You do develop a keen sense of adventure sometimes when presented with challenging repair work. Most routine repairs, those that require only minimal adjustments, are part of what makes a workshop tick along quite nicely and keep players playing. Another part of our business is dealing with situations with instruments that need far greater than the minimal. They need the maximum. It might be neglect, or abuse, or an accident. Whatever the cause, we strive to develop the right response when presented with that challenge. After working in this business for over 25 years, there’s not much that we haven’t seen and we forget even less as we, eh .., mature. But if the day ever comes when I feel I've done it all, then I should really be doing something quite different. I never did follow through on my ‘Let’s make dominoes an Olympic event’ quest. Do you know how difficult it is to pick those things up? Seven at a time occasionally. And all that chapping! I'm getting tired just thinking about it.
It’s the challenge of the project that makes it appealing and the need to get creative with your approach. I think most people would want this in their day to day work. Keeps you honest. It helps when you have a story behind the scenes that can add another element to the endeavour We recently refurbished an old Buescher Alto Sax from 1924. It had been lying dormant inside a plastic bag, half disassembled and riddled with mould and whatever someone had tried to ‘clean’ it with sometime during the Second World War; it might have been milk of magnesia. The cool thing was that not only was this a nice little horn with potential, it had very little structural issues and was only missing a few screws and rollers. The project quickly changed from a clean it up and hang it on the wall effort, to a full overhaul and gift from the Grandparents to their young saxophone playing Granddaughter and the resurrection of a family heirloom. A case was provided by their saxophone teacher to complete the story. I’ve posted a few before and after pictures available on the workshop gallery page.