Author Topic: Speaking of sagas, my Saxony is resting peacefully  (Read 194 times)

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Offline Le Chef

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Speaking of sagas, my Saxony is resting peacefully
« on: September 09, 2017, 10:06:26 PM »
After affixing thicker and softer bumpers on my Saxony, this quieting the chattering slide about 50%, I managed to drop it on a hardwood floor.  (My apologies to all whose "it's the bumpers!" advice I initially resisted.) 

But then I had a new problem, because when it hit the floor it landed square on the slide button, and left the slide with more of a twist then a bend.  It slid in but wouldn't slide out.  At last it was completely quiet!  Unfortunately, it was also unplayable.

I watched Carl Beitler hammer a bent slide into fighting shape at SPAH.  Following his example, I grabbed a hammer and a flat sharpening stone, laid the slide on the stone, and tapped it straight again, giving it maybe 6-7 blows.  I broke the stone in the process but I don't care.  Good thing I didn't knock the button off, as some of the blows were glancing.  If I had it to do over again, I'd put it in a vise and squeeze it straight.

I held my breath as I reassembled it, as Saxonies ain't the easiest harmonicas in the world to put back together, but all was well. Actually I think I've learned the trick to reassembly. It's getting a little easier every time.

I do have this question: when you initially screw a mouthpiece onto a harmonica, if you tighten it all the way down, you have to back off some on the screws or the slide won't move.  So my question is, is there a rule of thumb about how tight to go?  Or do you just go as tight as possible without freezing the slide?

I went all the way down and the slide stuck of course. Then I gave the screws maybe an eighth of a turn to the left, and it popped back out.  It seems to play okay. 

Oh yeah, I think I'm supposed to look for cracks of light between the mouthpiece edge and the slide, right?
« Last Edit: September 09, 2017, 10:10:25 PM by Le Chef »
"Run not in the streets. . . nor with mouth open." George Washington, Rules of Civility

Offline Age

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Re: Speaking of sagas, my Saxony is resting peacefully
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2017, 11:18:33 PM »
Or do you just go as tight as possible without freezing the slide?

Yep. Tighten it (one side at a time) till it binds, then back it off just till it doesn't bind.  :)
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Offline Carl SC270

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Re: Speaking of sagas, my Saxony is resting peacefully
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2017, 01:07:54 AM »
Hi Chef, when Greg tightened your mouthpiece down he tightened it down all the way and it didn't bind and he did not back it off. If the button falls off just solder it back on, no problem, now it will last forever. The 270 I played at Spah had the button soldered on. Anyway you can and probably should buy a new slide. Other parts like the U channel or the mouthpiece may have a very small bend in them, away from the harmonica. Don't hit the slide directly and don't hit it hard, the idea is to tap it gently with a small hammer on a very hard even surface with an even hard piece of metal. Check to see if the reed plates got whacked and moved a little so that they no longer line up with the front of the harmonica, now these are extremely small movements so you have to be very critical, a small movement makes a big difference, get out you're magnifying glass. To check the mouthpiece on the harmonica hold it up to a strong light and see if any light leaks in the middle. The fact that Greg made everything tight and now it binds screwed down bothers me, it means that something is not right and that bugs me. With many harmonicas you back off the screws a 1/16" or so.

Offline Le Chef

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Re: Speaking of sagas, my Saxony is resting peacefully
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2017, 11:09:59 AM »
Thanks Carl. I also cleaned my 270 today (proud of me?), and was unable to make the slide bind, no matter how hard I tightened, so I'm sure you're right. But I can't imagine that I damaged anything else.

I'll be talking to Greg and will ask him to confirm that it should work even tightened all the way down. If so, I'll buy a new one. 

I was surprised that the Saxony replacement slides were so cheap: about $25 from their website. It's just a simple piece of stamped metal, but I've been pricing $50.00 pieces of cheap plastic trunk emblems for my Mustang (another saga), and so I was expecting Seydel slides to be more expensive. 
"Run not in the streets. . . nor with mouth open." George Washington, Rules of Civility

Offline Carl SC270

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Re: Speaking of sagas, my Saxony is resting peacefully
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2017, 12:03:04 PM »
Chef don't over tighten the mouthpiece screws because if you strip them then you'll keep the repairman busy. When you tighten say the screw on the button side hold the mouthpiece down very firmly then also repeat on the other side. Check out the Saxony mouthpiece and make sure it's flat on the side that lays in the channel. Lay on a very flat surface and if it's higher in the middle then it has to be straightened out. No vises, big hammers and don't try bending it, etc. Put between very flat surfaces and tap flat if you can.

Offline Le Chef

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Re: Speaking of sagas, my Saxony is resting peacefully
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2017, 02:25:01 PM »
Chef don't over tighten the mouthpiece screws because if you strip them then you'll keep the repairman busy. When you tighten say the screw on the button side hold the mouthpiece down very firmly then also repeat on the other side. Check out the Saxony mouthpiece and make sure it's flat on the side that lays in the channel. Lay on a very flat surface and if it's higher in the middle then it has to be straightened out. No vises, big hammers and don't try bending it, etc. Put between very flat surfaces and tap flat if you can.

Did you mean "Saxony slide"? I straightened the mouthpiece as you suggest in this post, the first time I disassembled it (this was last year), then I had to send it off to Greg because I messed up the whole thing, and he asked if I had straightened it. When I said that I had,  he said it's supposed to be bowed, not flat.He bowed it back and it's been that way ever since.  Anyway they are both working fine.  Maybe the 270 and the Saxony work differently (?)

I wrote to Greg at Saxony and asked about tightening, and he responded:

hey there..
the idea is to tighten the slide down until it starts to bind and then back off until it gets to the
point of freely moving.  Looks like you did it right.. !


I may have to open my own repair shop. Greg and George need a little competition!
« Last Edit: September 10, 2017, 02:30:06 PM by Le Chef »
"Run not in the streets. . . nor with mouth open." George Washington, Rules of Civility

Offline Carl SC270

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Re: Speaking of sagas, my Saxony is resting peacefully
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2017, 06:16:36 PM »
I meant don't tighten screws into wood combs too tight because of striping. I was talking about the Saxony mouthpiece getting bent the opposite of the way it should be. Guess I was up too late last night and my ideas were a bit jumbled.