Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 20 of 75 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
234 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I know I may be extra careful about my instrument, but it's 82 years old, and I want it to last another 82 or at least not be responsible for much of its natural deterioration, out of respect for the next person who will play it (maybe my kids, one day?).

So, on the recommendation of a member, I've been cutting coffee filter paper and leaving it on the closed tone holes after playing. My alto sax has 11 "closed" tone holes including the octave key (the ones that remain closed when not playing).

When I slide the filters, some immediately absorb moisture, others stay dry. I've also bought powder paper. I've heard of the linen dollar bill also to do that (but I don't have a dollar bill now in Switzerland). Should I leave the filter/paper on? I see Amazon sells "key leaves" that stay on and cover only 2 or 3 of the largest tone holes. But the ones that get the most moisture are the small ones towards the top.

What about the pads of the 12 tone holes that remain open? Should I also do something about them to remove sticky moisture?
 

·
Moderator
Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
Joined
·
29,534 Posts
What about the pads of the 12 tone holes that remain open? Should I also do something about them to remove sticky moisture?
A decent high quality padsaver is useful. But I wonder why the moisture is sticky?

You may be over thinking this. Most people I know don't faff with things like paper or leaves. Besides I believe it can be bad to use any paper with powder on it (whether it's some kind of bespoke product you pay too much for) or currency that may have other kinds of powder including narcotics, not to mention a load of dirt, bacteria or whatever.

Nothing you do with the pads will affect the life of the instrument.

It's not a bad idea to let them dry out before putting back in the case though.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
Joined
·
40,048 Posts
Putting 11 pieces of paper every time you play ( and taking them away ) will certainly help you keeping busy, this is the only perceivable effect of this routine.

On the other hand most people don't do any of this at all and the overwhelming majority have no problems to speak of (if fact they don’t)

The only pad which ever stuck in any of my saxophone was the G# and very occasionally something else.

I have dealt with by putting for a few days a piece of paper sprayed with silicone on it. The talc powder will make things worse in the longrun mixing with moisture and creating crud (I have seen horns which looked dusted with flour!).


In italian there is an expression, don’t wrap your head in bandage before you break it. Pads last very long, use the padsaver, as I do, (and Pete advised) At the very best you will need an overhaul sometime. I have had one 10 years and I am still counting. I am having a few pads replaced now( but they told me it wasn’t necessary).

1617791448917.png
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,388 Posts
I just blot those pads, either with a spit sponge type thing or a paper towel and leave it at that, takes a less than a minute. I don’t see the point of leaving the paper in place as it’s holding the moisture. I’ve never liked the idea of putting powder on them it seems to be asking for trouble but it’s been around a long time.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
Joined
·
40,048 Posts
a lot of trouble has been around a long of time

you put powder on a wet pad it makes crud, pad stick and you put more powder (new batch because in the meantime you forgot where you put it, so a new sale), it’s a self perpetuating situation
 
  • Like
Reactions: PigSquealer

·
Registered
Joined
·
234 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Putting 11 pieces of paper every time you play ( and taking them away ) will certainly help you keeping busy
😄 True. It doesn't take that long, like a good 5 minutes, and it taught me which key actions which keycup. But it is indeed a bit of a pain. I like the Italian saying, very expressive.

Ok so I'll just wipe each pad once after playing.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
Joined
·
40,048 Posts
if you think that is a good way to spend your time, I don’t do it and I have never seen anyone doing it
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
8,196 Posts
I had a very sticky G# immediately after having my tenor overhauled.
This is a Roo pad also.
What worked for me was to pop a business card between the pad and tone hole when I put it away.
I did this for a few weeks and the problem just disappeared.
Alternatively you can just wet a cloth with shellite and sandwich it between pad and tone hole and slide it out under slight pressure to clean both tone hole and pad.
Palm key pads will always be moist after playing and those along with the low Eb pad will need replacing more often than most other pads.
These are probably the easiest pads to replace even, for a novice.
So don’t get too hung up on this as all of the normally sprung closed keys are relatively simple to repad if needed.
 

·
Registered
Keilwerth saxes (S/A/T), Selmer clarinets (S/B), Altus Azumi flute
Joined
·
1,384 Posts
Ok so I'll just wipe each pad once after playing.
if you think that is a good way to spend your time, I don’t do it and I have never seen anyone doing it
7:13 in the video below:


FWIW, I don't do this either and agree with @milandro's broader point. Even if it does help the pads last slightly longer, the pads that are most likely to be affected (e.g., palm keys, low Eb) are pretty easy and inexpensive to replace (as @B Flat says above).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,761 Posts
It always amazes me to see the lengths beginners will go to in order to avoid playing and practicing.

If one of my bandmates did this paper routine, they'd be laughed off the stage.

Pulling a swab through takes 10 seconds. Worry about sticky pads if/when they start to stick. If a pad dies 10 years from now, replace the pad.

Now go practice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
234 Posts
Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Thanks mmichel. Useful video.

It always amazes me to see the lengths beginners will go to in order to avoid playing and practicing.
If one of my bandmates did this paper routine, they'd be laughed off the stage. (...) Now go practice.
and... Thanks Lydian. Not sure which part of "After. Playing." you failed to understand. Taking a little time to care for equipment is a habit I've learned in other activities. Asking for advice too, and I've learned quite a bit on this page from other posts. As for your personal effort, "it always amazes me to see the lengths self-superior people go to in order to patronize and shame beginners asking questions, while avoiding spending time doing something actually constructive with their life". Sorry to hear that where you come from, you can be laughed off the stage by your bandmates, although I can see why. "Now go play your sax", champ. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,089 Posts
Well, if the horn's 82 years old and plays well, the pads aren't original anyway. So all you're attempting to preserve is the pads that are in it. Rest of the horn isn't affected by a clean-up/dry-off routine.

Palm key pads and a few of other normally closed pads typically get hard faster than the others, but on the other hand they're always closed so they keep a good seat longer. I don't do much of anything as to drying-off or swabbing routines. In my experience (40+ years now) none of it seems to make much of a real difference. About the only thing I ever do is for a couple horns with sticky G# pads I'll stuff a little something under the low B to cause the G# to stay open - it seems to be less sticky if it dries not touching the tone hole. For the palm and side keys, it doesn't matter if it sticks because the first time you push the key it'll come open anyway. It's just the spring-opened G# that this is a concern.

When I'm playing a lot, I need to replace a couple palm key pads every 5 or 10 years; the other pads less often. So I don't see the ROI of complicated and time-consuming routines. I want to pack up the horn and get the heck out of there.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
Joined
·
40,048 Posts
Thanks @mmichel the video is about the leaves, a review of a product, there are many product reviews these days
 
  • Like
Reactions: mmichel

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,761 Posts
and... Thanks Lydian. Not sure which part of "After. Playing." you failed to understand. Taking a little time to care for equipment is a habit I've learned in other activities. Asking for advice too, and I've learned quite a bit on this page from other posts. As for your personal effort, "it always amazes me to see the lengths self-superior people go to in order to patronize and shame beginners asking questions, while avoiding spending time doing something actually constructive with their life". Sorry to hear that where you come from, you can be laughed off the stage by your bandmates, although I can see why. "Now go play your sax", champ. :)
I deserved that. I apologize for the thoughtless way I tried to make my point. Unfortunately, what I said is still true. Better that you learn it here, in cyberspace where it doesn't matter than on the bandstand.

I do have a gig coming up, so I actually do need to go practice.
 

·
Registered
Keilwerth saxes (S/A/T), Selmer clarinets (S/B), Altus Azumi flute
Joined
·
1,384 Posts
Thanks @mmichel the video is about the leaves, a review of a product, there are many product reviews these days
Yeah, even calling it a "review" is a bit generous (to me the Key Leaves part of the video played like a cheesy infomercial). Unfortunately, it seems that more and more of these videos are centered on pushing gear. But that's probably a topic for a different thread.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
Joined
·
40,048 Posts
indeed ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,078 Posts
Wiping pads will eventually result in one getting torn. All I ever do is run a pad saver through it a couple of times. Then I take the pad saver out and set it aside. You don’t want to leave a wet pad saver in your horn overnight. Once in a while the G# key sticks. I put a piece of white paper in overnight. If it still sticks I use the dollar bill trick. Any clean piece of paper will work. I’ve even used a 3M sticky note in a pinch, being careful to avoid the sticky part. You are over thinking it. The worst that happens is you need to replace a pad or two every few years.

Now if we were talking about a wooden flute or clarinet that’s a different story. I’ve had my Buffet clarinet since 1975 and I’ve played it a lot over the years with no problems. The first set of pads lasted nearly forty years. I’ve always been meticulous about drying it and running an oiled swab through once I a while. I never touch the pads though. Different type of pads.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
236 Posts
Instrument longevity is really about the mechanisms, so the real question is, when was the last time this thing had a clean and lube?
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2015-
Joined
·
33,900 Posts
FWIW, for most of the last 50+ years, I use a long fuzzy swab to wipe the bore of the horn. I recall that it used to be called "Shove It", but is now branded as "H.W. Pad Saver". I do blow the excess moisture from the palm keys, and periodically wash the interior of the neck, but that's about it.

I haven't had a sticky G# or Eb in almost ever - I know it has happened, but not in the last decade that I recall.

All I drink before/during playing, whether practice, rehearsal, or on the bandstand, is water.

As others have mentioned, the worst that can happen is that you may have to replace a pad when its time is up, but your horn should last another lifetime.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mk-Hmmr and Fader

·
Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
Joined
·
40,048 Posts
well, stickiness, despite people attributing it to drinking sodas ( I don’t), comes, mostly, from the “ waterproof “ coating having been changing in the last few years to water soluble coatings due to a change in legislation in many countries.

This was one of the reasons why I chose white ® roo pads when I had my horn overhauled and, lo and behold, it did stick ( as @B Flat said above) pretty much straight away, so I came up with the spray silicone treatment on blotting paper and it went away (who knows maybe would have gone away anyway as B Flat reports) .

Recently, upon buying another Super 20 which came with new pads (not ® roo this time) , the G# stuck too, I did the “ treatment” again and now doesn’t stick.

I use a padsawer (one I found years ago, is not the HW which I would recommend but this , I never found it anymore, has been with me for over 10 years ), occasioanlly U use a Music Medi was ( and others but MM is a better and safer swab) , I swab the neck most of the times ( at hom, not at a gig) and use he same swab for the mouthpiece, sometimes I have a mouthpiece “ saver” too.

I have collected all this paraphernalia over the years , I even have a glove to clean the lacquer of the saxophone I use every now and again.

There are many things one can do to signify the love for a certain thing like a saxophone ( I remember my uncle always had a soft “ Plumeau” to dust his car and why not if you feel like doing that).
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mk-Hmmr
1 - 20 of 75 Posts
Top