Customer requested I get this back into playing condition. Almost all of the pads were touching at the back of the tone hole first leaving large leaks at the front of the tone holes. The last padding job was probably done 15 years ago, and the pads are in okay condition for the most part. He didn’t want an overhaul at this point so I began heating pad cups and trying to pull the pads around, but it wasn’t simple hot glue or shellac holding things in place, it was dabs of pad cement just holding the pads in place. I assume this worked at the time, but something about the pads have changed – perhaps they have swelled a little bit, so this job required I remove all of the pads, remove the old adhesive and reinstall them with an even coating of shellac so they will seat well. Customer still decided not to repad to save money, and that’s fine considering these pads still have some life left – though probably not a lot.
I had to do an emergency oil removal on the whole horn. I don’t know how long it’s been since the oil has been properly replaced, but it looks more like it’s just been fed new oil over and over – slowly turning into a lapping compound. The rods were extremely dark and seemed like they were wiping off shiny flakes – this is bad. It could be corroding the inside of the hinge tubes and causing some serious damage, so it was good to get this done now.
The small ring on the microtuner was very hard to detach, so my clever father built a tool to get the thing apart. The neck was also an extremely tight fit for the receiver and needed to be adjusted, turns out that the last person to work on this did a sloppy job expanding the tenon which made a stupid bulge in one part of the neck. I did attempt buffing the neck before noticing, but that’s not what removed the silver plating, that was already like that.