This saxophone was purchased about 6 months after I bought the bari sax as I got excited over the work I was able to do with the bari. This saxophone laid untouched for a long period of time until I was asked to play tenor in a Moon Hooch type cover band, so in a matter of weeks I brought this one up to a reasonable working level, and after a year I was able to do some really fine work on it. I will recount any special considerations I came across here as I did with the bari and any prescriptions I have for how to be careful on these matters.
I began by using a soft rag on this saxophone. I touched up some areas with Brasso, which stripped some lacquer right from the neck. I have left things alone on that front and have given it some washing with soap and water. I may remove a lot of the lacquer and red rot down the road when I have more time to consider doing so.
I experimented with swedging on this horn because it is a student horn and is the one I am willing to mess around with on procedures I am not too sure about. Swedging corrects “end play” in saxophone hinge tubes. When there is room for a key to slide even a millimetre up or down (or side to side which is an issue with rods and post fitting) it can void good pad work on your saxophone.
Swedging basically crushes the tube using special pliers (musicmedic.com) while the rod is inside. Since the metal cannot collapse inwards on the tube, it expands outwards – filling the space between the post making for tight keywork.
Other ways key play can come up is when the rod inside the tube is not well fitted, when the rod is not well fitted to the posts that it goes through, or as I described already, when the length of the hinge tube is shorter than the space between the two posts.
I experimented with a set of Channel Lock needle nose pliers that had a round slot in the tip, similar to proper swedging pliers. They are not nearly as easy to use as the swedging pliers by Music Medic, but I found they don’t chew through the surface as easily. That said – I had use a vice to really give the Channel Locks a strong enough grip to stretch the hinge tube.