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 Pad Cup Heater
Author: jbutler 
Date:   2001-05-28 23:42

I've received several emails concerning this tool. Here is the link:

http://www.dxmarket.com/micromark/products/82111.html

The Votaw tool is "reboxed" and sells for about $40 more. Votaw can be reached at: 1-800-894-8665

John

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 RE: Pad Cup Heater
Author: Aaron Diestel 
Date:   2001-05-29 01:51

THIS TOOL IS WONDERFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
everyone should have one....it's the best thing since sliced bread...well not really...but it is great...and worth the money if you do alot of repairs...

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 RE: Pad Cup Heater
Author: ron b 
Date:   2001-05-29 03:09

J -
I find I prefer the soldering gun. I haven't tried the tool displayed here but I have talked to several people who have used them. The problem they've mentioned that I think I would like to avoid, beside the price, is that it heats up *awfully* fast. I think, in that respect, you'd have to be much more careful not to overheat things.
I'm interested that you like this tool over other 'regular' soldering guns. I, not having had an opportunity to try one first hand, am interested... what is it you like most - least? One 'tech' told me (smiling) 'never burned a pad since switching' from using the open flame. Well, that's a plus :]
- ron b -

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 RE: Pad Cup Heater
Author: Bill 
Date:   2001-05-29 10:33

Any tips on how to use the pad cup heater, and soldering gun to heat and seat a pad? For example, do you heat the cup before or after the pad is touching the tone hole?

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 RE: Pad Cup Heater
Author: jbutler 
Date:   2001-05-29 13:20

The things I like about the pad cup heater:
1) It doesn't stay hot.
2) Electricity doesn't flow until contacts connect to key cup.
3) Heats quickly without burning pads.
4) More control over heat.
5) Can be used to help free rusted pivots and rods without scorching wood.
6) Graphite contacts last a long time so long as you don't get careless and break them.
7) Touch piece is VERY lightweight and easy to control vs holding heavy solder gun.
8) Heat doesn't discolor silver plate after buffing. Gas flame can dull the silver plate finish after the polishing process.

Bill, I heat the pad cup either way: open pads in the open position, closed pads in the closed position. It only takes about a count to 5 for small pads (upper joint) and about 8 to 10 on lower joint pad cups.

John

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 RE: Pad Cup Heater
Author: Gordon (NZ) 
Date:   2001-05-29 13:59

For clarinets i always use a bunsen burner with a cap (with a hole) over it to narrow the flame to about 1/2 the diameter.

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 RE: Pad Cup Heater
Author: Claude 
Date:   2001-05-30 21:43

I have been reading this thread with much interest. I tried to figure out which glue is best for pad replacement? If you use heat to set the pad into the cup, does it mean that you use a shellac (resin like), glue gun or kwickset type of glue? Could I use a glue gun and then heat the cup if it does not seat properly over the keyhole? Thank to all of you for the info.

Claude

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 RE: Pad Cup Heater
Author: Terry Horlick 
Date:   2001-05-31 01:07

I've watched a local repair man do the exact same thing with a standard soldering gun. He just takes the "Weller" type (copper point which is screwed into two posts) and cuts the copper tip of so there are two copper probes of equal length. Then he puts the gun onto the pad cup or the spine of the metal arm which is sldered to the pad. Then he turns ont he gun and a few seconds later it is ready to melt shellac.

The problem is it does very slightly mar the laquer on saxaphone pads.

The advantage is you probably already have a soldering iron so you are out less than $1 for a new tip. If you don't have a soldering gun you can get one at most garage sales for under $5. Or splurge and spend the $25 to get a new one.

Your clarinet is worth it, just send in the $147.95 and get the glitzy tool!

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 RE: Pad Cup Heater
Author: Gordon (NZ) 
Date:   2001-05-31 12:39

I use the cream-coloured (only because it matches the bladder pads) shellac. I put the required quantity of SOLID 'drips' into the key cup, heat the key cup until the shellac foams a little and rises, float the pad (chosen for its appropriate thickness and prtrusion from the key cup) on this puddle, wipe the back of the key cup on a wet rag (wetted knee area of my smock in fact) to cool (hiss!) to around 100 degrees C (this makes the 'foaminess' subside' and increases the glue's viscosity so that it does not ooze out), press the pad in even and level, reinstal the key, level the key cup over the tone hole, checking around the hole with a 0.02 mm thick shim, then give it a good press closed and check again. Done. I reheat glue while the key is on the instrument only on grossly designed instruments with apalling key cup alignment, and B&H Regents whose keys break easily and cannot be repaired. Maybe a little unorthodox, but it sure works and is very quick.
I find that if I repad a key for the second time around the alignment routine is often not needed, suggesting that most key cups are out of alignment at manufacture!

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 RE: Pad Cup Heater
Author: Gordon (NZ) 
Date:   2001-05-31 12:51

Forgot to mention: Reasons for shellac. Etc.
1. Gluegun glue makes an aweful mess if it oozes.
2. Hot melt glue (especially glue gun types) stick poorly when applied to a cold (especially metal) surfaces.
3. It is easy to include air pockets if hot glue is applied to a key cup. They expand and ooze glue if the key is reheated.
4. If the glue does not 'foam' and 'rise' when heated it is very difficult to exclude air under the pad when it is inserted. Most stick glues do not do this.
5. Reheated set glue (of any sort) tends to rise up the sides of the key cup, greatly increasing the likelihood of oozing when the pad is inseted (because an air pocket is created). I clean it out and start again.
6. I have made a range of nifty tools to quickly adjust key cup alignment over tone holes. Difficult to describe.

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 RE: Pad Cup Heater
Author: mw 
Date:   2001-05-31 21:29

Gordon, can you please leaborate on the 0.2mm thickness shim? What exactly is it that you use? (eg a paper with known .2mm thickness?) Thanks.

Best,
mw

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 RE: Pad Cup Heater
Author: Bill 
Date:   2001-05-31 21:51

I was curious about the 0.02 mm shim that Gordon mentioned, so I measured the thickness of cigarette paper with my digital calipers. It's exactly 0.02 mm. I was surprised the calipers could measure something so thin.

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 RE: Pad Cup Heater
Author: Bill 
Date:   2001-05-31 22:29

At least three "tools" have been mentioned for use as pad heaters. The Votaw/Triton soldering tool, a "regular" soldering iron with and without modified tip, and a bunsen burner. An inexpensive alcohol lamp, and butane micro torch are other options. I'd like to buy the one tool that give the most "bang for the buck". I already have a regular soldering iron, and an alcohol lamp, so what am I asking :) . I guess I'm looking to buy another tool.

You have to heat the shellac in the cup and then insert and level the pad. Then you need to apply heat to the cup, after it's installed on the horn, and seat the pad.

I think a bunsen burner with a fine point head can be used for the entire process. Ferree's tools catalog has couple of different models using natural or propane gas. They say the bunsen burner flame is easier to direct to a pad cup than the flickering flame of an alcohol lamp. I've been frustrated by the flickering flame in doing flute pads, and I didn't realize that this problem was so common. So, the bunsen burner wins out over the alcohol lamp.

I would like to know if the Votaw soldering tool can be used for the first heating step in the padding process? As John mentioned, it can also be used to rusted pivots and rods. I think it can be used in tight places on the horn, whereas flame devices could do damage. It's main minus seems to be its price.

I'm not sure how well a modified soldering iron, and a butane torch would work.

I'm torn between the bunsen burner and the Votaw.

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 RE: Pad Cup Heater
Author: Gordon (NZ) 
Date:   2001-06-01 07:06

mw: The feeler shim I use is cut from mylar (I think) that was once given to me in bulk. I fine sandpaper the sheet before cutting it up to strips in order to increase the friction during use. After all we are comparing degree of friction in olocations around the pad rather than gaps as such.

Other feeler shim suggestions:
- Cigarette paper is rather weak. I've used it in only in emergencies.
- I think video tape or cassette tape would be similar to what I use. LP tape is thinner than standard play, etc. Perhaps sand the coating off.
- Some repairers use the plastic wrapping on cigarette packets.
- One supplier sells shim about half this thickness. I'm not sure what it is. I use it only rarely on professional flutes. It is rather floppy for general use.
- Dentists use a range of shims, some plastic and some metal, for detecting contact points when teeth close.
Try anything.

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 RE: Pad Cup Heater
Author: Bill 
Date:   2001-06-05 21:09

The Triton soldering tool arrived today. It looks great for small cups, but how do you us it on the large cups? I also got the needle point electrodes which may have a greater spread, but I haven't installed them yet.

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 RE: Pad Cup Heater
Author: Gordon (NZ) 
Date:   2001-06-06 08:02

I believe you just touch the electrodes gently on the key. If you push too hard the electrodes will break; they're very brittle indeed.

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 RE: Pad Cup Heater
Author: mw 
Date:   2001-06-07 05:25

Gordon, thanks for the feeler tips. I have a number of dentists who are clients, I will ask ... YES, the feeler they use would probably work ... thinking of the kind they use after caps are put on.

What does anyone have to say about the "Micro Torches" that run off cigarette lighters?

Bill, Ferree's shows a special bunsen burner type fitting where the propane tank "lays down" --- I though it was pretty expensive. : )

Can someone explain this Soldering Tool to me? I assume the points at the end of the "scissors" is what conducts heat to the pad cup? Forgive me, but I hate to assume? Will this appartus re-heat george's Glue which has a higher melting point?

How dangerous are these types of apparati to the keywork? Do i risk melting or doping damage unless I am very careful? (that sounds worse than it probably is --- everything that John. Gordon & others warn about alsways comes home in spades for me. Than I learn AFTER I make the mess or have to replace the part! : )

(yeah, $25 clarinets that worked well before they lost parts .... )

Best,
mw

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 RE: Pad Cup Heater
Author: Gordon (NZ) 
Date:   2001-06-07 06:16

I'm not sure which soldering tool you are asking about, but they work similarly.
One is the Weller-type soldering gun with the very tip cut off or split so that the two 'arms' become separated 'probes', The Triton/Votaw device is essentially the same but the metal probes are substituted with carbon.

When soldering with a soldering iron it is difficult to conduct enough heat to the work through just a point or line of contact for conduction, and difficult to get good enough tip alignment to ensure a FACE of contact, so we tend to rely somewhat on melted solder as a medium through which heat is conducted from the soldering tip to the work.

The operation of these heating devices is quite different. The key (or anything else)itself becomes the heating element in the electrical circuit. This is because the heating occurs where the electrical resistance is greatest. This is either within the key (because of this alloy being the worst conductor in the circuit) or at the points of contact.

(Using them is a problem with lacquered saxophone keys because the lacquer has to be removed at the contact points to complete the electrical circuit.)

The solder gun type has the advantage of robust (but bendable, especially if copper wire is used) contact arms. The Votaw has the advantage of the heavy transformer component not having to be held in the hand. An advantge of the bunsen burner is that when it is applied to a key OFF the instrument both hands are free of the heating device - the operator does not need to put down the heating device before picking up the pad to instal it or adjust it.

Some repairers report arcing damage to the key. This should be avoidable if the contact is secure before switching on. I suspect it also depends on the voltage of the device. If I recall correctly the Weller is about 0.5 volts, whereas cheaper versions of solder gun may be around 3 volts. I don't know what the Votaw is - I've never seen or used one. Of course the higher the watts the faster the heating, and also more chance of arcing. I'm sure you would use the Votaw's 100 watts in preference to its 50. The standard Weller with the 100/140 watt option would clearly offer more heat.

The solder gun I initially used was so scruffily made that it had no clicking microswitch to switch it on, but had a child's toy clicker thingy to make a microswitch sound. It had nothing to do with the switching whatsoever!
It is 3 volts, and its 100 watts is rather slow for sax keys. I use it for piccolos because using a bunsen burner on them poses a high risk of burning linkage corks or melting plastic bodies. I have no such problems with a bunsen on clarinets.

I hope this provides some answers.

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 RE: Pad Cup Heater
Author: Bill 
Date:   2001-06-07 11:12

Author mw wrote:

What does anyone have to say about the "Micro Torches" that run off cigarette lighters?

Bill, Ferree's shows a special bunsen burner type fitting where the propane tank "lays down" --- I though it was pretty expensive. : )
-------------------------------------------
I gave all the Ferree's Tools torch items a lot of thought. I ordered their L60 torch ($17), but it hasn't arrived yet. I was debating between the L60 and L56 for $52.50, but after talking to a Ferree's rep went with the L60. The latter is good for frequent use, which doesn't apply in my case.

I got the Triton resistance soldering tool for a couple of reasons. I read somewhere that a flame "may" damage key plating. I have no first hand experience, and I doubt this is true otherwise torches wouldn't be used by repair techs. I've scorched the wood on a piccolo, using an alcohol burner, but I think the "trick" is to direct the flame more across the key than directly at the key on the assembled unit. This is easier to do with a bunsen burner or L60 than an alcohol lamp. I think the Triton is good for seating pads. Just connect its probes across the cup, squeeze for a short count, and done (I hope).

I think the L60 and Triton are easy to hold and control, whereas the propane tank bunsen burner sits in its stands, and you need to work in relation to its fixed position.

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 RE: Pad Cup Heater
Author: mw 
Date:   2001-06-07 12:52

Bill, I would think that mosty use of a bunsen burner would be from a fixed, non-moving position.

Perhaps, Gordon can enlighten us!

I fail to see how the Micro Torch is much different than the cigarette lighter it uses, unless its flame is totally undergoing a change --- again, I am NOT an engineer. SO, I would apprecaite any help.

Best,
mw

PS --- I am still NOT clear on how exactly the Triton Resistance Soldering Tool works???? I can see how you could place a pad cup BETWEEN them. BUT, if the pad was already on wouldn't this possibly burn/damage the pad? I had thought that you would just touch the TIPS to the top of the metal of the Pad Cup --- to conduct electrical HEAT to the Pad Cup (e.g. to reheat - shellac/glue where pad cup-key has been re-mounted on the Clarinet)

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 RE: Pad Cup Heater
Author: mw 
Date:   2001-06-07 12:53

Bill, I would think that most use of a bunsen burner would be from a fixed, non-moving position.

Perhaps, Gordon can enlighten us!

I fail to see how the Micro Torch is much different than the cigarette lighter it uses, unless its flame is totally undergoing a change --- again, I am NOT an engineer. SO, I would apprecaite any help.

Best,
mw

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 RE: Pad Cup Heater
Author: mw 
Date:   2001-06-07 12:54

Sorry, for double-post ... either my ISP, Sneezy's or somewhere between --- we're having problems. mw

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 RE: Pad Cup Heater
Author: shmuelyosef 
Date:   2018-02-21 00:25

Curious if there are updated thoughts on this topic after 16 years. I have, for years, used an industrial hot air gun with a variety of nozzles (smallest is about 1/4" diameter) for heating pad cups. Never had any trouble until recently, working on a newish plastic (unknown material) clarinet I singed the edges of the recess on an A throat key (not the pad seat, but the border with the body) while seating. The edges of that recess were very sharp and the damage disappeared with the slightest easing of the edge, but put a nervousness in my brain about plastic clarinets. Have never had any trouble with hard rubber/ebonite or Resonite, but I'm seeing more of these very lightweight plastic instruments.

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 Re: Pad Cup Heater
Author: Matt74 
Date:   2018-02-21 03:58

I love my Blazer ES-1000 micro torch.

It heats the cup fast, and is not prone to burning the pads. The flame is adjustable. It gets super hot, and puts out a large volume of heat. You can even do small silver soldering jobs on broken keys (with the right solder - I think I got mine from Music Medic.) You can turn the flame way down to lighter size. You can adjust the “volume” and “blast” seperately, so you can have a small intense flame, a small gentle flame, a huge gentle flame, or a blast furnace. My only complaint is that it’s a bit difficult to adjust really low, and the piezo won’t start it if it has been turned down all the way. You have to turn it up a bit, start it, and then turn it down. It doesn’t have to be turned that low to pad - it just burns fuel. With it a little higher than minimum it pops right on. You can use it for just about anything. You could probably soft solder trumpet slides. You need to use Blazer fuel. There might be a different model with a lower max operating temperature that would adjust to minimum more conveniently. Worth every penny.

It’s easier to use than an alcohol burner IMO (at least the one I have - which is perfectly useable), or a regular bench torch (with the big tank - I was always burning pads with the gas bench torch.) The alcohol burner worked, but it was kind of slow and I still burned pads sometimes, and you have a live flame on your bench while you are making adjustments. The “blast” from the micro torch keeps the flame from curling around the cup and burning the pads, like a softer flame wants to.

You can only use a lighter in emergencies because you’d go through cases, and you get soot all over the keys. The micro torch does not leave soot.

- Matthew Simington


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 Re: Pad Cup Heater
Author: clarnibass 
Date:   2018-02-21 10:01

I have a bunch of torches (including the model Matt74 just mentioned), both "mini" and with tanks, the pad cup heater, a soldering gun with tips cut to work like a pad cup heater, a hot air gun and an alcohol lamp.

For clarinet pads 99% of the time I use the alcohol lamp to melt glue in the cup and heat it, then most of the time I use the pad cup heater to heat the key cup while the key is mounted if necessary.

I never use the cut tip soldering gun for pads. I really only use it to heat stuck hinges. You can shape the tips to be much farther away than the pad cup heater so can reach both ends of a rod screw sometimes (e.g. on a lacquered sax key). In reality I don't use it often even for that.

I pretty much never use any of the mini torches for clarinet pads. I occasionally use the alcohol lamp only, or the hot air torch with some synthetic pads that are more sensitive to heat. It is still entirely possible to use a flame with these pads, it's less hassle to not worry about this issue.

I use the mini torch mainly for sax keys, or for soldering (most soft soldering, or silver soldering tiny parts).

Shmuelyosef, what temperature do you use with the hot air gun? I use it on a very low temp for this even though it takes a bit longer, because the reason I even use it is for the more heat sensitive pads. I haven't had it damage any plastic part of a clarinet yet.



Post Edited (2018-02-21 10:03)

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 RE: Pad Cup Heater
Author: jbutler 2017
Date:   2018-02-24 00:45

I still use the pad cup heater almost daily. I do have the MusicMedic "Vortex Air Torch" and use it for multiple applications especially on saxophone and bass clarinet. I still use the pad cup heater for soprano clarinets.

jbutler

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 Re: Pad Cup Heater
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2018-02-24 18:39

The website doesn't open. Anyone have a newer site?


NEWLY DESIGNED - Vintage 1940 Cicero Mouthpieces


Yamaha Artist




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 Re: Pad Cup Heater
Author: jbutler 2017
Date:   2018-02-27 02:43

Looks like MicroMark doesn't carry it now. They have some other units but none like the Votaw unit
http://www.votawtool.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=pad+cup+heater

jbutler

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 Re: Pad Cup Heater
Author: shmuelyosef 
Date:   2018-03-10 03:45

[quote="clarnibass"] Shmuelyosef, what temperature do you use with the hot air gun? I use it on a very low temp for this even though it takes a bit longer, because the reason I even use it is for the more heat sensitive pads. I haven't had it damage any plastic part of a clarinet yet.

I have always used it about midway in the adjustment range (neither of mine have a quantitative temperature label, just '+' and '-') and never had a problem with wood or hard rubber. This clarinet was of unknown material but VERY lightweight. I do turn it up higher for saxophones and have never had any trouble with lacquer. Obviously I'll be more careful in the future when floating in pads on clarinet bodies.

The Votaw pad cup heater is out of stock whenever I go look (to think about it).

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 Re: Pad Cup Heater
Author: shmuelyosef 
Date:   2018-03-10 03:47

Quote:

clarnibass wrote: Shmuelyosef, what temperature do you use with the hot air gun? I use it on a very low temp for this even though it takes a bit longer, because the reason I even use it is for the more heat sensitive pads. I haven't had it damage any plastic part of a clarinet yet.


I have always used it about midway in the adjustment range (neither of mine have a quantitative temperature label, just '+' and '-') and never had a problem with wood or hard rubber. This clarinet was of unknown material but VERY lightweight. I do turn it up higher for saxophones and have never had any trouble with lacquer. Obviously I'll be more careful in the future when floating in pads on clarinet bodies.

The Votaw pad cup heater is out of stock whenever I go look (to think about it).



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