DIY Saxophone Neck Cork

jbtsax

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#1
I don't very often promote specific vendor's products, but in this instance I want to make an exception. I have been using the Valentino Synthetic self-adhesive neck corks in my repair work for several years now and I am impressed at how well they perform and how well they hold up. Besides the ease of installation, the feature of this neck cork I like the most is that it allows the player to use mouthpieces with different size shanks interchangeably. Once the smaller mouthpiece is removed, the synthetic material expands to create a snug fit for the larger one. The only downside to this product is that it costs a bit more than natural cork. This video shows a demonstration on how to install the cork. The tricky part is to cut a straight line at the seam, but the "cork" has enough flex that you can squeeze the sides closer together if you are a little bit off.

 
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#2
This comes at a perfect time for me. The teflon on my cork has nearly exceeded whats left of the cork because I switch mouthpieces maybe a bit too often then I should and I was hoping something like this would exist. Do synthetic corks need grease like natural ones do? And don't you need to paint both sides in contact cement?
 

jbtsax

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#3
I haven't found it necessary to use cork grease on the synthetics nor have I used contact cement. The self adhesive has worked just fine. I do however scuff up the surface under the cork with 220 grit emery cloth. Perhaps that makes it hold better. I don't know.
 

Phil

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#4
Thanks for the post. I will definitely try this if I can find it. Play testing every mouthpiece...and different pieces doesnt compress my cork to badly but it tears it up a lot quicker. I can do my own corks but everytime I do I have to replace the jar of adhesive because it dries up....so a little more expense will be less expensive than replacing glue each time I need to change a couple of corks.
 

saxyjt

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#7
Thanks for the post. I will definitely try this if I can find it. Play testing every mouthpiece...and different pieces doesnt compress my cork to badly but it tears it up a lot quicker. I can do my own corks but everytime I do I have to replace the jar of adhesive because it dries up....so a little more expense will be less expensive than replacing glue each time I need to change a couple of corks.
Check this. I just ordered one. I bought from that seller multiple times and it's always been fine. The only thing here is that the item number refers to a set of 12 and I doubt that's what he's actually selling.

For one, the price is fair (shipment included in France) but for a pack of 12 that would be a bargain! Let's see.
 

Phil

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#8
Great...good price and amazon UK does not deliver to France.

I found it in the US but this is cheaper


I need new corks on alto and tenor badly!
 
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nigeld

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#9
Looking on Amazon, it seems that Valentino cork is available in 1/16", 3/64" and 1/32" thicknesses.
Somewhere else it says that the same thickness will work for alto, tenor and bari - but which?
 

jbtsax

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#10
@jbtsax - Does it come in different thicknesses for sop/alto/tenor/bari?
No. One size fits all. @nigeld The 1/16" is the thickness commonly used for neck corks. The advantage of buying the one specifically sold as a neck cork is that it is pre-cut to the appropriate size and shape. The 6" x 6" self adhesive sheet sold on Amazon costs about twice as much but would make several neck corks saving a bit of money. The neck cork is a trapezoid shape measuring 53 mm across at the top, 60 mm across at the bottom and 44 mm high. One can easily figure out how many a 6" x 6" sheet will make.
 

pknight11

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#12
This is great news. I had to have two necks recorked when I bought my most recent tenor because the corks were too thin, and then I had to sand them a bit to get it to work with all of my mouthpieces. A series of compromises.

Phil, it would seem, based on jbtsax's description, that sanding would probably be unnecessary. If the cork compresses and expands as described it sounds like a one-size-fits-all solution.
 

pknight11

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#13
jbtsax, where do you find these in the States? Amazon seems to have the sheets of Valentino's, but I am interested in looking at the pre-cut items a well. WWBW seems to only have the sheets and clarinet joint corks. Thanks!

Edit: Never mind. When I searched for it in Google it comes up with a link to WWBW. When I searched at WWBW, the pre-cut corks did not pop up. Thanks again.
 

DavidUK

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#15
I fitted a Valentino neck cork a few years back. The only issue I had was getting the two ends where they join to stay stuck down. The self adhesive was not strong enough at this join to stop the cork wanting to return to its original flat form. It only lifted slightly and a little contact adhesive under the join subsequently sorted it.

If you fit one, make sure the neck is as clean as you can. I would apply a little contact adhesive on the neck and the cork just at the join point to be certain of no lifting.

Otherwise, the cork's smooth finish makes MP fitting easier and as JBT says, it doesn't stay compressed like real cork so gives a good seal on slightly differing MP internal bores.

Oh... look, I posted a thread in 2014: Technical - Synthetic neck cork - Valentino

:doh:
 
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Phil

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#18
No such luck on the bargain. I got mine today.

The France Ebay listing is not a sheet of cork. It is a precut single cork.

Still worth it if it works but not a screaming bargain. I suppose its cheaper than my going and buying a jar of cement and cork...so whaterver...
 

jbtsax

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#20
One more thought. . . a trick I learned from my mentor is to start wrapping the cork beginning in the center making sure it is parallel to the top of the neck opening. and perpendicular to its length. This is especially helpful when the neck has a ring as shown in the illustration.

Neck cork installation.jpg
 
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