When installing/replacing neck corks, I was surprised to see that a template needs to be made. While I could understand that taper on the neck leads to a necessary angle when cutting cork to size, it was still interesting to see the additional work needed for the neck cork. I was fortunate to have a neck without a support ring. However, I still created a template for my sax neck to ensure I was using the least amount of sheet cork as possible. I did forget to bevel the end of the cork before I put the first layer of contact cement on. That was a tricky mistake which I'll be sure to avoid in the future. The cork is cut to 1 1/2" and is a #4 cork. I did have to sand the cork to be cylindrical front top to bottom, but was pleased with the result. The cork looked clean and fit well!
One of our purchases at the beginning of the year was High Speed Steel (HSS) stock. We are now using the stock to create our own tool bit. HSS tool bits are much easier to shape, as it is the softest of tool bits we use at Red Wing. The class went over other tool bits, such as brazed carbide and carbide inserts. Our bit has a 55 degree angle so it can tuck into a 60 degree live center. The other end of the bit is our "UberBit", which can be used to face, turn, plunge, and cut grooves.
I had to hone the tool bit by using a sharpening stone. I used a diamond grit stone with a 300 grit. The tip of the cutting face needs a slightly rounded radius so that the tip won't shatter when being used. I used water as the lubrication for the stone, however oil may have been a better choice for clean up's sake.
This week I finished corking my saxophone and added all necessary felts, bumpers, articulations corks, et cetera. The process is timely, as there are many keys on the saxophone and points of contact with the body of the instrument that should be padded. However, it was fun to go through all of the necessary materials for the instrument and really see the end result coming together.
Here is a picture of what I ended up with. I was relatively happy with the play testing of the saxophone. While I spent a large amount of time seating pads and leveling tone holes, I was still worried there would be issues when play testing the saxophone. It seemed to go well, and it feels great to have the first saxophone repad of my career complete!