube. Now the two parts have been brazed together.
Some file and sanding work was necessary to blend the two pieces together, though the seam is still slightly visible because the solder is silver. I re-drilled the hole in the washer to size by hand – putting the drill through the hinge tube to ensure that the hole lines up with the tube. Here are the results:
Fairly happy with the results. You definitely will not notice the seam unless you are looking for it. The photo on the left was the first one I did, the second time I got the seam much smaller.
All that is left to do is cut the keys back down to size!