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What

Member
Messages
314
Now I know there are tons of articles and books (Stephen Howard had a very good one) out there about how to care for our Saxes, but I figured it would be interesting to share some of our own habits for keeping our horns playing.

For me I really can't afford a trip to the repair shop, so I have to stick as much as possible to a good care regiment.

I clean with pull throughs after every practice and use my shove it. I leave the horn and cleaning stuff out of the case to air dry as well. I might reassemble it depending on if I will have time for an early practice or quick scale run through in the morning (coffee, eggs, bacon and a little sax is the best way to start your day). I also give my reeds a quick soak after I am done to prevent saliva build up (this appears to work quite well I still am using my first reed).

About once a week I use cigarette paper on the pads and give it a quick polish with a soft cloth too keep that brass pretty. Though I might look into a very gently polish on a few places that don't respond to hot breath.

Thats about it for me.
 

MellowD

Lost In Theory
Messages
544
Morning!

I'm still learning about my sax(es), so I'm open to any suggestions for longevity and care ....

Right now, I clean through after every use, and then install my padsavers, especially if I'm travelling home with it immediately afterwards.

Back home, I generally take it out of the case as soon as I can and place on its stand 1) to allow air drying 2) so I can pick it up and play regularly with ease. This works well for me, instead of keeping them in the cases when out of use, and encourages me to play more frequently and at random intervals rather than feeling an obligated time set routine.

A soft cloth wipe over is a regular routine before putting it on the stand or in the case after playing.

Reeds - whole other story - and I've been following the wet reeds thread with interest, so this is an ongoing development - right now I'm finding the best way for my reeds to work for me is the soak in a glass, press out the excess and play. Afterwards, I rinse/soak to get rid of the saliva, press out the excess again, and put into my reed guard for protection until I'm ready to go again. My reeds are now lasting much better than the suck-in-mouth routine that I was initially taught, and are suffering much less damage at the tip.

Thats me for now.

Mel
 

gladsaxisme

Try Hard Die Hard
Subscriber
Messages
3,409
As far as having a good regime goes I have to admit that I don't and tend to leave my mainly used sax out on a stand all the time and apart from giving it a light oiling occasionally do very little to it,I tend to think phaffing about with it too much like polishing etc could cause more problems than leaving it alone ie dislodged corks and spring,but I would like to ask the techs amongst us if leaving the sax out on it's stand all the time can have a very detrimental effect on the sax for any reason.....John
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
13,089
I'm not a tech but I do my own repairs and adjustments.

I leave mine on the stands. I believe it lets them dry between playing. They are vulnerable to dust and being knocked over so having a bumbling old German Shepherd I keep the room to that door closed.

Playing and sticking it back in the case wet, can cause all sorts of problems like mould or mildew and pads perishing or rotting. Any chips in the lacqueur will start to corode in the presence of moisture too.

I tend to give mine a brush through with the pad saver and a wipe over after playing while they are still warm and wet. Dried on water marks are harder to shift than wet ones.

It is best to be very careful when cleaning as cloths can snag on springs and corks with annoying reults. Ping.


I do a more thorough detail clean as and when it needs it and at this time make any adjustments that have become apparent.
 

saxmaster

Member
Messages
41
Reeds - whole other story - and I've been following the wet reeds thread with interest, so this is an ongoing development - right now I'm finding the best way for my reeds to work for me is the soak in a glass, press out the excess and play. Afterwards, I rinse/soak to get rid of the saliva, press out the excess again, and put into my reed guard for protection until I'm ready to go again. My reeds are now lasting much better than the suck-in-mouth routine that I was initially taught, and are suffering much less damage at the tip.

Thats me for now.

Mel
How to make feeds last longer:
Definitely rotate them.
If you rotate reeds they last longer as they each have more time to rest then if you are constantly playing the same one over and over.
Also, I use synthetic reeds instead of wood how I used to. These last much longer and are more consistent than wood reeds.
I have been using the classic legere on tenor sax and I'm gonna buy myself a legere signature to try out as a Christmas present :)
Also, you might want to invest a rico reed vitalizer case.
They have a pouch inside that keeps the reeds moist but doesn't dampen into being soggy messes. This might improve your wood reed experience.
However really try out legere, or maybe Forestone synthetics Ive heard good things about those.
Good luck in your reed quest! :)
 

saxman80

Member
Messages
62
HI,
I leave my sax on the stand except when i need to take it with me, i find i tend to pick it up more if i have a spare 15 mins outside practice time. I have about 10 reeds on the go at any time and rotate them, i think they do tend to last longer, i've not tried soaking them, its something i have been meaning to try, i read sometime ago that David Sanborn soaks his reeds.
If it means blowing like him best i get them in soak now!:w00t:
 

Eastman52st

New Member
Messages
19
I spray WD-40 lightly on the keys and pads about once every 2 weeks. I like it better than the cleaning kit oil bc I had always accidently applied to much oil to movements in the horn causing it to stick. After all WD-40 is just fish oil. I have been doing this for a couple months now and this has not affected my horn.
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
13,089
WD40 is a dewatering fluid and solvent. It will dissolve any lubricant and dry it out leaving moving parts dry and rubbing causing premature wear and failure. A saxophone will last a life time and maybe more so a testimonial for the efficacy of WD40 based on a 2 month trial is not comprehensive or scientific.

As far as I am aware WD40 is a petrochemical based light oil and not for human consumption. If the fumes don't negatively affect your respiratory tract the taste of it should put you off.

I would assume that leather pads will be negatively affected by this compound and their life will be seriously shortened. Vinyl pads may even dissolve. Natural cork will absorb this automotive wonder fluid and the glue holding them in place may be affected causing them to fall off.

I can't think of a single positive reason for using WD40 anywhere on a saxophone and would recommend that it not be used.
 

sushidushi

Mine's an espresso
Messages
651
I think mine is staying away from my saxophone. I do have Zippo lighter fluid, though, as recommended (I think) by Mr Pete Thomas to clean the pads, applied with a Q-Tip. One day, that pesky G# key will get the hint :)
 

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
Messages
8,011
I spray WD-40 lightly on the keys and pads about once every 2 weeks. I like it better than the cleaning kit oil bc I had always accidently applied to much oil to movements in the horn causing it to stick. After all WD-40 is just fish oil. I have been doing this for a couple months now and this has not affected my horn.
Oh Dear! :w00t:
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
It's a myth that WD40 is fish oil.

Heed the warnings above. The pads will become clogged/waterlogged with it. Suggest you discontinue using it. And lubricate/oil the sax properly, full instructions on Stephen Howard's site.
 

saxman80

Member
Messages
62
I spray WD-40 lightly on the keys and pads about once every 2 weeks. I like it better than the cleaning kit oil bc I had always accidently applied to much oil to movements in the horn causing it to stick. After all WD-40 is just fish oil. I have been doing this for a couple months now and this has not affected my horn.

WD 40 doesn't smell very fishy, although i suppose if its made from a delicate tasting fish like plaice or sole, then the aroma wouldn't be that strong.:)
 

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
Messages
8,011
I was told that WD stands for the term "water displacement" and 40 represents the 40th experimental formula that was successful where the first 39 were not.

There was a chap on SOTW once who wrote that once a month he took a shower with his saxophone and then clamped the keys shut while they air dried. He claimed that he learned that technique from his teacher. My reply to him that it was a good thing he was just kidding, because only an idiot would do that to his saxophone got me banned for several weeks for being "rude" to another member. I have since cleaned up my act, and now I just say, "Oh Dear". :)
 

gladsaxisme

Try Hard Die Hard
Subscriber
Messages
3,409
I was told that WD stands for the term "water displacement" and 40 represents the 40th experimental formula that was successful where the first 39 were not.

There was a chap on SOTW once who wrote that once a month he took a shower with his saxophone and then clamped the keys shut while they air dried. He claimed that he learned that technique from his teacher. My reply to him that it was a good thing he was just kidding, because only an idiot would do that to his saxophone got me banned for several weeks for being "rude" to another member. I have since cleaned up my act, and now I just say, "Oh Dear". :)
That's somewhat surprising to hear as I always had the impression that it was a very unfriendly place to go ....john

PS I was lead to believe that WD40 was merely a British Army stores reference number the WD standing for War Department
 
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Targa

Among the pigeons
Subscriber
Messages
8,901
Would using leather care, polish on the pads be beneficial; or would they stick?
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
13,089
I've tried various things on leather jackets, trousers and gloves over the years and most treatments make the leather squeak.

I was recommended by a local cobbler to try castor oil. This would nourish and waterproof the leather. Unable to find this oil on the shelves of my local pharmacy, I asked at the counter.

The assistant produced a 250ml bottle. I was pondering the surface area and absorption rate of my jacket , trousers and gloves and asked if she had a bigger bottle as I had a lot to do.

Her expression confused me and I ended up buying two of the said bottles.

It wasn't untill I read the instructions on the label and the relevant dosage for the treatment of constipation that I understood the look she gave me when I told her I had a lot to do.

Needless to say I acquired my replacement elsewhere.

I haven't found anything that works for saxophone pads.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Castor oil was used in WWI aero engines. Quite a bit of it got into the cockpit and the airmen were badly affected.
 
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