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Buescher true tone alto sax

Hello,

My son is getting back into playing his sax.

He has a student sax and has purchased a Buescher true tone alto that he wants to start to use. He also wants to restore a different true tone.

That sax came mostly dissembled. Some of the screws are stripped and there is a coating of grime on the body.

Any suggestions on how to remove the screws, tools needed, and how to remove the grime (and what it is) would be appreciated.

We tried using a toothbrush with dish soap. The silver brightened,. But the black grime is still there

Attached are a few pictures of one of the stripped screws and the black grime

Thanks in advance for any suggestions
 

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The sax he will be playing on is getting a complete overhaul.

The disassembled one is for a 'father and son' project.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks again.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
I should turn this into one of my "Pete FAQs," so I'll give it a shot, here. Please comment if there's something that should be added or removed.

-> Note that I'm not a repair tech and I don't pretend to be.

* X (nickel, silver, gold, etc.) plating should be cleaned with a non-abrasive polish designed for that finish. In other words, don't use Brasso on silver. I'm going to say that your toothbrush is probably too abrasive.
* I have heard a tech claim to dunk horn bodies in Simple Green.
* A lot of horns from the first half of the 20th century or so have a gold or copper color in the bell. This is called "gold wash" or "copper wash." It's extremely thin. Don't go nuts on polishing this.
* In this particular case, the tone holes are drawn from the body of the horn. However, lots and lots of manufacturers soldered tone holes on. Soldered tone holes can develop leaks.
* A lot of Buescher saxophones from X to Y years (too lazy to look up) had snap on pads. This particular horn looks like it has them. You can get new ones at https://www.ferreestoolsinc.com. Note that some techs/owners have filed off the snaps for whatever reason.
* If the horn and case smell bad, a) toss the case 2) if you didn't toss the case, don't put the restored horn back in the case. It'll start to smell bad in a couple days. Smell is going to be mainly from the horn's pads and case. Unless there's something dead in the horn.
* Higher-end ozone generators are supposed to remove the smell. A new case is cheaper.
* If you need additional parts, the best recommendation I can give you is to find a junk horn on ebay that is extremely close to the serial number on your horn. Like, maybe a couple hundred numbers off. Just like most cars, the 2022 edition has changes over the 2021 edition.
* They're called "needle springs" for a reason. Make sure your tetanus shots are up to date.
* If there is a mouthpiece, soak it in a non-alcohol mouthwash for a while. No; longer than that. Nope; still longer. I think you can get some other sterilizer stuff specifically for mouthpieces.
* If you didn't get a Buescher mouthpiece with the horn and if want to go with original as possible, https://raschermouthpieces.com are close enough.
* I actually can't remember any other places that provide tools and parts other than https://www.ferreestoolsinc.com.
* Leave the fork Eb and G# trill key mechanisms intact. I found uses for both.

I'm going to move this post to one of the repair sections. I'll leave a redirect.
 
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Helen

Content Expert Saxophones
Staff member
Administrator
Most important tip of all:

Make sure your tetanus shots are up to date, or get one when you inevitably poke yourselves on one of those springs!​


I work in a shop as the Educational Rep. and during the busy summer season of rental returns, I often end up dissembling, cleaning, and reassembling our rental horns.

I can't count the number of times I have been poked by one of the springs on my own vintage horns, the horns in the shop, or our staff have been poked.

Tetanus is not something you want to fool around with. The complications are potentially lethal, but the prevention is very simple.
 
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Several years ago I purchased a Pedler BC, which I had overhauled (and am pleased with the horn)

The case was in very poor shape - the Pedler was ~1925, and smelled really bad.
Mrs. BSG wanted it gone, and I discarded it . I have since found that the BC will not fit any aftermarket cases
that I have come across. It sits most of the time on the stand or in a gig bag, partially assembled.
The BC itself smell kind of bad for a while as well, actually several years, even after having been cleaned, with new pads and almond oil applied.

I could buy one of the ~$500.00 Low C cases, but the case would cost more than the value of the horn.
So...in hindsight, I should have kept the case, ripped all of the soft interior out, sealed the wood interior,
and repaired/ re-upholstered it.

A Buescher true tone alto would likely fit in an after market case, but you never know, I had a 80's Buffet S1
Alto that didn't fit in a Pro Tech case.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
* They're called "needle springs" for a reason. Make sure your tetanus shots are up to date.

Make sure your tetanus shots are up to date
:D

OP, I don't know if you'd want to add a project, but BSG does have a good idea regarding the case: rip it apart, seal it, and reupholster it. That might be a little less daunting of a project, too. Or build a case yourselves.
 

Helen

Content Expert Saxophones
Staff member
Administrator
@pete. Sorry 'bout that. Didn't see that in all the other good info you gave. My bad. :emoji_blush:
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
@pete. Sorry 'bout that. Didn't see that in all the other good info you gave. My bad. :emoji_blush:
No worries at all. Great minds thinking alike or something like that.
 
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