The pictures below show the journey of a 1960 Mark VI tenor which was brought to me over a year ago. This horn was sitting in the standing water of a flooded basement for several months and the owner believed it was beyond repair because of the incurred damage. He was offering it for parts, I told him I wanted to try and restore it.
There were many times during the process of overhauling this horn where I kicked myself for taking it on as a project, or honestly feared I couldn't complete it, but I just knew it was going to be a special saxophone and a true test of all my skills as a repairman.
The biggest challenge (obviously) was simply getting the damn thing apart. Not a single key was free for obvious reasons. The rust was so aggressive that many of the screw slots on the smaller rods had essentially deteriorated into steel soup. Each Sunday Id spend an hour or two heating and oiling the rods with varrying degrees of success. After six months of this, I broke down and unsoldered a few of the ribs and proceeded to treat the remaining bits of steel with a boiling solution of water and alum powder which eventually dissolved what was left. After this, I machined a complete new set of rods. The springs were just as bad, several had to be drilled out in order to replace them. Apart from this, cleaning this beast to get rid of all the small copper deposits (which looked and felt like barnacles) took forever and a day.
However, despite all the cursing, burns, anxiety and frustration, playing the horn made it worth every minute.