Broken Sax Rod

Tenor sax came in and the palm D key rod had sheared off. This doesn’t happen often but does occasionally. Rods with a small throat(area between the threads and main part of rod) are very susceptible to this type of problem.


Left Pic – You can see the broken thread section extending out of the post. I’ve partially removed the threaded section here.
Right Pic – The key with the broken rod, now with the threaded section totally out



Left Pic – Time to find a donor rod…looking for something with the same threads and about the same size or slightly bigger in diameter. Length I’m not too concerned about length, since I can always cut off the extra.
Right Pic – Found one….just slightly bigger in diameter….will have to drill out key and post, but the threads already fit.



Left Pic – Drilled out and fits perfect.
Right Pic – Rod is too long, but that’s easily solved.



Left pic – Problem solved, now to cut the slot
Right Pic – This is my slot cutter. The metal sleeve has various holes for different size rods. The blade cuts the slot.



All done and ready to go.

2 thoughts on “Broken Sax Rod

  1. rod is broken at the slot end. how do I get it out, the lower stack keys are still on it,
    I don’t have a replacement rod. this is for a MKVI tenor. my ex repair man broke it. I didn’t discover until I wanted to replace a pad. If you have any suggestions or possibly a rod I could buy and of course, the best way to extract the damaged one, I would appreciate any suggestions. I’m kind of tapped out financially, so that’s why was hoping to fix it myself. If you think this is foolish, on my part, please say, “your foolish to try it” thank you, regardless.

  2. Clifford,

    Short answer = You’re foolish to try

    Long answer = With that out of the way…:), here’s my thoughts. You have a Mark VI Tenor, and even if it’s high mileage, it still has value, possibly significant value, so repairing it properly is definitely the way you want to go. Also, this is a tricky repair. Getting the rod out without mangling up a post(s) can be challenging. You won’t be able to buy a replacement rod for this horn, and even if you could, it would probably be “loose” from the hinge tube wear. The hinge tubes are the pieces on the keys the rod actually goes through. Over time, the steel rod wears the inside of the brass hinge tube causing the hinge tube to get slightly bigger in diameter. The repairman will have to fabricate a new rod to fit your keywork.

    It won’t be a cheap repair, but good work is never cheap. Think of it like this…you have the equivalent of a 1950, 60, 70 era Ferrari…you don’t let some hack mechanic from down the street bang on it.

    Do your homework, ask around and find out who the best sax guy in your area is, then suck it up, save up your $$$ and have the job done right.

    Just my 2 cents……good luck.


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