All profit supporting special needs music education and Help Musicians
SYOS

Is it possible to grease the cork too much?

randulo

Living the dream
Subscriber
Messages
5,330
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.
 

sax panther

Member
Subscriber
Messages
542
When I was a beginner, I think on my 3rd ever clarinet lesson, I'd put so much cork grease on my bottom joint that the bell slipped off onto the floor while I was playing.
 

Stephen Howard

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,146
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

Living the dream
Subscriber
Messages
5,330
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

Living the dream
Subscriber
Messages
5,330
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

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,927
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

Member
Messages
86
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

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
Messages
8,128
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.
 

barimelt

New Member
Messages
10
I don't think I've used my cork grease in three or four years. It's my cheapest sax accessory as one tube last me a lifetime.
 
Top Bottom