From the Workshop: Favourite Tools (Sunniva)

5th May 2021

In this series of blogs we catch up with some of our Repair Technicians and ask them for 3 of their favourite tools, either traditional models or perhaps something they have modified for their own use! First up is Sunniva…

1. MusicMedic Silicone Polishing Wheels

This set of silicone polishing wheels changed how I do soldering. They have different abrasive grades, and range from the white wheel which is rough enough to replace a needle file, through to the pink wheel which gives a mirror polish. After unsoldering a piece I’ll heat the remaining solder and wipe it off before I go in with the black wheel to do a rough clean up.

It removes soft solder in seconds without deep scratches and completely replaces the need for scrapers for surface soldering. Once carefully soldered in place I’ll go around the edges if needed using the Blue wheel followed by the pink wheel to finish it off. Due to the wheels’ thin edge I can clean up accurately and minimise loss of finish around the area.

Music Medic Silicone Polishing Wheels

The pink wheel is also excellent at removing discoloured lacquer from heat without making scratches. Just a wipe with a liquid polish (like the Merard MP61 polish) is needed to finish off the area to high shine. These wheels are also excellent in patch making and key making – they just speed up everything without compromising on quality repairs. One of my favourite innovations in the workshop these past couple of years. Check out the set here.

2. BG Spare Leather Attachments

Everyone seats pads using their own technique. In my opinion, saxophone pads cause the most division. I remember being taught using a butter knife, and then with a bit of belt and a coffee stirrer. I now use a combination of a few tools, but the most trusted one is a BG Leather sling attachment (from a spare sling) that I’ve partially cut down the middle to split it.

I use it by trapping it between the toneholes and pad to push the pad into the pad cup, drag the pad forward, or if I need to bend a key arm I use it for cushioning. An odd little adaptation I now can’t do without!

BG leather adaptor

3. Bent needle spring for Trombone felts used in combination with Ferree’s Trombone Bumper Removers

The simplest tool ever made: This is just a 0.9mm blue needle spring, but by bending the tip using some round nosed pliers you have a sharp and versatile hook. I’ve got them in a few sizes which come in handy for stuck pull throughs, but the most important use it has is to get out stubborn cork barrel felts, rubbers and corks on Trombone playing slides.

These bumpers can get so saturated with oil they start to dissolve, making it unnecessarily time consuming to remove them fully. With this little hook you can get those bits out when Ferree’s Bumper Remover can’t quite get a hold. 

bent needle spring tool

We stock a wide range of Woodwind & Brass instrument repair tools. If you have any queries or would like advice about selecting the best tool for a repair job please do contact us for further info.