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Is it possible to grease the cork too much?

randulo

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I usually do it when it feels a little dry. That seems to me to be the most logical. But what say the experts who have taken apart (and hopefully re-assembled) hundreds, no, thousands of instruments? Is there a good rule of thumb? Once a week, month, year? After some number of hours? In cold/hot weather? For jazz, classical, blues, country music? (yes, kidding!)

All of my mouthpiece slip on nicely, some a little tighter than others, but most, just fine. The one loose one has been discussed ad infinitum in another thread. Wine pourers.
 

Stephen Howard

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Yeah, it's possible - and then what happens is the cork becomes saturated with whatever the grease is made of (usually paraffin wax-based) and it starts dissolving the glue. Then the cork falls off.

There's no rule of thumb - you generally apply cork grease when the mouthpiece (or the joints on a clarinet) become too stiff. If you're having to do it each and every time, it means the cork is too thick.
Best bet is to up your game and buy some decent cork grease. Doctor's Product's 'Doctor Slick' is nice, but so is bog-standard High Tack(HT) silicone grease (available on ebay).
 

randulo

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I'm still on the free tube I asked for when I bought the used horn a couple of years ago for $500. I did say that I'm applying it when it feels dry. So I guess rum-flavored lipstick is a no-no?
 

randulo

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Due to serious surveillance, one mustn't allude to certain uses of certain products in certain places. And by places, some are referred to as south of the border.
 

thomsax

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I think the neckcork needs water/moisture. Cork grease is just helping up to make it easier to tune. When the neck cork is dry or compressed to place the neck (just the part where the cork is) in a glas of destilled water. Heat och steam is making the cork more fragile.
 

LostCircuits

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I think the neckcork needs water/moisture. Cork grease is just helping up to make it easier to tune. When the neck cork is dry or compressed to place the neck (just the part where the cork is) in a glas of destilled water. Heat och steam is making the cork more fragile.
It's the same reason as why you are not storing wine bottles standing up. The cork will dry out over time and become brittle. like you said, the grease only helps with reducing friction and a bit of extra sealing but if you need grease to maintain a seal, you need a new cork anyway.
Usually, if you play a horn on a semi regular basis, that will provide enough moisture to maintain a consistent cork, the problem is when you are not playing a horn, especially when you leave the MPC on. The cork will dry out and get brittle but stick in spots to the MPC and when you try to take off the MPC you'll rip out some patches. The risk for that to happen is reduced by grease and it really doesn't matter what you are using.

I would recommend to stay away from bright colored lipstick, though, unless you need an alibi.

Instead of grease, you can also melt parafin wax for a more permanent "lubrication"
 

jbtsax

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Instead of grease, you can also melt parafin wax for a more permanent "lubrication"
My mentor taught me to heat a bar of paraffin wax and drop melted wax generously onto a newly installed cork. Then heat a pad slick and "iron" the wax into the pores. A bit of cork grease is then used the first time a mouthpiece is inserted onto the cork (I fit them to go all the way to the end of the cork). This removes most of the excess wax. I have done this on my own saxophones and can go a year or more without needing cork grease or to reapply a coating of wax. When I do use lubricant it is Doctor Slick.
 

ESJohn

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I'm glad this thread was started as I've been applying grease lately every day. That's only been lately (it is winter here). I didn't note anything about brand preference. Mine is Superslick made in Elkhart, Indiana that looks like lip balm. I think the shop owner slipped it in the case when I purchased that from him. I'd be happy to consider an alternative brand if anybody has a suggestion. I use a very slight amount of vaseline on the neck tenon about once a month. Is daily application of the cork grease too much?
 

Hassles

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There is no reason to apply cork grease more than is needed. Some go years between applications. Many players don't even carry it in their bags. Too much grease can attract dirt, foul your mouthpiece and end up in your neck.
 

Greg Strange

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I'm glad this thread was started as I've been applying grease lately every day. That's only been lately (it is winter here). I didn't note anything about brand preference. Mine is Superslick made in Elkhart, Indiana that looks like lip balm. I think the shop owner slipped it in the case when I purchased that from him. I'd be happy to consider an alternative brand if anybody has a suggestion. I use a very slight amount of vaseline on the neck tenon about once a month. Is daily application of the cork grease too much?

I don't think it's a good idea to put cork grease or vaseline on the saxophone neck sleeve or on the inside of the neck tenon or neck socket - all it needs is a piece of grit or other foreign matter to stick to the cork grease or vaseline and it turns into grinding paste which could damage the neck sleeve or neck socket - best to keep those parts of the instrument as clean as possible - wipe clean with a lint free cloth...

Greg S.
 

Ivan

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Mine is Supersticky made in Elkhart, Indiana
Maybe reread the label?

I use cork grease on the cork frequently. When the cork looks dry, I put on some more. I like to position my mouthpiece with relative ease
Many players don't even carry it in their bags. Too much grease can attract dirt, foul your mouthpiece and end up in your neck
I had no idea it was so, so dangerous

By luck, rather than good judgement, I keep mouthpiece and neck away from mud, muck and leaf litter. But I know to be careful next time I grease the cork in a field
 

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