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Episode 3: Keywork Station

Keywork Station

The Keywork Station involves mastery of manipulating keys, rods, and posts. With the body work completed, the key fitter begins their job of making every key straight and aligned, fitting exactly between the posts without binding and friction. Working toward perfect by making parallel parts exactly parallel and perpendicular parts perpendicular, the key fitter removes the damage that has happened from years of playing, bad repairs and even factory manufacture.

To do these series of tasks, you'll need a bench motor or lathe for straightening rods. You'll need swedging pliers to remove excess play in the hinge tube and to lengthen the key. You'll also need broaches (to enlarge some hinge tubes and key cutters) or files to make a clean square edge on every key end. On vintage saxophones, the key fitter will often find that they need to make new rods which necessitates rod stock, a jeweler's saw, thread pitch gauge, digital calipers, and cutting dies. The key fitter may also need to add extensions onto pivot screw keys. The key fitter must also pay special attention to posts, aligning each one so that it is perpendicular to the body and its face is parallel with the opposing post.

Key fitting is a task filled with many tiny and precise adjustments, and the key fitter's bench contains many highly specialized tools to make their job faster and more accurate.

Keywork Checklist

Equipment we use at this station:
Post fitting pliers
Post moving pliers
Swedging pliers
Parallel pliers
Bench block
Saxophone key adjustment levers
Digital caliper
Key cutters
Hand files
Bench motor
Rod stock
Taps and dies
Hinge tube cleaners
Straight fluted reamers of various sizes
Lapping compound for rod/hinge tubes

2016 Musikmesse: April 7-10

MusicMedic is going to Germany next month! Curt will be at the Musikmesse in Frankfurt, so be sure to stop by and see him.

Information about Musikmesse can be found here:

Musikmesse Musikmesse

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