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Keywork Checklist

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Keywork  Checklist

Saxophone:                                     Init:

Pad Cups:

  • Remove old pads from pad cups
  • Inspection:
    • pad cup levelness using a bench block
    • indented spines on pad cups
    • padcup roundness
  • Level pad cups using rawhide mallet and bench block
  • Round out pad cups
  • remove old shellac/glue from pad cups
  • Select dry fitting pads for top stack, bottom stack, G# and bis.

Key Fitting:

  • Inspect keys for gross imperfections (hinge tube cracks, excessive swedging, mechanical restoration, etc.)
  • Check keys for:
  • straight rods and tubes
  • hinge tubes and backbars parallel on compound keys
  • level and flat pad cups
  • excessive padcup damage

Dry Fit:

  • Install old rods for top and bottom stacks
  • Check keys for any lost motion
  • Adjust key heights to accept new materials and remove lost motion (use old rods for any timing bends)
    • Top Stack: B, A, and G
    • Bottom Stack: F, E, and D
  • Open up C and F# keys to allow for 'one bend' timing with materials (minus low D)
  • Align key feet with backbar to correct any gross alignment issues
  • Check timing of stacks with materials
  • Check springs:
    • fit in post
    • mismatched, damaged, or broken springs
    • springs that are too short or too long
    • Be sure to change/replace any springs before facing posts/swedging keys
  • Remove all keys
  • Check all rods for condition
    • thread length and condition
    • shoulder engagement with post
    • slot spreading, cracking, wear, and centering
    • wear along rod length and total tolerance end to end
    • rod total length – hangs out of post – buried in post
    • kinks, wobbles, gouges in rod
  • Check rod fit in posts
    • loose through posts
    • thread angle alignment
    • Does rod deflect when fully tightened?
    • Slot end post scraped/reamed out
    • thread condition and size in final post
  • Replace all questionable rods
    • Over size rods in heavily worn keys/posts?
  • Face All Posts
  • Fit Posts to Rods
  • Swab out hinge tubes
  • Check for excessive wear in hinge tubes (esp, compound keys, smaller diameter hinge tubes, neck octave keys and Bb table spatula
  • Sleeve
  • Check and correct any alignment issues with the C# and F# keys
  • Check for any binding in stack keys
  • Fit keys for sleeves or extensions as necessary


  • Swedge and fit keys to rods
    • compound keys that fit between posts
    • keys next to compound keys/posts
    • independent keys (keys between two posts)
    • Check that all contacting surfaces ar faced and true
  • Fit large diameter rodded keys
    • Fit key and face all key ends
    • deburr inside and ouside
    • swab to remove metal
    • check for and eliminate any binding or friction in hinge tubes
  • Fit small diameter rodded keys
    • Fit key and face all key ends
    • deburr inside and ouside
    • swab to remove metal
    • check for and eliminate any binding or friction in hinge tubes


  • Clean out ends of pivot screw keys
  • Check for wear in pivot sockets
  • Check pivot screw condition (bent tips, thread condition, slot condition)
  • Degrease pivot screws
  • Fit pivot screws between posts
    • extensions for short keys
    • filling and ream damaged or worn ends
  • Remove all pivot screws and install in a labeled cardboard sheet
  • Final polish/wipe down ofr hinge rods
    • cut screw slots in hinge rods
    • deburr slot
  • Clean rollers and rods of old grease and lube
    • replace or fabricate rollers as necessary
  • Clean and check fitting of tilting Bb spatula
  • Rebuild key cradle
  • Place all rods in rod block