How to Restore a Selmer Mark VI Saxophone

Written by rina shah
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How to Restore a Selmer Mark VI Saxophone
Restoring a Selmer Mark VI is an involved project. (saxophone image by Igor Zhorov from

The Selmer Mark VI saxophones can be bought in used condition from many brass and woodwind instrument specialists. Restoring a Selmer Mark VI saxophone requires a good working knowledge of saxophones, the right tools and the ability to obtain Mark VI parts. Once you have the right parts and tools, restoring a Mark VI can take around two days to do properly. From cleaning the individual parts to replacing old keys with new ones, restoring a Selmer Mark VI saxophone is a very involved process.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Brass polish
  • Cleaning cloth
  • Mark VI keys
  • Selmer Mark VI bell brace
  • Selmer Mark VI bottom brace
  • Mark VI levers
  • Household disinfectant
  • Multi-purpose oil
  • Oil rag
  • Drying cloth
  • Scrubbing brush
  • Glass container
  • Washing tub

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  1. 1

    Remove all the existing keys and levers from the saxophone. Most of the keys will unscrew by hand. Rotate the keys in a counterclockwise fashion. Once everything is removed all that should remain is the crook of the saxophone. Apply vinegar to the crook and wipe thoroughly with a cloth. The vinegar's acidic content will clean any residue and bacteria that has settled on the saxophone's crook. After cleaning the crook with vinegar, dip it into warm water and rinse off the vinegar. This also cleans the tubing of the crook as well. Use a wire pipe cleaner to scrub the inside of the crook tubing. Dry the crook with a dry cloth.

  2. 2

    Using the new replacement keys, reassemble the saxophone crook. Make sure all the new keys and levers are designed for the Selmer Mark VI saxophone. These are the only components that will fit the instrument properly. Apply oil to the key barrel so that the keys are well lubricated. This will ensure a smooth action when playing. Use a fine paint brush to wipe away excess oil and any debris from the application.

  3. 3

    Fill a small tub with hot water and dilute with disinfectant. Place the mouth piece into the hot water and thoroughly wash with a scrubbing brush. Rinse the now clean mouth piece and wipe dry. Pour household disinfectant into a glass container such as a beaker or a jar. Place the mouth piece in the disinfectant for 30 minutes. Remove the mouth piece and rinse thoroughly under hot water. Place the mouth piece back on the Mark VI saxophone.

  4. 4

    Apply brass polish to an abrasive cloth and rub all over the Selmer Mark VI saxophone. Rub all the polish into the instrument in a gentle but firm manner. The end result should see the instrument shine as if new.

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