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1924 Buescher / 1954 Selmer sax & 1956 Conn factory videos

Discussion in 'Manufacturing and Construction Techniques' started by Steve, Apr 1, 2012.

  1. Steve

    Steve Clarinet CE/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

    A couple interesting facts shown in there.

    they handled lead - that probably wouldn't be allowed today.

    the industry went away from soldered on toneholes - a players saliva attacks the solder causing leaks.

    the neck is filled with lead before being "punched" into shape

    The video is nice historically as it shows each piece of the saxophone. Selmer France has a shorter, more modern video too somewhere on the web

    fyi, when you get to the sandblasting section - does that look like granny in the background working on a sax?

    plus rare video of Adolphe Sax making the saxophone ... okay, probably contrived a bit.
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2012
  2. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    Glad you posted that, Steve. I've been doing some e-mailing with Mark Overton, the webmaster there (and owner of saxquest.com), and he's mentioned that video.

    There are a few manufacturer videos out there, but you're probably never going to find another one from the 1920s.
  3. Steve

    Steve Clarinet CE/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator


    SOTSDO Old King Log Staff Member CE/Moderator

    The use of lead...

    ...is not prohibited, just highly regulated.

    As long as the lead fume (more or less the same as smoke) is not inhaled, and as long as any contact lead (on hands or near the mouth before eating) is properly controlled, you can sling lead around with gay abandon. The trouble is that no one wants to spend the money to do it right.

    (If you ever have occasion to handle lead (as in lead pipe, lead bullets, even fishing sinkers made of lead), the standard approach to deal with the hazard is to 1) avoid melting the stuff; 2) clean up thoroughly after you use it (the dust shouldn't go in the general waste stream, but some small amounts are going to slip through, so I wouldn't worry); and 3) wash up thoroughly before eating or smoking.)

    Back in the early 1970's, I once visited (in my then-capacity as an OSHA inspector) a place that made "lead wool". Lead wool is like steel wool - fine wires of elemental lead, used to pack soil pipe joints in old style cast iron plumbing. In order to make the stuff, they poured molten lead into a large tank over a pool of water. The streams drizzle into the water and solidify, forming lead wool.

    The plant was like something out of the 1940's - everything in the place was ancient. They were so far out of compliance with regards to the lead standards that regulated such stuff as to be hopeless. Employees were eating while they worked, there were no clothing change facilities, and there was enough settled out lead dust to poison half the population of East Saint Louis if it were to become airborne.

    Worse than that, about half the worker had the dreaded "lead line" that shows up in lead poisoning victims. The management of the place was pretty clueless, although willing to do the right thing - if only they could afford to do it.

    These days, the monetary penalties for all of this nonfeasance would have run up in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. But, that was back in the days of the nickel and dime penalties. Hopefully, they spent what they saved on fixing the problems.

    We also had a secondary copper smelter that purchased the earthen butts behind short-range rifle and pistol ranges. The massive earthen butts were scooped up, replaced by new mounds of earth, and the butts were transported to the plant south of Alton IL where the earth was sifted, the bullet content extracted, and then melted down for the copper content of the jacket.

    The lead portion of the content was dumped in huge piles of slag outside of the plant. The plant has been closed for fifteen years or more, but the huge piles remain.

    Incidentally, the Base Closure and Realignment Act (the government law that regulates the closing down of excess-to-requirements military bases) spends massive amounts of money cleaning up old Army posts of pollution.

    You would think that the main problem would be something like depleted uranium rounds, but no. The problems mostly lie in the small arms ranges with 300+ meter target distances, as the lead bullets (metal jacketed, but the jackets fail over time) fall over extended distances - very hard to clean them all up.
  5. I enjoyed this much. 65 years ago while I was still in highschool, I worked in a musical instrument repair shop. The first sax that did a complete overhaul job took me about 3 weeks. I had great teachers in the shop. They taught me to be a craftsman. Today I am retired electrical engineer, and now a duffer musician. I play a couple of keyboard gigs a week, and play bass in a local small town symphony. Good wishes to all. Bob Stiffler
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2013
  6. This is on topic for a Buescher sax but off-topic for a sax factory video but I am using a Buescher tenor sax as a replacement for my Yamaha tenor sax. The screw on the Yamaha that puts the neck together with the instrument snapped completely off. I can't use the Yamaha neck on the Buescher because it's too small. But I can use the Selmer mouthpiece that I use for the tenor sax. The Buescher sounds great; it's very good for college jazz ensemble and jazz combo. I think I've outgrown my Yamaha.
  7. jbtsax

    jbtsax Distinguished Member Distinguished Member

    Often you can take a sharp nail or a large needle and rotate what is left of the neck tightening screw out of tenon. Most repair shops stock replacement neck screws for Yamaha especially. A lot of techs nowadays are cutting a screwdriver slot in the ends of neck screws so that when they break off, they are easier to remove.
  8. The screw completely broke off. It popped off and it fell out. And even when my band director and I attempted to screw it back in, nothing worked
  9. jbtsax

    jbtsax Distinguished Member Distinguished Member

    If the screw "broke off" as you say, there should still be a portion of the broken screw inside the mechanism. This will have to be removed before you insert the new replacement screw.
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