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Discussion Starter #1
I have a old horn with pads that seal well so not replacing.Is there anything to waterproof them,I thought maybe cork grease ? Searched for this here with no luck.
 

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Distinguished Technician & SOTW Columnist. RIP, Yo
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There is a range of modern, Teflon-based products that work and seem to do no harm, eg 3 M companies "Scotchguard Fabric Protector".

I would avoid the silicon-based products which can introduce stickiness.

Definitely don't use any product that has the faintest possibility of making pads stick to tone holes.
 

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Best to be clear. If you want to recondition the leather, then Scotchguard, Teflon dust, and so on won't do that.

If your concern is merely sticking pads, then the Teflon dust works well but no more so than silicone based products. Despite Gordon's misgivings I don't believe they cause stickiness any more or less than any other product. You say your pads are old. I'd hazard a guess that overly deep pad seats are much of the problem. Any waterproofing application applied to the surface of the leather, as opposed to being worked into the leather, is going to be worn away where the pad contacts the tone hole anyway.

Lemon Oil, Old English Oil, Neatsfoot Oil, etc, applied to the pads will soften the leather. Unfortunately, anything so easily absorbed by the leather will often also be absorbed by the felt beneath it.

Surprisingly enough, Cork Grease, or better yet, Lanolin or Dubbin, applied to the leather very sparingly, and then worked into the leather, will not only nourish the leather, but provide more than sufficient water proofing for our purposes. The hassle is, spending the time working it into the leather. If worked into the leather, there's nourishment and suppleness and no stickiness. If not sufficiently worked in and polished, there's a stickiness problem.

Which brings me to my final bit of advice. Don't bother. Sax pads, like brake pads on your car, are a wear item designed to be replaced. I see too many saxes where the effort of trying to keep the thing playing longer before getting it serviced just ends up costing more in the long run. Sure you might get another 6 months out of your pads but it's false economy if a small easily fixed problem on the horn has six months to grow into a major drama. Take the horn in, get it serviced and get the pads replaced.
 
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