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Mouthpiece Cleaning Article

Pete Thomas

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Oh yes, if you like the article and you social network, please click on the Like and Twitter links, ta.
 

BigMartin

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Top right of page.

Does that mean you liked it?
It does, thank you. But I still can't see the link, altough there's a suspicious-looking empty grey box near the top right. This is in Firefox 16.0.2, if it helps, and I don't think I'm blocking any scripts on that page.
 

Pete Thomas

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It does, thank you. But I still can't see the link, altough there's a suspicious-looking empty grey box near the top right. This is in Firefox 16.0.2, if it helps, and I don't think I'm blocking any scripts on that page.
That's odd, this is what I see with Firefox 16.0.2:

FirefoxScreenSnapz002.jpg
 

What

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Most excellent topic. Thanks Pete. How did you know my CMel came with a dirty old mouthpiece? Seriously the shop that sold it did so little work on the sax the reed it came with still had lipstick on it. :shocked:
 

aldevis

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Great article Pete. Does you taming block work also on mouthpieces with the "taste of hell" (sulphur)?
 

Pete Thomas

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Great article Pete. Does you taming block work also on mouthpieces with the "taste of hell" (sulphur)?
It will reduce it slightly, as will lovingly massaging some olive oil into it.

I have found that the taste of hell is made much worse by leaving moutpieces in direct sunlight (I think I mention that).

I have some other throries about improving things in that regard, but need to do some experimentation. It's basically this:

My experiemnts with vinegar to see if it damaged the HR showed me that it does cause some roughening of the surface, hence the method of just using a vinegary cotton swab inside.

But it's possible that what the vinagr does to the outside can be sorted by using the Taming Block, in which case it makes sense to:

  1. Soak entire mouthpiece in vinegar.
  2. Soak in Olive oil.
  3. Polish with Taming Block


The theory:

The vinegar may actually permeate the HR and considerably reduce or mask the taste of hell. It may also make the surface slightly porous, meaning that the subsequent bath of oilve oil will soak in a bit and improve even further, and possibly reduce the taste of vinegar (which may actually be worse than the sulphur)

The Taming block then seals and shines the mouthpiece.

If anybody wants to send me an old mouthpiece that tatses of hell I will be very happy to test the theory on it.
 

jbtsax

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That is an excellent article on mouthpiece cleaning and restoration Pete. Thanks for sharing that information with us.

A while back I corresponded with Dr. Omar Henderson Ph.D of Dr's Products who makes a living as a research chemist and sells woodwind products as a sideline. I asked him if there exists a chemical process to reverse the leaching of sulphur from old ebonite (hard rubber) mouthpieces. He said there was but he was unwilling to share the details with a "layman" because it is an inherently dangerous chemical process, and he didn't want to incur liability issues. He said he would however treat a mouthpiece for me for about $50 plus postage at that time. This was a while back so the cost today may be higher.

The point of posting this is that all of the things we do to blacken, shine, and remove the odor from mouthpieces is largely cosmetic and temporary. To effect a long term change requires the hard rubber material to undergo a chemical transformation to stabilize the compound itself.
 
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